Sometimes I think I'll never read my own books again, because library books keep getting in the way. I'll read about a book and look it up on the library website to reserve it, then see something else and reserve that, ending up with ten reserves coming in all on the same day.
Right now, I'm working my way through the Temperance Brennan books by Kathy Reichs; I'm up to number five (waiting for it now). But drat and blast, there are a dozen more to go, and by the time I get through those, she'll probably have another one ready for me. Number four, "Fatal Voyage," is on the kitchen peninsula, waiting to go back to the library. When I reserved that one, the website pulled up other books with the same title, so of course I had to get a couple of those. I reserved the "Fatal Voyage" on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, even though I knew the basic outline of the story. (The ship was sunk returning from delivering parts of the Hiroshima bomb, but it wasn't reported as missing and about a thousand men died in the five days they were waiting for rescue, most picked off by sharks, one by one.) Reading the grim details was horrible; I had to stop reading after the men had been in the water less than a day because I just couldn't bear anymore and then pick it up again at the beginning of the court martial. But then I couldn't even finish that, because it was such a clear travesty of justice on the part of the Navy that I had to quit reading it or risk a stroke. (They court-martialed the captain of the ship to deflect public opinion away from the fact that Navy personnel screwed up in multiple places to bring about such a truly colossal clusterf***.) And, waiting over there on my "to read" pile is yet a third, "Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage," this one on the sinking of the Titanic. That one I should be able to make it through, as the people weren't in the water fighting off sharks for five days.
The Temperance Brennan I have on reserve is the fifth book, "Grave Secrets," and when I reserved it, I came across a book entitled "Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs: Soft Tissues and Hard Science," so of course I had to reserve that, too.
I'm also reading David Handler's series on Stewart Hoag and Lulu. It's taking a while to get through that series because one of the books I reserved but then the library cancelled the reservation when they found the reserved copy had been lost, and two other reservations got cancelled because of some reason I didn't quite understand at the time and don't remember now. Right now, the book I'm waiting for is coming to me from Mountain View, so it may take a while. Just think--a book from over a hundred miles away is getting shipped up to my library just because I want to read it, and I don't have to pay a penny extra for that service. Sweetie has a book right now that came to him from outside our system. He had to go to the desk to check it out so he could be read the rules about those loaners (no self-checkout allowed on those). Among other details, there is a $115 fine if he doesn't return it, this for a fifteen-dollar paperback. There's a big sticker that covers almost the entire cover of the book with reminders about the rules, including that he return it to the desk and not put through the return slot where it might be shelved by mistake. The other Stewart Hoag and Lulu that I'd reserved got cancelled because that copy also turned out to be lost; the email about it said I'd have to look out of our system for it, as that had been the only one. I'll do that after the one from Mountain View gets here.
I've got two books out by Randall Kennedy because I came across a book of his on the new nonfiction shelf: "For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law." I'd read him before, he wrote "Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word," and coming across the discrimination book reminded me how much I enjoyed his writing, so I looked him up on the library website and reserved two others, "The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency," and "Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption." I finished and returned the discrimination book and am halfway through the polical book and two-thirds of the way through the other.
Also on my to-be-read pile is a thriller by someone I've never read, it was on the new fiction shelf and caught my eye, and another new nonfiction about how the rise of the rest of the world is good for the west. From that same trip to the library but already read and returned was a book I found on the display across from the checkout counter where the librarians put their own favorites: "My Friend Dahmer: a Graphic Novel," by Derk Backderf, who was in high school with Dahmer. It was marked a YA book, but this adult found it as evocative and compelling a story as anything on the adult fiction shelves.
My gym books these days are from Sweetie's shelves, since he has a plethora of paperbacks that I've never read, as well as many that I have. I'm working my way through his Elmore Leonards and had the first of John Jakes' Bicentennial Series as the emergency paperback in my car, but ended up starting it Saturday morning when I took my car to get a flat repaired and didn't want to take any of the heavy hardbacks into Les Schwab* with me. Today I finished it in the gym (I read paperbacks while on the stationary bike) and so the second one is in my gym bag. Sweetie only had the first two, so I'll have to reserve the rest of them one at a time; it would drive me nuts to read only two and not finish the saga. The current Elmore Leonard is still in my gym bag and I'll finish it before starting the second John Jakes.
You can see why I despair of ever getting back to reading the books on my own shelves. It's a good thing I have a job where I get to read a lot.
And now for something completely different:
Today was a baking day, and I had BabyGirl to help me with some of it. Dough for sourdough English muffins was in the refrigerator; I made it last night and baked them tonight. (If you let the dough sit in the fridge for twenty-four hours, they get more of that wonderful sour flavor.)
First thing this morning, I tried a whole grain bread recipe with rye and whole wheat and both caraway and anise seed and cardomom. After that was set to rise, I mixed dough for sourdough french bread. (And isn't it funny that the English in English muffins gets capitalized, but the French in french bread doesn't?)
BabyGirl got delivered when both doughs were just started on their second rise. We went straight to the gym, where she went to the childcare spot and I went to ride the stationary bike. No weights today, I gave platelets yesterday and didn't want to strain the just-healing puncture site. BabyGirl had a wonderful time: she loves the gym and today in a wonderful bit of serendipity found her best friend from preschool there. When we got home, the whole grain bread went in the oven right away. The gym took longer than I'd planned, so it rose to a monstrous size (think of the Blob), but fortunately turned out just fine. A nice flavor, but not better than either whole wheat or rye, so I won't be making it again. The french bread went in the oven after that. No extra rising there, as that recipe needed a long rise at that point.
While the french bread was baking, BabyGirl and I made some brownies. Brownies are always what I have kids start on, as the batter is stirred by a spoon, no mixer necessary. I knelt down and held the bowl at her level and she did the stirring at each step, or at least most of it. Then those went into the oven while she took her nap.
KidOne arrived while BabyGirl was still sleeping and about one minute before I took the french bread out of the oven. There's not much KidOne loves more than bread right out of the oven, so ten minutes after that bread was out, we were slicing it and spreading the hot slices with butter. Yum, yum, and yum yum. KidOne was hesitant about the other bread, as dill seed is too strong for her and she wasn't sure about caraway, but she did try a bite. No go, so I had the rest of her slice. After all, it was already buttered and ready and no sacrifice is too much for my pregnant girlie. KidOne consoled herself with another slice of buttered french bread.
When BabyGirl awoke from her nap, I had the chocolate and butter melted for the brownie frosting and let her help me mix that into the sugar. That I do use a handmixer for, so I had her put her little hand on the mixer handle and then put my hand over hers. That way, she got to say she made the frosting and I got to make sure little fingers didn't get too near the beaters.
(BabyGirl hadn't wanted to make brownies at first. I asked, "do you want to make brownies," only to be told, "I don't like brownies." I said, "brownies are chocolate," so she immediately changed her mind and said, "I want to EAT brownies!")
After they were frosted, I cut them up and KidOne, BabyGirl, and I all enjoyed fresh brownies, then they went home, brownies and all.
Sweetie and I had garlic bread made with fresh sourdough french bread to go with our pasta dinner; yum. And after dinner, I baked the English muffins. They're cooling right now and will go into the freezer.
Life is good, the freezer is full, and I continue to have hope that I'll be able to get back to my own books someday.
*Les Schwab gets mentioned by name because their customer service is always so overwhelmingly and consistently excellent; they rate any and all plugs I can give them. EVERY Les Schwab I've been to has been as good as every other, so it's not just one store, it's the whole chain.