Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scenes from my 'hood

You know what I don't miss about the DC suburbs? Vinyl siding. None of the houses here have it. Instead, every little house is made of brick, stone, and/or stucco. Their sturdy coziness never gets old as I travel around the neighborhood.

You know what else never gets old? Going to my library for a tote full of books. It's more modern-looking than most buildings near my house, and its insides are eclectic and intriguing. The books aren't the only cool part, the people there are fascinating. There's the tall man with the knit rasta hat who always works the front desk. There are moms with toddlers, people with backpacks napping in chairs, college kids thumbing the DVD cards. And then there are the Orthodox Jewish guys, who fascinate me. They lope along like any guy in his twenties, calling friends on their cells. The only difference is the yarmulkes on their head and the tallis fringe peeking from their fleece jackets. I've always felt like I appreciated my Jewish ancestry, but I've never lived in a town where you can see people walking to synagogue every Saturday afternoon.

I'm not ADD, but my library card is. I always feel like I'll be uncultured or bored if all my books are the same. Here's what I got this time:

Doc In the Box and Accessory to Murder - two of the Elaine Viets mystery novels I am hooked on
The Covenant - a sappy novel in which our Amish heroine battles intrigue. American sects and cults ahoy!
One Hundred Years of Solitude - One of those "books everyone should read" I hear it's about history and memory, which is a bonus
Stalin's Children - Three generations of Russian history. I should also get back in touch with the Eastern European history I used to obsess over.
The Flying Inn - I should also get acquainted with G. K. Chesterton, since he's one of those snarky Catholic authors people always quote.
Oscar Wilde's Short Stories - Once in a while, you need some British witticisms.
Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean - How could I not read this book? The author even lives in Kingston, Jamaica.

Whether I will actually read all of these remains to be seen. I suppose if I really want to be a Renaissance woman, I should pick up some science fiction or math theory. That would definitely be thinking outside my usual box!

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