Saturday, March 28, 2009

25 books I love

Did I post something like this already? Maybe.

I don't care. Here I go again:
  1. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
  2. Jane Eyre By Charlotte Brontë
  3. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
  4. Ender's Game and/or Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card‡
  5. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  6. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  7. Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss*
  8. Beowulf trans by Seamus Heaney
  9. The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy‡
  10. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis‽
  11. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry†
  12. The Professor's House by Willa Cather
  13. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  14. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez* ü
  15. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison*
  16. The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper
  17. Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks‽
  18. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell* ‡
  19. The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith‡
  20. The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald† ‡
  21. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli†
  22. Light in August by William Faulkner*
  23. Tunes for Bears to Dance To or I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier†
  24. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson‡
  25. Night by Elie Wiesel ü


*contains serious, sometimes disturbing, mature themes (if it was a movie, it’d probably be PG-13 or R)
†Younger Readers (ages ~10-15, though adult readers will likely enjoy these too)
‡Series – other books to explore after you finish the title on this list
üHistorical Fiction

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How fast do you bleed?*

I've always been quite the bleeder. Stick a needle in me and you can fill a blood bag quicker than Bill Sproat can take off his shirt at an Aggie's game (see my post from Saturday). When I was in college I used to donate platelets, both for free and for $$ (back when they did that-- pay money for platelets, I mean). In that case they'd stick TWO needles in me and I'd sit back and watch a movie for a couple of hours. Pocket change + feel good about yourself. And, the folks at ARUP treat you like royalty if you are a regular platelet donor. Really. 

Not a bad way to spend two hours. 

Point being . . . I'm a good bleeder. Big, needle-ready veins, I guess. 

Our stake organized a blood drive for today and Keri and I arranged to go together. After we got there, she was griping about me getting in the chair first because the phlebotomists always have a tought time sticking her. Sometimes her veins are hard to find. She doesn't want me to finish first and eat all the snacks . . . whatever.

So there I am, kind of gloating about being so speedy. The Red Cross volunteer tending my bleed is playing along-- cheering me on. Keri's volunteer isn't looking so happy about this quasi-competition. Sort of a protocol purist, I'm thinking. 

I finish my donation and I'm feeling pretty happy with myself. Out of the blue, Keri's volunteer leans over to take a gander at my donation time (down on the scale thingie). "5:34 seconds," she inones to Keri, "That's your time to beat." I blink.

"No problem," I think. Keri's never beaten me at speedy blood donating. 

Turns out I'm wrong. I've lost my bragging rights until the Red Cross comes to town again.

Keri's time . . . 5:18.

If you are able to donate blood, you should contact the Red Cross and find out how to donate. As they say, "The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood."