Posted in authors, Books, bookshelf, Food mysteries, Food Writing, Libraries, Little Free Library, Mysteries, mystery authors, news, NYTimes.com, Uncategorized, writing

Q Is For Quirky

Q Is For Quarry is the name of a Sue Grafton mystery that I passed by on my walk the other day. I have a new route that takes me past a Little Free Library.

For those not in the know, Little Free Libraries are very small, wooden structures perched on top of a post. Passerby are encouraged to take –or leave– a book.

The previous week I had left Gone Girl, which I picked up about two months ago from another Little Free Library. It was quite riveting, but I was ready to part with it, so I dropped it off. I was curious whether anyone else had picked it up or had left any other books.

Q Is For Quarry caught my eye. It was a hardback. It beckoned to me. I opened the little Little Free Library Door, but wasn’t sure if I’d like it. I am very particular about mysteries and gravitate toward those involving food (my favorite authors are Joanne Fluke and Ellen Hart). I started to walk away, but the book called to me again. I thought about bringing it home. I thought of the other books waiting at home for me. I didn’t want to bring it home, only to neglect it.

Fast forward twelve hours. I was scanning headlines on nytimes.com to see if anything jumped out at me. One headline did. It read: “Sue Grafton, Whose Detective Novels Spanned The Alphabet, Dies At 77.”

How quirky to have had a special connection with her book only hours before. Perhaps her spirit wished to talk with me. When Sue Grafton was still alive, we had been in touch via snail mail. I had asked her a question. She typed a response and then kept me on her mailing list, sending holiday greetings every year. Recently she told her fans about her surgery and book tour cancellation; she enclosed a tiny flashlight like that her character, Kinsey Millhone, uses. I sent a thank you note and best wishes for her recovery. I keep the flashlight on my keychain for good luck. I am sad that she’s gone. I will miss her sweet cards.

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Posted in Books, books, bookshelf, children's books, funny, humor, Libraries, Uncategorized

Close Call

I had a harrowing experience at the library yesterday.

We have a program called Lucky Day; popular, new books are prominently displayed on the shelf and if it’s your lucky day, you’ll get to take some home, rather than wait on a list with 50 million others.

Lately, I’ve been finding good stuff, so I decided to look at it first thing. I found a memoir and a picture book. On a nearby shelf, I found another picture book.

I was planning to read the picture books upstairs, but when I discovered two books for me on the hold shelf, I put everything on the electronic check out device so that I could use my knapsack to carry everything.

Error message in red! It read: One or more books could not be checked out. I thought the red dots pointed to the picture books, so I read those upstairs as planned. Then I placed them on a shelving cart.

I took another look at the Lucky Day shelf before leaving. I found another book and checked it out.

Then I went through the gate.

Beeeeep! It flashed red and the security guard stopped me. He said I had to recheck out one of my books.

I tried, but got another error message. I brought the book to circulation. The circ. person said the problem was I had maxed out on my Lucky Day check outs. She named them and included one of the picture books.

That picture book was now on the shelving cart. What if someone reshelved it? What if another patron took it? What if someone took it home and didn’t return it on time and there was a late fee and I was charged? It would ruin my perfect record, my library reputation.

I raced upstairs to retrieve the picture book, then raced downstairs “Trade!” I said, handing it to the circ. person. She checked it in and presented me with the book I wanted.

Lucky day, indeed.

 

Posted in Books, fleece hats, funny, hat thieves, humor, Libraries, lost hats, post-traumatic hat syndrome, Turtle Fur, Uncategorized

Post-Traumatic Hat Syndrome

This morning it was raining as I walked to the library. I had my navy blue fleece hat AKA Cozy Cozy pulled down over my ears. I felt so grateful for its warmth.

When I got to the library, I removed the books from my knapsack. I noticed my sunhat lounged at the bottom, but not Cozy Cozy. I figured I had put it in my knapsack’s front zippered pocket.

Later, when it was time to go, it was not there. I took all my books out of the main compartment, peering down: no hat. Nor was it stuffed in a jacket pocket. It also wasn’t on my head (once, when I thought my hat was missing, I found it on my head). I retraced my steps–into the B aisle of Fiction, upstairs to the magazine collection, the elevator. I checked two Lost & Founds and even conferred with the Security Guard, who thought it must have fallen out of my pocket into the waiting hands of a Hat Thief.

The world seemed gray as I trudged home.

In theory, I felt grateful I hadn’t lost my identity, but my attachment to Cozy Cozy is such that I felt like I had lost my identity.

To top it off, the hat store, where I had purchased my beloved hat, was out of fleece hats.

I called Inspector Fondue, who was out and about and said he’d investigate. He said he’d look with his long binoculars that make his eyes big as a wide-eyed frog’s. He reported he had looked to the left, to the right, sideways, forward, and behind: no hat.

I took a deep breath and made an attempt to move forward. I found it hard to concentrate on anything except the Hat Attack.

I Googled “fleece hats,” and saw photos with prices ranging from $20 -$350. That was not right. Next I Googled “fleece beanies,” though I felt weird doing so; I tend to think of beanies as caps with propellers on top, but in the hat world, the hat I wear is actually a beanie.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that a certain clothing co-op carried turtle fur beanies. Turtle fur was the first kind of fleece hat I bought in ’94 and that hat was my #1 favorite, until its mysterious disappearance eleven years later.

I ordered two for the price of one (they’ll keep each other company).

Then it was time to pay. And I, who have numbers galore memorized, messed up my credit card info. I told the customer service rep. it was because I had Post-Traumatic Hat Syndrome.