Tag Archives: library

Books, books and more books

Both Mrs. Poolman and I do a lot of reading for pleasure. In the past, a book or a bookstore gift certificate was considered a pretty good birthday or Christmas present around our house. Lately, however, that has changed, or at least it feels like it has changed. The problem? Between downloading e-books on her Nook and the availability of getting new releases from the Village Library, a present of a new book doesn’t seem any more special than picking up a gallon of milk at the grocery store.

The library in question is a small community library that serves the community near my workplace. It is chock-full of popular writers. It generally has a good collection of new releases, which they rent for 30 cents per day. Considering that Mrs. P goes through two to three books a week, that is a bargain compared to a $25 new-purchase price new.

Mrs. P typically gives me a list of books and authors she wants to read. I stop by the library a few times a week and check to see what they have. It’s a good system that usually keeps Mrs. P in fresh reading material, but it takes the shine off of giving her a book or gift card as a present. All the same, I still gave her a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas.

Speaking of books, I read two interesting ones recently.

The Panther“The Panther” is one of a continuing series of thrillers by Nelson DeMille that feature one of his main protagonists, sarcastic, wise-cracking John Corey (The Lion, The Lion’s Game, Night Fall, Plum Island, Wildfire). In this book, Corey is still a member of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force. He and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, are sent to Yemen to track down the latest Islamic terrorist, nicknamed “the Panther.” Actually, Corey and Mayfield are selected because the higher-ups believe they will serve as bait to draw the terrorist out of hiding. DeMille teams Corey up with another of his previous protagonists, Paul Brenner (The General’s Daughter, Up Country). On top of being served up as bait for the Panther, Corey suspects that some members of the American team would not be unhappy if he and Kate were to return to the US in body bags.

You can pretty much figure the story from there. While the destination is predictable, the ride is a good one.

I do have just one criticism. Much of the book is narrated in the first person by Corey. While the wise-cracking is an integral part of his character, the sarcastic comments come about every other line. It gets a little old after awhile. It was just over-the-top. DeMille could tone that down just a little in his next gook and the book would be a little more readable.

Paris in love“Paris in Love” by Eloisa James is an entirely different sort of read. College professor and romance writer James moved to Paris to live for a year with her husband and two children. I am still fascinated with anything to do with Paris. Her book is a memoir of sorts or their year there. James is a clever writer. The book is interesting, especially to someone who just visited Paris a couple of months ago. There is no plot or theme to speak of. The book is broken up into a long series of short anecdotes and thoughts – snapshots of her experiences. It feels like a year-long series of Facebook posts. I enjoyed sharing James’ enjoyment of her year in Paris. The stories about her children will give you a grin. I’m not sure her precocious 11-year old daughter is really that precocious, but James’ stories about her are worth a chuckle. “Paris in Love” is a light and short read, and one worth the effort.

 

“Bend over,” a treasure trove found, and a small success

I had a physical exam yesterday. There was nothing wrong, just something you need to do from time to time. My family physician is woman in her 30’s. As I am no longer a youth, of course the exam included the dreaded prostate exam. Prostate 3I guess most guys would rather die a thousand deaths than have a prostate exam, let alone one by a woman doctor. Actually, it didn’t concern me much one way or another. My doc does have a sense of humor though. As she was gloving and lubing up, she said.

“You know, there are advantages to having this done by a woman. I have small hands!”

Ha! She was right.

*    *    *    *

Both Mrs. Poolman and I are avid readers. I read fiction for entertainment and occasional non-fiction, usually history or politics, for knowledge and stimulation. The problem is that I am basically cheap. I want to read the new bestseller, but I hate dishing out $30 for a new hardback. My solution is the library. We have a branch of the county library system around the corner from us. I won’t say I’m there often, but when I do walk in the door, the librarians know me by name. The problem is that the county library has only a very limited selection of what you would consider popular selections. Usually you have to order them and get on a reserve list. You can’t really “browse” like you might in a Barnes & Noble or Borders.

In the past few days, however, I have struck readers-gold. Library aI discovered a community library near where I work that is stocked with tons of the popular authors. Some background – the research lab where I worked is located on a coastal island, most of the rest of which is taken up by an upscale, gated golf community with roughly 8,000 residents. This community library is located in the little shopping area near their front gate. I believe that most of their collection is comprised of books donated by the community residents. And it is well stocked. For example, our neighborhood library may have three or four volumes of John Grisham’s novels. This library has more like 30.  Plus, they have a great selection of audiobooks on CD which I like to use on road trips.

I think I’m in love.

*    *    *    *

We have finally achieved tomatoes! Tomatoes aThree and a half months after planting them, my tomato plants have finally put forth some edible fruit. There aren’t many of them and they are small, but they are fresh from the garden. Next year I really do need to find a planting spot that will get more direct sun.