Monday, August 24, 2009

Mailbox Monday - August 24

Mailbox Monday is my other regular Monday post. The meme is kindly hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page each week.

This week I got several books despite my best intentions to not buy more books:

Dewey The Small-town Library Cat Who Touched The World
Viki Myron and Bret Witter
Jacket Description:
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.

Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.

As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.
Dewey was a lucky find at the local library. On the sale shelf, but not a mark on the book. I'd swear it hadn't been read before. And, how can you resist that cover?

Celtic Myth
James Harpur
One of the books from the World Of Mythology series. Beautifully illustrated.

Jewels A Secret History
Victoria Finlay
Jacket blurb:
Throughout history, precious stones have inspired passions and poetry, quests and curses, sacred writings and unsacred actions. In this scintillating book, journalist Victoria Finlay embarks on her own globe-circling search for the real stories behind some of the gems we prize most. Blending adventure travel, geology, exciting new research, and her own irresistible charm, Finlay has fashioned a treasure hunt for some of the most valuable, glamorous, and mysterious substances on earth.

With the same intense curiosity and narrative flair she displayed in her widely-praised book Color, Finlay journeys from the underground opal churches of outback Australia to the once pearl-rich rivers of Scotland; from the peridot mines on an Apache reservation in Arizona to the remote ruby mines in the mountains of northern Burma. She risks confronting scorpions to crawl through Cleopatra’s long-deserted emerald mines, tries her hand at gem cutting in the dusty Sri Lankan city where Marco Polo bartered for sapphires, and investigates a rumor that fifty years ago most of the world’s amber was mined by prisoners in a Soviet gulag.

Jewels is a unique and often exhilarating voyage through history, across cultures, deep into the earth’s mantle, and up to the glittering heights of fame, power, and wealth. From the fabled curse of the Hope Diamond, to the disturbing truths about how pearls are cultured, to the peasants who were once executed for carrying amber to the centuries-old quest by magicians and scientists to make a perfect diamond, Jewels tells dazzling stories with a wonderment and brilliance truly worthy of its subjects.
Jewels is another book that looked interesting, and was a good price. Just flipping through it in the store brought to light all kinds of neat things, like the story of the first synthetic emeralds.

Dictionary of Mythology

J. A. Coleman
This is a book I've been looking at off and on for a while. I finally broke down and bought it. Historical figures, legendary figures, gods, goddesses, mythical creatures (I hope), all of them arranged in alphabetical order, with brief descriptions, name variants, and originating region. Bought for reference, but it's actually turning out to be an interesting read/skim.
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