Well, whew! I almost didn’t find the perfect Christmas gift book for Charlie, but then I did. Close, though. Thank you Dwight Garner (NYT 12/22/10) for reviewing Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. It is, he says, both good biography and science and interesting art and text. Sounds perfect. And when I finally see it, I’ll let you know if the review clues were propitious.
I am wintering in Minnesota, as I do, which is okay because it is beautiful and filled with afternoons when reading about and for summer at Rseledge Books is all that it is wise to do. We are currently figuring out where to put December’s record snowfall, but I am above this fray, literally, as I moved into a 12th floor apartment which asks ever fewer steps of me as I move ever more slowly. One of these days, with help, I will figure out why my body is crumpling in on me. Until then, I will adapt — still or again — and get ready for summer in Maine.
Meanwhile, I have a nifty house to rent. So if you or someone you know need a place near everything that matters with at least 40 of its 90 years filled with good times and good neighbors, check the web site Charlie created. (http://roseledgebooks.com/MplsRental/) The house is an easy walk to work for the U of Minnesota’s new football coaches, hint hint, and an easy cross-country ski, bus, or bicycle ride to downtown Minneapolis with a river walk on the way for other with-it folks.
My latest favorite read, Elyssa East’s Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, is about a place, which I love, and handsomely researched, with ties to Marsden Hartley, another favorite subject, and therefore Maine, but with unexpected ties to Tenants Harbor friend Scott, who shares the surname — and maybe the family history — of the main suspect in a local mystery. So it’s a joy and a must for Roseledge Books next summer.
Reading Dogtown brings to mind the librarian of the Vatican Library who spoke of entering the mystery of culture, of humanism, of scholarship, even the mystery of truth, through the texts [in the Library] which are pieces, fragments of the truth. ( NYer, 1/3/11, p.30) In this spirit I would add that reading contributes to the mystery of knowing as the reader tests, verifies, corrects, extends, expands a known subject, leaps to a different possibility, or explores a new idea altogether. And while I am not comparing RB to the Vatican Library (God forbid!), I am suggesting that they share the purpose of providing texts for those of a mind from which to know more. Dogtown, with its expected and unexpected connections, did that for me.
I will be better about posting. Happy New Year, you all.