Monday, October 18, 2021
Oct. 18, 2021

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Check It Out: Nine titles linked to number 9 for ninth month


Do you have a favorite number? Mine happens to be nine. Why? I can’t really say. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, numerology is “the study of the occult significance of numbers.” Although I have a strong feeling about the number nine, I do not assign any meaning to nine beyond its place in mathematics. Just as I am drawn to the color turquoise, I am drawn to the number nine. It’s as simple as that.

It seems appropriate, then, to write a column about the number nine during the ninth month of the year. Keeping with the theme, I have selected nine titles for your reading pleasure. When you look at a title, the relationship to nine may not be immediately obvious. That’s why I’ve written a brief annotation to explain the “nine-ish” connection to each book. This is yet another glimpse into how my brain works. Welcome to my world.

  • “Beautifully Organized at Work: Bring Order and Joy to Your Work Life So You Can Stay Calm, Relieve Stress, and Get More Done Each Day” by Nikki Boyd.

I’m not sure how many 9-5 jobs exist anymore, but the working life is ever present. Whether you work in an office or from home, this book offers plenty of advice on how to make your work space — and life — calm and organized.

  • “Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto” by Alan Stern.

Poor Pluto. You used to be known as the ninth planet from our sun, but now you’ve been reclassified as a dwarf planet. Well, you’re still a planet to me, and you’re still number nine, so planetary blessings upon you, dear little Pluto.

  • “The Complete Golf Manual” by Steve Newell.

I’ve tried to “play” golf a couple of times, and trust me, nine holes is eight too many for this duffer. But I greatly admire anyone who can play golf well. Perhaps I can learn a thing or two (or a thousand) from this golf manual.

  • “Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life” by John Gray.

The obvious connection here is to the phrase “cats have nine lives.” What’s not as obvious but clearly entertaining is to read John Gray’s deep thoughts on pussycats and philosophy.

  • “Nearing Ninety: And Other Comedies of Late Life” by Judith Viorst.

I’ve often wondered: is reaching the 90s age-wise a blessing or a curse? Maybe a little bit of both as revealed in Judith Viorst’s wise, humorous, poetic words on becoming a nonagenarian.

  • “Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems” by Irene Latham.

Never heard of a nonet? It’s a nine-line poem, with nine syllables in the first line, eight in the second, seven in the third, and so on, until one syllable in the ninth and final line. This children’s book pays tribute to this nine-a-licious poetical form.

  • “Nine-Patch Revolution: 20 Modern Quilt Projects” by Jenifer Dick.

Quilts are wonderful; nine-patch quilts are nine-tastic! Enough said.

  • “The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824” by Harvey Sachs.

Regarded by many as Beethoven’s greatest composition, the Ninth Symphony continues to stand the test of time. I say it’s because it’s number nine, and who can argue with that?

  • “Swing Kings: The Inside Story of Baseball’s Home Run Revolution” by Jared Diamond.

A game that has nine players and nine innings lines up nicely with my favorite number.

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. Email her at