Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book (and movie) haul

So have you heard of these things called "haul videos"? I read about them this week in an article I found when I googled Bethany Mota, after seeing her on YouTube ads that had been popping up during my episodes of "Hot in Cleveland" and "Awkward" while I watched TV online because I have a TV but no cable.

Did you follow all that?

Apparently these haul videos are when people shop -- no wonder I didn't know what this phenomenon was -- and then show off their purchases via video.

Well I purchased a caramel macchiato and some scones today and one of the items on that two item list has already been consumed, so if I made a video for you of my Starbucks haul, um, you might be bored.

Except my friend Courtney, who thinks my videos are funny. On at least one occasion I believe I posted a video solely for her, because I thought she might be the only one interested enough to watch and actually enjoy.

Well I don't anticipate myself creating a haul video anytime soon -- although I am much more open to shopping these days and then talking about it than I was 10 years ago -- but I'm going to do the next best thing and that is a book haul blog post.

That is the next best thing, yes?

So it is hot in "the Valley" of Los Angeles, currently. I just did a little driving trip (can you guess where? If you guessed Starbucks and the library, you would be correct) and my car temp said 92, I think, around the time I got back home. (Check your calendar. It's May 3rd.)

I am currently sitting in my apartment without the air conditioner or overhead fan on. I am feeling very brave and tough in doing this, with legs that are starting to feel a little clammy due to sweatage due to the computer being on my lap and being a little warm.

Let me just say if it were 12 degrees outside and the sky were grey and it had been that way for more than two days, I would probably be depressed right now, so bring it on, sweaty computer legs. I can take it.

I don't know why I brought up the heat...

Oh, maybe because part of my joy in going to the library had to do with there being air conditioning there?

I don't remember exactly.

In any case, let's talk about what I brought home from the LA Public Library today, shall we?

#1: Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo

I have never read this before. At least I don't remember, but I don't think so. It may go without saying that I haven't read it before, since I decided to check it out and bring it home, but some people read things twice, or even beyond that, so maybe it doesn't go without saying which is why I decided to say it.

As a crazy book-obsessed person myself, I actually rarely read things more than once. Even books that I devour and plow through and then tell all kinds of people about, hoping they'll read those books themselves. Even those books I rarely read again. I guess it's like falling hard and fast in love and then just...not doing it again. Or, doing it again but with a different book the next time.

And there isn't usually a break-up period in between books. Meaning I'm usually thrilled I read the book I fell in love with, but then don't cry a whole lot and ask my mom to bring me an americano as I continue to feel sad. I just feel happy about Book A and then sometime later read Book B and feel happy about it. No book-related sadness in between.

Now I sound like a promiscuous librarian or something.

And I haven't even told you about Because of Winn-Dixie. Well I can't tell you much, because I haven't read it. There is a dog on the cover, so I'm guessing a dog is involved in the plot. I doubt I'll read the back cover before starting in on Chapter One, because I don't like surprises to be ruined.

Read the back cover of a book and you might as well skip chapters one through four, is my humble opinion on the matter. I'd rather discover the story for myself as I read the actual book, if you don't mind.

Why did I check out this book? Because it's on a list of 100 Great Children's Books that the New York Public Library put out, that my friend Lydia pointed me to. So I'm going to read the books on the list that I haven't read yet. Winn-Dixie falls in the Venn diagram in the circle-overlap section where "on the NYPL list" and "Bailey hasn't read it, or at least doesn't remember doing so" meet.

I haven't seen that Venn diagram drawn anywhere, but it exists in my head.

#2: Deaf Child Crossing
Author: Marlee Matlin

Found this in my perusals of the child/young adult sections. Can't tell you much, because I haven't read it, nor did I read the back cover too closely minus a quote from Booklist. Not sure I've ever read a book about a character who is deaf, so this should be an interesting read.

#3: Feeling Minnesota (DVD, not a book)

Cameron Diaz and Keanu Reeves are in this, looks like a romantic comedy. I got it in case I get bored/lazy/antsy tonight. Pretty sure I had never heard of it until today. I found it because I was among the "F" movies, where I was in search of:

#4: Finding Nemo (DVD)

I have seen this before, and got it because once upon a time I was watching Pixar films and then reviewing them on YouTube and have since faltered in that pursuit. So it's time to get back on the horse, perhaps. Or in this case, maybe back on the turtle ("Grab shell!").

#5: A Good and Perfect Gift
Author: Amy Julia Becker

I actually retrieved this gem out of my mailbox on the way to my car which transported me to the library. I bought this book on Amazon after filing my taxes, when I couldn't sleep and in giddy expectation of a return coming to a bank account possessed by me (the opposite of this happened after filing my taxes in 2013, so I was excited and decided to celebrate).

I first heard about this book and author when I went to the Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin College in 2012, which was incredible. Becker is a minister and writer who has a daughter who has Down syndrome, and this book is about that.

For those who don't know, I am a faith memoir fanatic, so I am looking forward to reading this. I already read the author's note and the eyes got a little misty. Should be good.

#6: The Horse & His Boy
Author: Clive Staples Lewis

This year I began reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I didn't know if I would like them or not, but so far I am enjoying them. I am reading in the order that puts The Magician's Nephew first, although this was at first a stressful decision because when you hit the Internet to figure out how to read these books you discover that there are THREE orders in which you can read the series (publication order, order in which the books were written, chronological story order).

I have read The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and about half of The Horse and His Boy. I had to return Horse to the library to avoid joining the Big Fine club, and today I rechecked it out.

Also, I just watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe film this week and L-O-V-E loved it. I'm not one to usually say filmish things like this, but: the cinematography was awesome. When Lucy pulls the sheet off the wardrobe and it ripples majestically and slowly to the floor?


When Lucy backs out of the wardrobe for the first time and her hand is pricked by the pine needles and she turns around in surprise?


And I totes cried during two scenes involving Aslan. Love the Biblical allegory.

And while we're talking about C.S. Lewis and children's books, I will tell you that I'm also about 100 pages in to The Hobbit, written by Lewis' friend J.R.R. Tolkien. (I made sure my dad knew that I am reading this so that he wouldn't forget who his favorite daughter is.)

But The Hobbit is due back on Monday, so Bilbo Baggins took a little trip to the book drop this afternoon.

"Why don't you just check out one book at a time, Bailey, so you don't always have to return books midway through?"

Good question. I have no (simple) answer for you (that you would care to read at this time). (But I do have an answer to that question; it might just be faster if we talk about it over drinks, so call me. Actually that might not be faster, but maybe I can draw out some of my points on napkins?)

Over and out, Peeps. Go read a book. It'll make you smile.

Also, what are you reading? Tell me about it. Feel free to draw on a napkin if it helps.

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