There is no spare time to read now. Hopefully I can read for pleasure next month. Nothing spectacular to note, just essays in books for classwork and snippets here and there as I research various aspects of railroad labor history. Sigh. Life seems so dreadfully dull and boring when I'm not immersed in a book. How do those pitiful non-readers handle it?
I read most of the chapter on prostitutes in Hans Licht's Sexual Life in Ancient Greece. It's surprisingly fun to read. I searched abebooks.com, thinking that I may purchase a personal copy; the one I'm reading came via ILL. Orginally translated from Dutch or German, that's just one mysterious unanswered question about the book, circa 1929, I expected it to be dreadful, odious even. There is such a playfulness about his writing. It's just a joy to read, though I did find the section on sexual charms to be, well, not of interest. Ancient history subjects don't really interest me, but his tone and style is very engaging... yet others may be put off by it, since it isn't scholary in tone. Apparently Licht is a pseudonym for Paul Brandt (NOT the contemporary singer), whom I cannot learn anything about other than he taught at a Gymnasium in Saxony. Very curious, indeed.
I started re-reading Miriam Grace Monfredo's second book in the Glynis Tyron series, North Star conspiracy. I think I read about seven chapters; they're usually pretty short, but I'm not even half-way through the book, yet. I stayed up until almost 1:00 AM to do that, so I was in enhanced troll mode this morning. I'm afraid I won't have much time for pleasure reading until sometime in mid-October. It's really quite horrible to think that I have only two books checked out from the public library, where I just paid a $13-something fine for late charges! I'm usually never that bad, but I've just been so busy. The fines don't bother me, I know that's revenue that they have some control over; actually their only revenue, some to think of it. So, no balking at library fines for me! I just found a cool architectural link about my public library that I never knew existed, wow. Plus, I found this cool mushing bibliography that I'm going to go through to determine which entries I have and have not read.
I'm into the third chapter of Appalachia at this point. I haven't had as much time to read as I'd like. I've been plagued with headaches and feel as though I've been trapped by a general miasma for some time now. Regardless, Appalachia is such an excellent book. I hope it appeals to folks who don't live in the region. It's so well-written and draws on new research in the glorious field of Appalachian studies. I can think of at least three people who will be getting a copy for upcoming birthdays or holidays. I hope to complete it tonight. Also read a small bit of Marx and Weber. Where's the dummy's guide to Marx when you need it? I get what he's saying only because its been explained to me over the years, but actually reading it for myself? Whew! Get out the fainting salts! And Weber, talk about stating the obvious... but I guess it wasn't quite so obvious when he wrote about bureaucracy in 1946, right?
I'm reading Sarah Pomeroy's classic text Goddesses, whores, wives, and slaves: women in classical antiquity. The introduction was great and the first chapter discusses how the Olympian roles of goddesses and gods provided a model for mere mortals to follow. So, it's quite interesting to get this refresher on all the Greek deities. Last night I read a few essays in Working in America: Continuity, conflict, change. The first one was about observing Saint Monday and the second was rather dry and about factory work prior to 1915. There's always more to read, and the book does go on....like all good books, and bad ones too, you see?
Although the next bit diverges from reading and books, the primary focus of this site, I thought mostly to document, share, and amuse with this bit of haiku exchanged between two librarians. This is in chronological order:
I am happy.
in the nuts
took you a while
so funny boy
god that was good
Finished We Are Many by Ella Reeve Bloor. It's so totally appropriate that I've been reading about her labor activities and wow, yesterday was Labor Day. Also finished reading a dissertation written by Kathleen Brown in 1996 called Ella Reeve Bloor: The politics of the personal in the American Communist Party. It was wonderful as far as dissertations go, although my background on the Communist Party is nil and some things I had no clue about, historically speaking, that is. I really hope she will find a publisher for it. After reading Ella's story, I'm simply amazed that I had never heard of her before. But, she spent most of her time in New England and the Northwest, although she was in Gastonia, NC during that debacle, and also toured coal camps in parts of central Appalachia like WV and OH, she may have even dipped into KY for all I know. She was fantastic. An admirable woman. Her life was so extraordinary, especially for her time. She had six children and accomplished the most remarkable achievements and kept a lecture and travel schedule that was unreal. By the way, her papers are in the fabulous Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College.
I've read the introduction to Appalachia: A history by John Alexander Williams. It's true, I do judge a book by it's cover, and this one is cool. It's good reading so far. His style is straightforward, easy to understand. I'm familiar with most of what he's written so far, though there are new and amazing facts I've learned. For example, I didn't realize that Bat Boy originated from the Appalachians (here's the story), nor did I know there was a musical depicting his life.... Hope Falls, WV.... at least it's not Tennessee. There's too much weird wonderful and wacky here. Let's leave it to WV where things Really are Wild and Wonderful! After a bit of research, it seems as though Hope Falls, WV is indeed a mythical place. Who knew?