Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A (Somewhat) Leisurely Neighborhood Book Walk

This past weekend my townhouse/condo complex hosted the first (of what I hope will be a regular event) book walk. Which not only resulted in fun times but also gave me something to write about.

A  book walk, at least as we did it, involved everyone who lives in this complex* taking any books they don't want any more and putting them on their front stoop or some in one of the communal squares. Then you walk around, see what people put out and pick up some new books. A few neighbors also put out some (individually packaged and wrapped) treats.

This was quite convenient for me because I had a big box of books for donation that I had been slowly bringing to our local library (they have a limit as to how many you could drop off at a given time) before COVID shut that down. So this gave me the chance to get rid of the box of books that were just cluttering things. And of course maybe I could pick up a couple books and start cluttering the space with new things. What fun.

So I got rid of about 20 books and only brought 6 new ones home. That's a pretty good ratio. Admittedly, I'm sure the number would have been much higher had it not been for the fact that Matthew does not appreciate leisurely browsing of books. He preferred the method of run-around-in-circles and stack-random-books-up and wait-are-those-cookies-over-there?? Really helped me make quick decisions about books, since I had to grab a book fast before I had to take off after him. But I managed to get some what I hope are good ones and even Matthew got something.

So let's see what I got:
  • Circe by Madeline Miller - I've heard good things about this. I think. I've definitely heard stuff about it and I like what little I know of Circe the character from the Odyssey 
  • Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman - I've only read 2 parenting books since having Matthew: Emily Oster's Cribsheets and Toddlers Are Assholes by Bunmi Laditan. And perhaps the second book isn't a parenting book, per se. I have been a bit skeptical of this book but honestly, I took it because while I was considering it, Matthew took off in an effort, I assume, to find more treats across the street and I didn't have time to waffle on it while I chased him. Besides, I figured his running off was indicative that I could perhaps benefit from at least hearing what she had to say.
  • My Treasury of Stories and Rhymes - While I was looking at the books on one neighbor's deck, she came out to hang some lights and of course saw Matthew there. He was standing there calmly because he was eating a brownie at this time, and thus had what he wanted. When she saw him she brought out this book. I guess since there are maybe 3 young kids that live in our complex (it seems to be largely made up of retirees) she didn't expect anyone would want this one. So Matthew's luck. He loves red.
  • The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant (An Adoption Story) by Dan Savage - While I haven't read the column in a while, I used to enjoy Savage Love and figured this would be fun and funny.
  • All Adults Here by Emma Straub - Honestly, I don't know anything about this book. But the author's name sounds familiar (I have not been nearly active enough in the book world) and Matthew liked the yellow cover so he kept grabbing it. My one regret is I grabbed a hardback version and later saw at another stoop in paperback. So I dunno, maybe it isn't the best book if 2 houses were giving it away. But we'll see.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt - I read my dad's copy of this book several years ago over Thanksgiving and loved it. But it seemed silly to buy a copy. A free copy, however, that's fine. 

* It was going on all day so people could be spaced out and everyone who lives here is good about adhering to social distancing guidelines, so people were masked and everyone was giving people their space. And of course the whole thing was outside. Man I had having to make these caveats but also PEOPLE, please take this seriously