Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Joy of Quotes and other books

I've just gotten a used copy of this thick, small little tome called "1001 Pearls of Wisdom" and I'm in quote heaven as I look through it and read insights into all manner of things, from travel to the soul.
"You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body" says CS Lewis, that marvelous Narnia author.
"Love yourself and be awake today, tomorrow, always. First establish yourself in the way, then teach others, and so defeat sorrow. To straighten the crooked you must first do the harder thing--straighten yourself. You are the only master. Who else? Subdue yourself and discover your master." Buddah, the ever wise.

So while I am gourmandizing on quotes, I am also reading Maureen Corrigans thoughtful "Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading" which is more critical analysis of books than a nice juicy listing of all the great books she's read, (as book critic to NPR, a job I'd love to have) unfortunately. So far I'm about a third of the way through it and I have fallen asleep reading it twice. Nervous and irritating and grumpy and cynical as she is, I still like Ms Corrigan because she's a fellow book lover, and I understand her obsession with reading.
I'm also reading the sublime and ridiculous (and wonderful) PG Wodehouse's "The Girl on the Boat." What a delight it is to read Wodehouse, because his farces are always riddled with subtle asides and scintillating wit.
For next months book group, we're reading the also wonderful Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear, one of the few female sleuths I will bother to read, as most modern mysteries leave me bored.
I've also gotten a lithe tome called "Ten Eternal Questions" that contains some fascinating essays by popular authors, celebrities and general pundits. I try to ration myself to one or two essays a week so I won't finish it too soon.
I am also still struggling through Brisinger, the final novel in the Eragon trilogy by Christopher Paolini. I have found it to be kind of convoluted and dry so far, which is odd considering I enjoyed the first two books tremendously. It seems Mr Paolini got a bit more windy as he matured, unfortunately.
Still, though I have all these books arrayed around me as I cuddle into my snuggly blanket, I find myself yearning for a good SF/Romance hybrid ala Linnea Sinclair, or a space opera via Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. That's why I begged a Baen webscription from the kindly Scott Raun of the Liaden Listserve, so I could download Duainfey, a story by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller that I've not had the chance to read yet. I find it difficult to read on the computer screen, but I also know my ancient printer would gasp and die if I were to try and print it out, so I will just have to don my reading glasses and get to it.
BTW, I plan on giving books as gift whenever possible this year for Christmas. I would love it if I could go to Elliott Bay Bookstore in Seattle to buy my gifts there, but driving to Seattle has become expensive and it takes two hours to get there and get home with traffic, so I doubt I will be able to support my second favorite independent bookstore this year with my wallet. My first favorite indie bookstore is Island Books on Mercer Island, run by the amazing Roger Page, bless him. Never was there a kinder bookseller on the planet than Sir Page, king of the written word and benefactor to many on Mercer Island, myself included. I really miss getting to shop there on my birthday, and for the holidays. But that shouldn't stop those of you who live in closer proximity to Mercer Island from stopping in and selecting a good book from Rogers stacks...if he doesn't have what you want, he can get it within 48 hours and ship it out, usually for free.

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