Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Tuesday Twaddle - Like Monday Malarkey, only chewier

Up until Saturday of last week, not a single book had arrived and I thought, given the fact that it was also not much of a reading week, that there was going to be no malarkey to speak of. Or, twaddle (same thing). And, then Saturday happened. On Saturday I had to pick up a book from the library and the library sale just happened to be going on. Since I left Huzzybuns in the car, I had to move quickly and this is what I grabbed:

Library sale books, top to bottom:

  • City of Glass by Paul Auster
  • The Little Black Book of Stories by A. S. Byatt
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
  • I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabel - oops, wrong stack; that's one that arrived in the mail on Saturday; purchased after reading one of Hrabel's other books
  • Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
  • Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper
  • Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
  • Dragon's Lair by Sharon K. Penman
  • South by Ernest Shackleton - Not sure, but I may already have a copy of this one. If so, one of them will be re-donated.

And, then, all of the above arrived yesterday:

  • Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans,
  • The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch, and 
  • French Concession by Xiao Bai - all three titles from Harper for review
  • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican - from St. Martin's Press to reread for Q/A with the author

Posts since last week's malarkey:

Books finished since last malarkey:

  • Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal 
  • Temptation by Vaclav Havel

Both of the books I finished were around 100 pages. Between dealing with the aftermath of last week's hole in the ceiling and other clean-up in preparation for the arrival of furniture, last week just wasn't a big reading week. I came across Temptation while I was hunting for a classic that a friend was considering reading. Technically, Temptation should have been shelved with other plays rather than classics (I think) but I'm glad I found it.

Currently reading:

  • When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi - A July release. I read 22 pages the first night I opened When the Moon is Low and then realized I remembered almost nothing when I woke up. So, I started over and am about 60 pages in, at the moment. It's an understated story and each time I pick it up I have to flip back a few pages to see what recently happened. Hopefully, it will become more memorable as the story progresses.
  • Extreme Food by Bear Grylls - I'm on p. 90 out of 259 pages. I'm finding pluses and minuses to Extreme Food, at this point. If you carry it with you when traveling/camping (especially after a first reading so you'll know what specific items to gather) it could definitely help you survive if disaster were to occur. I'm on the section about fishing and Bear is telling me how to make my own hook, find bait, determine where the best spot is to fish, etc. -- good stuff. But, I recently read the part about mushrooms and got the impression that unless you plan to study mushrooms, as in, buy a big guidebook with full-color photos and get an expert to help teach you, Bear's section on mushrooms is fairly useless (in fact, he pretty flatly says you really need a concise guide if you ever plan to eat them) because there are far too many dangerous mushrooms that look almost identical to those that are edible. At least he's honest. I'm enjoying the book, although it's one that is, I think, best in small doses so you can sit back and let the information sink in. 
  • Pamela by Samuel Richardson. . . of course. I only picked up Pamela twice, this week, and read briefly. Fortunately, Pamela is the kind of novel that you can set aside for a week or a month and have no problem continuing when you get around to picking it up, again. That's probably because the characters have a tendency to drive topics into the ground. You can't help but remember what was up when the characters droned on about it for 25 pages. 

In other news:

I cannot even begin to tell you what a relief that large post in which I talked about everything I hadn't reviewed has been. It's been such a wonderful stress-remover, akin to Atlas replacing the planet on his shoulders with a basket of kittens. At this moment, I only have two books waiting to be reviewed -- a very tolerable number -- and I'm praying things will stay that way for the rest of the year.

The last baseball game we attended was miserable. The heat and humidity have finally arrived with a vengeance. I came home with 3 mosquito bites and yet another bobblehead (a different one from last week's; this week's version was a fellow sliding into base, very cute). The next day, it cooled off in the evening so I went out and deep-painted 6 more deck planks. I made the mistake of not wearing enough insect repellant and ended up with 15 more bites. Thank goodness I'm no longer fiercely allergic to mosquito bites. 4-5 bites used to put me to bed with a fever and flu-like symptoms.

A storm is about to arrive (I've been watching the sky darken and listening to thunder's rumbles increase in volume, as I've typed) so I'd better shush.

Happy Tuesday!

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  1. I have to get Brutal Youth sometime soon. Everyone who has read it seems to have liked it

    1. Brutal Youth is excellent and I'm convinced it would make an especially good discussion book. There's a lot to talk about.

  2. It is always a good day when you bring home a book by A.S. Byatt.

    1. You were the first person to say that but someone else repeated it on Facebook! And, I've never read Byatt. That one may go on my bedside table pile. :)

  3. I know you'll think it's strange that this is the one thing I took away from your post but who discovered what mushrooms were poisonous or not? I hate to think how that was accomplished.

    1. Well . . . I'd say it was accomplished the hard way. I know I've read a few news stories about people who went out to harvest mushrooms and got the wrong ones. Those stories usually don't end well.


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