Monday, July 20, 2009

How's Your Beowulf on the Beach Book Coming Along? Are You on Target for the Party August 27th?

We hope you are enjoying your summer reading projects, whether you're participating in our Beowulf on the Beach Summer Reading Challenge, or you're helping your kids get through their Get Caught Reading lists.

As for me, I've picked Moby Dick as my Beowulf on the Beach book. I was going to save it for our vacation to Florida in late July, but I got a head start. That way, I'll still be on target even if I consume too many bikini maritinis to be able to concentrate at the beach. (It can happen. And then you wake up with drool stains on your book.)

I'm thrilled to report that so far, Jack Murnighan is dead on with his "field guide" to Moby Dick. Murnighan insists it's actually quite funny. Although I wasn't completely convinced, I've meant to read this book for a long time, and Murnighan was my tipping point. I never read it in high school, but I did skim it while reading Ahab's Wife by Sena J. Naslund. (The story of the imaginary wife of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick.)

But now I can confirm that reading Herman Melville at my (ahem) mature age is a riot. Melville reminds me of some of my favorite straight-faced jokesters. Those kind of people totally crack me up. You know how you try to make eye contact to get them to smile, but they just won't respond? So you're left to wonder, is it just me? That awkward moment of possible misunderstanding is so delicious.

There's a scene early on in Moby Dick where two sailors share the same accomodations at the overcrowded "Spouter Inn". (Okay, Melville's messing with me already.) Ishmael is a thoughtful teacher turned sailor who is pretty squeamish about bunking with Queequeg, a Fiji Island version of Rubeus Hagrid. Anyway, the scene is hilariously cozy, and you're left to wonder: did they just hook up? Come on Melville, make eye contact with me!

So anyway, I hope you're enjoying your Beowulf on the Beach Challenge as much as I am so far. We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below - don't be shy! You've got more than a month to go until the Bookstore cocktail party (featuring an appearance by Jack Murnighan himself!). It's not until August 27th at 7pm, so you still have time for many of the great classics in Murnighan's book. Maybe not War & Peace, but there are plenty of others under 400 pages. If you haven't picked out your book yet, just stop in and our staff will help you make your selection. (Yes, this is a great job!)

Don't forget to call (630)469-2891 or email us at to register for the party.

Happy Summer Reading!

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