vote early, vote often

Update, May 30: The results are in, and it was a close one… but the winner is Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case that put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature.  Perhaps this is a consequence of my law friends and my Victorianist friends!  In any case, you will notice that I’ve put another — and different — book under the “carrots is reading in print” category in my sidebar, but that’s only because the library is closed for the Memorial Day weekend.  Soon I will be reading Leviathan!


My local library does not have many books inside.

Since I up and graduated, I no longer have lending privileges at Rice’s library.  (This will be rectified soon, as I will be working part-time for Rice over the summer and, in the fall, I’ll be teaching classes again.)  Anyway, I won’t be able to check out any books at Rice at least until JULY, which is unacceptable.  So I headed over to the closest public library — the Looscan branch at Westheimer and Weslayan — and got myself a library card.

The Looscan branch does not aspire to be a research library, and so I certainly don’t expect a full collection of scholarly journals and multiple editions of rare Thackeray novels.  Its collection is definitely skewed toward the audio book and the New York Times bestseller.  But still.  A quarter of the children’s section is empty shelves.  Funding cuts, I’m sure.  It’s terribly depressing.

They did, however, have the book I was looking for, a title that is currently featured as one of the titles in my sidebar: Columbine by Dave Cullen, which is turning out to be a really compelling read.  The fact that I find this book compelling, coupled with the fact that I want to discuss it with everyone I encounter, unsettles others.  I am willing to make strangers uncomfortable, however, because (a) I have accepted and meditated upon my interest in the school shooting phenomenon and (b) I’m on a nonfiction kick, and Cullen has produced a well-researched and well-written piece of literary journalism.

The book is due on Monday.  (Accustomed to the longer loan period privileges of a graduate student, I was a little shocked at the two-week lending period.)  I’m looking to check out another piece of nonfiction for pleasure reading, and I have a few contenders in mind.  So!  Carrots readers!  Are you ready to participate in your first poll?  Because I need some help deciding.

I am perhaps favoring one book, but I will not disclose the title and skew the results.


2 thoughts on “vote early, vote often

  1. I’d like to read _Columbine_, but I need to meditate on my own interest in accounts of tragedies first! I’m glad to hear that it is good.

    • I do recommend it. I just finished it yesterday, actually. It’s very precise in its approach, I think. The final few pages are quite intense, but throughout the book Cullen gives his reader quite a few moments to step away from the shooting, so it doesn’t get so intense it’s unreadable.

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