That tip about foregoing grocery shopping when you're hungry is smart, if unrealistic. And evidently I wasn't the only ravenous post-workday customer dashing into Sprouts on the way home yesterday. When an enticing parcel of treats not even remotely suggested by my shopping list dived off the shelf straight into my cart, this shopper was understandably too weak to protest.
Ogling the package in question, the scrubs-clad customer behind me in the checkout line voiced an "Mmmmm" of approval. "You know," I offered, "I can crack this thing open right now."
"Thanks very much, but," she smiled, delving into her basket and brandishing another variety of indulgence, "I'm all set." Those goodies had been plucked from the same display as mine. Was it coincidence that my choice (I'm tall) came from the top shelf and the daintier height of the other customer correlated with her pick?
As a scan of our recent acquisitions will prove, publishers also market to us where we are, at least figuratively. Lately, they've noted, we're interested in reading about hoarding behavior and Titanic.
Jill Smolinski's Objects of My Affection considers why it is that things and the acquisition of things can take over our lives and families. A homeless woman ironically discovers that she can earn a living assisting another woman whose home is overrun with material possessions. Kirkus Reviews finds this new fiction title "a warm appraisal of our addiction to stuff." Kristina Riggle's Keepsake, due out in late June, chooses the torn-from-TLC theme of obsessive hoarding as a danger to family unity and physical safety. Two daughters of a hoarding mother develop into opposite models: one a compulsive cleaner, the other a second-generation accumulator threatened with the loss of her children as a consequence of continued stockpiling. In a starred review, Booklist predicts that readers will be "horrified yet sympathetic at the same time."
Which brings us to the 100th anniversary year of the sinking of Titanic and its consequent trove of new publications. You won't have seen most of these titles on the shelf; they've been checked out: Shadow of the Titanic: the extraordinary stories of those who survived by Andrew Wilson; Titanic tragedy: a new look at the lost liner by John Maxtone-Graham; Voyagers of the Titanic: passengers, sailors, shipbuilders, aristocrats, and the worlds they came from by Richard Davenport-Hines; Gilded lives, fatal voyage: the Titanic's first-class passengers and their world by Hugh Brewster; and Building the Titanic: an epic tale of the creation of history's most famous ocean liner by Rod Green.
And those are just the newest nonfiction picks: Fiction enthusiasts should know about Kate Alcott's The Dressmaker, Cathy Gohlke's Promise Me this, Mindy Starns Clark's Echoes of Titanic, Yvonne Lehman's Hearts That Survive, Tricia Goyer's By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and David Kowalski's The Company of the Dead.
These new offerings present no serious danger of clutter. They'll probably attract hold requests, which means that you'll read and return long before they evolve into stacks at home. As happens with tasty extras tucked into my grocery bag, residential space allocation is just not an issue.