24 October 2008

The library augury: BC picks from the card catalog

Once again, throughout the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance, you'll find thoughtful selections for the Breeders' Cup. While other TBA members may turn to the traditional tools of the handicapper's trade to uncover the angles for this weekend's races, here at Turf Luck, you'll find a different approach: the Quinella Queen has replaced her crown with a scarlet headscarf (and the most awesome hoop earrings ever!) to bow before the oaken drawers of the aging card catalog -- and thus divine the future in obscure 3x5 cards. Here's what the catalog has to say about Friday's Breeders' Cup card:

Filly Mare Sprint
While I was astonished to discover that actual books have been written about Jesse Ventura, I was simply delighted to find that A Mania for Magnificence looks at both American and European culture, truly a good omen for Stormy Atlantic offspring. However, I could not resist when the catalog tempted me with Zaftig: The Case for Curves by Edward St. Paige. True, there's only one curve in the race, but the catalog and I both find it amusing to consider the word "zaftig" in connection with anything Californian.

Catalog card for Zaftig

Juvenile Fillies Turf
The catalog first pointed me to Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, and though it has one of those titles that I love to roll around in my head, I couldn't make it through this first novel from Stephen King's pseudonymous son , so rejected it as merely a tremor in the catalog force.

I then spent a few moments contemplating the many cookie books from Mrs. Fields, feeling a tad guilty that I was never such a Sugar Mom.. But at last, I found myself clutching the card for Naughty Girls' Night In by Shana Dutie. I noticed that you can find this book shelved in the Business section of the Brooklyn Public Library, and I reflected on Naughty Night: isn't that just another way to say Saucey Evening?

Catalog card for Saucey Evening

Juvenile Fillies
You can't read the entries for this field without humming a tune, but since last year's disastrous selection of a Dylan Thomas audiotape, I'm ignoring audiovisual materials completely this year.

So, even though I know the notes to sing, I will not glance at The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Doremifasolatido not withstanding. Likewise, there will be no crying for Evita Argnetina here, despite Nicholas Fraser's excellent memoir, Evita. And, fond as I am of coal-miner's daughters everywhere, that darn Loretta Lynn CD, Van Lear Rose, is staying in the Music Room's cabinet.

Instead, in these risky times, it seems, well, prudent, to follow the catalog's pick of Be Smart, Act Fast, Get Rich, a stock market guide from Charles V. Payne.

Catalog card for Be Smart
Filly & Mare Turf
I'm sure I could find a few Folk Operas gathering dust in the Music Room, but in light of my book-only resolution, my only catalog options are Halfway to Heaven, a well-crafted romance by Susan Wiggs that's set in 19th century Washington DC and Wait a While, a children's book about waiting for a surprise. The catalog seems to like them equally, so I'm my own here. Hmmn ... it's an election year, right? So the nod goes to the DC setting and Wiggs' numerous RITA awards. And hey, what's a Filly Friday without a little romance?

Distaff; or Filly and Mare Classic; or The Race whose name we cannot speak.....
Darn that book-only rule! I have to reject the catalog card for Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police.. Oh, but wait -- there's a book! Right there in the contents line of The Words and Music of Sting by Christopher Gable, you'll find ... Zenyatta. Go girl!

The muse tires now, but we'll be back late on Friday with our picks of Breeders' Cup: Saturday Edition.