Books offer break from indifference to info

A World of Curiosities by John Oldale c.2012, Plume $16./$17 Canada 300 pages

This week's read

A World of Curiosities by John Oldale c.2012, Plume $16./$17 Canada 300 pages

The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva by David Haviland c.2012, Tarcher / Penguin $14.95/$16 Canada 336 pages

Your noggin is plumb full.

You’ve got appointments crammed there, as well as directions, grocery lists, kids’ schedules, weekend plans, and to-dos.

Your head is your calendar but it’s also full of useless things: your junior high locker combination, a jingle from 1980, a recipe for skyhigh-calorie brownies, Great-Grandma’s phone number, and the name of every pet you ever had.

In order.

So why not try to replace the needless noggin-info with something you can actually use to impress your friends, wile away the time, or win a bar bet? Why not put A World of Curiosities by John Oldale and The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva by David Haviland on your shelf?

So life is a little packed, and it’s all you can do to keep things straight most days. But just think: it could be worse. Refreshments could be made with cow urine (from India). Your kids could be Saligoman (“dirty brats,” a name for urchins in Rwanda), or you could’ve been born in Swaziland, where you would’ve been a “nonperson” until you were three months old.

Speaking of “nonpersons,” you’ve also got to remember appointments for that mid-sized dog-like creature (and be glad it’s not a Tasmanian devil). Rejoice, while you’re at it, that you don’t have a farting gorilla (Rwanda) or a fat-tailed sheep (Syria). Be happy Fido is no unicorn (originally from Pakistan).

And then there’s work: some days, it’s practically like World War I (which was not the first World War, according to Churchill). You’d swear your cubemate descends from Genghis Khan (16 million men do).

Working with him is like being in a minefield (be prepared to escape one of those) and you’re really glad Prohibition is over (although public drunkenness rates went up then).

Maybe you need a vacation. Maybe you should go north (Canadians are the most-liked people on Earth). Maybe you should move to Ghana (where they custom-make coffins). But before you go, check your suitcase for surprises. Roger Mortimer’s wife and Lady Raleigh could explain why…

Admit it: sometimes, novels are good but there are times when you want to read something that won’t make you think too hard. Enter The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva and A World of Curiosities.

Author David Haviland’s book is a little bit more in-depth than many of this type. Still, each of the chapters are short enough to read in 10 minutes or less and interesting enough to make you want to read more on the topic at hand.

Browsing author John Oldale’s offering is exactly what you’ll want to do when you pick it up. His book takes you on a worldwide look at history, customs, and quirks in other countries and since the bits are bite-sized, you can customize your read-time.

I love things like this for summertime and I’m pretty sure you will, too. Even if your noggin is already packed with nuggets like these, The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva and A World of Curiosities are both books to wrap your brain around.

Just Posted

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

WCPS looks to its schools and communities for new mission, vision, values and beliefs

WCPS’s Board looks to students, and staff in advance of larger community engagement

Ponoka H&R Block celebrates 45 years of business in town

The company president stopped by for a visit to congratulate the Ponoka branch for its longevity

Couple marries in Ponoka after 65 years apart

The couple were born in Scotland and went to the same school and dated before his family moved

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

Wilson-Raybould’s cabinet move due to departure from team: Trudeau

Jody Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying

Single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry, we got you

A round up of some of the funny memes out there for singles this Valentine’s Day

Most Read