An Ode to the Belmont Public Library

5:26 PM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
So I thought that to absolve my sin of not blogging, I should expound a little bit on what I've been up to instead. Alright, I admit it--I've been reading! Lately I've had my nose in a book more than I had my nose in my "notebook."

Here's a list of what I've enjoyed lately:
"Peony in Love" by Lisa See
--This is just a fun little novel written about a lovesick 16 year-old girl in China, back when foot-binding was sexy. I liked it well enough, it was entertaining and educational, but I think it would have ended better if the novel ended with Peony's death and didn't follow her into the afterworld. It would have been the perfect tragic novella.
"Born in the Big Rains" by Fadumo Korn
--This is the autobiography of a Somali woman. She spent her childhood as a nomad in the steppee, wandering around with camels, playing with cousins, oh- and getting circumcised on a metal bucket, causing extreme emotional distress and rheumatoid arthritis to set in by age 10. Fascinating, beautiful, and educational. She lives in Germany now, and is an anti-FGM activitist.
"Emergence" by Temple Grandin
--Temple Grandin is a woman diagnosed with autism, who happens to be very high-functioning and has a Ph.D. in animal psychology. When she was a little tyke she didn't even talk, just screeched and "peeped." This book gives a fascinating glimpse into the world of an autistic person.

I'm currently reading:
"The Serpent and the Rainbow" by Wade Davis
--This is an anthropological text, which reads more like a novel or a well-crafted memoir by someone very educated that happens upon tangents now and again. It's about Haitian voodoo, which the author calls "vodoun" in order to distance itself from the hocus pocus that a lot of Westerners associate with this ancient African religion. His original point in visiting Haiti was to find a "zombi" poison that voodoo priests used to cause a death-like state in victims, while not actually killing them, so that they would be buried alive and re-emerge as zombies. His backers were hoping to find pharmaceutical uses for said poison, and then the interest shifted from the poison to the secret socities of voodoo.

Next on my list are:
"Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
--Most people have read these books by the time they're my age, but somehow I squeaked through high school without reading them. According to my mother, it's because at my high school they weren't part of the Honor's curriculum. Oh, BHS, what a funny place. I would have loved to add "1984" by George Orwell to my stack at the library today, but the library in La Cañada is DINKY! How could a library not have 1984?! Really?! Never again will I take for granted my belovèd Belmont Public Library, where I spent countless childhood hours.


Whitney said...

Oh Lauren, how I love thee! I'm quite a fan of Catcher in the Rye...Lord of the Flies was decent as well. Enjoy!