Tuesday, August 02, 2011


From two books picked up and dipped into over the weekend:


It needed an effort to obey his signal, but she did it. He closed the French window, drew down the blind again, and–

"Oh, don't let's," said Elfrida.

"Nonsense," said Edred; "there's nothing to be frightened of. It's just like our rooms at home."

It was. They went all over the house, and it certainly was. Some of the upper rooms were very bare, but all the furniture was of the same kind as Aunt Edith's, and there were the same kind of pictures. Only the library was different. It was a very large room, and there were no pictures at all. Nothing but books and books and books, bound in yellowy leather. Books from ceiling to floor, shelves of books between the windows and over the mantelpiece–hundreds and thousands of books. Even Edred's spirits sank. "It's no go. It will take us years to look in them all," he said.

"We may as well look at some of them," said Elfrida, always less daring, but more persevering than her brother. She sat down on the worn carpet. and began to read the names on the backs of the books nearest to her. "Burton's Atomy of Melon something," she read, and "Locke on Understanding," and many other dull and wearying titles. But none of the books seemed at all likely to contain a spell for finding treasure. "Burgess on the Precious Metals" beguiled her for a moment, but she saw at once that there was no room in its closely-printed, brown-spotted pages for anything so interesting as a spell. Time passed by. The sunlight that came through the blinds had quite changed its place on the carpet, and still Elfrida persevered. Edred grew more and more restless. —E. Nesbit, The House of Arden


"After I talked to him, what's his name, Mott, I went down to the Malibu Library and checked out that book of yours, Anatomy of Terrorism."

"Anatomy of Terror," Stallings said, unable to resist the correction.

"Yeah. Right. Well, I read it. Most of it, in fact, but then I quit about three-quarters through. Want to know why?"

"Not really."

"Because I couldn't figure out whose side you were on."

"Good," said Stallings.

—Ross Thomas, Out on the Rim

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