October Tub o' Books

©Polka Spots, www.paisley-parsley.com

©Polka Spots, www.paisley-parsley.com

To the blog subscribers, I hope you were able to take a peek at the video sent yesterday. For which I should also say, it was meant to say, “The TWEET is coming along,” but some AI decided I really meant “next.” And i didn’t catch it. Not the first time, not the last. Also, be aware that this TWEET has nothing to do with the social media one. My birdies have been tweeting long before someone decided we could communicate with each other in 40 characters or less. If you missed the email, you can also see it here.

Before beginning the Tub review, I would love to share with you an article from NYTimes Book Review, “At the Library” about Susan Orlean’s new book, The Library Book. Being a connoisseur of sorts of libraries (I borrow books from three library systems, because I can), I loved even reading the review and will buy this book as soon as I find it. It’s on the premise of the big L.A. Library fire in the 80’s and how it disrupted the librarians and patrons, but is also an excuse to extoll the interesting lives of research librarians. For example, it is assumed that they carry trivial knowledge around with them (..”out of the blue, ‘Tina, how long do parrots live?’ “) The book also delves into the life of one Charles Fletcher Lummis, who, when given the role of running the library, set about to improve the lives and tastes of the citizens. (He had warning labels printed to go inside books. One read: “This book is of the worst class that we can possibly keep in the library. We are sorry that you have not any better sense than to read it.” He was eventually persuaded to ‘tone it down.’) The nature of the librarian’s job can be summarized by a quote by one of them:

All true living is face to face.

On to the Tub, a combination of September and October. Tub o’ Books was introduced as a regular feature here.


Old in Art School, Nell Painter

The Guest Cat, Takashi Hiraide

Fear, Bob Woodward.

Unsheltered, Barbara Kingsolver. I heard her interviewed and knew I’d want to read it. The Poisonwood Bible will always be in my Top Ten favorites.

The Apprentice, Greg Miller. Yeah, it’s about that guy. Nonfiction.

I’ll Have What She’s Having, Erin Carlson. How Nora Ephron made romantic comedies popular again.

Holy Ghost, John Sanford. I can’t wait to get into another Virgil Flowers mystery and a laugh or two.

The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis



The Looming Tower, because I liked the miniseries and I learned a lot about the period before 9/11, so wanted to learn more. Still involved with this book, not far enough along to judge.

Chicago, Bryan Doyle

Am I Alone Here Notes on Living to Read and Reading to LiveBy 

Fire sale, Sara Paretsky. Listening to it. I might get bored soon.

Facism, A Warning. Madeline Albright. From one who knows it when she sees it.

The Disappeared, C.J. Box.

Bird Note; NPR. But of course!

Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain. Because I’d like to read it again.

David Sedaris, Theft by Finding, Diaries 1077-2002.

Sharp, Michelle Dean. The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion.


Commonwealth, Ann Patchett. Although this book received an assortment of reviews from friends, I got around to reading it through Audiobooks. Not all of the reviews were positive, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe I like epic books about families, generations, and familial dysfunction!

The Disappeared, C. J. Box. Reading Game Warden Joe Pickett’s life as an unofficial mystery solver in the Wyoming setting, which is often cold enough for me to find a blanket while reading, is always a pleasure. The whole game warden thing is novel for me, so I enjoy learning about it.

For the Love of Books, Ronald B. Shwartz.   115 celebrated writers on the books they love most: Dave Barry quote about Lewis and Clark, 

Magpie Murders. (Finally finished it!) There is a mystery inside a mystery and I did not know until the end the solution to either one.  If you have (lots of) time for a book in both contemporary and Agatha Christie-like formats, I'd say this is a winner. Sometimes I wondered why I was sticking with this, since it required a lot of time and dedicated reading (no skimming allowed in this one). But it kept me intrigued with its two stories. It was for me a good example of how an author can grab you right away, because I wanted to know why the writer/book agent got herself in trouble in the first place by representing the author of the Christie-like Magpie Murders.

Fear and Facism. As you can tell by my bought and borrowed lists, I am reading a lot about our current political state of affairs. I don’t want to get into the politics of it all on this venue, but suffice it to say, although investing time in reading these is somewhat of a downer, I want to stay informed, and I’ll admit to reading the books that support or reinforce my thoughts on current matters. I believe historians will list both of these books when they write about this troubled time; both came well-documented and/or from actual -and FACTUAL - experiences and conversations. ‘Nuff said.

Born a Crime, Trevor Noah. If you read this book, I promise that you will 1) learn a lot about South Africa and Apartheid 2) have many giggles 3) understand how bright and literate Trevor Noah is, 4) like his Mom a lot. Strong, earthy, and I think quite wise.

Amber Alexander is the bear illustrator, from my collection of cards and prints of people (and others) reading a book.