an ode to the library…and reading list as of 12/28

so if you haven’t figured it out by now, reading is one of my favorite activities.  ever since go dog go, my parents would have to throw me outside in order to get me to play, rather than read.  whatever.  books are way more interesting 🙂

in recent years, i’ve rediscovered my local library.  seattle public library’s central branch (located in downtown seattle) became an entirely new building.  ballard, high point, and the southwest branch all have new buildings as well, and the neighborhood of south park just got their first branch ever (i think in 2008).  it started as a way to save money.  i spent far too much on books that i would read once and then either give away or try to sell.  most of them i didn’t think were even worth the money i spent on them.  so, i started reserving them at the library.  this has worked out much, much better, and i don’t have to worry about trying to fit another bookcase into my house somewhere.

then there’s the librarians themselves.  these people are just awesome.  a few years ago, i was desperately trying to remember the name of a childhood favorite.  all i could remember was that it was about a dog that learned to talk, and then he decided to take french cooking lessons.  i called the library, who connected me to the children’s section.  i described the book to her, and within hours, she’d called me back with not only the name of the book (theodore and mr. balbini), but the author’s name, the ISBN number, the publication date, and the publisher.  with that success, i called again a few months later with another book i couldn’t remember the name of.  it was a story of a woman who loses her memory and “comes to” wearing a blue dress covered in blood and holding a large paper sack of money.  it took a little more digging, but the librarian was able to track down the title for me (see jane run).  see what i mean about awesome?

with that said, here’s my reading list for the month…yes, it’s shorter, but i did say that would happen.

faithful place by tana french: you knew it was coming, didn’t you?  french’s latest packs the same 1-2 punch as her prior novels, only this time, the first one is more of a whiff…you see it coming, but you brace for it, and it doesn’t hurt so much.  but that second punch, you think it’s coming later, so when it lands, it hits you in the solar plexus.  frank mackey left dublin’s faithful place years ago, after he thinks his girl, rosie, stood him up.  when rosie’s suitcase turns up years later (and then the inevitable, her skeleton) mackey is pulled back into the life he left behind all those years ago.  french’s prose stands heads and shoulders above so many others…i dragged this out so it wouldn’t end.

the great derangement: a terrifying true story of war, politics, and religion at the twilight of the american empire by matt taibbi – i love matt taibbi.  if i wasn’t already happily ensconced in a relationship and wanted children, i would track taibbi down and beg to have his children.  in derangement, he ventures off to a megachurch in san antonio, texas, and gets sucked in.  in between, he heads back to capital hill, new york, and iraq, and you learn a little about the legislative process and a whole hell of a lot about how nuts fundamentalist christians are.  taibbi is funny, angry, and far more eloquent that i could ever hope to be when it comes to politics and the problems with our government.

hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world by haruki murakami – i’m convinced that murakami gets published because his books are just confusing enough that people are convinced he’s brilliant.  wonderland is best viewed as two separate stories.  the first is a math dude of sorts who gets roped into a conspiracy and has to find a kidnapped inventor.  the second is about a man who ends up in a walled Town, where no one is allowed to leave.  somehow the two stories are connected, although i must confess, i haven’t actually finished the book.  i will, though.  and then i’ll start on one of the five library books i just checked out.

 

*image credits via guardian.uk.com, viking press, and vintage press

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