10 September 2007

Sshhh, I'm Trying to Read

I rarely, if ever, read the popular trendy books that everyone is reading. So it's sort of surprising to me that I placed a library hold on Rob Gifford's China Road as soon as I heard about it. It's a great book; Gifford's writing is engaging, and he breaks down his complex subject into digestible bits. Unfortunately, I know that others are in line behind me at the library, and I won't be able to renew it. Right now I seem to be reading it just to get it read by the due date, rather than reading it for the joy of reading.

Also, for all of his talk about forces that shape China, he doesn't talk much about dirt. Oh, sure, he mentions loess midway through, but he doesn't really ponder the significance of the matter. It's a good thing I have David Montgomery's Dirt: the Erosion of Civilizations.

Ah, Dirt. Montgomery's book is so good that I feel guilty reading it. Who knew dirt could be so fascinating? Actually, I enjoyed soil science back in college (the fact that I tended to fall asleep during lecture was strictly because the class was right after lunch and the room was warm, you know). I mean, I wasn't hardcore about it -- I drew the line at attending soil judging contests, which I considered a little over the top insofar as dirt-appreciation goes (although, really, I think I'd kick butt at one). Actually, you don't have to be a dirt-o-phile (dirthead?) to enjoy this book. A history buff would find it fascinating, as it gives a new look at the rise and fall of civilizations.

And, of course, when not reading up on China and/or dirt, I'm pulling out a copy of Eric Franklin's Conditioning for Dance along with some theraband knockoffs from Target. This is a book you don't so much read as experience. I work on the exercises myself, then share them with the kids as ways to dance with more ease. My interest in the subject was piqued by the amazing dance kinesiology posts at Taoknitter. I get such a thrill everytime my bloglines page shows that she's posted something new -- she's as exciting as, well, as dirt! I love to soak up the information I'm finding on how the body moves, and how to support children as they learn to move in ways dictated by dance or sports.

The above are all library books, being read with the tyranny of the due date in mind. The books I actually own tend to get shoved to the bottom of the stack. For example, I had originally gotten Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurologiacl Conditions through Interlibrary Loan; I hurried right through the book since it had large NO RENEWALS stamped all over it. And then I bought me own copy. I'm re-reading it now, after which I will loan it out to others that have expressed interest in the subject. Except, you know, there's no due date on it, so I don't have a deadline for finishing it. Which is a shame, because it's a life-changing book that I really should finish up and loan out.

Oh, and should I mention Ani's Raw Food Kitchen?. It's a really creative un-cook-book. I mean, once you get over how many trees were destroyed to fill the pages with photos of Ani, and once you get over the incredibly rambling writing style, and once you get over your hang up that a 100 percent raw vegan diet is deeply flawed, well then, you can enjoy the book. Raw cooks have some pretty creative food prep ideas, and Ani has some of the best of the lot.

I'm not counting in this list the various books our Sunday School has been studying, given that I never finished the last one (Ortberg's If You Want to Walk on Water) and haven't started the next one (Hybel's Too Busy Not to Pray). And, frankly, as I was starting to type that sentence my computer crashed, leaving me to ponder that maybe I'd get more reading done if I actually opened the books instead of sitting here writing about them. Must. Go. Read.

1 comment:

Ann said...

LOL, I have never been told I was as exciting as...dirt! But it is all in the context, eh? Wonderful! Thanks for shout-out...and I might have to check out your current reads....