I just couldn’t help myself.
I had the best of intentions.
I was going to be all “tunnel vision.”
But I was weak.
I surrender. I am no match for the Boulder Public Library system.
The plan was to drop my dozen or so overdue books off at the library drop slot, head straight home, and start on making dinner. After all, the salmon I had just picked up at the market was in my backseat… However it was an unusually cool summer day. Would a few minutes in the car really hurt a couple of super fresh Alaskan salmon steaks… As I deposited my books through the slot, I noticed the library was still open. For all the poor people who live in towns where budget cuts have necessitated reduced library hours, I felt it was my civic duty to exercise my freedom to use my local library. Ok I am lying. I just felt sad that I had to say goodbye to my stack of books, especially the ones I had not yet had a chance to read.
As it turned out, my eyes were bigger than… my eyes. I just didn’t have time to read all my treasures. For the ones I did get to, here is a brief review:
“Green River, Running Red” Ann Rule- I give it a solid B. This is now the fourth one I have read by her, but it just didn’t compare to the others. While the others had me up till 2 and 3 in the morning on work nights, this one took me a while to get through. It just didn’t have the psychological suspense I had come to expect. It was however a tribute to the many victims of the Green River killer and their families and that was touching.
“How to be Single” Liz Tucillo- A+!! I couldn’t put this one down. Tucillo is a RIOT. She co-wrote “He’s Just Not That Into You.” This one is actually fiction. I would call it a meta-book… The premise is there is this single gal in NYC who is writing a book on how women handle being single and over 35 in various cultures, so she travels the world to do field research.
“Open” Andre Agassi- C+ . I liked this one at first. For maybe the first half to three quarters of the book, I was like “Aww, poor Andre Agassi, he had a mean dad who forced him to play tennis, Aww he had to go to tennis academy where the food was awful and the other kids were mean, Awww, he had to grow up and be famous before he was even 18 years old, Awww all the pressure…” but then I got kind of sick of feeling bad for the tennis great. Admittedly I am not familiar with pro tennis, I never read so much as an interview with Agassi before, and I don’t really know how the game is played. That being said, I got the feeling Agassi had a major agenda which was a thinly veiled “Look this is MY side of the story, goddamnit! Everyone screwed me, now its my turn to tell you how it really is.” And it felt really egotistical to me. I wanted to be like “Ok Andre, you’re famous, you’re misunderstood, we get it. Is this book really making you feel better? Wouldn’t a bigger person be letting this stuff go?” I am not saying I let everything (ok, anything) go. But I vent about it to my sister and Dan, not the whole world in a book that I didn’t even write but pretended I did! Oh yeah that’s another thing- Agassi’s name is all over the front of the book, like where the author’s name would be. And its all in a first person narrative. And as I am reading it I am getting more and more suspicious, thinking “Ok, here is a guy who didn’t finish ninth grade, he doesn’t have the discipline to even practice tennis on a consistent basis, engage in cross training on a consistent basis, or eat healthy most of the time and I am supposed to believe he had the drive to sit down and write a 300 page book?” And then you get to the acknowledgements and here is where he acknowledges that someone else wrote his “autobiography.” (PS Andre, I think you got “acknowledgements” confused with “confessions.” This part of the book is to thank people, not to admit you are a fraud). Oh and I got really annoyed when he trashed Brooke Shields, his first wife. It just seemed babyish to me. And I did not appreciate all the times he talked about how good it felt to help other people. Of course it feels good to help other people. Duh. Actually in my opinion all overpaid famous people, especially professional athletes, should set up trusts and charitable organizations for marginalized populations, but I digress. I am just saying the whole “I am so nice! I really am a nice famous person!” thing got old fast. I skimmed through the last two chapters because I had already invested too much time to just put the book down.
Anyway, I dropped those off plus all the ones I didn’t get to and like a magnet to steel I was drawn in, through the front doors and into the “New Non-Fiction” section. From there I perused “Non-Fiction” and did a brief walk about through “Fiction,” and when my HUGE canvas grocery bag was about to overflow I went to the check-out desk.
“Get Started in Beekeeping.” Pretty self-explanatory. This one was for Dan because he has expressed an interest in keeping bees in our yard. Also, I want the honey and I don’t want to do the work. There, I said it.
“Green Living by design.” Another one for Dan.
“Living with Goats.” As above… Dan has also expressed an interest in keeping goats. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to skim the content but I am betting on the truism that sometimes the more you know, the more you realize something isn’t the best idea. Just sayin’…
“Frommer’s Costa Rica” For both of us. Because we are going! In December! As our honeymoon!
“A Gate at the Stairs” by Lorrie Moore. Because I had returned it without getting a chance to read it and felt so happy that there was another copy I could take, as I was not allowed to renew it once again.
“Animal Vegetable Mineral” by Barbara Kingsolver. See above.
“Every Last One” by Anna Quindlen. Fiction, something about an abusive family… I liked the cover and the first couple sentences, which is usually a good indicator that I will like the book. I remembered really liking “Black and Blue” by her which I believe was an Oprah book ca. 1998, which is I think about the time that I read it.
“Going Rogue: An American Life” by Sarah Palin. This was kind of embarrassing but it was FREE and I am just SO curious what she has to say. I considered saying something to the librarian like “It’s not for me.” or “I was just curious! I don’t like her!” but then I thought it would be better not to draw attention to it and said nothing. I felt remarkably like my 17 year old self when purchasing tampons when I got up to the checkout counter.
“The Road to Wealth” by Suzy Orman. I got this because I wanna be rich. And mostly because I have a pretty basic understanding of stuff like a Roth IRA, simple IRA, traditional IRA, 401k, but I have a ways to go before I really understand all the different things you can do with money. It would be nice to have retirment planning conversations with Dan and have a response in my repertoire other than “Whatever you think, babe.” I feel sort of naked without an opinion to share, that’s all.
“Who Killed My Daughter” by Lois Duncan. A true crime novel that looked pretty good. After all, no trip to the library is complete without a book about a woman getting murdered. I am only half-kidding.