Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Books

Yesterday while I was engaged in the hopeless task of straightening up my home office, it occured to me that I have way too many books. My two bookcases are crammed full, and there are also little piles of paperbacks scattered everywhere. Most of them are from thrift stores and bargain tables, and I've probably only read about half of them. Or maybe less than that. I tend to be a hoarder when it comes to books, though I'm too ADD to read them all the way through. Plus I like having plenty to choose from. But in the interest of cleaning out this stuffy, little room, I decided to sort them out and make a pile to get rid of. Good grief, I have some weird stuff! Here are a few books from my collection:


1. Rats and Lice and History by Hans Zinsser
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What it's about

Rats, lice, typhus, the Roman Empire, hideous plagues, etc.


Why I bought it

Come on, who could resist a book about vermin? Besides it was only fifty cents.


How much did I read?

A few pages here and there. It's very dry and academic. But certain passages (like the gross details of just what plague does to a person) will definately burn themselves into your brain.


Random Excerpt

The louse was not always the dependant, parasitic creature that cannot live away from it's host. There were once free and liberty loving-lice, who could look other insects in their multifaceted eyes and bid them smile when they called them louse."


2. The Gaylord Hauser Cookbook


What it's about

Healthy cookbook written in 1946.


Why I bought it

For the section titled, "How to Serve Brains Attractively." And for the lima bean pudding recipe. Yum!


How much did I read?

The whole thing, baby! But I have never made any of the recipes.


Random excerpt

"Minute Prune Sauce- Fletcherize together 1 cup of unsweetened grapefruit juice, 1 cup of soaked dried prunes, and honey if desired."



3. Car Living Your Way by A.J. Heim
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What it's about

A how to guide for people who want to (or have to) live in their cars.


Why I bought it

Hey, you never know. I like to be prepared.


How much did I read?

I've skimmed through it. Although I did read the entire section on "Feng Shui for the Car."

Random Excerpt

"I favor peeing in a wide mouthed jar, and having a simple bag in which these jars are conceled for carrying purposes," explains Joanne Baek. "If glass, I favor a sock pulled over the jar to decrease the chances of accidental breakage if bumped. Dirty undies can go in the same bag, and if the jars are appropriate, one can dump the pee in the toilet, rinse the jar, then half fill it with water, add the dirty panties, and shakey, shakey for a daily mini-washing-machine thing."


4. Rolling Away: My Agony with Ecstacy by Lynn Marie Smith
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What it's about

Some chick who couldn't handle her drugs.


Why I bought it

It was on the bargain table. And I have fond memories of the anti-drug books, "Go Ask Alice" and "Christiane F." because they piqued my curiousity more than they warned me off. Eat it, Nancy Reagan!

How much did I read?

About 3/4's of it before I threw it against a wall. This bitch really got on my nerves. What a whiney baby! Just because she couldn't hang she has naturally decided that ecstacy is the devil for everyone. And her poetry sucks ass.

Random Excerpt

"I watched the paper soak up my teardrops. I folded it and put back in my bag. I wiped my eyes as the bus began to move. Mason was the only person who understood me in this world. He knew me at my worst, and still loved me. Now I had to work on loving myself."


5. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
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What it's about

You know, big whale, obsessed captain.


Why I bought it

I've been trying to read this book for the last two years. It's a classic, I can relate to tales about obsession, and I enjoyed the movie. Plus "Pequod" used to be my password for nearly everything.


How much did I read?

I'm still trying to get through chapter one! It's not exactly ADD friendly. In fact, I'm ashamed to admit that I mostly haul it out whenever I have trouble sleeping. It works better than Sominex for me.


Random Excerpt

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and..............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

25 comments:

Mister Underhill said...

Fletcherize??? What the hell does that mean? That cookbook may be the scariest thing I have ever heard of. No one is going to fletcherize *my* brain.

I agree about the drug lady, not that I have read her personally. They should rename the twelve step program to the attention whore program.

Hey guys! You can be even more of an attention whore 'recovering' than you were as a drug addict! I bet you never realized that, did you? Otherwise you would have quit long ago so you could bore mister underhill to tears on a daily basis about the incredibly hard life you've lead which is full of problems...none of which you are responsible for!

It's even more annoying when you take into account that e is one of the easier drugs to kick and it's not like any problems it caused would all come at once. If it seems to oh so surprisingly be fucking up your brain when you drop 19 tabs a day for six years, here's any idea - stop taking it!

