I’ve changed in my attitude and use of bookstores and libraries. Instead of being enamored of the physical aspect of being in a room with thousands of books and their possibilities, I have this thrill daily on the internet Sort of a bibliophile’s equivalent of the old Napster Celestial Jukebox, only not for music but for books.
So if I can imagine it, maybe I can pull it up on my screen or order a copy from my screen from the local library network or bookstore.
But a few days ago I was in the library picking up a copy of a book I had made sure was there via the online catalogue, when it occurred to me to do a little looking around.
At the back of the building are several bookstore style kiosks stuffed with advanced copy issues of forthcoming books that somehow the library provides for its patrons.
Glancing over them I saw a book entitled, “Mr. Peanut.” For no clear reason, I picked it up and read the first few sentences:
“When David Pepin first dreamed of killing his wife, he didn’t kill her himself. He dreamed of convenient acts of God.
Okay. Good opening sentence. I’ll check it out and we’ll see.
Then last night after reading several chapters in the Mao biography I am reading, I went to bed with the John le Carré I have been re-reading (“The Honorable Schoolboy”) and Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross.
John le Carré is a favorite escape read of mine lately but it is so melancholy. I thought I would try the forthcoming Mr. Peanut.
It turns out to be a witty, nasty little take on the detective novel via some intimate glimpses of three marriages. Just what the doctor ordered. No melancholy, but irony and wit. And humor.
Adam Ross’s main character David Pepin makes video games. And what games Ross describes in the book! One wonders why he is writing a novel when he could probably clean up as an idea development guy for a video game company.
“It’s called Playworld,’ she said, ‘It’s loosely based on this Piers Anthony book I read as a kid called Split Infinitive. In this world, all anybody does all day long is play games. They’ve taken care of all their material needs, I guess, so the only currency is gaming prowess. It’s like the coolest communist state in the universe. People are ranked by record and enjoy status accordingly. Strangers or friends can issue challenges in a whole range of games and skill sets from the physical to the mental, obstacle course to board games and hand-to-hand combat. It’s how you interact socially, how you meet lovers, how you live life…..
“But it’s also like Facebook, where you have a profile–though in this case that also includes your skill level. Your world rank.And it’s not your own picture mind, not your identity, but a highly detailed avatar—think Second Life—that’s your own Warhol of yourself or your bent or ideal version, your cartoon equivalent but as buff or thin or hot or warped as you want to make yourself…
And so on. The book comes out in June. I’m enjoying it immensely.
I didn’t busk yesterday because I have a gig at my Mom’s assisted living facility today. Another freebie. But no matter. I’m a last minute substitute for their monthly birthday party (All April birthdays). I have developed a playlist. Here it is:
2. Hymn – I come to the garden alone
3. Bach Sarabande in G
4. Hymn – What a friend we have in Jesus
5. Bach Gavotte in G
6. Hymn – Heavenly Sunlight
7. Alley Cat
8. Precious Lord or Just a closer walk with thee
9. Haydn D major sonata, first movement
10. Hymn Come thou fount of every blessing
11. Brahms intermezzo
12. Hymn O for a thousand tongues to sing
13. Satie F minor Gnoissiene
15. Jenkins one page essay
17. Happy birthday
At first I was thinking of mixing up styles in a bit different way. Then I decided alternating singing hymns would give the audience of elderly people a chance to catch their breath figuratively and literally. The hymns are just suggestions I will ask people to call out their favorite. They keep multiple copies of a hymnal in the room.