We did something we rarely do, not just because it’s unethical but because it could easily complicate the already overly complex life of the Collector who seems to be in a contest with the Administrative Assistant to see how much crap they can have piled on them without whining. Our unethical act was to snatch a book out of the huge dump of uncatalogued new arrivals made possible by the turn of the fiscal year, something we have always suspected happens far too often at the much bigger, much less disciplined library up the street where, in the days before Hot Off The Presses, you frequently waited as long as a year for the fiction staff to finish passing around the latest Doris Lessing or whatever was lighting their literary fire. What we snatched was Merrill Markoe’s Nose Down, Eyes Up and, we are pleased to say, we have not lost our booksnatching skills, because we spent about three happy hours laughing our ass off. Full disclosure: Nose Down, Eyes Up is about a guy who finds he can carry on conversations with his dogs, so it is not a book for people who don’t think Dogs Playing Poker is terrific art the way we do. As if talking dogs weren’t good enough, the book is set in the canyons off of Malibu which we think is a hilarious part of the country. And, get this, Merrill Markoe is a woman! Yes! Even though her narrator is 47 year old handyman with what are widely agreed upon by most women to be childish, and that is to say typical, susceptibility to a well turned shoulder, Markoe pulls it off and makes it look easy. So now we’ll go see what else she’s done. The book is back in the ready-to-be-catalogued stack, by the way, so you can check it out way quicker than you can at the Public.