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A Little Spring Reading

March 30, 2007

100_1166Chers Amis,

Once Spring arrives it is hard to resist her siren call.  It is quiet reading time here at le moulin.  Pippin and Scarlett retired upstairs to snuggle up with A Cricket in Times Square and various books on pioneers.  I sneaked came downstairs to work on the computer read blogs. The house was too quiet for comfort.  Where was Caddie?  In her room?  On the couch?  Out on the lounge chair on the deck?  Nope.  In the front garden.  At least she was reading!

What are you reading these days?  My husband jokes that I am addicted to reading.  He is right, whether on-line or in-hand, the written word is never far from my eyes.  Most of my non-digital reading is done at night when the little ones are in bed. Dh does not like me on the computer after dark. Dh and I sit down on our old green couch every evening and decompress, he with the Wall Street Journal or a sports event sur le tele and I with a pile of books, gardening catalogs, and the occasional magazine.  I love library-day night because I turn on our reading lamp with the stuffed bag next to me and  devour all the books I’ve checked out for the children one after the other like delicious literary ‘chips’.  I stack the meatier ‘mom’ books on the sofa table behind the couch and work through them during the week.  Here’s what I have on the table this week outside of my morning meditation reading/Bible (see side bar):

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard –  I have read this before, but am revisiting her lush descriptions of spring.

The War of the Worlds   by H. G. Wells –  Can you believe I have never read this or seen the movie? Strange but true.
If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat  by John Ortberg Boat
–  This is an excellent meditation on the gospel passage where Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water.  It challenges you as the  reader to think about how willing you are to get out of your comfort zone and step out in faith into the unknown.  Are you more likely to stay in the boat and reupolster the seats or try something new?  Why?  Very good.  Thanks for the recommendation, Carolyn.  Dh is actually reading this one too.

A Walk around the Pond: Insects in and over the Water
  by Gilbert Waldbauer – this is a non-fiction book about aquatic insects and thus a bit heavy, but we have been interested in ponds, lakes, insects and the like.  I am always fascinated by how interdependent species within even the smallest ecosystem can be.  The first chapter talks about life in tiny aquatic pools like tree pools, water in bamboo stalks, water in pitcher plants etc. It offers interesting details on giant damselflies in South America that eat spiders, how katydids egg laying in bamboo allows the inter nodal spaces to harbor life, and the life cycle of hover flies.  We have a lot of hover flies so Caddie and I thought it was neat.  (How dweebie are we?)

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the WorldMountians 
by Tracy Kidder –  I can’t say enough about this book, in fact, I find it hard to describe my reaction/feelings about it.  This is a true story, an amazing chronicle of how one man can make an enormous difference in the world. If you are looking for an inspiring read outside the regular spiritual realm, try this.  Think Mother Teresa as a doctor in Hati, Peru, and Russia. He is unconventional, so far off the political scale he defies a label.  He is totally motivated by the idea that no life is worth overlooking.  He is willing to walk 7 hours one way to see a patient or travel over 250,00 miles a year to testify before the World Health Organization.  He is a Harvard grad, a medical anthropologist and leading world expert on multi-drug resistant TB and he lives part time in a shack at his medical complex in Hati and the other in student housing in Cambridge.   He reminds me of the parable of the shepherd that is willing to leave the flock to save one sheep.  Very thought provoking.  I just finished it and want to go back and absorb it more fully.

And lastly, I must admit, I broke out my old, beaten up, coverless copy of the Fellowship of the Rings  to read the description of the house of Tom Bombadill and Goldberry.  Even though it takes place in autumn the description of Goldberry sitting before the white water lilies evoke spring for me.

"O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool! Fair river-daughter!
O spring-time and summer-time, and spring again after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves’ laughter!"

Oh,yeah,I am also reading a great birding/gardening book but that goes better with a post on
gardening to come and just started The Story of French.  It looks a bit dry.  We shall see. Don’t you LOVE reading!  I sure do!

— Marjorie

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 30, 2007 5:59 pm

    Mountains Beyond Mountains is an excellent book. I read it a couple years ago. I must confess that the only thing that troubled me was how little he saw his daughter. Maybe I shouldn’t have been worried about that, considering the ENORMOUS amount of good he’s done, but it did make me wonder why he’d gotten married? Your list looks great!

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