Shelf 2/216

Hello, Shelf 2.21 books on this shelf. It makes me a little nervous. It’s 8:10 and the library closes in less than an hour. Hopefully, I can get through this shelf.Find out if I do after the jump.1. *******Agnello Hornby, Simonetta. THE ALMOND PICKER***** in hardcover. It’s a tiny little book. The first thing I notice is a patron receipt. This person was just here. He or she checked out five books on 1/22/2007 at 5:29 pm. An eclectic reading list: THE HOUSE IN AMALFI (heard of it, liked it), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCREAM (uh oh), CLASSIC TALES OF HORROR (detecting a theme, interesting), THE VIRGIN BLUE (could be literary, could be smut), RICHARD I (yay, for some Shakes). This book was late and he or she paid a fine on it. Okay, back to the book. It was a best-seller in Italy, according to the dust jacket. Lots of praise by people I’ve never heard of… hmm, not very promising. Oh, wait, the dedication is to British Airways. It reads:

“I owe the “illumination that led me to this novel to a delay in the Palermo-London flight of 2 September 2000. For this reason — and perhaps also for the aerial link that permits me to keep up connections with both my countries – British Airways has a special place in this book.” 

Yeah, that’s quirky enough to pull me in. A taker.Oh man, a dude in a faux fur jacket just sat at the table in front of me. Man, does he reek. Yuck.Continuing on.2. Ahern, Cecelia. ROSIE DUNNE in hardcover. I’m not onboard because it’s hot pink. Yep, definite no. Random flip test turns up an e-mail citing (one of my least favorite things to find in a book) that reads like this:

“FROM: AlexTO: RosieSUBJECT: Buttercup!!Hey Buttercup, you OK? (Haven’t called you that for a long time!)”

