Normally I have to work on Saturday mornings, but circumstances conspired to give me today off. So, my sister and I went hunting for used books. First, we went to Plano (a town rather east of here), since the Plano library was having a used book sale. On the way back, we also stopped off at a used bookshop in Sandwich (a town not-quite-so-rather-east of here as Plano). Between them, I managed to buy eighteen books for under fourteen dollars, so I think I made out pretty well.
Here is a list of the books I got, arranged pretty much by size, as it's the order in which they were recently stacked:
1. I Kid You Not - Jack Paar
2. MAD's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions - Al Jaffee
3. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
4. The Dialogues of Plato - (various translators)
5. Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery - Alan King
6. The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy
7. Dolphin Island - Arthur C. Clarke
8. The Castle of Llyr - Lloyd Alexander
9. The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander
10. Physics of the Impossible - Michio Kaku
11. The Trumpet of the Swan - E. B. White
12. All About Ham Radio - Harry Helms
13. An Almanac of Liberty - William O. Douglas
14. The Constitution: That Delicate Balance - Fred W. Friendly and Martha J. H. Elliott
15. Exploring the Great Rivers of North America - (National Geographic)
16. The Arbor House Treasury of Modern Science Fiction - eds. Robert Silverberg and Martin H. Greenberg
17. Dilbert: Thriving on Vague Objectives - Scott Adams
18. Cultures of the World: Scotland - Patricia Levy
Any themes here? (Other than that I refuse to grow up, pretty much for the same reason as why I didn't often act like a kid when I was one. ...Apologies if that last attempt at a sentence was mangled beyond recognition.)
I was working through my copy of Emerson's writings, but I arrested my progress in that for a while. I had just finished his essay "Prudence," which I thought was uncommonly insightful, and so before moving on, I decided I wanted to go back and reread it, and take notes on some of the more interesting passages. So I set it down until I had the time to do so. That was about a month ago, now. Never put off until tomorrow...
It's a shame, too, especially given the news that a previously-undiscovered work by Emerson has just been found and is about to be published. Have you heard about this? Apparently, a few years after Thoreau published Walden, Emerson was also inspired to try his hand at life in the woods. He set out for Nutting Lake, a bit east of Concord, Massachusetts, and wrote about his experiences living in a cabin near its shores. Every once in a while, to keep up his sociable nature, he would head to the nearby town for company. He befriended a few street magicians there, who fascinated him with their showmanship and ability to entertain a crowd, so much so that Emerson began practicing some basic tricks and sleight-of-hand himself. He actually got pretty good at it, too. He ended up including a large part of his town life in his writings.
The working title of the book is rumored to be Emerson: Lake and Palmer.
I also started rereading the Harry Potter books a few weeks back. I think I've only read the whole series through once or twice, so it was my intention to read slowly and thoroughly; now that I know the grand scheme, I want to get a better appreciation of the finer details. But Rowling's writing is so engaging that I find it hard to slow down sometimes. I was reading Goblet of Fire last week, I think, and I got to the part where the champions are in the tent just before the first task, and then Harry is alone in the tent, waiting for his turn, and suddenly I had to stop reading. My heart was racing. I had to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and remind myself that it wasn't *me* about to face the dragon.
Of course, Goblet of Fire is the first book in the series where I usually start crying at some point before the end, and the series only intensifies in that respect from here on out. I finished it last week, then gave myself some time off before tackling Order of the Phoenix, but I've basically been dragging my feet the last few days and need to get back on the job.
But a few more interpolations couldn't hurt...