October 12th, 2004


The Cataloguer's Desktop

Yep, the post-it pile is getting scarily tall once again and, judging from people's LJs, the general mood includes a hunger for new reading. So here's another lengthy list of interesting-looking books that I've catalogued recently (remember, I haven't read any of these ... yet ... they're just the ones that stood out from the rest of the pile ***grin***):

The God Gene : How Faith Is Hardwired Into Our Genes, by Dean H. Hamer. Poses the interesting notion that humans possess a genetic tendency towards belief/faith.

All About Machine Arts : Decorative Techniques From A To Z, issued by Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines. This is one I'm considering buying ... full of wonderful tips for extending the uses of your sewing machine.

Castle : a History of the Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain, by Marc Morris.

The Fat Girl's Guide to Life, by Wendy Shanker.

One Hundred Years of Canadian Cinema, by George Melnyk.

Physique : classic photographs of naked athletes, edited by Peter Kuhnst. Spans the entire history of photography ... gorgeous stuff!

Teasing Secrets From the Dead : My Investigations At America's Most Infamour Crime Scenes, by Emily Craig.

Marching Powder : A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail, by Rusty Young.

Curious Minds : How a Child Becomes a Scientist, edited by John Brockman.

Kosher for Everybody : The Complete Guide to Understanding, Shopping, Cooking, and Eating the Kosher Way, by Trudy Garfunkel. Included because Jewish dietary laws regarding the separation of dairy foods mean that kosher recipes can be a wonderful resource for the lactose intolerant.

Chewing Gum : the Fortunes of Taste, by Michael Redclift.

Zen Brushwork : Focusing the Mind with Calligraphy and Painting, by Tanchu Terayama.

All the Pope's Men : The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks, by John L. Allen.

Monturiol's Dream : The Extraordinary Story of the Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the World, by Matthew Stewart.

Obsession, Compulsion, Collection: On Objects, Display Culture and Interpretation, edited by Anthony Kiendl.

Home Cheap Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Great Decorating, by Budget Living Magazine.

How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times, by Robbie Miller Kaplan.

Dear Valued Customer: You Are A Loser, by Rick Broadhead.

Who Cares What You're Supposed to Do: Breaking the Rules to Get What You Want in Love, Life, and Work, by Victoria C. Dickerson and Carlo Fine.

America on Trial: Inside the Legal Battles That Transformed Our Nation--From the Salem Witches to the Guantanamo Detainees, by Alan M. Dershowitz.

Dave's Quick 'n' Easy Web Pages : An Introductory Guide to Creating Web Sites, by Dave Lindsay ("Dave's Quick 'n' Easy Web Pages 2 : A Guide To Creating Multi-page Web Sites" is also available at the publisher's site)

Amazonia : Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut, by James Marcus.

Even more books!

Now that I've finished with the list from work ...

I read Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin (which I found on a clearance table for a couple of bucks) this weekend ... a fascinating historical novel inspired by the few surviving facts about the execution of Mary Saunders, who was hanged in 1764 for the 1763 murder of her mistress. A ton of detailed costume description (the garb of prostitutes AND fine dressmaking) in here as well as a gripping tale ... I suspect that the silver-embroidered, white velvet slammerkin will have a few costuming buffs hunting out their drool buckets ***grin***

For Terry Pratchett fans ... the lastest Discworld novel, Going Postal has its North American release this week (no, I haven't read it yet ... it only arrived at ULS today ... but I certainly plan to!)

I've been rereading some old treasures, so, from the depths of my bookcases:

R.D. Wingfield's Inspector Frost novels (Frost At Christmas, A Touch of Frost, Night Frost, Hard Frost, and Winter Frost) centre on Detective Inspector Jack Frost ... overworked, sleep-deprived, disorganized, coarse of humour ... and one of the most fascinating fictional characters I've ever come across. I discovered the books after watching David Jason's wonderful portrayal of the character in Yorkshire Television's marvelous Touch of Frost movie series. One note of caution (seconded by every person I've ever loaned these books to) ... you need to be wide awake to read these books because, like real police workloads, Frost works on six or more crimes/ongoing cases at once ... sleepy people may experience difficulties in keeping them straight. ***grin***

Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons, by Shirley Jackson. Memoirs of 1950s suburban life by the author of The Haunting of Hill House. Long predates Erma Bombeck, twice as funny and domesticity spends most of its time hiding under a chair! :-)))

Behind most classic movies there lurks a book and I have a few of these originals residing in my collection. Edward Streeter's Father of the Bride was the delightful inspiration for the Spencer Tracy/Elizabeth Taylor film. Cary Grant's Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House was adapted from Eric Hodgins' hilarious novel of the same title. Clarence Day's childhood memoir, Life With Father (William Powell starred as "Father" in the film version) is a wonderful peek into life in early twentieth-century New York, as is its sequel, "Life With Mother" (sorry, couldn't find a link, except to the stage adaptation). And, finally, there are few mystery novels that can top the Dashiell Hammett tales, The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man ... the movie versions are famed as classics; reading the novels will add another five dimensions to them on your next viewing!
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