Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Library Books

Whenever I mention to my mom that Fillius and I plan to visit the local public library, she shakes her head in disbelief. Why, she wonders, should anyone owning as many books as we do, need to visit a public library? I suppose it's because I don't actually own every book in the world. (It just seems that way.) And because there are books I want to read that I don't necessarily want (or need) to own.

I'm going to visit my daughter on Friday, so I'm checking my stack of library books to see which ones need to go back before I leave. I thought it might be interesting to list the titles I've got checked out at the moment to see what a Catholic reader with catholic tastes has been reading.

Hearts and Hand: The Influence of Women & Quilts on American Society by Pat Ferrero et al. (The author's mildly feminist outlook kept bumping into things, but it was a generally good history of women, their quilts, and the political and reform movements that they supported.)

Where Books Fall Open: A Reader's Anthology of Wit and Passion edited and illustrated by Bascove. (Lovely paintings, but the selections were not as interesting as I'd hoped, thoughI did get a few good book-related quotes for my collection.)

Ramona's World by Beverly Cleary. (Published in 1999, and I'd somehow missed reading it. Wow! Cleary's still got it.)

Beverly Cleary by Jennifer Peltak. (In the "Who Wrote That?" series of biographies for young readers. Pretty good, though heavily based on Cleary's two volume autobiography.)

Healthy Crockery Cookery by Mable Hoffman.

When Babies Read: A Practical Guide to Help Young Children With Hyperlexia, Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism by Audra Jensen. (I checked out this book because I was curious about hyperlexia.)

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip -- Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by "The Waiter." (Based on the blog of the same name. I really enjoyed this one.)

Noche Buena: Hispanic American Christmas Stories edited by Nicolas Kanellos (Pretty good!)

The Illuminated Alphabet: An Inspirational Introduction to Creating Decorative Calligraphy by Patricia Seligman. Calligraphy by Timothy Noad. (This book is simply gorgeous! I wish this book had been around when I was young and struggling to do calligraphy and illumination on my own.)

Everyday Dress 1650 - 1900 by Elizabeth Ewing. (About ordinary clothing as opposed to "fashion." Lots of good pictures.)

Sister Anne's Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki, illustrated by K. Wendy Popp. (This is a lovely picture book. Set in the very early 1960s, the narrator is a seven year old girl describing an incident that took place the year her class was taught by Sister Anne, the first black teacher at the local parochial school. The illustrations are lovely and have a very period feel to them. The only quibble I have is that the text opens, "The summer I turned seven, flowers had power, peace signs were in, and we watched the Ed Sulivan Show every Sunday night." But "flower power" was a slogan from the late 60s and early 70s and the illustrations and story situation seem to be of the early 60s. But what do I know? I was there, but I had my nose in a book.)

The Thought That Counts: A First Hand Account of One Teenager's Experience With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jared Douglas Kant. (Besides speaking to young people with OCD, I think this book would be helpful for anyone trying to understand and live with a family member who has this disorder.)

California Demon by Julie Kenner. (Billed as "the secret life of a demon-hunting soccer mom," this was a fun read which I previously wrote about here.)

The Corporal Works of Murder by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie. (I seldom read mysteries, but this one caught my eye as I was shelving at the library. I wondered how the author was going to handle her protagonist, an middle-aged modern nun in San Francisco. Not bad, though I guessed the identity of the murderer early on.)

Well, I'll return some of these when I go to work today. Then I have to find some good books to take with me on the plane. If I traveled a lot (and had big bucks) I would certainly be tempted to buy a Kindle. I always worry about running out of things to read when I'm away from home. But now that I'm getting older, it's getting harder to lug around a big stack of books.


mrsdarwin said...

Our library has been closed for renovations for a month, and I've been going crazy. It's finally reopened, and I can't wait to go down, though first we have to find all the books we checked out, and that's quite a pile.

the booklady said...

Your mother sounds familiar. And your reading tastes -- all over the place -- remind me of someone I know really well... I LOVED Sister Anne's Hands and used to read it to my RE class! The Kindle or e-book route is tempting, isn't it? Sounds like you're enjoying the library job. Is it anything like a choc-aholic working in a candy store?

Darwin said...

Ramona's World by Beverly Cleary. (Published in 1999, and I'd somehow missed reading it. Wow! Cleary's still got it.)

So is Romona around thirty now...?

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Wow! Wouldn't that be a mind boggling piece of fan fiction to write?

(For anyone who doesn't realize that Darwin is joking, Ramona is in the fourth grade in this book and turns 10 at the end of it.)

Cleary wrote the Ramona books over the course of 40 years. Although there are minor cultural references to whatever decade the various books were written during, it somehow escapes being jarring.