I made one last pilgrimage to the dying Borders up at Six Forks Road the other day, and I made out like a brigand.  Some Terry Pratchett, a lovely set of Jane Austen novels, a journal, and some Calvin and Hobbes were added to the collection.  The excursion was made even better when I was mistaken for an employee:

Guy: “Excuse me, where do you keep your books on war?”

Me (struggling to carry my pile of books while browsing for more): “I, uh, don’t actually work here–”

Guy: “Oh, I’m sorry!”

Me: “But I think I saw some war books over in the history section.”  *shifts pile to one arm so I can point*

Guy: Thank you!  *scurries off*

My work here is done.  I felt quite honored.


In other news, Hurricane Irene has thus far been exceedingly anticlimactic, at least where I am.  I had nonperishable food!  Flashlights!  Candles!  I was prepared, darn it.  Ah well, I’m enjoying the stiff breeze, and I’m glad for those on the coast that it wasn’t as bad as anticipated.




I finally read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis the other day.  I shouldn’t have waited so long–forever ago, before I knew CS Lewis at all, I ran across a copy of Mere Christianity and for some reason thought it would be tedious.  It is not.  In fact, it would have been the perfect introduction to his nonfiction works, had I known it.  I was on Goodreads looking at my book stats and realized that this is the 20th book I’ve read by CS Lewis, and I still haven’t read huge portions of his ouevre.  Lewis was such a prolific and blindingly original author, even though I’ve read so much, I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface.  I already feel like I need to reread Mere Christianity, this time underlining everything.

Then I read The Book of Merlyn by TH White, which was originally supposed to be the fifth book in his Once and Future King, but was published separately.  Maybe I was more wide-eyed and apt to fall in love with White’s writing when I read Once and Future as a youngster; maybe Merlyn really isn’t as good.  At any rate, I did not recall Once and Future being so darned preachy.  I loved the hedgehog all the more in this volume just because he was quiet a good deal of the time.  Still, the parts that had nothing to do with politics were genuinely moving and fit well into White’s Arthurian saga.  Worth checking out if you’re a fan, possibly even if you’re not.

Now I’m reading a book of stories by Thomas Mann, which is an interesting and thoroughgoing German experience, even if it is in translation.  Brings back all sorts of memories from German philosophy and the Love and Death classes.  I wish I were in a class like that now so we could hash out all our theories and figure out the layers of meaning.