Library Loot: Introspection, Legends, Language, and Ants

Going to My Library is like a gleeful shopping spree. I always pick up an unexpected variety of books snatched impulsively from the stacks, and I always have books on reserve, especially after consulting my trusted book sources. I never come home empty-handed.

The last two stops at My Library were no exception.

One of my husband's favorite musical soundtracks is Oklahoma!, and a quick dive into the Internet unearthed some very interesting facts. Oklahoma! is based on the 1931 stage play Green Grow the Lilacs, which of course I had to read. Green was good — and it led me to Harvey, an even better play in the anthology I borrowed. If you haven't seen Harvey, go find it right away: the story about the delightful Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend is a madcap comedy that is sweet and surprisingly suspenseful.

A friend at work mentioned in passing a book he read years ago about ants, originally written in French but translated into his native Korean. Did my library have such a book? Indeed, and in my native English. Empire of the Ants may be a slow read thanks to its thorough examination of ants, but an interesting one, if the first few chapters are any indication.

If I had a superpower, I would want it to be the power to understand and speak every language in the multiverse. Until I am altered in some way, or until earplugs and a translation app are perfected, I'll have to work on it the old-fashioned way: study. Fluent Forever is written by someone who taught himself multiple languages — and if he can, perhaps I can, too. We shall see.

I have begun listening to the podcast Lore, which examines the real, fascinating stories behind legends. Aaron Mahnke has written a series of books — and when I saw his tome about real-life monsters on My Library's shelf, I had to pick it up.

After reading Laura Vanderkam's time-use book 168 Hours, I decided she would be one of my non-fiction go-to authors. Her latest book is Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done — and I trust she will share something interesting. 

After listening to the book Educated (which I strongly recommend), I decided to read a little more about family dynamics. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way — and I'd go a little farther than Leo Tolstoy and suggest that all families harbor unique unhappinesses.  It Didn't Start With You examines family trauma that has carried on down the generations, which should be an interesting study in psychology.

These are added to the 2019 Polar Reading Club selection, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, and the new Jasper Fforde book, Early Riser

Oh, and did I mention that Rebecca Boggs Roberts will be in Fairfax March 10 to talk about her book Suffragists in Washington, DC: The 1913 Parade and the Fight for the Right to Vote? Yep, I'll be reading for a while...

What have you picked up from your library lately? Let me know!

Thanks to Linda (Silly Little Mischief), Clare (The Captive Reader), and Mary (The Adventures of An Intrepid Reader) for originating the Library Loot column. Check out what they're reading, too!