Antique Books and a Happy Book Lover

Friday, April 18, 2014

(The books that I'm keeping!)

 There are some serious perks to people knowing you love books. Recently one of the Huz' best friends helped someone move. They had boxes and boxes of "old books" that they were gong to throw away. Seriously, they were going to put them in a dumpster! The guy said our friend could have them if he knew anyone who liked books.

Lucky me! Our friend immediately called the Huz to see if I might be interested. Needless to say I was grinning like a fool when they brought the books over. There were about a dozen boxes and about half were cheap paperback Grisham and King novels and things like that. The Huz and I carefully went through each box together. Every few minutes I would squeal as I pulled out a 1917 edition of The Merchant of Venice or the 1857 edition of the Bible.

The photos are just a few of the beautiful covers I took pictures of for my LibraryThing cataloging. The Crime and Punishment book is actually a 1940s two volume set with wood carving illustrations by Fritz Eichenberg. It matched the editions I already owned of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre! The cover next to it (above) is called World's Great Detective Stories and it's a 1800s edition with a soft leather cover and stories by Tolstoy, Poe, Doyle, Dickens and more.

I am going to donate about 80% of the books, but at least they will be going to someone who might read them instead of into the trash! The remaining 20% are all gems that are staying with me. I just had to share because I knew all you fellow book lovers would be just as excited about this!

Photos by moi.

Orange Is the New Black

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Orange Is the New Black
My Year in a Women’s Prison
by Piper Kerman

Like everyone else, I first heard about this book after marathon watching the Netflix TV series of the same name. The show is great, but the book is actually an excellent nonfiction memoir in its own right. Piper is relatable enough that it’s easy to picture yourself in her situation. 

The book could easily have been subtitled: First World Problems. The picture of prison that Piper paints is an interesting one, but it’s not very scary. She gets pedicures and has time catch up on reading classics. One of her biggest problems is that the prison store is out of the radios that you need to listen to the audio on the movies they show, so she's stuck watching the movies with no sound.

She touches on more serious issues like sexual harassment from guards, lack of preparation for prisoners re-entering the work force, prisoner health problems, minority persecution, etc. but she never really has to deal with any of those things. They feel like distant possibilities, not real issues people are facing. To be fair, Piper acknowledges the fact that she is very lucky to not have to deal with those problems. 

That being said, it was a really fun read. I knew the basic premise before I started it because of the TV series. If you are already a fan of the show I would encourage you to check this out. I was actually expecting there to be many more differences, but the show is just a sensationalized version of the book. There are added bits of drama in each episode, but much of the plot is based on her real experiences. 

BOTTOM LINE: Read it if you love the show or are a fan of nonfiction. Don’t expect a revealing look at the American prison system.

Wordless Wednesday: Lindenhofplatz

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lindenhofplatz in Zurich
More Wordless Wednesday here.
Photo by moi.