Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Malarkey

Today, I have an unexpected 2 stacks of books because our recent trip to Oklahoma led to a bunch of purchases and their arrival was followed by the purchase of a small pile at a local college's annual Book Bazaar (which is oddly shrinking -- it used to be held in a gym and this time it was held in an alleyway between college buildings . . . weird).

Arrivals, top to bottom:

  • The Five Civilized Tribes by Grant Foreman
  • Daltons! The Raid on Coffeyville, Kansas by Robert Barr Smith
  • Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk
  • Little Known Tales in Oklahoma History by Alton Pryor
  • Oklahoma: A History by W. David Baird and Danney Goble
  • Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams - from HarperCollins for review
  • The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicholson - from Quirk Books for review
  • Sammy's Broken Leg and the Amazing Cast that Fixed It by Judith Wolf Mandell - from the Cadence Group for review

So . . . the Oklahoma history books were all purchased, mostly secondhand. I took a photo of the bookshelves at the place I bought Daltons! and then looked up less expensive versions at home because I couldn't afford to buy so many books at $19.95 a pop, but at used-book prices, no problem. I chose the book about the Dalton Gang as my full-price purchase because I've always wondered a little about what happened to the Dalton Gang, having been to a graveyard in Kansas where at least one of the people who worked for the Daltons was buried. His grave said he was a "cow camp cook for the Dalton Gang". My mother used to drag me along to graveyards when she was studying geneology, in case you're interested.

Stack #2, top to bottom (all purchased at local book bazaar):

  • Germinal by Emile Zola - Finally! A bit late for the readalong, I'm afraid, but I'm happy to have a copy. 
  • The Doctor and the Devils by Dylan Thomas
  • O. Henry Memorial Prize Stories of 1943, ed. by Herschel Brickell
  • The History of the German Resistance, 1933 - 1945 by Peter Hoffmann - Not as intimidating as it looks, fully 1/3 of the book is dedicated to references/bibliography. 

Not pictured: 

  • Tequila Mockingbird by Leo Cullum (because it's in the "books finished this month" pile -- this is how we keep organized). 

As usual, I lingered over the literature and history tables. They were small, this time, and I have to wonder if the school opted to get rid of all the books they used to store and start from scratch because I would guess there were maybe 20% the quantity of books that they used to sell -- and they seem to have shut down the book bazaar for a couple years. I suspect they were tired of storing books between sales and decided they needed to narrow down the number they carried. At any rate, I still managed to find plenty and I'm always, always excited to find anything about WWII. And early-to-mid-20th Century short stories are perennial favorites.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Elly and the Smelly Sneaker by L. Gorin and L. Vamos
  • The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins
  • Tequila Mockingbird by Leo Cullum
  • Sammy's Broken Leg and the Amazing Cast that Fixed It by Judith Wolf Mandell

Elly and the Smelly Sneaker is a book that turns the Cinderella story on its head and I absolutely loved it, so watch for a review of that one (it's a picture book). Of course, I had to read some poetry because it's National Poetry Month, so I've been hanging onto The Rain in Portugal for April reading since Christmas (it was a gift from Kiddo). Billy Collins is always worth the wait. Tequila Mockingbird is a book of animal cartoons from The New Yorker that I found at the book sale. Kiddo (hanging over my shoulder) and I read most of it while we waited for a restaurant table at one of the few places we consider worth the wait and I finished it up at home. Sammy's Broken Leg is also a picture book. So, all short books and that's fine. I think this last couple of weeks have provided me with a nice mental break. I'm reading better than I have been most of the year, at any rate. Fingers crossed it lasts. Sammy's Broken Leg arrived in terrible condition, unfortunately. I love to pass on most of the children's books I review but this one is such a mess that I'm not going to donate to the local school system, as I'd hoped, because they ask specifically for new or like-new books so that every child will get at least one at the end of the year. Battered books won't do. I'll find someone to give it to, though.

Last week's posts:

Currently reading:

  • The Day I Died by Laurie Rader-Day - A mystery in which the woman trying to find a missing child and his mother is a handwriting analyst.
  • The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains by Jon Morris - A book about comic book villains who didn't stick. I can't even begin to tell you how fun this book is. The author has a sly sense of humor. 
  • My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem - The chapters are long but the storytelling is excellent. I'm enjoying My Life on the Road much more than I anticipated. But, it may take me a while to get through. 

In other news:

I want to read everything and I want to read it all right now.  Does that ever happen to you? Sometimes I start one book, then another, then another, till I'm only reading bits and pieces of everything -- and it's always because I'm just feeling ravenous for books. Funny how those times contrast with the slumpy ones.

Happy Reading!

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  1. This is where I keep track of books read by month (and by year): Each year is separate under my blog's header, and I record them using "Pages" on our Blogger list with Posts, Layout, etc.

    You were keeping a list on your sidebar until 2015. What happened?

    1. I keep a running list, all year, but it's in draft form. From that, I'll take my monthly reads and do my "One Month's Reads in Brief" posts. What I meant was that I keep the books I've read together to photograph at the end of the month by stacking them all in one place. If I don't do that, I'll end up running all over the house, gathering books. Actually . . . I guess I'm pretty organized, aren't I? I don't update my annual books read list in the sidebar till the end of the year, when that year's reads is complete. But, I update it every time I finish a book.

  2. Lots of fun looking books! The opposite of a reading slump can be almost as bad. I've felt that way before.

    1. I like being on a roll but yeah, it can be a little bizarre and overwhelming wanting to read everything at once and ending up reading just a little of too many books.


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