I’m participating in Kat’s Summer Reading Program ’06 wouldn’t you know that I now can’t find my copy of Dune? I guess that means I’ll have to take it out from the library — hopefully in hard back so I can knit to it. :)

I’ve recently finished:
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (my copy was 134 pages)

I’ve been hearing wonderful words about “Gift from the Sea” for a very long time. Each time I visit the library I neglect to see if it is on the shelf for me to take out and read. Recently I finally I remembered (there was a VERY large and bright note on my todo list to remind me). I enjoyed it over a few nights in the bathtub.

This book was a gift for me — what I needed to hear now and here. I would say it is relevant to a childfree 26 year old in 2006. AML’s clear insight into simplicity was what I needed to hear. While reading this book I pictured myself as a ten year old in summer walking in my backyard, meandering through the stream and dreaming. I felt the moss squish between my toes, listened to the ducks and other wildlife. I miss that solitude. That me-time. That simplicity. That lack of competition. That self-awareness that I am a woman who is successful and special. Shabbos helps me to re-find some of it, living in Brooklyn with (some) grass and trees helps as well, but it’s not the same.

Two (famous) quotes which also spoke to me:

“Every woman should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week, and each day….Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone.”

“Woman must come of age by herself. This is the essence of ‘coming of age’ — to learn how to stand alone. She must learn to stand alone. She must learn not to depend on another, nor to feel she must prove her strength by competing with another. In the past, she has swung between these two opposite poles of dependence and competition, of Victorianism and Feminism. Both extremes throw off balance, neither is the center, the true center of being a whole woman. She must find her true center alone. She must become whole. She must, it seems to me, as a prelude to any ‘two solitudes’ relationship, follow the advice of the poet to become ‘world to oneself for another’s sake.”

I’m going to go find my rock, acorn, and seashell collection.

High Wizardry by Diane Duane. (338 pages)

Oh the trouble i went though to pick up book three from the library. This is an interesting tale of Nita’s sister Dairine and her nice nifty mac and her Ordeal. Oh the joy! The fun! Any book with a mention to a turtle named Logo earns lots of stars in my book. :) My favorite quote came quite early on (page 46): “What fascinated Dairine was the advanced programming, the true hacking—getting a computer to sing, or talk, or play involved and clever games, or make you a sandwich. All these things were possible, with the right peripherals and a smart programmer. That she was; and the computer—tireless listener, absolutely obedient to orders, and endlessly forgiving of mistakes—was the perfect companion. They worked well together. Even her teachers noticed that the machines ‘behaved’ better around Dairine than around anyone else. She never noticed this herself, having taken it for granted.” I’m curious what book four, a wizard abroad, will be like.

Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle. (310 pages)

Ok. I read this out of order. I have now, at age 26, finally read the Wrinkle in Time Quartet. I am kicking myself for never taking the slender volume off of my best friend (when I was 6) B’s bookshelf and reading it. I read many other books but stayed clear of that — I think she said it scared her and she was my best friend so I believed her. Or something. Many Waters is different from the other three volumes and just as enjoyable. The exploits of Sandy and Dennys were quite amusing. The only thing I’m confused about is how they had to “think hard about their sunday school lessons”. I guess it’s different and one could claim “culture shock” (in addition to massive sunburn) but it seems odd to me that it took them as long to figure out as they did where and when they were. And just once I would like to eat their mum’s bunseun burner dinner.. they have the parents I dreamed of as a kid (cool smart scientists) — don’t get me wrong, I love my mum! [but she was a teacher, everyone I knew was a teacher, what was so special about that?!]. Though I do not recall Yalith and now am thinking of her story and other stories (also blame The Red Tent and general love of stories for this current meandering though process). I do have a good deal to learn. :)

OK, last bit. Kat recently mentioned a phenomenon known as the “clean slate” book club. I suffer from this. I will try to read just about anything once, especially if I find it referenced elsewhere. (It is why I’m still reading Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle). For me, today was a big day — I returned a bunch of books to the library, unfinished. But I know their titles and I know I’ll take them out again and eventually I’ll complete them. One book from my stash that needs to be finished is Sara Nelson’s So Many Books, So Little Time. My excuse for it’s uncompletedness is that I uhm.. used to read it before bed and was reading it right before I got married. It has sat gathering dust since then. Why? Because there are so many other books to read that I acquired upon marriage!! (get your head out of the gutter!)

I do have some knitting news from today and some travel news from yesterday. I was too tired last night to write up the travel post and am trying to make Wednesday’s yarn post really good (hah! me write intelligently? HAH!). (Hint: today involved my first ever trip to seaport yarn, and uhm, cash only is a VERY good policy in my book). As soon as I edit the photos from Sunday I’ll post that. I won’t make y’all wait until Thursday or beyond..