Tuesday, June 22, 2010

books books books books!!!!

Lacking the will to do anything about it, I hauled out my purse-size go-to-auction tape measure and discovered that there are nine feet of books on my bedside table. Granted, it's a large bedside table, an old mahogany tobacco twist parlor table with big top and a shelf below. But nine feet? That seems excessive, doesn't it?

In six stacks ~ four above and two below ~ there are cookbooks and novels and memoirs, travel books and language books, and of course a wide selection of books political. I am currently deep into The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom, and it fits my weepy mood. It is impossible to accurately put into words the wretchedness of slavery, but Grissom's book is a good effort, and her depiction of one mixed family's life is both inspiring and heartbreaking.

In between I'm trying to get through Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution. Oh. Em. Gee. As seems to be the case with much of Trotsky's work, he is operating under the assumption that the reader is extremely well versed in world events of the early 1900s and fully acquainted with even the most obscure activists of the revolution.

Being anti-capitalist, I chose Trotsky from the boxes of classics I've rounded up to take to Mexico. I've successfully avoided classic literature since one hideous semester in high school spent reading Shakespeare. I'm a voracious reader, but not very discerning. The book has to grab me in the first chapter or two. But I thought I could improve my mind and possibly stave off dementia by plowing through these masses of books that everyone should have read by 53. And maybe I'll be able to concentrate if I've only got to get up, make coffee, and lounge on the porch all day.

So what about you? What are you reading these days, and are you looking for any books? I've got books and they've got to go. Media mail's cheap. Let me know.



Blogger Gavin said...

It must be recycle books time!

As I slowly work through my Mom's stuff here at the house, my current tasks are books and medical history files.

I have two paper grocery bags full of Harlequin romances passed down from my mother's mother. She read them into her 80's because they were light and she insisted on keeping her mind active. While I read constantly, I never read books (very poor comprehension so I can only concentrate on short items like magazine and web articles), so they are lost on me. I'm packing them off to Unity House which is our local org that helps the poor. Perhaps they can give them away or get some $$ for them.

Among the medical files, I found the original bills from my mother's hospital stay when she gave birth to me!

June 22, 2010 9:56 AM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

How much was it, Gavin? I remember my sister paying around $800-1100 for her kids in the late '60s. That was it. No insurance. She probably stayed in a few days, too. None of this crap about women dropping their babies and being shoved out the door in a matter of hours.

June 22, 2010 10:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Getting rid of books....a daunting task....wish we were good at it....I can relate to the stacks! One is just of books I'm trying to get into, but they aren't speaking to me. I have some old ones that I think are worth money, but don't know how to find out....any ideas?

The Kitchen House sounds promising......

June 22, 2010 10:24 AM  
Blogger ish said...

I like the idea of reading Trotsky better than actually reading Trotsky. He can be plodding and didactic, even if he was on the right side of history. Have you ever read John Reed's 10 Days That Shook the World? If you want a more exciting book on the Russian revolution that would be the one. Follow it up with Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon and you've got the tragedy of the last century in two easy reads.

June 22, 2010 11:58 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

Hi Ish ~

I just read 10 Days last winter. Yes, far more readable than Trotsky. I think I might have Koestler's book in the stack of to-be-read. "The tragedy of the last century" . . . I've got that, for certain.

Nice to hear from you :-)

June 22, 2010 12:29 PM  
Blogger Gavin said...

Grand total was $204 for 4 days that included my care as well. Insurance covered $60. I don't see an entry for the doctor so I assume that was additional.

Oh, and the circumcision was $15. Was that TMI?

June 22, 2010 4:44 PM  
Blogger Marc Olson said...

BAB I feel your pain. It's hard to deal with books, for many reasons. I still have boxes of books in storage in Alaska!
Chris-- try looking your books up on:

June 23, 2010 8:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks much Marc!!!! Will do!

June 24, 2010 12:43 PM  
Blogger LSL said...

Oh. Em. Gee. :) So nice to see you 'round these parts lately.

June 26, 2010 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished "Just Kids" by Patti Smith. I was a fan back in the 70s. The books was good for various reason including that I learned a few things about Patti (and Robert) I didn't know.

Now I'm just a puff of smoke.

June 27, 2010 1:48 PM  
Blogger LzyMom said...

Well as a chronically sleep-deprived mom I keep my reading material pretty light and fluffy. Currently addicted to the Plum series by Janet Ivanovitch? something. Makes me laugh out loud and forget about my troubles for a while. Occasionally I reread Terry Pratchet. Oh and if I was totally honest, working my way through the Adult Children of Alcoholics book.

Good luck with the cleaning up. :)


June 27, 2010 3:34 PM  
Blogger BigGiantHat said...

Nine feet. Goodness. Mine is about two.

I just finished "Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake" by Sarah MacLean. I loved it.

I am reading "A Gentleman Always Remembers" by Candace Camp right now. Not as good as the first but it could be my frame of my mind :).

July 03, 2010 9:32 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

I've actually been reading only in Spanish, and am reading "Antes de ser libres" por Julia Alvarez, and "Cajas de cartón" por Francisco Jiménez. I buy so many books at my local used/new bookstore ... I get them used plus a 20% educators' discount ... I'm actually seriously thinking about another international move myself, this time without the benefit of free shipping, so ... the thought of culling my books is hurting my heart. Especially considering that I haven't read so many on my shelves ... I buy them if it's used, because the price is right, knowing I'll read it sometime ... but now that I'm reading en español, I'm soooooooo slow, jaja. Anyway, I feel you on culling the collection ... anything else I can part with.

August 14, 2010 12:38 AM  
Blogger Croft said...

"An Act Of State - The Execution Of Martin Luther King".

Sometimes I just want to make myself angry. Not mad, angry. The world is mad, I am just angry and sometimes I want to feed the anger!

It sounds like we must have passed very close to you on our way home in April. We followed Route 66 as much as we could. I did not see you struggling with the pallet.

August 06, 2011 5:01 PM  

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