Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Baby Name Book for My Sister

No, Mom, she isn't pregnant. But one day she may be. And have I found the book for her:

Hello, My Name is Pabst. Baby Names for Nonconformist, Indie, Geeky, DIY, Hipster, and Alterna-Parents of Every Kind by Miek Bruno and Kerry Sparks

A mere selection of my favorites:

Names that will grow into a mustache
Otto, Asher, Ansel, Muz, Thurm, Dixie, Lorraine, and Fay 

Names that kick ass on the roller derby track
LaRue, Darla, Crimson, Hellenor, Renegade, and Saucy

Names for loitering around the coffee shop
Lila, Miles, Charlotte, Walt, Edie, Hattie, Etta, Venti, Latte, and Melitta

Names that get the party started
Vinyl, Audio, Noize, Mixer, Epic, and Daft 

Baby Saucy, we can't wait to meet you. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"yes, Prada, Converse, no, frown, frown, smile, Paris"*

Usually when I'm reading I find a turn of phrase or sentence that I want to remember, mark, or ruminate. I may dog-ear the page, write it on a scrap of paper which then gets stuffed in another book as a bookmark, or forget and spend a long time scanning the place on the page where I think it appeared. Not anymore. When reading via Kindle, now I can just highlight the phrase and it gets saved to "My Clippings." Voila. 
I've been so spoiled by this feature that I find myself wanting to swipe and highlight everything. When I went here, I found myself wanting to highlight various images and notes on the paintings. I had to settle for a ballpoint and scribbled "legs colder than arms" on the back of the exhibit ticket.
Ironically, it was pre-Kindle, that I read The Circle by Dave Eggers. His novel about a social-media-world gone wild has me second-guessing every "like" on Facebook, every picture that gets uploaded to Instagram, and now, every, book I put on the Kindle. And all this posted on a blog. Sigh. 

Currently I am reading The Infatuations by Javier Marias (translated by Margaret Jull Costa). Ponder-heavy, this book is not a quick read. However, once the narrator discovers her lover might be involved in the murder of his best friend (in order to woo the friend's widow she admired from afar at a coffee shop no less), the pace picks up. This one falls in the rumination category - thoughts on death, fate, friendship, strangers, and relationships abound: "yet we would give anything sometimes to stay by the side of the person we rescued from an attic or a clearance sale, or won in a game of cards."

Today on the radio, I heard an interview with Luke Barr. His new book Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste focuses on his great-aunt (Fisher) and the culinary landscape of America in the 60s and 70s. Already highlighted: "but the starting point for so much of the contemporary story is the epochal shift that took place at the end of the 1960s, when previously unquestioned European superiority and French snobbery lost their grip on American cooking." It's in the queue. 

*The title is a phrase from Eggers' The Circle. I forget to mark it and couldn't find it when I went back to look for it. Luckily a Google search for "smile, smile, frown, Paris" came through...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"My husband thought you were a bear"

Though some of the quirkiest reads of 2013 were chosen based on recommendations found here and here, most were found as I browsed the "New Books" section of the library. Sadly, since receiving my Christmas present of a Kindle, I haven't been to the library to browse, except virtually.

I have to say browsing through a list of ebooks requires even more persistence and craftier search parameters than walking down a row of books with one eye on the titles and the other on my impatient kindergartner. However, I did happily happen upon Laurie King's series about a female scholar who happens to be married to Sherlock Holmes. The game is afoot for 2014.

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Elephant Keepers' Children by Peter Hoeg and Martin Aitken
Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles
Love is a Canoe by Ben Schrank
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
What It Is by Lynda Barry
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff
What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us: Stories by Laura van den Berg