Monday, November 1, 2010

All Books Day

Day 266 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and, with Halloween just over, and in anticipation of tomorrow, All Souls' Day, a day in celebration of the "dearly departed" (as Wikipedia puts it), and because at work today some people could not find the books they wanted, I celebrate some books that are not there.

Not there today: Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Claudia Pinkola Estes.  A young woman who used to live in town and is back visiting, who has multiple copies of this book in her house, was looking for one to give to a local friend.  No go.

Also not there today, nor on Thursday, when I found it online for her with another used bookseller: the 1958 Illinois State University yearbook, called The Index, edited by a woman who was also one of my junior high school teachers.  I looked online again, and it was already gone, though there were other years, just not one she'd edited.  Somebody bought up all the local copies recently, probably to sell on eBay.  Sigh....

There, but not in the house of the author, who might buy an ex-library copy from us at Babbitt's because she loaned her own to someone who never returned it: The History of Street Railways in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, by Red and Mary Rozum.  It's always a little odd when an author calls or emails to order his or her (hir) own book!  I told her I hoped the boss would give her a discount!

And not there yet in my yearning little hands, but heard of by my yearning little ears on NPR, are these two books:

Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul.  Here's a great brief essay by her at NPR that you can read or listen to, and below that an excerpt from the book itself.

This made me recall a book that is not there on my shelf, because I gave it to a midwife friend:  Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood, by Sandra Steingraber.

And, lest you think I am math-challenged, which I am, here is the second NPR book, one I want to read with my book group, because I loved Bee Season:

The False Friend, by Myla Goldberg.  I did not happen to hear this NPR story back on Wednesday, but I read the excerpt today.  A women remembers a childhood friend and some bad behavior that evidently led to the death of the friend.  Ouch.  Talk about atonement....

Nor have I read Atonement, by Ian McEwan, but I have seen the movie, which does make me want to read the book, even though I will already know what happens.  But that's the way Flannery O'Connor likes it.  Skip the suspense and focus on what the people do, and why, and ponder what they (or you) should be doing instead.

Flannery would know that today is All Saints Day, and what that's about.  I don't, really.  Except that it's connected to All Souls' Day, and the Day of the Dead, which reminds me of little sugar skulls and skeletons.

And the dearly departed.


Denise | Chez Danisse said...

"Skip the suspense and focus on what the people do, and why, and ponder what they (or you) should be doing instead."

I think I like that.

Kathleen said...

I love Flannery O'Connor, even when she freaks me out. She is somehow hilarious and serious at once. Hmm, I may be misrepresenting her. But what could be funnier than "A Good Man is Hard to Find"? Or more serious?

Kim said...

Everything that Rises must Converge!

I will read a Flannery O'Connor story today while staying home with my daughter who is ill.

Kathleen said...

Sorry about your daughter, glad for Flannery.

ron hardy said...

One of my favorite short stories, the one about the woman stepping into the field with the bull.