Sunday, April 01, 2007

The One Without a Title, Least of All a Clever One

We went to Barnes and Noble today. This is always dangerous. I nearly bought a $26.00 book, but managed to stop myself with thoughts of trying the library first. Sadly, I cannot remember the title. :-P I did, however, succumb to The King in the Window. "For the children." The idea is intriguing, the writing, so far as I saw, is well-done, and I like that there are little bites of French sprinkled throughout. I'm going to start reading it to the kids at bedtime, since we are still working through the Pure Dead____ books in the morning (alternating with a history book, and thus drawing things out.)

I tried to find a decent picture book for the Prawn, but the sad fact is that all that seems to come out in the picture book realm these days is tripe. There are plenty of and then. . . and then. . . and then. . . books, and more than enough it was like a banana but moldy and green, I learned with surprise that the thing was my spleen books (OK, well, even that is more creative than what I saw today,) but nothing in the way of depth or beauty; nothing I could be prevailed upon to read even twice (or once!) let alone a hundred times. I know, I know, "Stop whingeing and get off your butt and make some good ones!" you say. And you're right. As much as I loathe the submission process, I need to suck it up and launch some more of my babies out there into the cold, harsh world of uncaring publishing houses once again. But the cynical side of me -- the part I try to keep locked in the small, dark compartment under my lower left rib (though this part requires, with increasing frequency, bribery in the form of chocolate and baked goods in order to stay put) -- says that this predominantly television-dependent age consists largely (though not completely) of parents who don't want picturesque and meaningful; who prefer something they can read with three quarters of their brains tied behind their backs and in the minimum possible time. I suspect that they desire books that will never present a word that calls for a moment's pause for explanation, books that are composed of trite rhymes (or almost-but-not-quite rhymes) and splashed with garish, unrealistic stick-figure drawings.

Clearly I need more chocolate.

On that note, I was looking for an appropriate dessert recipe to try today. MuNKi speculated that vanilla cupcakes might be nice, but was met by a resounding chorus of disgust. (Clearly, I've taught my children well.) So I pulled out my Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook (purchased at one of those "fill a bag for $2" library sales -- mine once beonged to "Rosemary" which I take as a good sign) and began thumbing through it for the first time. Much to my interest and amusement, I've found a Libby's label with a pumpkin pie recipe, an old strip of check stub (the kind from those big ledger-style business checks) with some ingredients listed on it, and an old (I almost said ancient, but it's not quite that) Farmington Community Library bookmark/information strip explaining the new barcode system in very comforting and reassuring terms. ("We call it the Zebra.") Section headers are printed in an amazingly nerdy computer font. Oooooohhhh! Obviously, all this is designed to disguise the fact that the system is Satanic.

I obviously got sidetracked by all that. Now I'm going to look for an actual recipe. I suppose a fool would be approriate, but I doubt that's going to happen. I'll let you know if I find anything else of interest, like recipes from the 1800s or pressed flowers/pickles/lapdogs.

17 comments:

ARM said...

I was at BN on Thursday and saw that book and almost bought it as well. I had 6 books in my arms and sadly had to cut back to 2.

I rather like the side you have to bribe with chocolate to stay put. She makes some good points.

And vanilla cupcakes are gross. Unless topped with a lot of fudge frosting.

Trundling Grunt said...

whoo, I got a reference. Sweet.
I think people who write childrens books tend to concentrate on the children or the parents. But the rally successful ones provide jokes for both levels which explains their success. I read Stanley Bagshaw and the 14' Bicycle Wheel to both LSWMBO and Mr Happy and never tired of it (in fact I can recite much of it!) because it worked for both of us. Same with Roald Dahl books. Alternatively just provide a free block of chocolate and sales will blossom.

Nice day, but it's going to be bollock freezing by next weekend. Must be Spring springing.

jali said...

Books are the only things I'll splurge on. I'm always shocked at the register but it's always worth it in the end.

Ashira Gryffin said...

"It was like a banana but moldy and green, I learned with surprise that the thing was my spleen"

Even that would make a better childrens' book than...oh, I don't know...The Cat In The Hat. :X

Candace said...

Amanda - Oh, don't you HATE having to put books back. Aggggh!

Yes, vanilla cupcakes MUST have chocolate frosting or filling, or both! Otherwise, what purpose do they serve?!?

TG - I wonder if I can get my hands on that one. I'll have to check the library first. Seems like all the good oldies go for exorbitant sums now. I wish Spring would Spring forth without so much of the bouncing back again. They're saying snow for us this week. :-P Right now the windows are open. :)

Jali - Same here. And I rarely feel guilt about it. ^_^

Ash - Take the ball and run with it, my dear. It's guaranteed to be far better than anything we saw on Sunday. :-P

Gawpo said...

Maybe you should go with the "hint" and make Rosemary cupcakes. That sounds a bit Greek or Sicilian, but I think it might work.

I wish I could read books.

Candace said...

Gawpo - I think not (POOF! **vanishes** ;) )

Tell me more about this devastating affliction. How awful. Maybe we can have a charity fundraiser for surgery or something.

ldbug said...

Bookstores are very dangerous for me...I only enter under duress, or on really bad days! I just love the smell of new books, the black ink on my fingers, cuddling up at home to a new read, sigh..

Diesel said...

The absolute worst children's books are the ones that are summaries of Disney movies. They make me want to have a book burning.

Candace said...

Ldbug - Ah, yes. There's something about the smell. I love the smell of new books. And old books. And -- well, MOST books. :)

Diesel - Oh GAG! Yes. Urgh. The only one I want to burn more is To Train Up a Child. Well, there's Catcher in the Rye and the Red Badge of Courage. But those are ignorable. I want to BURN the other. ^_^

egan said...

What's a pachycephalosaurus? I can send you chocolate if you put up a new blog post.

Ashira Gryffin said...

Egan: It's a kind of dinosaur with a very hard skull.

And that label brings back memories of when I would put my bike helmet on and run full speed at the garage door. Remember, Mum?

Claire said...

My summer project will be to clean out my ginormous book collection (to make room for the new arrivals currently stacking up behind the couch). Uh-oh, don't tell, ok? My favorite thing to do in the whole world is to rummage through the tables and shelves at Book Wharehouse.

Candace said...

Egan - as Ash/Mollusc has said, it's a dino with a very hard (and thick) skull. It is theorised that pachycephalosaurs may have used head-butting as its chief method of attack. I use it for things that make me want to bang my head against the wall. ^_^

Ash - thank you, and, um, no. Did you? I think I've ben banging my head against the wall too much. That part of my bran seems to have gone. :-P

Claire - welcome! :) Oh, I SO need to go through my collection to make space, too. I have a lot to read that I picked up at that "fill a bag" library sale so I can decide which are "keepers" and which aren't. And oh my, I do love a good book warehouse. Ours is called (if I rememebr correctly) "Book Sale" LOL!

Ashira Gryffin said...

Yes, indeed I did. But that was way back in California. So you may not remember. You know, there are some things you do when you're little that only you ever remember...

Like when the 5-year-old me decided it would be a good idea to give the carpet a haircut. O_o;;

Winters said...

How I've neglected you, C!

Still, everything's fine now. And I look forward to catching up with C-ness.

Candace said...

Ash - oh dear. At least you had a helmet on. :-P And remember when you cut your leggings "to see what would happen"?

Winters - Oh Winters!!! Are you back? Where's Barnes? I've been checking on him, but he's been so reticent of late. It's great to see you! :)