Thursday, May 27, 2010

Library Lootenanny

I feel all bloated and full of too much fiction -- you'll understand when you see my reading stats for May -- so I didn't even go into that section this week. I stayed in the nonfiction, but not for long. Unfortunately, I was wearing my Crocs and they were squeaking in stereo on the freshly waxed floors. It was a little embarrassing when everything and everyone else in the library seemed unnaturally quiet today, but it's not that easy to deter a bookworm from her shelves. This is what I picked up:

Love And Hate In Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas and the Heart of a New Nation - David A. Price. This book about the settling of Jamestown kicks off in 1606 and has a nice breezy style in which the author deftly separates legend from fact. There are also copious end notes and a admirably hefty bibliography, but no pictures! Wah. I like pictures, photos, maps in my nonfiction. This library copy I'm holding doesn't even have the dust jacket (pictured at left) featuring John Smith looking kind of hot. Wah again.

Fire & Roses: The Burning Of The Charlestown Convent, 1834 - Nancy Lusignan Schultz. This is a chapter in history that I'm unfamiliar with. From what I can gather by reading the prologue, an Ursuline convent in the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown burned down one night after some anti-Catholic riots. Also, it looks like Reverend Lyman Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe's father) may have been somewhat responsible since his Protestant self preached not one, not two, but three anti-Catholic sermons the day before the riot. Why is it all the guys named Lyman I've ever known or heard of have been Class A shits? Ooops. I probably should read the book before I start tossing out epithets. I'll get back to you about the Rev. Beecher. Anyway, Fire & Roses has the many pictures that I sorely require, and author Schultz thoughtfully included a list of "Principal Characters" at the front of the book with a brief description of how they figure into this incident.
I claimed my loot and noisily made my way to the self-checkout machine. It was so quiet that I even hated switching her over to her "English" function. Her normally resonant and modulated Please place the book as shown came out sounding like a drunken slattern at a karaoke bar bellowing out the introduction to her last number before passing out. Everyone sitting behind the circulation desk stopped work and stared.
Sometimes quiet is too quiet. I grabbed my receipt and squeaked the hell on out of there. Yikes. I bet they could hear me all the way down in Busan.


Anonymous said...

I'm not going to claim May stats yet. I'm still hoping to finish two more books before the end of the weekend. (Unfortunately my copy of Shanghai Girls still has arrived from Better World).

Did you see my shout out to you on my last post? There is a riddle for you to solve.

Jeane said...

I am always disappointed when the non-fiction books don't have enough photos, too.

The automated checkout-er at my library doesn't talk. It's just printed instructions on the screen. I think a mechanical voice would be super-annoying! Especially in a quiet place like the library.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

Loved this post (and the awesome title)! I think a voiced check out would be annoying too, but good for blind folks!

Stacey said...

Laughing! at the too-quiet library scene you describe. Had to read it thrice, it was so funny.

beth said...

I too have been noticing a heavy tilt towards fiction. Of course, I am patching it up with memoirs, which are pretty dang fictional themselves.

Maybe you could oil your crocs :-)

Cass said...

You know, I live in Boston, and I've never heard of the convent burning. I'll have to check that book out!