Monday, July 06, 2015

Monday Malarkey - Nature on the rampage and a thing or two about books

It's Malarkey time! I knew you'd be thrilled.

Now that I've had a strict review policy in place for over six months, the number of books arriving by mail has trickled down to nothing, so there will probably be weeks that I don't have a "new arrival" entry. But, last week two events conspired to add to my pile. First, I took some books to our local Little Free Library (the only one I know of in our area, which is in front of a public building) and just happened to find a Booker Prize-winning novel. So, I grabbed it. Then, I went to Oxford to work on cleaning out youngest son's apartment (and get out of the house for a day). So, naturally, I had to drop in at Off-Square Books. I did not escape with my pocketbook intact.

New arrivals, top to bottom:

  • Last Orders by Graham Swift (from our local Little Free Library)
  • The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick,
  • The Encantadas and Other Stories by Herman Melville,
  • Julia's Cats by Barey and Burson,
  • and 
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - all from Off-Square Books

Posts since last week's malarkey:

One of the reasons there were few posts:

Thunder, lightning, hail, blah, blah. This has been the wettest spring and summer I can recall in recent history. Last week's storms were heavy on lightning and I always unplug when there's lightning to avoid a ruined computer on the off chance of lightning strike. I don't bother carrying the laptop away from the window or writing on battery power. I just shut it down, unplug, and walk away. I like an excuse to disconnect.

Books finished last week:

  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka - When I stopped reading Child Witch Kinshasa, I was in the mood for something short, literary, thought-provoking. When the Emperor Was Divine has a sad tone and that probably wasn't something I needed during a stormy week but it did fit the other parameters I'd set for my next read and I'm glad I read it.
  • Julia's Cats: Julia Child's Life in the Company of Cats by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson - A fun read for cat lovers that sets Child's love of cats within the context of her cooking life. The only thing I disliked about Julia's Cats was the incompleteness of each cat's story. Julia child moved from one home to another, often leaving a cat behind for someone else to watch, sometimes rehoming a cat. You never get a complete picture of each animal's life because of that. And, since most of them were given the same or similar names (Minou, Minette), after a time they become a little difficult to distinguish.

Currently reading:

  • Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression, ed. by Robert Cohen
  • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican - a reread. I meant to do a Q & A with the author after the first reading, but didn't mark up the book because I read a library copy. This time, I'm reading the recently-released paperback so I can fill it with flags to my heart's delight and I won't have to hurry to remove them and send the book back anywhere. Nice. Also, the book has haunted me so I'm glad to have an excuse to reread it. 

In other news:

I've pinched a finger, stubbed a toe and gotten stung by fire ants, today. Lessons learned:

  • Turn on the light before placing something inside a full drawer.
  • If the cat moves her (wooden, carpet-covered) scratching pad into the middle of the room, move it back where it belongs because wooden things hurt.
  • Don't weed the garden in flip-flops.

What's up with you?

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  1. The weather really and truly stinks this summer. So so so much rain.

    1. Yeah, it's been mindboggling.

  2. Our weather in So Cal is cool today. I think it's only supposed to hit 75 before the 100 degree temps return. if we could only get some rain! Even half an inch. Our mandatory water restrictions means that I had to let my 1/2 acre yard die and it killed me. We BBQd this weekend and normally it's all lush and green and it was like hanging out on a haystack.

    1. You would think we could fill tanks with some of our excess and ship it to California, wouldn't you? We have exactly the opposite problem. Because of the rain, we haven't managed to do any yardwork so we have a poison ivy jungle, untrimmed bushes and trees (so scraggly and awful looking), weedy gardens. I hope you get some rain, soon. It must be horrible having to let your pretty yard die.

  3. I wanted to add, a lady down the street just put in a Tiny Library. It's the first in our city of over 275K people. It's doing well. Some interesting things in there. I have the idea spot for one but I often expect people to be jerks so I am curious to see if hers does well for the long haul. I did see a Book of Mormon in there. No joke.

    1. I'd imagine you'll get some jerks emptying it, now and then. Hard to say, though. I haven't heard of any problems amongst those I know who have one. It seems to work best in high-traffic areas. Cool about the Book of Mormon!


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