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>Library Loot: Cowboys and Diaspora

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My library’s 4th floor is the damnedest thing. I’m sure that all the stuff I’m finding there has been on the shelves for years, but during each visit something different floats into my line of vision. In my last blog post, I called it a messy stew. This time, I’m thinking compost pile — the staff must turn it over at regular intervals. Also, how could so much crap look like rich nutrients for the brain?
Today’s mission was simple: Go in and get The Borrowers. It’s there; I had it out last year. Except it wasn’t there when I eagle-eyed the shelves. This was no easy task because one of the student workers was in my way and breaking my concentration as he shelved a paltry armload of books and sighed mightily all the while. I wanted to snatch the pile from him with an exasperated Give me those, you #*$%&&& douchebag! and do the shelving myself, but part of me couldn’t help but be impressed with such suffering. I nearly expected to hear this next:
So what did I grab this week? Funny you should ask. Ever since I read then watched The Way West, I’ve been in a vaguely cowboy-ish frame of mind. Maybe it’s because CRACKED SPINZ is reading Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian for our April book club meeting. Maybe it’s because I thought I was going to have to do battle with my graduate school class last night about attendance and turning in assignments. On the way from my office to that building the theme from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly kept playing in my head:

Happily, there was no unpleasantness and the graduate students and I were able to resolve things amicably but a combination of factors like that can linger. Perhaps that explains the swiftness with which Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey and The Warrior Path by Louis L’Amour busted off the shelves and into my book bag. I didn’t do any clocking, but it was probably 8 seconds. Incredibly, I’ve never read a genre western before. Should be interesting.

I also grabbed a short (autobiographical?) 1997 novel entitled A Cab Called Reliable by Patti Kim about a Korean family who emigrates from Pusan to Arlington, Virginia. Stories of immigrant families are so rich; I don’t think I could ever tire of them.


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