Saturday, 9 February 2013

Books and a Snow Day

We were hit with a wonderful snowstorm yesterday. We must have shoveled the driveway and sidewalks three or four times, not wanting to let it accumulate to the point where we couldn't dig out. I am recovering from surgery, so I left the heavy machinery to my husband and just cleaned along after him with a shovel. The garden is a soft sculpture in meringue - windblown curves two feet deep, drifts in fantastic shapes. The statue of the praying temple boy is buried all but his head, which sticks out of a snowbank as if he's wrapped in a cozy white blanket. This morning the sunrise was golden and magical, lighting specks of tiny snowflakes drifting lazily - slow motion - through the air, like pixie dust.

I love the feeling of being snowed in, with nowhere I have to go and nothing I have to do. It was a great way to end my four-week time off work. I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's book Flight Behavior, and it was perfect to curl up with, with one puppy at my feet and the other spread over my stomach like a hot water bottle.

For years I have kept a notebook of the books I have read, with notations about whether I liked them or not. I have found this handy since my memory is going. If I can't remember if I've read a book or not, I can look it up and see, and I can also see if it's worth rereading. There are some books I reread every year or so, such as Martha Grimes's series. My memory is so bad, I don't remember how the books end, so I am able to enjoy them all over again as if for the first time.

Skimming through my notebook, I realize I have a very eclectic taste in books. I go through phases, too. One month I'll read entirely classic stuff, like Jane Austin or Charles Dickens. And then I'll go through a Back-to-the-Land phase and read nothing but "How to Grow Everything You Need on an Acre" type of stuff.  Here's just a sampling of what I've read (ones I'd recommend):

  • Mr. Monk on the Road by Lee Goldberg
  • A Nation Worth Ranting About by Rick Mercer
  • Horse Sense for People by Monty Roberts
  • Letters from Wingfield Farm by Dan Needles
  • Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
  • Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
  • Environmental Restoration: Ethics, Theory and Practice by William Throop
  •  The Importance of Lunch by John Allemang
  • The Egg and I by Betty McDonald
  • No Greater Love by Mother Teresa
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall
  • Day Spring: The Coming Water Crisis of North America by Chris Wood
  • Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox
  • Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato by Arthur Allen
  • Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid by Lemony Snicket

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