Monday, March 22, 2010

Library Loot: Carpe Libri Maximus

There's something about Monday that makes you want to kick it in the teeth...or lower, take your pick. There's no way of getting around it; you must go through it. I cushioned the impact by taking a little side trip to the library instead of eating lunch. I must have been in sore need of comfort because I came away with 7 books. Here's what I found:

1. A Glossary of Faulkner's South - Calvin S. Brown. A nifty little book that explains all that funny Southern talk in Faulkner's novels. There's also a map of Yoknapatawpha County. I grabbed this to show it to Faulkner Guy, but leafing through the glossary makes me want to put aside my differences with "Brother Bill" and try reading him again.

2. Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Own - edited by Sharon Sloan Fiffer and Steve Fiffer. Several writers take a room or a part of a house and write an essay about it. For example, Richard Bausch takes the porch, Jane Smiley takes the bathroom and Lynda Barry takes the teenage boy's bedroom.

3. Muddy Cup: A Dominican Family Comes of Age in a New America - Barbara Fischkin. Pretty much what the title says. Based on a series of feature articles that appeared in Newsday during the late 1980s. Paging through, I noticed that the style was fiction-like, which produced a few glimmers of irritation. Hopefully that will pass.

4. Leaving Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin - Deborah E. McDowell. Deborah McDowell grew up near Birmingham, Alabama during the late 50s and early 60s, but her memoir doesn't focus the civil rights movement or Martin Luther King. Instead, McDowell focuses mainly on her family, neighborhood and church. "Pipe Shop" is the nickname for the part of Birmingham she was from.

5. The Vicar of Wakefield - Oliver Goldsmith. My Tough & Cool Inner Bookworm (who should be happy with me, but alas, she never is) led me to this shelf. Yes, she plucked the book, but I read the first page and was charmed by the warm, witty and engaging tone of the narrator, who is presumably the title character. I got kind of a Jane Austen-y vibe. Cool. This should be interesting.

6. Games Authors Play - Peter Hutchinson. Have you ever thought that an author was toying with you? Yanking your chain? Flexing his literary muscles and kicking sand in your 97-pound weakling reader face? I think it all the time! So did Virginia Woolf, by the way. Mindful of Woolf's advice that we should draw a bead on what authors are "up to", I checked out this book.

7. Laughing Matters: Humour in the Language Classroom - Peter Medgyes. A resource book dealing with humo(u)r in the language classroom. There are over 100 activities that allegedly insert some fun into classes while "still being grounded in respected language learning theory". Oh hell, I'll try anything.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

"The Games Authors Play" sounds very interesting!