Archive for September, 2009

REAL READERS WELCOME

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Today is perfect. Public radio weather people say it may be the start of the best week of the summer. I am so-o-o ready. An unexpected pleasure, having lunch with my niece, nephew-in-law, and two greats up from Boston, just adds to everything else good. The guy who mows the lawn warned of invisible stingers, probably ground hornets, near the radically-pruned rose hedge which means that great-Alex will not be able to investigate the newly exposed rock wall. Maybe Bill and Danny rained the nest to death, but it’s hard to know for sure. The backyard mosses on ledge are hugely explorable, though.

Fig.#62. Rock walls are always worth inspecting and rebuilding in one's mind, especially when the outdoors beckons and mom or dad needs a walk.

Fig.#6 2.  Rock walls are always worth inspecting, especially when the outdoors beckons and a parent is ready to walk.

Kids are back in school today and yesterday was not Labor Day. Feels wrong or at least strange. NYTimes article, August 30, 2009, “The Future of Reading: A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like” is about reading choices for school kids and highlights the old questions: Will kids who choose Nancy Drew ever choose anything “better”? Will kids who read the prescribed classic ever read anything else? Food for added thought: Judge Sonja Sotomayor read Nancy Drew and Joe Queenan re-read Thomas Hardy not long ago and wrote about it in a NYTimes Book Review essay on June 3, 2007, titled “Summer Bummer.”

Personally, I prefer choices. Not many kids come to Roseledge, probably because they reach an age when time on a boat or time with parents is time taken away from something they think they’d rather do. But recently two nifty kids came with their mom and grandfolks, and we had a good time choosing. Well, I did. One liked the Twilight books, which I vaguely recalled dealt with vampires. She was willing to try the vampire book that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She was also dog-lonesome, so she chose Joe Grogan’s Marley and Me, and it might have been Grandmom that tucked Jane Austen’s Persuasion (for the sea captain link to their being on a boat and in a bookstore that had lots of books about the sea — okay, it’s a stretch) in the resulting pile.

The slightly younger brother was not convinced that either Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped or Treasure Island was for him, even if he was on a boat and near islands, but he did admit to liking mysteries. So he decided to try a Joe Pickett mystery which means a Wyoming game warden detective tackles an environmental issue and family life with two kids. ( For example, C.J. Box’s Open Season.) But didn’t his eyes light up when he found Jefferson Bass’s The Devil’s Bones with maggot-infested bodies lying afield at the real Body Farm research facility in Tennessee and which feed the findings that they use on the tv shows, CSI. Grandmom took a look and said, “Good. Small print and lots of pages.” One suspects that sometimes time is long aboard and asea.

Fig.#63. The poplar leaves are dappling the sun which means it's about 2:30 and time to move from the shady side to the front deck.

Fig.#63. The poplar leaves are dappling the sun which means it's about 2:30 and time to move from the shady side to the front deck.

Too few days left.  I’m reading and liking Nicholas Kilmer’s Madonna of the Apes,” an art mystery set in Boston during which so far Fred has spent one whole day at the Boston Public Library.  One of these summers, BPL will be more directly linked to Roseledge Books than through the memory of 7-year-old Charlie sound asleep in BPL’S baseball glove chair, as we passed a very hot night waiting for the morning bus to take us to Maine.