Welcome to the weekly round-up of what the BookNerd is reading and how many points I scored (or lost) in Library Chicken. To recap, you get a point for returning a library book that you’ve read, you lose a point for returning a book unread, and while returning a book past the due date is technically legal, you do lose half a point. If you want to play along, leave your score in the comments!
NON-BOOK-RELATED CONTENT: I don’t know if I’ve told you how terrible my kitchen is. The kitchen cabinets are cheap and awful-looking and original to the house (1970s). They’ve been painted a dirty cream that has chipped off in several places. Plus I never clean them, so that doesn’t help. When the kids were younger, we turned the kitchen into an art gallery and covered as much of the cabinets as possible with their creations, but over the years their artwork had become faded and ripped and stained and it was time <sniff> for it to come down. So I’ve been removing artwork and scraping tape and scrubbing the heck out of 40-year-old cabinets. As they still look awful, I pulled out the shoeboxes of family snapshots that I had stacked away in the closet (because, my children, there was once a time when cameras held something called FILM, which we then had to pay to get DEVELOPED even before we knew whether or not the pictures were any good, and some of us would always order DUPLICATE PRINTS in the vain hope that we would then remember to buy STAMPS and ENVELOPES to send them off in the ACTUAL MAIL to family members who probably weren’t all that interested in seeing them in the first place), and I got down the laminator that I bought a few years ago but never used, and I spent several days laminating ALL THE PICTURES. (It was great fun. Also a nice soothing meditative sort of activity, which I need in these troubled times. I had to stop because I ran out of laminating envelopes, but I’m going to lay in a new supply so I can go laminate things whenever I’ve accidentally listened to the news or seen a picture of the President or something.) Those are now covering my still-ugly but now less visible kitchen cabinets — all of which is to say: it’s a very short update this week, folks.
The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West
Scandalous doings of the aristocracy set at a vast English country estate: I’m all in. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, but finally picked it up after reading A House Full of Daughters, Juliet Nicolson’s family history, including her paternal grandmother Vita. It did not disappoint and now I’ve got more Sackville-West novels to put on the to-read list.
(LC Score: +1)
The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel
I heard about this on Fresh Air and then picked it up off the new release section at the library. Markel’s history of the two Kellogg brothers, John Harvey (famous physician and originator of the modern concept of “wellness”) and Will Keith (famous businessman and originator of Kellogg’s Cornflakes), is interesting and entertaining, but drove me a little bit crazy by ignoring chronological order and jumping from subject to subject. It’s a good read — now I want to see a complete (and chronological!) joint biography of the brothers.
(LC Score: +1)
Library Chicken Score for 9/5/17: 2
Running Score: 98
On the to-read/still-reading stack for next week:
The Essex Serpent by Sara Perry (a sea monster threatens 1893 Essex)
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (nerds come of age in the 1980s)
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (a long-missing wife leaves behind letters hidden in her husband’s books)
Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison (because she’s very cool)
SUZANNE REZELMAN is home | school | life magazine’s Book Nerd. Subscribe to home/school/life to read her brilliant book recommendations and literary musings every issue. Your library list will thank you.