Book Nerd: Library Chicken Weekly Scoreboard (10.10.17)

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!

Man, Library Chicken gets a lot harder when I actually have a job and people expect me to do things. I’m going to have to give up sleeping (since I’ve already given up housework and interacting with the family) if I’m ever going to make it through the giant stack of library books next to the bed.


Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod

Granted, it isn’t time to break out the holiday reading just yet, but I enjoyed this murder mystery with sleuth Peter Shandy (professor and radish expert), set on a college campus that goes way overboard with the Christmas decorations. There are several more Peter Shandy mysteries, so it looks like I’ve got another series to keep up with.
(LC Score: +1)


Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Valente is at the top of my list of “amazing authors that distressingly few people seem to have heard of.” If you haven’t read her Fairyland series (beginning with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making), you should do so immediately and then share with all the young people in your immediate vicinity. Deathless is another fairy tale of sorts, a retelling of the Russian story of Koschei the Deathless, set in the early days of the Soviet Union. It is wonderful and weird and much more adult than the Fairyland series (meaning I wouldn’t necessarily pass it along to younger fans). With Valente I never know if I should be upset that I didn’t hear about her sooner, or grateful that I can look forward to reading all of her books that I haven’t gotten to yet.
(LC Score: +1)


Hawthorne: A Life by Brenda Wineapple

One of my favorite Alcott-adjacent biographies so far, which was a bit of a surprise given the subject matter. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the grumpy loner in the Concord set (when he wasn’t using his political connections, including best friend President Franklin Pierce, to get government work), but Wineapple’s biography is entertaining and engaging, with just the right amount of quiet snark.
(LC Score: +1)



How to Read Novels Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

Follow-up to Foster’s How to Read Literature. Amy said I probably didn’t need to read this one once I’d read the first one, but WHATEVER, AMY, YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME. (Except, actually, in those circumstances where you are.) I thought it was worth reading for this comment (on T.S. Eliot and symbolism): “I believe that when very young, Eliot was badly frightened by a double meaning, hence his determination to exert absolute authorial control,” but maybe that’s just me.
(LC Score: +1)

And as I may have hinted above, the RETURNED UNREAD (AND OCCASIONALLY OVERDUE) count keeps going up. Sigh.
(LC Score: -6 ½)

Library Chicken Score for 10/10/17: -2 ½ 

Running Score: 102 ½ 


On the to-read/still-reading stack for next week:

  • Radiance by Catherynne Valente (just give me all the Valente books)
  • Blindspot by Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore (American Revolutionary era hijinks co-written by one of my favorite historians) 
  • The Luck Runs Out by Charlotte MacLeod (Peter Shandy mystery #2)
  • Emerson: The Mind on Fire by Robert D. Richardson (have I mentioned that the Alcotts had a LOT of famous neighbors?)