Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Into the bowels of the bowels of the library

Saturday, my wife, my friend and I went to a book sale at the Edmonton Public Library. These sales apparently happen three to four times per year. If I’d been informed of this earlier, my book collection would be much, much bigger.

This sale was incredible. It was held in the parking garage below the downtown library in Edmonton, Alberta. The books were placed spine-up on tables from one end of the garage to the other. When we got in, it was hard to tell where the line of tables ended. It was actually pretty intimidating.

However, we split up and plunged into the chaos that is bargain-hunting. Every eight-foot table had at least seven people, scanning the titles, hoping for that ONE book that would make the trip downtown worth it. I was no different. Any book that had the appearance of fantasy or even the illusion that I might like it, I grabbed and threw into a box. (Boxes that were left there, presumably after having carried the books to the tables in the first place)

Toward the end of my grab-and-stow, I was kicking two big boxes full of books. (My wife had come and dropped two large armfuls of books into the boxes). Satisfied, for the moment, with my haul, I dragged the boxes over to one side and began to sort.

I knew that I would not be willing to carry this many books to the car (My wife is pregnant and, while she may insist on pulling her weight, I won't let her) so I sat and scanned the backs of the books for something that would make me want to read them.

Gone were three "fantasy" romance novels, though if I could have torched them rather than just put them in the discard box, I would have.

Gone was the Shogun-era murder-mystery.

Gone was the historical fiction about Nazi Germany (silly me, I'd thought it was a history book.)

And gone were some genuine fantasy books that just didn't hold my interest.

I waffled back and forth about Elmore Leonard books. I like his writing style but I wasn't sure. In the end, they made it into the box.

Here, now, is the list of books that I bought at the book sale:

Sir Apropos of Nothing - Peter David

Two (2) Elmore Leonard books

Lord Valentine's Castle - Robert Silverberg (I believe this is the first Majipoor book)

CS Lewis' biography

Two (2) David Gemmel books about some assassin (I'm not familiar with Gemmel but I hear he's pretty good)

Taliesin and Arthur by Stephen Lawhead (Now I just have to find Merlin)

Two(2) Conan books by Robert Howard

Rebekah by Orson Scott Card

A collection of short stories by Stephen R. Donaldson

I would have gotten more but time was an issue and my wife had easily more than I did. Carrying the books we bought up three flights of stairs to street level was more than enough work for a Saturday.

In the end, we bought a large box of books (some of my wife's were pretty valuable) for twenty-eight dollars. (Hard cover books were two dollars, paperbacks were fifty cents.)

Most promising book: Lord Valentine's Castle. I'm curious about the Majipoor series.

First book read: Sir Apropos of Nothing - something about this book just caught my attention

.Best book found: My friend found a book on how to impersonate Elvis. Is this the best book ever? I don't know.

As it is, my book collection is now somewhat bigger, my wife and I are both happy in our purchases and my need for new books has been sated – until the next book sale.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Milk in the tooth-hole and other horror stories

Since having my teeth removed (by choice, no less!) I have been unfortunate enough to have holes at the back of my mouth, filled with sensitive, swollen gums.

My teeth have never been to happy about cold and I guess it’s only natural to guess that the tooth-holes left behind by my wisdom teeth would like the cold about as much.

Boy was I wrong.

The searing pain of a cold mouthful of milk invading my tooth-holes left me shaking and shaken. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced. However, I learned something about life in general and pain in specific. Everything’s mental. The pain that shot into my brain was trying to tell me that something was terribly wrong. My brain was not strong enough to deny these impulses and so had me shaking and shaken. I was even transported back to the dental procedure when I could feel the drill going into my jaw bone. It’s amazing what my brain will do to screw with me.

It’s all mental.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Three teeth, one low, low price

I find myself once again drawn to this blog spot. This morning, I had three wisdom teeth extracted. One was giving me a problem and I figured that getting it removed was going to mess me up enough so that getting three out would be more worth it than getting one out on several different occasions. The fourth one does not look like it is going to present a problem so we decided to skip that.

Now, my life is an endurance test - which will happen first? Will my wounds repair themselves or will I go mad? The pain is entirely endurable. The blood was off-putting but again, there was nothing there that could break me. Now, in the wake of my overwhelming desire for a steak, a cheeseburger or some potato chips, the itch coming from my stitches is driving me batty.

I enjoyed a protein-fortified milkshake this evening and my sister was kind enough to bring me by a Wendy's chocolate ice-creamy dessert. The relief that the cold brought to the inside of my mouth makes me happy.

I finished three books last week, and now I'm working on some more:

Smoke and Mirrors - Neil Gaiman: This is a collection of short stories by the author who wrote American Gods and Neverwhere. Some are weird, some are wrong, but they're all definitely readable.

The Fires of Heaven - Robert Jordan: The Book-11 re-read is on. The forsaken are making their moves, the tower is split and Mat gets real cool in this book.