24 November 2010

Happy Yam Day!

 (I don't like turkey. Also, today is my cat Juliana's 16th birthday, which is how I justify this otherwise gratuitous kitten adorableness pic:
OMG TINY EARSES) So, books! First, miscellaneous items of interest perhaps: I don't think I have plugged The Word Detective in this particular forum, but it is a must for all etymological hobbyists and "didja know"-ists. 'Twas knowledge garnered from Mr. Evan Morris that allowed me yesterday to explain the origin of the word "bailiwick." See, "-wick" is an old English place-name suffix (as in Warwick, etc.), and the "baili-" comes from "bailiff," who in ye olden times was a sheriff's assistant, a fairly powerful official. A "bailiwick" was simply his jurisdiction. Easy-peasy.

Also! A friend of my Aunt Laura & Uncle Kurt had a combination birthday costume party/ private showing of the new Harry Potter movie! She is not 10 years old, as such an event would suggest. I love grown-up theme parties. Here are slightly blurry iPhone pics of the two, as Minerva McGonagall and Mad-Eye Moody, I hope obviously respectively:

In things-I-am-actually reading news, I finished up the last novel from my September looking-for-a-job-at-indie-bookstores spree, Françoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse--very nouvelle vague, but less fun than Bad Marie--just in time to start another somewhat dispiriting rounds of visits (not going to bitch about the Strand at length. Just not at all a fun place to work). This time I'm trying to actually start living/spending like I'm unemployed, that being the actual situation, but I did pick up a copy of Perdido Street Station at St. Mark's Bookshop as a Christmas gift for my brother-in-law, who I don't think reads this blog: last Xmas gift to purchase! Are you jealous? I had a beautiful cupcake with a perfect buttercream rose at Books of Wonder; the frosting tasted just like the one my family makes for our traditional red velvet birthday cake, which most places top with cream cheese frosting, which is several steps less awesome. And at the cluttered, cozy, holy-crap-I-feel-like-I'm-in-London used bookshop Alabaster (so far the only place that "might" be hiring), I picked up a used copy of Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything, which the lovely Stephanie Anderson is trying to get every woman in publishing to read. I started this on the train, as my previous read, Millen Brand's The Outward Room (NYRB Classics; snagged a galley as it has an introduction by Peter Cameron, one of my favorite contemporary dialoguists), while good, was dwelling on the travails of a bipolar girl looking for work in New York City during economic hard times. Liiiiiiittle close to home. Best of Everything is great--reminds me a lot of The Group, though written earlier and set later.

Other stores I visited without purchase, though I made sure to snag a bookmark for my "installation piece," by which I mean I'm gonna hang 'em on my wall: The Mysterious Bookshop, Posman Books in Grand Central Station, The Center for Fiction (mostly a subscription library/ lecture & workshop series, with a tiny, tiny fundraising bookshop), and Shakespeare & Co. (Broadway & Washington Place location). I am totally awarding myself a fake FourSquare badge for visiting the most New York indie bookstores this year. Go me! And that perfect job (that's somehow not WORD but perfect anyway) is out there. I may just have to be more artist-pursuing-a-dream about it and see if I can make some cat food money doing temp clerical work while I wait. Julie likes Innova, and that doesn't come cheap.

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