Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This Week at the Library (10 August)

I've been ill as of late, though I don't know what of. I imagine it has a fun name, though, because it's involved hallucinations, afternoons spent sleeping in the bathtub, and sentences that turn into meaningless babble halfway through their utterance. I think I am on the outside of it now, though, and I'm pretty sure the hallucinations were only due to sleep deprivation. I have two or three reviews pending (it's rather hard to write when words come off the page and dance) and today I visited the library for some new reads.

A new-ish book by Sarah Vowell (Unfamiliar Fishes) caught my attention, so I picked that right up. Vowell writes snarky histories with thinly disguised allusions to contemporary politics. I don't know what this release is about, but with Vowell I'm sure I'll be smirking and wincing at the various frailties of America.

I've been in a mood for the Bard recently (undoubtedly because of my repeated viewings of The Reduced Shakespeare Company Presents: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), so I spent some time in the literature shelves today. I finally settled on Signet Classics' Four Great Tragedies, which collects Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and MacBeth. I don't intend on reading all four of them, but I can't remember much about MacBeth (aside from it being "cursed" and ending with a bunch of guys dressed as shrubs marching on a palace) and I only know that King Lear was foolish.

I also picked up Astronomy Made Simple. I doubt it'll tell me anything I don't really know, but we'll see.
Lastly, while looking for something by Steinbeck, I spotted a book entitled The Big Rock Candy Mountain. That happens to be a song title, one which describes a "hobo's heaven".

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, all the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmer's trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay
Oh I'm bound to go where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall, the wind don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

The book itself follows an impoverished family through thirty years of the early 20th century. Boy does that sound fun.

I'm also figuring to finish Seven Ages of Paris.

Reviews to look for:

  • Covert, Bob Delaney
  • The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond
  • Synthesis, James Swallow

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