I definitely think reefer madness is one of the best movies I have seen, though. The version I have has mike nelson from mystery science theatre 3000 cracking jokes in the commentary.

Diane said...

Go Ask Alice was the most popular book in my 7th grade class . . .

Prunella Jones said...

Mister- I think fletcherize is what they did before blenders were invented.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to take E more than once a week at the very most. How dumb do you have to be to take ten hits in a weekend? Obviously it will have a negative effect on your brain chemistry. Idiots like her are the ones who ruin it for everyone. How am I supposed to enjoy a Blues Traveler concert without the sweet, sweet sizzle of frying brain cells, I ask you?

Reefer Madness is pretty amusing. I'd like to see a version with Tom Servo.

Diane- you left a lot unsaid there. Didn't you go to high school in the 70s? Was it like the movie Dazed and Confused? That would have been fun. I was born too late.

D.O.M. Dan said...

Pru, Are you sure that random except you quoted out of Car Living Your Way came out of that book? I could have sworn I read that somewhere else.

Anyway, I commend your efforts to clean your home office. As a closet neat freak, I encourage everyone to exercise their cleanliness.

D.O.M. Dan said...

Sorry, I meant to write excerpt, not except. I'm a closet spell freak too.

LA said...

What? Hans Zimmer? Do you know if THE Hans Zimmer wrote Rats and Lice and History?

This guy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001877/

LA said...

Pru - It's Hans Zinsser

Scarlett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prunella Jones said...

Don- yes, it is on page 60, in chapter 7: Privies and Cleanliness. MAybe you read the author's other book? "Car Living: How to Make it a Successful, Sane, Safe Experience." I can't imagine there would be much difference between the two. It seems like the biggest concern is finding a safe place to park and keeping yourself clean. Good to know, huh?

LA- you are right, my bad. The cover of my copy is all thrashed but still ledgible. That's the kind of thing I should notice but never do. I'm more interested in fiction than facts. Hhhhmmmm, maybe I should get a job at Fox News?

ffleur said...

oh Pru!

come into my arms. I have tons of books too. Love, love, love books.

I also could NOT get thru Moby Dick. Nor Le Morte d'Arthur, Robinson Crusoe...

At University I had to read Plato's Republic (yuck), The Prince (not!) and Hobbs Leviathan - the first page was one endlessly run on sentence. When I realized I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than read Hobbs, I gave up.

I once read a cookbook put out in 1974 by the chef at the "Playboy Mansion". I have NEVER read a book with so much gratuitous cream and butter. My arteries hardened just reading it. How times have changed.

Jenster said...

The book about lice and rats and all sounds fascinating. Just like watching the History Channel show on the plague. What's wrong with me??

Scottsdale Girl said...

I'm more of a Janet Evanovich, Dean Koontz type a gal.

Captain Smack said...

I lived in my car once. I think I'll write a book about it. Here's a teaser: "Try to run out of gas near a donut shop if you can. They tend to throw out many stale donuts every few hours, and if you befriend one of the employees you can get free food throughout the day!"

As for the E chick, I can tell you what her problem was just by looking at the book cover. She wasn't eating the good pills, she was taking those Frowny Faces. Those were lame. She should have tried the Motorolas, or the Purple UFO's (the ones with the green specks, not the white specks.)

Captain Smack said...

Oh, and I'm with you on that Moby Dick thing. That sounded weird, let me rephrase that: I agree with you about Moby Dick. I've been trying to read it, but GOD is it tedious. I didn't know about the movie, I'll have to check that out.

Mister Underhill said...

Moby Dick starts slow, but thankfully it builds to a realy big climax.

Prunella Jones said...

Ffleur- that Playboy cookbook sounds hot. I love old cookbooks from the '50s. Geez, the things people used to eat! It seems like there was nothing they wouldn't put in jello. I have some great recipes that call for tuna and mayonnaise in lime jello and a beef tongue jello desert. Oh boy, that's some good eatin, right there.

Jenster- books about plagues and pestilence always make for a riveting read. That history channel show was good. Did you watch barbarian week? That was my favorite.

SG- I've read a few of the Stephanie Plum books. Very cute. I'm amazed they haven't been optioned for a movie yet. Can't you just imagine how fantastically Hollywood would miscast those characters? Like having JLo star as Stephanie and Owen Wilson as Morelli. I predict we'll be seeing that on Lifetime Network at some point.

