Could this be how Holmes found Watson?

I guess the both of them were, um, confirmed bachelors.

via SFilthy.com

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Spotted: Atlas Shrugged

When I was in middle school/high school, I would often see “Atlas Shrugged” in our local bookstore, staring back at me from the small fiction section.  Given the size of the book, it probably took up a good proportion of the small fiction section.   Given the size of our town, and the book store, it was probably THE same book that I saw every time I went there.

I found the title (not to mention the cover) quite titillating.  Having an affection for Greek Mythology that straddled the border between healthy intellectual curiosity and early indicator of future psychological problems, the idea of Atlas actually shrugging cast the anchor away for my imagination.  Why did Atlas shrug?  Did someone ask him a question and he didn’t know?  Did he have a cramp?  And what was the significance?  Is that why we have earthquakes?  Or was it just a metaphor for some other earth shaking event?

Unfortunately, I found the pure length of the book as intimidating as I found the title interesting, so I never actually bought or read the book.  I did read some of Ayn Rand’s essays though during trips in the back of our family’s truck, and found her idea of “objectivity” to be enticing, though ultimately impossible to confirm.

To this day.  I think Atlas Shrugged would be something I would like to read, but my curiosity has bee somewhat blunted by the way her name and this book have become closely associated with pure laissez-faire capitalism  (justified ) and the tea party (somewhat justified, not sure if they realize she was an atheist).   I’d like to read a good fictional novel, not sure if I want to get a misanthropic humanist philosophical allegory.   Is it worth the time and effort?

Spotted: Sure of You

I only finished “Tales of the City” about a month ago (I know I know.  I should have my SF residency revoked).   Which was also recently made into a musical.  And it was only three weeks ago that we found out Mr. Maupin and his husband (and Labradoodle) will be relocating to Santa Fe, citing a desire for “a little more space and some nature.”  A sentiment I think us apartment/condo/tiny house dwellers can well understand.

Fear not, Mr. Maupin.  This city will never forget you.  Exhibit A:

Wherein she was reading Exhibit B:

“Sure of You,” and all of Mr. Maupin’s works, can always be found at Green Apple Books.

Spotted: The Bluest Eye

We saw this young lady reading Toni Morrison’s first novel, the Bluest Eye.

Apparently, because the book looks at racism and child molestation, otherwise known as things that really happen, there have been campaigns to ban it from schools.   Morrison is a frequent contributor to the list of most frequently banned and challenged books, so I’m sure she’s used to the attention.

 

Spotted: The Jumbee(?)

This reader was wearing a Columbia fleece jacket and hat with a logo from some sort of outdoor adventures outfit.  I figured the book would involve a strong male protagonist physically overpowering his obstacle.  Probably outside.  In the woods.  With his bare hands and, like, his resolve.  The only thing I could make out was the word “Jumbee.”  So you can imagine my surprise when I searched online (you’re welcome Google) for “Jumbee” and “book” and found a book called “The Jumbee” with this as its description:

When Esti Legard starts theater school on Cariba, she’s determined to step out of the shadow of her late father, a famous Shakespearean actor. But on an island rife with superstition, Esti can’t escape the darkness. In the black of the theater, an alluring phantom voice-known only as Alan-becomes her brilliant drama tutor, while in the light of day Esti struggles to resist her magnetic attraction to Rafe, the local bad boy. Toppled sets, frightening rumors of jumbee ghosts, and brewing tropical storms culminate in a tantalizingly spooky finale where romance sizzles and truths are unmasked.  Laced with eerie mystery and the lush scenery of the West Indies, this modern Phantom is perfect for readers who like their love stories served with spine-tingling suspense.

Romance?  Theater?  DRAMA TUTOR?  Now that just can’t be right.  Apparently a Jumbee is a “type of mythological spirit or demon” in the folklore of several Caribbean nations, so it’s quite possible he is reading some other, perhaps more difficult-to-find-out-of-print book about some 18th century British colonialist encountering and tangling with the Jumbees summoned by a local Voodoo Witch MD/PhD in Montserrat.  Yeah.  I like the sound of that.

Spotted: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Growing up, I loved reading the tales spun by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  The mystery and intrigue drew me in and was tempered only by my oscillating feelings of whether Holmes was a misunderstood genius or just an asshole with a knack for observation.  When I saw this title on the train the other day, it reminded me of Sherlock Holmes.  Many of Doyle’s short stories have similar titles.

Turns out I was playing right into the hands of the evil Professor Moriarty author Mark Haddon, whose protagonist, an autistic teenager, actually loves the logical Sherlock Holmes and brings to mind he of the The Seven-Per-Cent Solution himself.  So, good title there Mr. Haddon.  With one glance you had me on 221B Baker Street.