Just Browsing

Just BrowsingI love to go to the library. Really go, not just log in from home or my phone. Of course I do that too, but here is one big reason I go — browsing. I just love what I find when I’m browsing the shelves. It may be something new to intrigue, something old and forgotten or something I wouldn’t have seen yesterday because it didn’t occur to me until this morning!

Here’s what I found today.

Sex on Six LegsSex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect Word by Marlene Zuk

If you ask me if insect social and behavioral patterns are an interest of mine, the answer is no; so I would never probably go out of my way to find this book. But when I was browsing there was something in the title, the cover art and then flipping through the table of contents that made me rethink my position on the subject. With chapters like “So two fruit flies go into a bar” and “Parenting and the rotten corpse” you have to admit you too are curious, right? This study, by Marlene Zuk, of lessons learned from the insect world and applied to human concerns, more than adequately suits my desire to find something new to intrigue. Visual ThinkingStop by the library and I’ll let you how it turns out.

Visual Thinking by Rudolf Arnheim

So over a decade ago this book, Visual Thinking, was required reading in a class I was taking on the interrelatedness of music and visual art. In it, Arnheim discusses how perception is affected by visual stimuli and vice versa. This book gave me a lot to think about. I even did a presentation on the cognitive significance of signs and symbols based on a chapter. Well, as every college student knows, required reading doesn’t always happen, and I guess I Chicago Then and Nowcan admit now that I didn’t read all of this book. But I really liked it and now that I’ve passed it on the shelf, it’s just begging to be finished.

Chicago Then & Now by Elizabeth McNulty

This is the first thing that jumped out at me when I went to browse the shelves this morning, and it won’t take a psychologist to understand why. I’m a night owl. Last night I faded to sleep watching Geoffrey Baer’s PBS special on the history of the Chicago Lakefront. While watching it I learned new things and remembered things I’d forgotten.  It was filled with amazing images of places I’ve seen many times. And as in McNulty’s book they are strangely cloaked in history. So today I’m going to spend some time looking over McNulty’s fascinating then and now pictures of well-known Chicago locations and when I head downtown this summer I’ll be able to experience the City with the past and the present both in my mind’s eye.


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