June 23, 2009

annual treasurehunt report

Friends of the Library Booksale, 2009:

I'm sure they do all right, and I'm sure stifling heat is part of the FOTL tradition, but this booksale would rake in b'zillions more if they'd find some way to get air conditioning for the McKinley High School cafeteria. I brought a cardboard box but could have stuffed my meager (and mostly halfhearted, might I mention) purchases in my handbag. (Which is kind of a big handbag, but still, I am making a point.)

Got a few more days to decide if I want to go back. Can't hold out till the last day, when everything will be cheaper, because this coming weekend's (Not Our) WEDDING WEEKEND! Woo hoo for Tami and Roger! Anyway, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are still open. Probably should not go back. Although we are soon going to be the PROUD new owners of a hand-me-down bookshelf from Cub's sister. I'm insanely excited. Cub, a little less so.

1) Bought Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Living to Tell the Tale. A dollar fifty. Liking it so far. Kind of distressed that this is just one of three installments of his autobiography, though.

2) The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Two dollars. This, along with the Marquez, was something I vascillated on for awhile but decided to go ahead and buy it because it was inscribed. I am drawn to books with pasts. I feel so sad when I find a book that was given as a gift at a garage or rummage sale. When you give someone a book, you're either taking a huge risk and putting your heart out on a limb - giving the book because you loved it and/or hope the recipient will love it too - or you just don't give a crap. Inscribed discarded books tell me that a heartfelt effort was spurned and the book needs a loving home. Do not tell my husband I think this way and that that's part of the reason a good number of books live on our shelves. He thinks I'm crazy enough as it is.

3) Paid two measly bucks for new-looking copy of blogger-journalist Rebecca Eckler's 2004 pregnancy memoir Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be. And I want a refund. If Eckler's self-portrait is accurate, she was for nine months a ridiculous, self-absorbed ball of misery whose every self-centered whine* probably made her nameless fiance so very glad theirs was a long-distance relationship. She's so determined not to let pregnancy and motherhood change her life that for more than 300 pages she brags about her daily french fry and Big Mac consumption, and smokes cigarettes. Somewhere in the second trimester I think it is, she acquires a weird sort-of boyfriend who fills the void in her life that should have been filled by the guy who made this all possible, the nameless fiance.

*Not talking about her references to morning sickness or the assorted aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Talking about her incessant whining about being fat. 1) News flash: Growing a kid in your uterus makes you appear fat. Even though Eckler didn't plan her pregnancy, surely she knew that much? 2) Eating fries and Big Macs every day of your pregnancy will not make you appear fat. It will make you fat.

Kind of want to sneak the book back into the booksale or maybe ask for a trade. Ha.

Grabbed a few others as well, maybe TBB later.

Might hit up the sale again sometime this week. Wasn't really feeling it last time ... that's why I ended up rescuing orphan Christmas gifts instead of squealing with joy over truly awesome finds like last year.

June 10, 2009

super PBS mail haul ...

... including stuff I forgot I ordered. Apparently Beast in View is lost in transit, but pretty much everything else arrived in mail locker #2 today:

1) Death, Bones and Stately Homes. My latest in a long-running series of attempts to get into mystery franchises so that there'll never be a lack of quick, fun, one-shot reads at my fingertips. If this doesn't work out, I'll try Lillian Jackson Braun.

2) Mishima: A Biography.

3) Anansi Boys. Although Stardust put me to sleep, I liked The Graveyard Book enough to peruse PBS for more Gaiman titles.

4) California Diaries: Dawn Diary Three. The California Diaries spinoff of the Babysitters Club is totally unpalatable to me. Apparently when Dawn reclaimed her West Coast roots, she became an uber-drama queen thanks to Sunny et al. This is one I don't remember ordering.

5) The Fire at Mary Anne's House. The last book ever written in the straight-up Babysitters Club series. And the one I'm saving for last, even though chronologically it comes long before the end, Farewell, Dawn. Before you comment on how so much Stoneybrook will rot my brain, remember that for a schoolteacher, that is the sole purpose of summer vacation.

Sometime this summer I'll have to set up the new classroom bookshelf (the teeny one I have the kids' books currently stuffed in has got to go). I will have to watch my shelves like a hawk and may have to set up a whole new borrowing system or do away with take-home borrowing altogether (don't worry, they still have the library downstairs) because I hear that the incoming class has sticky fingers when it comes to books.

Even having read only the book jackets so far, I'm looking forward to sharing The Underneath with them, as well as Savvy. Am not yet 100 percent sure I'm putting Nation or even The Graveyard Book on the classroom shelf. Though I'm not one to censor, I have to think like a parent sometimes. Even though my copy has this cover and not this one, I still need to see how "old" the kids are before I decide what goes on the shelf.

June 9, 2009

summer reads

Between teaching, hiking, swimming, and hobbling toward the finish line at one or two small-potatoes races this summer, I think prime time for reading will be just before I fall asleep each night.

Lined up:

The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad
Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout
The Underneath, Kathi Appelt
Savvy, Ingrid Law
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, John Krakauer
Death, Bones and Stately Homes, Valerie S. Malmont

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