Friday, February 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes - Misc. Edition

1) As I was shelving in nonfiction I noticed a title on the shelf which spoke volumes to me: Why Women Need Chocolate. I don't actually know anything about this book, but it seems to me that the title states an eternal truth. Women need chocolate. And I've discovered that the craving for it is distinct from the craving for sweets.

Because I'm prediabetic, I cut sweets from my diet about a year ago. And I found that the craving for sugar really does fade after a month or so. Not so with chocolate, not so! When life is stressful there's still nothing like it. But now I've discovered a way to eschew sweets yet still self-medicate: Trader Joe's Belgian Unsweetened Baking Chocolate. No sugar at all and a smooth chocolate taste! It's not at all bitter or harsh. Of course, it probably helps that I've always been a fan of bitter sweet chocolate. (Milk chocolate is for wimps!)

2)Darwin recently wrote about the toy appeal of Amazon's Kindle 2. Though I love the feel of a book in my hand, I have to admit that I have occasionally considered the advantages of a Kindle, most recently on my trip to Texas to visit Fillius Major and his family. I always try to travel light which is not easy to do if you're also worried about running out of reading material during the trip. Books are heavy, and I can't take just one thanks to the current security regulations which require arriving at the airport as much as two hours ahead of flight time -- because I can read through a lot in two hours! And then there's the flight time, and maybe a layover. And what if that doesn't leave me enough reading material for the trip home? Talk about midflight panic! It was this sort of fear that had me standing in an airport book stall, with my carry-on firmly clutched between my feet and my purse dangling from my arm, reading about Dewey (the only palatable selection in the whole store). A Kindle would be so much lighter to carry than a stack books, and I'd never have to worry about running out of something to read.

3) Dewey Decimal Conundrums: The Dangerous Book For Boys is at 031.02 which is right next to the Guinness Book of World's Records. Why is The Daring Book for Girls at 606.7008 right next to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?

4) Yesterday the unthinkable happened: I forgot to take a book with me on my trip to the doctor's office. I surveyed the magazine offerings in the waiting room. The inevitable Sports Illustrated (ugh!), various automobile magazines (zzzzzz), Parents (been there, done that), Golf (the most boring game on the planet), various financial magazines, and Arthritis (don't need that yet!). So that left JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. (I did read one interesting article there in which the author was reminiscing about the lone family doctor who served his tiny hometown and who sparked his desire to enter the medical profession.) But it would have been another good time to have had a Kindle. Except I probably would have forgotten to bring it with me.

5) I've just discovered that one can subscribe to a Spanish Word of the Day at

6) I bought a copy of MindFlights, Issue 4 in order to read "Dragonsaint" by D.G.D. Davidson, the proprietor of The Sci Fi Catholic. The author has described his novelette as featuring, "such things as ancient legends, dragons, coffee, attractive women with glasses, dragons, wildland firefighting, dragons, unrequited love, and dragons." I thought the story was a lot of fun and had some interesting world-building. And ya gotta love a dragon who wears a scapular. Why a Catholic dragon? Well, that would be the fault of St. Philomena, a spunky little girl who, after taming her dragon, insists that he be baptized. (After being catechised, of course.) But has the dragon really been converted? Or has he only restrained all these centuries by the power of St. Philomena's cord around his neck?

7) In a previous post, I spoke about mentally mispronouncing words I encountered in my reading which I'd never heard spoken aloud. But I forgot to confess that (despite the title of this blog) I've no idea how to pronounce "bibliophagist"!


entropy said...

3) Dewey Decimal Conundrums: The Dangerous Book For Boys is at 031.02 which is right next to the Guinness Book of World's Records. Why is The Daring Book for Girls at 606.7008 right next to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?

I'll tell you why. The Dangerous Book for Boys is serious information about things every boy should know--things almost every boy is interested in--presented with humor and grace underscored with a theme of respect and honor. The Daring Book for Girls is a lame copy-cat and deserves to be next to the likes of Queer Eye.

I appreciate the sentiment that girls should have something to enjoy like boys but this is ridiculous. Let the boys have their book. It's fun and interesting and teaches them a thing or two about responsibility and manhood. Don't give girls a saccharin copy so they don't feel left out; teach them to be happy for others.

Anonymous said...

bib-li-o-fay-gist :)

From the Greek "biblion", book, and "phag-", part of the verb "estho", to eat/devour.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

But on which syllable is the accent mark?

lvschant said...

couldn't find it in the dictionary I have on the shelf... ditto wiktipedia... but I would have been thinking that it would be bib-li-ah-fa-jist... with the accent on the 'ah'? just an uneducated guess, though...

we have the dangerous book for boys... good stuff.

I read everything, too... a quote from an aunt -- if nothing else is available, I'll read soupcan labels.

Thanks for sharing.

Enbrethiliel said...


That story about the dragon sounds wonderful! Davidson sounds like a creative storyteller. Thanks for letting us know about it. =)

Marcy K. said...

I would imagine that it would be pronounced bib-lee-oh-fay-gist.