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Monday, March 03, 2008



The schedule has been crazy around here... last week was the beginning of soccer season so now I have to fit one more thing into my already hectic life.

The days go something like this: drop kids off at school, go to radio internship, pick one kid up from school and entertain him until his brother comes home from elementary school, have a half-dozen neighborhood kids play in my yard, make dinner, tell other kids to go home, eat... and - depending on what night it is - there's either class, band practice, or catering.


One thing I did manage to squeeze in this weekend - a thing that has become a sort of family tradition - was going to the Chapel Hill public library book sale. But because Saturday involved dual soccer games at the same time at different fields and a catering shift, I had to opt for Sunday to go to the sale. Sunday is known as "bag day" at the public libraries and it's where all the freaks come out of the woodwork to purchase as many books as they can squeeze into a brown paper grocery bag for $3.

It's a deal no doubt but sometimes it can look like looters from the L.A. riots where bodies scramble to stuff shit (shit they most likely hope will be resell able via the internet) into a bag in the fastest manner possible. I usually try to avoid bag day precisely because of this: it allows no room for browsing. But I needed the diversion and the kids were up for it so we went.

And despite the mob scene, I did manage to walk away with some decent books:

- The Underground Man by Ross Macdonald. LA gumshoe/dick lit from the '40s. I had doubts that I might already have read or owned this book but I picked it up because you need a start at things like this or you'll just turn around and leave. Oh, yeah, I do already own this in hardcover. If you haven't read Macdonald, I'll send this to the first reply - he's that good.

- The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta. Perrotta hit pay dirt with his stay-at-home dad-centric tome Little Children which became a hit movie. This is his debut novel and it is centered around a wedding band. No shit.

- Pinktoes by Chester Himes. Like Macdonald, he's been name-dropped in the same sentence as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett only unlike Macdonald he's not white or Canadian; he's black and from Ohio.

- The Joy Of Wokking by Martin Yan. A totally informative yet hilarious (think late '70s sensibilities here folks) cookbook about making food with a wok. He's got Canadian ties like Macdonald and has appeared on Cartoon Network's Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. "Food and sex are human nature." Indeed.

- Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks. While I don't know if I've ever read Banks, I did see the movie The Sweet Hereafter several times and it made enough of a mark that I felt compelled to pick up this book.

Not bad for $3 and a thirty minute trip to the local library book sale huh?
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Whit said...

You said 'dick lit.'

I haven't read Macdonald. I took a class in college covering film noir and the detective genre. We read some really cool stuff, but not him.

greg said...

it's got a nice ring to it doesn't it?