When there’s a book on hold ready for me to pick up, the library sends an email. Sometimes I check the hold shelf even if I didn’t get a message — just in case something should arrive. I miss the days when I browsed the shelves, just looking for a book that sounded interesting or coming across a title that I’d meant to read but hadn’t had the time. The pure serendipity of discovering a new book or author seems rare these days when what I usually do is put things on hold, and then pick them up. Check the hold shelf “just in case” is about as near as I get to surprising myself with what I’m going to read next. Anyway, today a wonderful surprise was waiting for me: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. Lucky me!