Leaving the Land of Fiction


I'm happy to report that Adam and I had another successful Librarypalooza adventure. He navigated toward the non-fiction this time, and we wound up in an aisle with all sorts of books on American history. (The distribution per topic was perplexing: Native Americans, six shelves; George Washington and the American Revolution, two shelves; James Madison, two books; Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, ten shelves; any other president or important leader or era, four books.)

It struck me as I stood amidst so many nondescript titles with equally nondescript covers that I really don't know which authors to trust when it comes to non-fiction. I loved Gore Vidal's Lincoln, but would I love any other book on the same subject? Are the books in the Local Library's Weirdly Unbalanced History of the United States aisle meant to be enjoyed casually, or are they only in the library for the high school students who need to fulfill a bibliography requirement for an essay?

In the end, I walked away with Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, by Catherine Clinton. I can't imagine how someone could make the Underground Railroad boring, and the gushing reviews on the back cover seemed sincere enough. I also picked up Live and Let Die, the next book in Ian Fleming's Bond series, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman. We celebrated our literary outing with root beer floats, which is one more reason that Adam is the best little brother in the world.

Meanwhile, the new copier repair man is scheduled to diagnose and fix yet another problem at the office tomorrow morning, so if you need me, I'll be building my own underground escape tunnel to anywhere else in time and space.