Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman This book, published all the way back in 1998, was loaned to me by my good friend Alison. It is a collection of essays about books and reading, every one of them just delightful. The first essay, “Marrying libraries” talks about how long it took for her and her husband to combine their libraries, and the difficulties of doing so. “Never do that to a book” talks about the difference between courtly lovers of books, who would never write in or otherwise mutilate their books, and carnal lovers of books, who do so as a matter of course. (My mother refuses to write even in pencil on photocopied music, definitely falls into the courtly camp. I have seen her write only penciled corrections in poorly edited books.) “The His’er Problem” talks about the difficulties of gender in language, where using non-gendered language is awkward and ungainly, but gendered language really does exclude people of the non-mentioned gender. And while “essay” sounds dull, every one of these had me laughing and reading bits aloud to whomever was unfortunate enough to be around. If you are reading this blog in the first place, it’s a fairly safe assumption that you like books. And if you like books, you’re missing out if you haven’t read this one.
And for my once-in-a-while series, Things That Look So Cool in the Review Magazine That You Need to Know, Even Though I Haven’t Laid Eyes on Them Yet,
Pegleg Tango by Captain Bogg and Salty from Scabbydisc Music (http://www.eatalime.com) This is a children’s CD full of, you guessed it, pirate music. Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review, so hopefully we’ll get it here and I can listen to it myself. Order it now and have it in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19!