Category Archives: books

Let Me Look that Up

Today marks the anniversary of the first publication of the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1768 in Scotland.  I love encyclopedias. I loved the World Book set my parents got me and I read it all the time. Wikipedia pales in comparison, I think, to holding a real encyclopedia in your hand.

What are your favorite reference books?

 

 

The Horror!

During the day yesterday, YA called me while I was at work.

YA: Do I need a library card to use the computers at the library?
Me:   I’m not sure.  Did you call to ask them?
YA: I’m there now. I don’t think I have a library card.
Me: I’m sure you do.
(Me rustling in purse)
Me: I have your card right here.  Do you need the number?
YA: No – they gave me a temporary number.

This seemed innocuous enough until the real implications of the phone encounter hit me. I had her library card in my wallet because when she was a toddler and kindergartner, she didn’t have a place to keep her library card, so I held onto it.  After all, back then, we were usually at the library together.

But if I still have her card, that means that since we quit going together (once she hit 2nd or 3rd grade),  SHE HAS NEVER STEPPED FOOT IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY ON HER OWN.

Not having a reader for a child has been a hard pill to swallow. Obviously your children aren’t little models of yourself, but when they differ from you in a treasured part of your life, it takes some getting used to.  I thought I had long ago come to this acceptance but yesterday’s realization was like that proverbial cold bucket of water.  Ouch.  If I was still in therapy we’d have to talk about this at my next appointment!

Any epiphanies recently?  (Good or bad.)

Read It or See It?

In ye olden days, the LGMS was my radio anchor, beginning at home through my morning drive time. After the show’s demise, I did Trial Balloon at home and in the morning hours of work.  But since then, I haven’t really found a radio show that strikes my fancy and have drifted away from radio to…  I know this will be shocking for some of you… books.  The first hour or so in the morning, I listen to an audiobook and then in the car, books on CDs.  I sometimes run out of books on CDs and so spend some time browsing the audio shelves at the library.  This leads to some interesting results, sometimes fabulous, sometimes not so much.

I’ve admitted here before that I like the Hallmark Mystery Movies, so last week, while browsing, my eye was caught by the first Aurora Teagarden mystery sitting on the audio shelf. I had been a little curious about the books, especially since my favorite character left the series; I was curious if the movies were true to the books.   So I was a little surprised right off the bat that while most of the characters bear the same names, most of them did not bear the description or personalities.  The most disappointing was the main character, Ro.  In the book she doesn’t have any drive to solve the mysteries and in the final chapters is rescued by the men in the story.  This is completely different from the movies, in which Ro is rabid about solving the mystery and it is her ingenuity that not only solves the crimes but saves her life (and often the man’s) in the end.

This made me think about the few instances in which the movie better than the book.  So rare.  Princess Bride, Romancing the Stone, Julie & Julia, Clue, Bladerunner.

There might be more but for my determination not to see movies when I have adored the book. I don’t want Hollywood messing with the pictures in my mind’s eye (Wrinkle in Time, The Martian, Uprooted, ANY of the Louise Penny books).  And, of course, the number of movies much worse than their books is legend.  Including Legend!

When were you last surprised about how a book turned out when adapted to the big screen?

Scary Bears!

Today is the anniversary of the premiere in 1974 of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”,  It was a great plan to premiere it on the day before Halloween.  I have never been a great fan of scary movies, but I remember liking the Alfred Hitchcock show and the Twilight Zone, sometimes. I like scary books better.  The stories don’t have to be so graphic like the scenes in movies. I think that our reading and imagining  brains are better at scaring us than just gore on the screen.

The last best scary book I read was The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It is a vampire book that keeps a constant sense of suspense, but with very understated violence.  It is also a book about books. Dracula, in this one, is a real book lover with a special penchant for librarians and historians. What could be scarier?!

Tell about your favorite scary movie, story, music, or book.

OK!

Today is the anniversary of the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone,  AZ between the Earp brothers  and the Clanton gang.  None of these were real solid citizens, but this “battle” haunts us to this day with cowboy legend. I loved movie westerns growing up.  Having Native friends has tempered this somewhat.  I was surprised to hear that one of Husband’s Native colleagues likes nothing better than to vegetate and watch westerns while lying in bed.

Virgil Earp was supposedly the real hero in this incident but Wyatt got all the credit about it because he wrote a book about it. This seems unfair to me, but I never had any siblings. I wonder what Virgil thought about it?

What is your favorite western movie or novel?    How are things with you and your siblings?

Glossary, Almost Two Decades into the Millennium

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

Ever wonder, Baboons, what a “vlog” is, or how long the word “selfie” has been around? Here’s an article with 50 words that have been added to the dictionary since the beginning of this millennium, compiled by “Stacker” in this article .

Of course, they haven’t included anything from our own Glossary of Accepted Terms, but then, we haven’t added anything to our G.O.A.T for 2½ years now. Here’s what I’ve compiled since the last time .

Accordion calendar – a schedule with a too-concentrated number of days, followed by a more spacious number of days.“ Mostly I’ve fine with what I signed up for, except when too many things are required close together – it seems to occur sort of like an accordion playing.” Barbara in Rivertown   August 27, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Adiophra – insignificant things that one allows to make one’s life one of stress and worry.  “My main worry is that my flight from Bismarck isn’t delayed and I make my connecting flight in Minneapolis. My worries are adiophra.”  reneeinnd says: March 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Akrasia – Weakness of the will, by which we do that which we really want to do in  the full knowledge that we should be doing something else. [I lost track of the origin of this one – anyone remember whose it is?]

Arrghify – to increase the intensity of, as in: “You should teach them all how to POWERIFY that!  Actualizify! Collaboratify! incentivisify!”      xdfben September 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm

[Arrghify belongs in our dictionary   NorthShorer September 25, 2018 at 11:14 pm ]

Cliffy – a piece of arcane knowledge, a la Cliff on the TV Series Cheers, as here: “Nice Cliffy.”   Linda March 3, 2019 at 9:05 pm …. in response to: Blue Mound State park in Luverne, MN has one of the most genetically pure bison herds in the country.”  reneeinnd   March 3, 2019 at 11:20 am

Farcher – a cross between a farmer and rancher, as in: “I used to spend the first week of November with my farcher friend, Larry.”   July 3, 2019 at 10:19 am   Minnesota Steve

Geezer chute – I think your observations about what is being made are correct – not that you are spiraling down the geezer chute… verily sherrilee   September 26, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Marie Kondo – verb transitive:  to make things disappear, as in: “Can we Marie Kondo the heck out of this snow? It no longer brings me joy…”  ANNA, March 2, 2019 at 11:44 am   

Opposite equivalent – an alternative alternative (?) “Perhaps the opposite equivalent (I just invented that phrase!) is going outside every night before bed and standing for a few minutes.”    xdfben    January 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Tsundoku — A Japanese word for the guilt-pile of books you’ve bought but haven’t yet read.     PlainJane    May 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm

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What new word would you like to see added to the world-wide dictionary? OR, what word would you like to never hear again?

Dinner Guests

Husband challenged me-what composer, visual artist, and writer would you invite to dinner?  I am still thinking. I know the composers would be either Brahms, because I love his harmonies, Bartok, because I want to know if he is really on the Autism Spectrum, or Stravinsky, because I think he would be a good conversationalist.  Visual artists, well that would be Vermeer, and for the writer, either Dorothy Sayers, because she is both a theologian as well as a mystery writer, or C.S. Lewis, for sort of the same reasons.

What composer, visual artist, and writer would you invite to dinner? What would you serve?