Captain- I worked in a donut shop for a couple of months when I was in college. We closed at three o'clock everyday and there were always homeless people hanging around the dumpster waiting for me to bring out the old stock. After a while I started serving them coffee to go with the stale donuts. I liked talking to them, there were a lot of interesting characters. Maybe I saw you there? I remember this one guy who used to ask for extras for his friends Jesus and Elvis.

Mister U really? I'll have to try harder to read it then.

Helen said...

Aaaah a fellow biblio-phile. I knew you had to be, your vocabulary is just too stunning to have only coffee table books and the Great Bathroom Reader in your oeuvre.

I read an article about Melville's "I and my Chimney" having Freudian not political inferences, and Moby Dick took on a whole new meaning.

I'm with you on the "being prepared" thing, I've read books about dumpster diving, wilderness survival, herbs, etc. I'll tell you I'm just waiting for the apocalypse to utilize some of the stupid survival tactics I've learned over the years. From the US Army survival guide FM 21-76 page 7-26:

"Beaver-Wait for the beaver to come on land, then club it, drop-kick it, hit it with a rock, or catch it by the tail..."

Wait, what the fuck? Drop-kick it???

Prunella Jones said...

Helen- oh wow, that's some f'ed up advice! I don't think drop kicking beavers would help a person's survival chances any. It would probably be a good way to acquire rabies tho. The army has some crazy manuals. I saw one once that said in the event of a nuclear blast, soldiers were to dig a hole, crouch down inside of it and cover the opening with their shirts.

Mister Underhill said...

Helen - yeah, actually the 'big climax' and moby dick was just a horrible pun on my part, but it is still a good read once you get into it.

Helen said...

Ha! I've encountered THE best bomb book several times in my life. And at really bizarre places. The first time I saw it was at a club/bar called "The Library" where the second floor had jizzy couches and chairs, a bar, and books. The first floor was like a regular bar.

Anyhow, the book was (insert italics function) The Bomb, Survival, and You (remove italics function). Worthy read, Pru. And as for the army's survival method, wtf? who has time to dig a hole? let alone faith in their camo shirt?

Mr. Underhill, I thought that was where you were (ahem) coming from ; )

Prunella Jones said...

Mister U- in light of your recent post I find it interesting that you are praising a book about a sperm whale. There is some warm and sticky synchronicity going on here.

Helen- I love a good survival book. Even better is a show on Discovery channel called, "I Shouldn't Be Alive" or something like that, about people who survive horrible circumstances. Check it out sometime. I don't know why I like this kind of stuff as I am the kind of person who would die immediately in a disaster.

Mister Underhill said...

Jizzy couches?

Apparently, semen is in the air lately.

morbid misanthrope said...

I had no problem reading Moby Dick, but I am having some trouble getting through the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The copy I have was apparently written by a scribe/brewer named Nile Bill. He claims the beer he brewed was the reason the pyramids didn't end up square. I'm very frustrated because it's hard enough invoking Anubis without papyrus beer coupon inserts every few pages. They really tend to break up the page flow, which, in turn, wreaks havoc on the incantations.

Man, if you need to be high to enjoy Blues Traveler, you're just not listening to them hard enough.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Lima bean pudding? Sounds excrutiatingly...um....good?

Prunella Jones said...

Mister U- semen in the air? So that's what I've been smelling lately. I thought that odor was coming from the sausage tree in my front yard. It's in bloom.

Morbid- I've never read that book but it sounds intriguing. I'm always interested in learning new spells. Tell me, would you like to join my wiccan group? We could really use a dude in our coven right now. While we have had great success with love potions, the force of our feminine energy has unfortunately attracted a tribe of evil, shapeshifting fairies who have been wreaking havok against our members. These little shits have been hiding our car keys, planting cocaine in our jeans, and making our hair frizzy for the past few weeks! It's making me nuts! We could use a man around to scare off the fairies and of course, to participate in our fertility rituals. What do you say?

Brenda- you haven't lived until you've tasted Lima Bean Pudding! Want me to email you the recipe? You might also enjoy the one for Lima Bean Roast. I don't know why lima beans haven't been featured as a theme ingrediant on "Iron Chef." Everybody loves them.