Libraries

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I love libraries. One of my earliest memories was going to the Ocean Beach Public Library, possibly still in a stroller, so my young mother could feed her reading addiction with old musty novels from the 1930s and 1940s … wait, they wouldn’t have been old and musty then but rather new and shiny. After the library we would do a little shopping on Newport and maybe have a cherry coke.

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The Butler Did It

Circulo-ZodiacalThe Tokyo Zodiac Murders belongs to the popular Japanese honkaku, “orthodox” or “authentic”, subgenre of murder mysteries. Unlike psychological thrillers, honkaku books focus on plotting and clues. The reader is not deceived by the author but actively drawn into the writing and encouraged to participate in the solving of the mystery. These “pure” mysteries also stay away from social criticism, drawing their inspiration from writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe, whose works inspired the Golden Age of Detective Fiction in Britain, and with whom Shimada has been compared for the complexity of his plots and the elegance of their solutions.

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Rodents Of Unusual Size

images.jpgThe dangers of the fire swamp are the flame spurt, the lightning sand, the Internet wormholes, and the dreaded Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS). Leslie has demonstrated the most effective way to avoid three of these dangers but no one has a viable way of avoiding Internet wormholes short of tossing your computer (or Smart Phone) into the Well at the World’s End.

I personally fall into what should be an easily avoidable wormhole in two seemingly innocent ways. The first is when I go to YouTube to catch up on the four or five video podcasts I follow and enjoy. Unfortunately the folks at Google tempt me with dozens of related or semi-related videos that seem to promise arcane knowledge of digital watches or at least a few minutes of entertainment ranging from mild humor to sexual enticement. My favorites tend to involve food porn (especially street food, down and dirty), classic rock covers played on obscure asian instruments, and videos displaying the my favorite comedian-du-jour (Lewis Black  rocks!). I also still insist on watching the How-To video whenever I need to restring my ukulele.

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Yet Another List

download-1.jpgEver since I left home and pursued life and literature on my own I have kept lists: lists on paper, lists in notebooks, list on index cards, list in crude computer programs, lists in sophisticated computer programs, lists at various online list sites, lists at my own online sites, lists surrounding a weblog, weblogs surrounding lists, lists in the cloud. lists in my head. Echoing the old unix cliché: YALs.

I am always looking for interesting or intriguing books to read and I of course add them to Yet Another List. Although I may search all over the internet or scan (electronically) the stacks at several libraries, or even poke around in my own bookshelves, nowadays I generally spot new titles from sources such as Amazon. the NYT book pages, NYRB, Atomic Books, or even noticing them in the reading list of anothher online book reader or reviewer.

Believe me, the availability of reading suggestions is overwhelming.

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