This poem (which may or may not be published on the website yet) recently won me US$100. Not enough for a washing machine. But enough for these three books, a pair of sexy, sexy dancing heels, and 2 bus fares. Which, while I still will have to wash my clothes by hand, has the advantage of making me one very, very tall washerwoman with some intelligent subject matter to ponder while taking a scrub brush to my jeans. This is how I rationalize my serious weakness for anything with a bit of clever leather and a heel in a size 39...and my even more serious weakness for books of all languages and ages and states of being. I restrained myself today. For which my pocketbook and my bookshelves are extremely grateful. (In defense? The shoes were on sale and there was a promotional discount on one of the books...defensible, no?)
The books are:
-a real, live Portuguese dictionary. The bilingual ones aren't cutting it anymore, and this little student edition was 10% the cost of the real thing.
-Predictably Irracional, which I read about in a magazine down here and have found fascinating reading. The subject matter falls somewhere in the hazy spheres between psychology, behavioral studies, marketing research and economics.
-A Concise History of Brasil. Because my knowledge of that subject is woefully, woefully lacking. And concise is a good place to start. All the other history books were about the royal court in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1800's or wild-west-type renegades, neither of which felt appropriate for winter reading.
(Not on this list, but purchased this week, was a book of Biblical stories by famous and not-so-famous authors. I'd say about 2/3 of the book is represented by South American or Spanish-speaking authors and the other 1/3 spans the rest of the continents and language groups (Russian, English, French). There are some fantastic stories in this collection. Note: Mark Twain, "The Diary of Adam and Eve," Honoré de Balzac, “Jesus Christ in Flanders,” and Leopoldo Lugones, “The Rain of Fire." Excellent. Excellent.)
I broke the shoes in while talking on the phone with a friend, dancing invisible samba in my living room and then propping myself, in pyjamas, up into the hammock, with these 3-inch tall pieces of magic still on my feet. As is evidenced by this photo:
Now all I need is a pair of ballet slippers. To throw into my bag so that when I can't take being 6 feet tall anymore, I don't have to walk around barefoot.