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Yesterday, Chris and Allison‘s apartment burned to the ground. They lost everything they owned.

I’d originally written an incredibly sappy set of paragraphs here, because I’m as horribly saddened as I am furious. But all just seemed so stupid. They’ve lost everything. I love them so much.

If you’re a friend of theirs and want to help, we’ve set up this site.

Okay. Focusing on the positive. Books.

Monika sent the wish list for the Austin hospital, for those of you who were looking for it.

Peggy writes:

[readermail]I entered through the TWoP portal and sent the following to the Lakeview Branch:

Appetite: Why Women Want, by Caroline Knapp – because, gee, I’ve had a few issues with food in my life. Now and then.

and Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – because it’s one of John Cusack’s favorite books, and maybe he’ll read this, realize that he’s at last found the right woman, and give me a call. You have my permission to give him my email address if he contacts you, Pamie. :-)

Just joining the ranks of the cool kids who have been getting a little weepy reading lately, especially the notes from the librarians. Librarians were always nice to me when I was a kid (ok, actually, they still are when I get to a library, which is not near often enough), so it’s nice to make a librarian happy![/readermail]

From mis:

[readermail]I was holding off due to a lack of cash in the bank, but when I saw that Doug from Baylor donated Island of the Blue Dolphins and Where the Red Fern Grows (my two favorites as a child that actually made me cry before I understood that books and movies could make you emotional and that it was OK to cry because of a book or movieif that makes any sense at all), I had to donate something.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez” is going to Oakland. Just one book, but I figured that was OK.[/readermail]

Darren sent:

[readermail]Piedmont Avenue Library – Confucious: The Golden Rule
The Way We Do It in Japan
Montclair Branch Library – 50 Fast Digital Photography Techniques

Oakland Public Library – Betty Crocker’s Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today[/readermail]

Another anonymous donor:

[readermail]This Just In -Bob Schieffer
The Confessor -Daniel Silva
Almost There -Nuala O’Faolin
Birthright -Nora Roberts
Life Sentence -David Ellis
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere -ZZ Packer[/readermail]

From mara:

[readermail]I live right by Oakland (and commute through it on my way to work in San Francisco) and couldn’t in good consciousness be aware of what you were doing to help out (and oh yeah, those other people buying books too), without chipping in. Broke? I laugh at that! I’ve got credit cards with way too high daily interest! There in my wallet for a reason!

I bought the following books:

For the Lakeview Branch:

Basic Writings of Nietzsche by Peter Gay, et al

Because Nietzsche is cool! Or maybe because I wrote a paper on his theories in my 11th grade ‘Theoretical Psychology’ class and my teacher was so impressed with it, he gave me an ‘A’ for the whole semester just for that paper. So, like I said, Nietzsche kicks ass!

The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East – Ntaomi Shihab Nye (Editor)

Kids deserve to know of a world outside of what they hear Bush say. To refer to an entire section of the world as an ‘axis of evil’ saves Dubya a special seat where it’s nice and toasty and people in red pajamas are sticking him with pointy sticks all day![/Homer Simpson]

For the Main Branch, where a very close friend of mine works in Human Resources:

How to Prepare for the CAHSEE-Math : California High School Exit Exam by Jeff Hruby

If the state of California is now going to require an exit exam for graduating from high school, when it’s the governments’ fault students can’t even pass it in the first place, something has to be done.

SINGLE MOM: A Novel by Omar Tyree

You can never promote the dangers of unprotected sex too much.

Gee, I wish I could be more poetic in my ramblings, but this was the best I could come up with. Oh well.[/readermail]

From Amy:

[readermail]I was all inspired to send a donation to my hometown public library but of the 12 items on their list, 11 were unavailable (and the majority were Sweet Valley High videos) so instead the Montclair Branch of the Oakland Public Library is getting some books from me.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers -by Mary Roach

How could I pass that up?

Ruler of the Courtyard – by Rukhsana Khan

Because Saba is right – chickens are hella scary. I fear the children of Oakland have no idea.

Now that I’ve finally made my contribution (I’ve been thinking about it since you started this drive), I finally feel all warm and fuzzy. I can’t imagine how you must feel watching this all unfold. Yay, Pamie! Yay!

(I don’t have anywhere of my own to link…so….how about the American Library Association’s “Campaign to Save America’s Libraries”? )[/readermail]

See all the donations here.

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