Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Orts and a Blurb

Yesterday's spelling bee winner

Oh, city spelling bee, how I love thee! How I love pronouncing the words for thee every year, as I did yesterday! 

I love the little girl in the sparkly shirt who spelled well and confidently until her final word, which she misspelled so spectacularly that my mouth dropped open before I could say "that is incorrect." I love the microphone that no one can figure out how to turn on. I love the words that are spelled the way they sound (looking at you, "implicit") and the words that I cannot fathom a fourth grader would know (and at you, "succumb"). 

I do not, however, love the Webster's Third New International Dictionary which is so enormously huge and has type so incredibly small that when stalling spellers asked for definitions of the word they got much more stall than they bargained for. Next year, we're looking up definitions on my iPhone. Or I can just make them up. Either of those options works for me.

It's Homecoming weekend at Small College, one of my favorite weekends of the year. The only thing I can't figure out is why all the people I thought graduated just a year or so ago are back for their 10-year reunions. Obviously time is flying again. (And of course, time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.)

While Congress is on staycation I'm going to start making some legislative decrees of my own. The first one is going to be that all women's skirts must have pockets. Carrying a cell phone around in my hand is stupid. Also, siestas for everyone! Every day!

Amazon image
I've been reminded again lately how I can love, love, love a book that many of my friends hate, hate, hate. Such is The Book Thief.  I've been reading this as I sweat on the elliptical every morning, and reader(s), looking forward to the next few pages every morning has caused me to (almost) love exercise. My friends, however, were at best "meh" on the book. 

It does worry me that this is a young adult book. It is very dark, and my 12-year-old self would have sobbed and sobbed. But the writing is simple and evocative and I have stopped to read some paragraphs two or three times over. Of course, that might have been because I was sweating on the screen, but it also might have been the narration by Death. Really!

Read this before the movie comes out on Nov. 15. I, myself, no intention of seeing the movie because the only movie I've ever liked as much as the book was To Kill a Mockingbird and I saw that when I was eight. I'm going to store The Book Thief in my mind in its original form.

What's good on your bookshelf this week?