She looks up at the sound of his boots scrunching on the gravel, but only long enough for him to see that her eyes are brown under that tangle of grubby curls, before she dismisses him and goes back to her business. Harper is disappointed. He had imagined, as he approached, that they might be blue; the color of the lake, deep out, where the shoreline disappears and it feels like you’re in the middle of the ocean. Brown is the color of shrimping, when the mud is all churned up in the shallows and you can’t see shit for shit.
The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes
I take umbrage, obviously, having eyes like dirt or (according to an ex-girlfriend) a cow. Was this the reason I never got into this book I wonder? It feels petty, but you know… I’ve cut things out of my life for less. I am notoriously mercurial.
Oh… its about a serial killer. And grisly disembowelment. And hanging someones guts up in a tree like laundry. I remember this now, a couple of chapters in.
I’m not into serial killers I declare. The world is already full of messed up. And really, with the limited amount of time available to me, is this really the stuff I want to inject into my escapism? I mean I presume the perpetrator gets his comeuppance. *flips to the back* three hundred and four pages to grind through to get there though…
I think about my assertions for a while. For some reason I am reminded of Locke and Key. Which is also all, horror murder, guts and gristle. And I loved Locke and Key. So maybe not the macabre that has me feeling… lassitude-inal (yes, I group comics and long form literature together and also making up adjectives again) about this particular publication.
I bought new bookshelves. Maybe I should have led with that.
The house came with shelves. But they were… fugly. All modular aluminum and glass. I tried to improve the look with one and a half inch thick wooden planks. But really the result was never ‘us’. And so now, after almost a year of living here, we finally relented and spent some money… which when you’re balls deep into Netflix stock, feels especially disagreeable. (its not that bad, but I’m embracing my perceived victim-hood moment by the lapels and shaking it for all its worth, having never in all my years taken such a big financial hit with a single-stock1)
 including ’00, ’08 and ’20
Not that my shelves have been delivered yet, he added. But in anticipation I have undertaken to sorting my books into broad categories. My original unboxing strategy (when we moved) was shaped by book height and the hue of the spine… which means I can never find anything. (despite professing that I have a ‘system’)
And so, after a couple of hours I have several neat stacks but mostly things have been spread liberally in a maelstrom of literature across three other rooms, now designated NO-GO zones for dogs and children.
Its harder than I thought. And now I’m tired and the ennui has me.
George Orwell’s Animal farm. For example. Fiction or current events I deliberate. I place it into my ever burgeoning and increasingly unstable undecided-stack.
We have this weird, I think some people might call it a pajama-lounge. A strange non-room or ante-chamber perhaps that exists before the bedrooms. We’ve painted it out and are turning it into a… library sounds quite pretentious… and I don’t really have enough books yet. But as aspirational endeavors go, maybe that’s one to aim for. Especially since my re-imagined life goal is to be a dumber (albeit, in my modernity a more comfortable) less mustachioed version of Michel de Montaigne2
 Who basically retired at 38 to live in his library tower, read philosophy and blog about it. Blogged, wrote essays, whatever.
In any event… I have rediscovered a whole whack of books that I can’t remember purchasing and/or reading. The Shining Girls being one of them. I even have a signed copy. Which I find even more puzzling. Clearly I was into Lauren Beukes at some stage. (probably because she was hot)
Perhaps most importantly I rediscovered my copy of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: and Other Stories, by Tim Burton.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I used to listen to another Tim back in the day. Last name Ferriss. Before… well… that’s a tirade for another time perhaps, growing up probably helped me shake that particular affliction. One of his questions was (always) asking his guests what book they had gifted the most. Which was quite presumptuous I thought, that some of them could read I mean.
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy would be mine. (something with words AND pictures, thereby covering all my bases)
Because who wouldn’t like a book of poetry and Gary Larson-esque sketching’s I muse? Its like the best gift EVER I chortle to myself as I flip through the pages. (I feel very smug about my thoughtful gifting-prowess)
I must be honest, for the longest time I thought Gary Larson was British. Because you know, I’m geographically bigoted and dark humor is not usually a North American attribute (at least according to me). Tim Burton, also, weirdly, American. (my theory may be starting to take on water). Still, Mr Burton is also responsible for some real crimes against humanity. So there’s that. Still, the book I feel, is brilliant.
It might even be in my top five. Along with… eh… *thinks* Sapiens is probably in there. Theodore Rex… better yet if you could combine The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex and the River of Doubt into one epic tome. Then maybe Scott Pilgrim versus the World. Damn, I’m running out of slots. Enders Game. Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.
Okay, top six.
Hopefully my shelves get delivered tomorrow and I can reclaim some of my floor space. Stack overflow is no way to live. Probably in more ways than one.
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