List by Tosca
"A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is - full of surprises."
- Isaac Bashevis Singer
Working right next to the cataloguing area is a little like having my own personal magical lucky dip barrel that never runs out. My week is constantly full of surprises. Seriously *nods seriously* I see it as a treasure trove. It's kinda like Christmas every day :) Another bonus for me (because it's all about me) is that the staff who run that area are exceptional to work with and they are, now, quite used to my mooching around looking for interesting/quirky books, conversation, ideas or inspiration. In fact, when I popped in there today, the wonderful Claire had already anticipated my visit and had a title ready to suggest. She gave it such a great talk up that I've placed it at number #1 for this list :)
Initially, I was going to post my top 5 Mel Gibson DVDs but an ad-hoc casual discussion with a couple of colleagues queried whether or not I might then be seen as endorsing Mel's recent behaviour. I'm not sure I totally agree. I believe it is possible for me to objectively think he's an incredible doofus (to put it politely) and still manage to appreciate the movies he acted in/voiced in the past. I suspect, however, that I am more than likely to view anything new he releases with a slightly jaundiced eye - I'll be thinking, 'Is that a rant against women? Is that a racial slur? What is he really saying here?' What stopped me from posting that particular list is not a case of second thoughts so much as it's the fact that our Gibson movies aren't my favs. NONE of them are ones I like. Not a single one! The passion of the Christ? Tried watching it 3 times and never finished it. Apocalypto? *snores* We were soldiers? *sigh* I'm more into his shoot 'em up/knock 'em down type movies, you see. So count yourselves extremely lucky that I raided the processing trolleys instead, otherwise you'd be bored senseless with all of the reasons why I heart the Lethal Weapon series, Braveheart and Mad Max ad nauseum!
The devil wears plaid / Teresa Medeiros
Passion sparks in USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros’s irresistibly tempting new romance after a sexy Highlander kidnaps his rival’s spirited English bride Emmaline Marlowe is about to wed the extremely powerful laird of the Hepburn clan to save her father from debtor’s prison when ruffian Jamie Sinclair bursts into the abbey on a magnificent black horse and abducts her in one strong swoop. Though he is Hepburn’s sworn enemy, Emma’s mysterious captor is everything her bridegroom is not—handsome, virile, dangerous . . . and a perilous temptation for her yearning heart. Jamie expects Emma to be some milksop English miss, not a fiery, defiant beauty whose irresistible charms will tempt him at every turn. But he cannot allow either one of them to forget he is her enemy and she his pawn in the deadly Highland feud between the clans. So why does he still want her so badly for himself? Stealing his enemy’s bride was simple, but can he claim her innocence without losing his heart?
Tosca's note: You know what's perfect for a long, crappy week that feels neverending? A romance novel. I'm totally serious. This is my cure for any week that made me feel like I was scraping the bottom for endurance :)
The Polynesian tattoo today / Tricia Allen
Polynesian tattooing has enjoyed a robust revival in recent decades. This compilation of over 200 images presents some of the finest work being done both in the islands and abroad. In addition, thirty of today’s top tattooists are featured, presenting their personal histories and philosophical approaches to their work. Tattooist and historian Tricia Allen’s extensive research, travel, and networks within the Pacific make this collection a “must have” for anyone with an interest in body art. -- Tattoo Traditions of Polynesia
Tosca's note: There are some beautiful images in this book. Absolutely spectacular!
In search of total perfection: revinventing kitchen classics / Heston Blumenthal
Blumenthal has made his name creating such original dishes as Snail Porridge and Nitrogen Scrambled Egg and Bacon Ice Cream at his internationally acclaimed restaurant, The Fat Duck. In this book, he focuses on his creative talent on reinventing some of our most well-known (and most abused) dishes.
Tosca's note: I enjoy food/cooking but I'm no good at it. I couldn't care less if I I'm not good at it either. What I liked about this gem is the author's name. I know nothing at all about him but I think his name is unusual/great.
The elephant keeper [audiobook] read by Roger May / Christopher Nicholson
"I asked the sailor what an Elephant looked like; he replied that it was like nothing on earth. In the middle of the 18th century, a ship docks at Bristol with an extraordinary cargo: two young elephants. Bought by a wealthy landowner, they are taken to his estate in the English countryside. A stable boy, Tom Page, is given the task of caring for them. The Elephant Keeper is Tom's account of his life with the elephants. As the years pass, and as they journey across England, his relationship with the female elephant deepens in a startling manner. Along the way they meet incredulity, distrust and tragedy, and it is only their understanding of each other that keeps them together." -- Back cover.
Tosca's note: Apparently we have the book already but I'd never come across the title before. The audio book title is quirky enough to hook my interest. Kinda put me in mind of Gerald Durrell and I loves me some Durrell.
The tower, the zoo, and the tortoise / Julia Stuart
When Balthazar Jones is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower of London's walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then his wife Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise "runs" away.
Tosca's note: The inside of the novel notes that the story will appeal to readers who enjoyed 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' (my top read of 2008, incidentally) and 'Chocolat.' That, combined with the quirky sounding synopsis and title, sold me on the book straightaway :) And now has me thinking of my top 5 quirky fiction/nonfiction titles I really enjoyed. Thank you Claire!