Friday, April 27, 2012

Not Just Hiking - April 2012

Want to see what I am reading and have read before I post my complete list at the end of the month? Want to know when I read a book or what I am going to read? Check out my Goodreads page. Want to see a list of every physical book in this house? Want to know what my husband read? Want to know what my kids own? Visit LibraryThing.


Physics on the Fringe by Margaret Wertheim

Flight to Heaven by Dale Black
We have a passion for flying stories in this family. My husband liked this book so much that he bought 35 copies just so he could give them away.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Surprised how seeing the movie first - for many of my book club friends - caused them to read things in the book that just. weren't. there.

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
I should have taken more science classes in college. Maybe then I would have understood this book better. What I did understand, I quite liked.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I enjoyed parts of this book. When she was writing about being on the trail I could see what she saw and was able to understand her experiences. However, I found her too casual approach to her drug use and sexual behavior (and the lack of remorse or regret) too distracting from the story.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
A roller coaster of a book.  Michelle Duggar should read this.  Absolutely breathtaking and amazing.

Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean
Disappointing, but I think I expected too much from a biography of a dog.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff
One of the best books I have read this year.  I loved each and every one of the characters for their fragile beauty and their resilience in the face of their damage.  So far ... my vote for next year's Tournament of Books.  I'd read more of Groff's work.  I was definitely worth the $3.00 in fines I racked up because I refused to take it back to the library until I read it.  I was not going to wait 99 more times.

Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Two great books in a row and this one is the funniest book I have ever read.  But I am not recommending it to everyone.  Don't like vampire zombies ... not for you.  Have issues with profanity ... also not for you.  Think buying a 6 foot metal chicken because your husband told you not to by towels is a great idea ...  this should be on your list.  First on your list.   I have read the chapter on the metal chicken (on her blog and in her book) about 20 times and I still laugh EVERY time I read it. Our loud.  Pee my pants.  Having a bad day ... turn to Jenny. Just a chapter will help. Not only will you laugh, but you will realize that it isn't as bad as you thought it was. You don't have pugs rising from the dead in YOUR backyard. Do you?

City Slickers
"If hate were people, I'd be China."

Book in April: 9
Books in 2012: 35

Looking forward to ... Monday?

My husband is on a plane on his way home from Jack's funeral. What an emotional roller coaster week it was. I'm on my way to take the dog to the kennel because this weekend we are hanging with the Boy Scouts on a campout in the snow. Monday we all (including the dog) will be home together. Can't wait.

Has anyone else noticed that blogging - in general - falls off in the Spring and Summer? Too busy to write.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good-bye, Dear Friend

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Gillespie Magee

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Where I Am

This might seem depressing, but I am OK. I really am.

We are still in Canada. Husband still has a job. Nice man from corporate intervened and made things livable. We are still considering other options, but the urgency is not there.

But my heart is bruised. I believe in people. I give them the benefit of the doubt. I see the good before the bad. I have lost some of that. I have lost a lot of that. Even worse, my husband, who is a better person than I am, has lost it too.

We also learned that one of our very dearest friends is in the final stages of terminal cancer. Jack was the father figure my husband turned to after his father died. And now I am watching the man I love go through that pain all over again. And Jack is so far away. I can't comfort him or his family. I can't even comfort my husband. This loss will be too great.

So I am cocooning. I am working on some projects at home. I am cleaning out some physical and mental cobwebs. I am reading a little, but not much interests me. Who knows what I will want to write about here.

I am waiting for Spring and hoping that it brings more than its usual touch of promise this year.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Such Promise

A few weeks ago I read what I thought was a glowing review of Margaret Wertheim's Physics on the Fringe. I was hooked.

We honor them because science is only a small part of human capability. We gain knowledge of our place in the universe not only from science but also from history, art, and literature. Science is a creative interaction of observation with imagination. “Physics at the Fringe” is what happens when imagination loses touch with observation.

The review had hooked me and I was sure that reading Wertheim's book would reel me into a world of dissident scientists who use what the see and know to explain the world around them. I was sure to be entertained and fascinated by the lives of these "noble" men searching for a truth they could understand.

Turns out, however, that what I was attracted to was Freeman Dyson's writing. His review is ten times better than what Wertheim produces. His writing is beautiful and powerful and finds a connection between science and art. I thought Werthiem's book was slow and plodding and boring. She managed to take a highly imaginative and interesting human and bore me to sleep with his life. Shame. There was such promise.

A note about reading. I am waiting. Waiting for the book that grabs me and holds me and rewards me for my efforts. I am looking for The Sisters Brothers or The Night Circus of 2012. I am looking for the book that keeps me engaged and entertained until the end. Actually, after close to 25 books this year, I am praying for that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Woo Hoo

O.K. so Kansas didn't win the NCAA tournament. But, wow, watching that Kentucky basketball team was like watching a ballet. It was beautiful (and I don't even like basketball).

I did, however, rock one bracket! The Sisters Brothers won the Tournament of Books. And it beat Open City which I didn't like. I agree with Amy that it made me feel stupid. And I find Teju Cole to be a bit self-righteous.