Friday, March 16, 2007

The books I brought home from the library...

One for frivolity - Daily Candy, A to Z. I took this book to bed with me last night, but after having spent a great deal of energy in trying to outsmart Husband at cards I put the book down after the pages on D - is for Do-Gooding, turned off the light and immediately fell asleep. I will read some more tonight, -

D had some interesting observations - "Some say the world is divided into two types: the good who spread love and lend a helping hand; and the bad, who avoid charitable activities, drop-kick puppies and spit on babies".

Two for nostalgia - The Old Dog Barks Backwards by Ogden Nash. The first Ogden Nash books I purchased came through the Book Club I belonged to back in the early forties, - a set of four volumes which have traveled with me for over sixty years, and which I still enjoy as much as ever. They include The Private Dining Room, Good Intentions, Versus and Many Long Years Ago.

From Good Intentions:

Sally Rand
Needs an extra hand.

and - Assorted Chocolates

If some confectioners were willing
To let the shape announce the filling
We'd encounter fewer assorted chocs
Bitten into and returned to the box.

from Versus

"Whatever others may sing of spring,
I wish to sing there is no such thing.
Spring is simply a seasonal gap
When winter and summer overlap,
What kind of a system is it, please,
When in March you parch, and in May you freeze?
Yet give some people a glimpse of a crocus,
And all their perspective gets out of focus.
They lose their rubbers and store their V-necks,
And omit to renew their supply of Kleenex,
They shed their ulsters to walk uphill in,
And forget their sulfa and penicillin.
I suppose it's the same in Patagonia;
Today spring fever, tomorrow pneumonia".

A timely writer, no matter that he has been gone for almost forty years. And that the books I quote from were written in the 1930's.....

I love him, - he is even better than Gooks! And I shall wallow in nostalgia for those days I first read Nash, while I was still single, young and carefree.

Three for entertainment - The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason.

The flyleaf tells me the book is rich, atmospheric and evocative of the sights, smells, and textures of nineteenth century Burma - that it is a writing of deep potency and resonance, of beauty and pain and all things in between. That it is an irresistible amalgam of Kipling, Rider Haggard and Conrad at the very best.

It sounds to me as if this is a book I will have to renew, - not one to be skimmed through casually.

Four for nourishment of the Soul- The Measure of a Man - a spiritual autobiography by Sidney Poitier (for whom I always had the greatest admiration, and whose films I found delightful and touching ). I have missed him all these years, without realizing it until I saw his book on the Quick Read shelf. Seven days before it must be returned to the library. Definitely a priority.

As I leaf through the pages I see his comments on the daring of producing "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" at that particular time, - and the criticism he received for playing an elegant and humane role. He points out that the message the film portrayed was that "black society does - of course - contain individuals of refinement, education, and accomplishment, and that white society - of course- should wake up to that reality?" Unfortunately, the message was sometimes misinterpreted .

The weather forecast doesn't look too great for the next few days, - this is the book I will escape indoors to read.

But now, Husband has stirred from the T.V. - it's Card Game/Cabaret time!!!

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