Book Number 2 of 13

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My goal is to be done with Headhunting in the Solomon Islands and Around the Coral Sea by the end of the weekend so I can leave the book at Mom’s.  What did I think?  The author went to the Solomon Islands ostensibly to record (these are air quotes not actual ones) “the physiological differences in the skeletal-facial- features of the various tribes of the Pacific”  Nobody would admit to going to Scandinavia to record the facial bone structure differences between the Swedes the Finns and the Norwegians, would they?  Maybe Hitler I guess, but this book took place in the 1920s.  My particluar book has four portraits and a large number of cute sketchlets throughout.  (Mom, ours might be a first edition, so don’t get rid of it just in case.)  

Mytinger stayed with various plantation owners (picture de Becque, the planter from South Pacific) over the course of four years while having the adventure of a lifetime.  I don’t think the author was writing in a way that was maybe any different from other writers of her time, but now it reads as prejudiced, and in incredibly poor taste.  It is a fun story and I have enjoyed it, but where she referred to a guy as a gorilla is going to stick with me.  Probably some of this is due to her tongue-in-cheek style of writing; she makes plenty of fun of herself and her friend as well.  I believe I will skip the sequel, but I have no regrets about reading this one.

Smithsonian magazine had an interesting article about the “expotition” while Caroline Mytinger’s portraits reside at the Hearst Museum Mytinger Gallery.  She was a fascinating person.

My Reading Habit

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I went to the Dr. today and found out that the baby is a boy.  After four pregnancies, I finally found out.  It was pretty darn obvious, although I did confirm my suspicions with the ultrasound lady, “Is that what I think it is?”  It was.  So, a boy for Leo to beat up.  Good.  We will probably call him Paul.  My husband made the mistake of telling his mother this info and she suggested Wayne.  She has not liked any name that we have chosen.  She got to name 11 children, and that is enough for anyone.  She has a questionable neighbor named Wayne, I would never hear the end of it from hubby’s 10 siblings.  Baby happens to be breech as well.  Great, I get it out of me earlier than scheduled!  We are looking at the first week of  November.  Can’t wait to see how much fun a C-Section is.  Maybe the kid will flip around like he is supposed to and it won’t matter.

My Reading Habit

I come from a long line of readers. My mom was a high school librarian. She decided at one point in her career that she would read each and every hard cover fiction book in her library. I don’t know how long it took her, but she read several hundred, maybe thousand, books to accomplish this. She admits to skipping some of Isaac Asimov’s, since she had so many in the library, but she got through the rest of them.

I started keeping a book diary last November. I found that I read about 10 books a month. In the nearly 12 months since I started keeping track, that makes 116 books. October is not yet done, but I am reading a Uris book which promises to take me into November. That seems like a lot, but I have to admit that many of them are teen books, not particularly long, but not necessarily children’s books either. I have managed to read Roots, Angle of Repose and the last three Harry Potter books, including VI and VII each twice since I have been keeping track, and I don’t believe any month has been fewer than nine books. I read too much. It is a great escape though, and pretty cheap too, considering the library is so close, and free if I keep myself organized. It gets kinda lonesome being a stay at home mom in the country, and having a husband who works at a job all day long and his cow business from the time he gets home from his day job until dark or later.

We added an office onto our house a few years ago. The contractor made me a built-in desk with a bookcase over it. As he installed it, he commented, “nobody has that many books!” Was he ever wrong, and I don’t even have very many books, comparatively speaking. I cleaned up my office the other day and found a stash of dusty magazines I had not read. They were only from the last couple of years and so I am tackling them now. I get Smithsonian, and a person just has to read those, they are too interesting to pass up. The other ones I had stashed away were mostly Nebraskalife, some of those are better than others, but I like to page through them at least, to see if I know anyone, and sure enough I usually do. I try to take magazines on trips, so I can read them to my husband as he drives.

I went to a garage sale today that was only books. There were upwards of 60 boxes of books, the kind the moving companies call “book boxes”. The man was a minister so many were on counseling, religion and just plain old Bibles. The rest of them ranged from classics, like Plutarch’s Lives or what ever that was, to Judith Krantz. Some of it made me raise an eyebrow, but I guess a minister has a right to relaxation just like the rest of us. Apparently they were only getting rid of part of the collection. Wow, my mother doesn’t even have that many books. My dad might. I managed to walk out with 10 books, including Raggedy Ann. I will have to find a spot to put them as all of my book cases are full.

I checked out the list of top 100 books challenged from 1990-2000. http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=bbwlinks&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=85714 (I don’t know how to make it look fancy and short, but that is where this takes you.) I had read 29, and maybe three or four more, I don’t remember for sure. Mom had read 46. It makes me feel like an underachiever. She said she was off to the library with the list. I wonder if she will learn anything about how her body is changing…