If I was reading this book, I would hurl it across the room at this point. Pass.******3. Aiken, Joan. THE YOUNGEST MISS WARD***** in hardcover. Everybody likes her. The London Times says “Romantics could do nothing better than to read her.” This makes me question: am I a romantic? I don’t think so, but the paper is a pretty ivory that’s folded down on page 30. Hmm, everyone seems to praise Emma Watson. The next book in my list is by her too. Maybe there’s another one that actually has Emma Watson. I’ll put this to the side for now.4. Aiken, Joan. MANSFIELD REVISITED in hardcover. The secondary copy reads: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. That makes me think I should read Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park first. Maybe it’s on this shelf. Back this one goes.Quick peek ahead: there’s not another Aiken book on the shelf. THE YOUNGEST MISS WARD moves into my yes pile. No Austen yet either. Lots of Louisa May coming up, though.5. Alcott, Louisa May. A LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE in hardcover. No outside jacket copy. I’m going to pass on this one, in favor of one of the next two titles by Ms. A.****6. Alcott, Louisa May. LITTLE WOMEN**** in trade paperback. Would you believe I never read this? It’s a Penguin Classic (one of my favorite publishers; I subscribe to their blog). I’m totally in. As a sidenote, damn, it’s a long book (491 pages).Yay, smelly dude, who may have been dressed as a lady? left. He/she eyed my laptop and smiled seductively at me. Oh, sweet Rogers Park.7. Alcott, Louisa May. WORKS OF in massive hardcover. This 781-pager is a tome of LMA. She was prolific. I’m impressed. This is way too much of a commitment for one library-project-reading-girl like myself, though. Also, the book is smelly. Not as smelly as that lady-dude, but still, enough that I don’t want to take it home. Too bad, it’s illustrated.8. Alcott, Louisa May. BEHIND A MASK: THE UNKNOWN THRILLERS OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT in trade paperback. Um, wha? I’ll stick to the canon.9. Aldrich, Gary and Mark Davis. SPEAK NO EVIL: A NOVEL. Okay, the cover is weirdo mcgee and has turned me off. It’s got a picture of the capitol building and a needle with a red thread winding through it. I opened it up to a page – it’s in 24 pt type. (I’m exaggerating, it’s really in 18 pt type.) Then, I flipped it over. I skim down to the praise section. And I see this: “‘Unlimited Access blows the Clintons’ cover.’ -Rush Limbaugh.” And I want to throw up. Part of me wants to read it just to see what the weirdos of America read. Part of me wants to be the kind of woman who would read a book she doesn’t agree with just to fairly see the other side. The major part of my brain that will not be silenced is screaming that I already took a chance with LITTLE WOMEN, what more can people want from me? I put it in the “no” pile.Quick PSA: I’d like to point out, for the record, that I only take down a few books at a time, then I reshelf them in the order they appeared, so I am not actually damaging any library interns or personnel while completing this project. Enough of a public service announcement. It’s 8:40, I’m really hopping here.10. Alexander, Colin. LADY OF ICE AND FIRE in mass market paperback. Everyone likes it. PW called it “a lean and solid thriller.” Lots of praise. I could do a thriller. I’m not sure what international detente is, but the back flap copywriters seem to think it’ll pull me in: “With international detente fast becoming the status quo, a whole new field of spying opened up: industrial espionage.” Okay, let me give it the page test. Woah, nelly. I open it up and find that not only is the type in 6 pt (this time for real), but it also has a musty smell. It’s trying to make me go blind and give me asthma at the same time. That must be what international detente means. Pass.Side note: I googled the term. No dice. Went to my friend Merriam. Here’s the definition for detente: “1 : the relaxation of strained relations or tensions (as between nations); also : a policy promoting this.” I feel like an idiot.11. Alexander, Robert. RASPUTIN’s DAUGHTER. Lots of praise for Kitchen Boy. Apparently, Kitchen Boy is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It uses the phrase historical novel. I’m still feeling a little burned since LAMBS OF LONDON. Not feeling enthused. He’s a Chicagoan though. I’ll put it in the maybe pile.12. Lenox, Tabitha (author name not found on front cover). HIDDEN PASSIONS in hardcover. Okay, first let me ask what is the deal with the cover. At first glance, it looks like a giant red vagina. On closer inspection, I realize it’s a woman blowing out a candle, but jeez oh pete, my heart’s pounding. Oh man, Nostradamus, Nero, and Hecuba wrote the praise for the book. I don’t care if it’s a Harper book — absolutely not.A woman, who does not work here, just informed me that the library is closing in 15 minutes. Got to work fast. And lady, mind your own beeswax.*****13. Alger Jr., Horatio. RAGGED DICK OR, STREET LIFE IN NEW YORK WITH THE BOOT BLACKS***** in mass market paperback. It’s a Signet Classic. With short time and a short book, and an intriguing cover picture, okay, we’re a go.14. Algren, Nelson.THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM in hardcover. It was published in 1949. This book is as old as my mom. And it smells. I’m positive there are roaches in here. No, no, no.15. Allbeury, Ted. A TIME WITHOUT SHADOWS in hardcover. Cover has a swastika. I’m anti-swastika. No.16. Renard Allen, Jeffery. RAILS UNDER MY BACK. It won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize in 2000. I’m a hometown girl. In.Three different people have now announced to me that the library is closing in 10 minutes. I get it. I’m not even opening the books at this point. Quick cover judgment. G-d, I hope I’m doing this right. I’ve ruled RASPUTIN definitely out.17. Vale Allen, Charlotte. (why are you on this shelf?) GRACE NOTES. No praise. I’m out.Two other titles by her. 18. FRESH AIR and 19. PARTING GIFTS. No to all.Oh man they’re shutting off the lights.20. Allende, Isabel. PORTRAIT IN SEPIA. I have it; a wonderful book. 21. ZORRO, the last book on the shelf, I don’t have it. It’s coming home.The lights are now off. Downstairs to checkout I go. Wow.Okay, I’m home now. It must be nice to be a public employee. When they mean that the library closes at 9 pm, what they really mean is that they are home asleep in their beds because it’s been closed for a really long time when it actually closes. That said, I felt like a jerk for staying so long. At least I have my second shelf.Here are the books I took home:Aiken, Joan The Youngest Miss WardAlger, Horatio Ragged Dick, or, Street Life in New Yorkwith the Boot BlacksAgnello Hornby, Simonetta The Almond PickerAllende, Isabel Zorro : a novelAlcott, Louisa May Little WomenI have no idea what happened to RAILS UNDER MY BACK. I meant to check it out, but I just checked my library record and it’s not there. Sigh. At least the lights are on.

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