Sunday, May 28, 2006

Better than the Beach, Almost

This being Memorial Day weekend, I would normally be at the beach, but as our family was away last weekend, it seemed better for all concerned to spend this weekend at home catching up.

Instead, I sashayed down to the local university library, which is at its nicest in the summer. No pesky undergraduates hogging the tables, speaking at a volume generally best reserved for rock concerts and sporting events. Just me and a few other stray grown-ups and stacks and stacks and stacks of books. I get trembly just thinking about it.

Anyway, while I was there I picked up Michael Prestwich's Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience. It's not a new book--it was first published in 1995--but it's not one that I'd come across before. In the little time I've had to read selected portions of it, I'm finding it extremely useful for research purposes. There are chapters on "The Logistics of War," "The Navy," "Siege Warfare," and "Battle," among many others, all geared to inteligent readers who nonetheless don't have a thorough familiarity with medieval warfare. Take a look at it, especially if you're a writer struggling with a battle scene.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I really like the university library during the summer, too! It's when I get most of my work done. Many of the summer students at EIU are older, which means the library's a lot quieter than usual, and the students don't have as many pizza parties in the stacks.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Pizza parties? The little buggers should be shot.

At least the nutcases seem to stay out of this library. The library at my undergraduate university must have had a sign out someplace welcoming them. I still have er, interesting, memories of the gent who flashed me when I was in the periodicals reading room.

Gabriele C. said...

Ouch, they would not let anyone with a pizza even near the building here. :)

Well, into the cafeteria, yes, but not the reading and working halls. And woe anyone who more than whispers in there, preferably restricted to one sentence every ten minutes or so. ;)

I still prefer to work at home, though, but being single, there isn't much distraction I could not get away from (like the internet).

Sarah said...

They are pretty lax about food rules at my library, and the smell of french fries can be mighty distracting at times. We don't have a cafeteria, but there are a bunch of study tables in the reference room that are often used for groups (and, by consequence, group meals). I draw the line at any food product getting anywhere near the computers, however.

Gabriele C. said...

Make sure they don't use french fries as bookmarks.

Our town library once had an exhibition about things they find in books. Eewww, simply eewww.

Susan Higginbotham said...

The library I use has a little exhibit of food no-nos, along with plastic flies and roaches sitting next to the forbidden foods.