Summer reading #1

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death and Technopoly: Well-written and thought-provoking, not to mention tailor-made for a dystopia junkie like yours truly.

Roald Dahl, Boy and (not pictured) Going Solo: Roald Dahl's life was awesome. If you don't like reading biography, start now.

George Macdonald, The Complete Fairy Tales: This is the stuff I grew up on... no wonder I was such a weird child. Some old favorites, plus some stuff I hadn't read before: perfect for reading on a rainy night with a stack of Oreos.

Diana Wynne Jones, House of Many Ways: Sequel to Howl's Moving Castle (one of my favorite books). Not quite as much fun, imho, as the other not-quite-as-directly-related sequel, Castle in the Air, but still loads of fun.

Daphne du Maurier, Mary Anne: A pleasantly embellished account of the tempestuous life of Mary Anne Clarke, an early-1800's courtesan who was also du Maurier's great-great-grandmother.

Arthur Plotnik, Spunk and Bite: So good. And if Plotnik knew I used that phrase after reading his book, he'd probably hit me over the head with it.

Peter Leithart, Deep Comedy: Deep. I can't wait to take Dr Leithart's class.

Smith/Kiger, Poplorica: Perky and informative, like reading a collection of history presentations... albeit a little more scandalous.

Books: 10
Pages: 2412
If you read one, read: Going Solo.



Yesterday, I took Chloe to the zoo as an 8-months-late birthday celebration, and discovered a new passion: the capybara. If I can find this picture in a resolution larger than the length of my ring finger, I will put it on the wall of my apartment.

* Amendment: I found it for sale, but it also needs to cost less than I spend on groceries in a week.



Last summer's soundtrack was Rubber Soul.

This summer's will be Revolver. I can tell already.



A raisin may be a humiliated grape, but a chocolate-covered raisin is a humiliated grape that is sown in dishonor and raised in glory. Happy Ascension Day in advance.

This year has been exciting, exhilarating, exhausting, extraordinary. May a blessed finals week be upon you all.


cherry blossoms

Thirteen years ago this summer, we moved into a new house in a new neighborhood. Unlike our old house, #7 in a row of 17 townhouses squashed together like so many gummy bears in the bulk bin, this new house abounded with yard space. We went to work filling it with trees: two apple trees, which were "Dad's trees," a magnolia for Mom, a spruce picked out by Fraser, and my tree, a Japanese maple of the cute 4-foot-high variety. My first choice would have been an ornamental cherry tree, but for some reason, that wasn't going to work. I contented myself with wandering down the rows of young trees at the nursery, drinking in their scent and sneezing when the pollen became too much for my nose to handle.
The cemetery and surrounding grounds at the Spalding mission took me back there, to when I was a seven-year-old defining her ideal adult life in terms of the trees and plants that would grow around her house. The dream hasn't changed.