Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Odds and Ends

I bought this old book last week. South Wind by Norman Douglas. It will hang around on my bookshelf until I find time for it.


Took this one out of the library because I can't resist a venn diagram.


The John Lennon Bio (of my earlier post) went downhill fast after rock & rollers & women entered the picture. The author really loathes certain rock musicians, and spoiled many descriptions by being so biased. It's obvious he had low opinions of certain Beatles, as well and a very high opinion of one wife (Yoko.) while telling the reader that "Nobody liked Cynthia." I can't enjoy a biased biography. The author also likes gossip and speculates a lot about people, maybe this happened, that might have happened, maybe... John's mother Julia wanted to have sex with John because she took naps with him sometimes, Yoko was incredibly good at reading tarot cards and seeing the future. John was (!?) possibly the reincarnation of Yoko's famous grandfather. I was really disappointed. I feel everyone should be given a fair shake. (The author was quite good at poisoning the well while claiming to be unbiased.) I like Yoko and her artwork very much, but the author ranks her as one of the best artists on earth. He really kisses her bottom big time in this book.

Update on the Brautigan book of an earlier post: I liked it, and wish my personal journals were as interesting.


Has anyone seen this book? How to Talk to Girls --I'm a little curious.


One great thing about my town is the many thrift shops. For $1.25 I brought home these books and a nice mug from the Queens Library.

I used to live in Queens (briefly) but at that time I worked every weekend at a book shop, so I rarely used the library. I was also commuting to Manhattan every weekday and worked very near the Main Library on 42nd Street. The nearest library to my apartment in Queens was the Elmhurst Library built in the 1960s. Elmhurst was the biggest Melting Pot of maybe the entire world. (?) Over 100 different languages were spoken there with regularity by the residents. The library had multilingual staff and some volunteer interpreters to handle more than 60 of the languages. I lived near a Geeta Temple and had neighbors from all over the world.

14 comments:

e said...

What wonderful testimony to the richness of life, Avid. Having people from all over the globe as neighbors no doubt makes the hectic pace and cultural mix a heady experience?

The only time I was in New York was as an infant, taken to a great-grans homestead upstate, so no memory of it.

I did however fall madly in lust of the NYC public library as depicted in film. While it was probably in Manhattan, it was also beautiful and historical. Elmhurst sounds like what I picture the NYC libraries to be like. Lucky you!

R.L. Bourges said...

I don't know about South Wind as a whole but the phrase 'a cluster of bibulous mortals' made me laugh.

keep us posted on the venn diagram.

The John Lennon thingie sounds like it was written by a committee of out-of-work bibulous mortals trying to outdo each other in awfulness. "Yeah then we could have John be her reincarnated father you know? - oh right and Cynthia showing up in Yoko's tarot cards disguised as his mother, and...") yuck.

How to Talk to Girls...is this for real? As in: a recent book? You're a magnet and gurls are the metal? Why not: Don't be a 90-pound weakling while we're at it?

Louise Erdrich + that great mug for a buck twenty five? Sigh.

subtorp77 said...

I nine year old kid( who looks bit older, here )can tell me how to talk to girls? I didn't read any of the other books like this one. and I'm no George McFly, either.

As for thrift shop buys, the orchard I frequent sells PB 6for$1 and HB 4for$1. I've gotten some incredible books. I'll share later :)

Avid Reader said...

Thanks Sub! I look forward to seeing what you pick up at The Orchard.

The nine year old kid is too much--bet he's made some real dough though off this book--

e, Ghost Busters and Breakfast at Tiffany's spring to mind when I think of the Main Branch of the NYC public system.

It's an incredible place.more than a Library. There annual Christmas Tree is a must see for me, and they have a great genealogy department.

RL-- yes the Louise Erdrich book is about Motherhood and much more more--it's a great book--will post a few pages soon.

Marianna said...

aloha from greece!

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog..I just saw it (sorry:-).

I love your blog. So simple in looks yet so interesting in content!

Take care
see you Thursday :-)

Deborah Godin said...

I'm interest in the venn, too. And that guide to talking to girls - the kid on the cover looks barely old enough to not go "Eeeuu" at the very mention of the g-word. The contents could be scary... I totally agree about the Lennon bio. I put down a bio on Neil Young for the same reasons. I really only wanted to find out the name of that town in north Ontario, anyway.

You asked about books on First Nations people. One that's really comprehensive and covers the most all the peoples is from the National Geographic Society, "The World of the American Indian." (It may be OOP). Books by Thomas Mails are good, too, but he only covers the plains and SW area.

Megan said...

I didn't make it to the used bookstore yesterday because of the rain, but they have some great bargain bins out front that I love to look through (and also the sale room at the library).

I had to go look up venn diagrams...

Avid Reader said...

I can't believe I wrote 'there' instead of 'their' / I was thinking about being there in my comment I guess.

Avid Reader said...

What was the town in North Ontario? (didn't he leave all of his changes there?)

Cinnamon said...

Just noticed your classic fiction book list- I read a Willa Cather recently and loved it.

By the way- I notice that you take photos of pages from books- is this something to avoid infringing copyright? I wanted to quote a poem in full on my blog- by Sharon Olds- but the copyright holders refused permission.

R. Yaeko said...

Did you know that 138 languages are spoken in Queens, and that is the most languages spoken in an area of that size in the world?

Avid Reader said...

Cinnamon,

never gave it any thought--it I infringe I can be asked to remove the image from the blog, and of course I will remove it. Of course, I can always post pics of my Kindle with a page of a book on it, so I don't see much difference. Sometimes I do a still life with the page from a book --there was a huge teen art project done with pages from books years back--saw it at The Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Avid Reader said...

R. Interesting. 138! Queens seems to be where all the new americans first land.

JGH said...

For a short time when I first moved here I lived in Jackson Heights which is right next to Elmhurst isn't it? There was a Filipino/Latino/Polynesian ??restaurant near my house called La Isla Exotica. We never could quite pin it down. Of course there were Sari dress shops and Brazilian travel agencies and Pupusa parlors too! I wonder if it's changed much.

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)