January Readings

It's already February and I find myself wondering what the heck happened to January. Usually I can't wait for January to be over but because of the warm winter, the month that always seems the coldest to me in Minnesota flew by. Either that or I'm freaking over the fact that my little itty bitty Lotus Bud will be two-years-old (!!) in eight days.

In the effort to find some pattern in the books I read I decided to track them each month; see if there is any rhyme or reason to my reading selection. I spent a couple of hours today trying to remember all that I read in January. It seems to have been a light reading month. I was surprised to see that the library didn't have a list of books that I checked out. Perhaps that's a good thing. I'll usually check the reviews in Amazon before requesting a book from the library. Amazon didn't have my browsing history, which while surprising, I was pretty happy to learn. The Internet will probably keep a track of all my personal information, but not my reading list. Huh? It seems to me that to know a person's reading list is to know what they are thinking.

Sometimes I'll finish a book, then I'll follow a lead into another book. Which is what lead me from Heacox to Hoshino. I picked up The Only Kayak: A Journey into the Heart of Alaska by Kim Heacox after I finished Deep Water Passage (which I read in December; a book about one woman's kayak trip around Lake Superior). Here I wrote about how Heacox introduced me to Hoshino with whom I promptly fell in love. I did eventually pick up Moose by Michio Hoshino but that just left me yearning for more. Heacox was interesting in his account of living in Alaska but it didn't seep into my bones like Edward Abbey does and no doubt I'll be picking up some Abbey this month.

I then went on a Neil Gaiman kick finishing both Anansi Boys and American Gods. Listening to NPR while driving to the Arches National Park in Moab got me intrigued with Gaiman what with his move to Wisconsin and all (and really all not that far from our WI property). I'm sure everyone who reads contemporary fiction has already discovered Gaiman. While I liked the idea of American Gods I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Anansi Boys. Kali makes an appearance and that was fun, of course. But who am I kidding? I don't even come from the part of India where they worship Kali (therefore my knowledge of Her is about the same as any mainstream Midwest reader) and do I really get that excited over a couple of paragraphs about this Hindu god? (You bet I did.) On the other hand, Anansi Boys was hilarious in a subtle comedic way. I'm sure it was full of British cliches, but it was a whole new brand of humor for me. I found myself laughing in those last few minutes before bedtime.

I planned this to be a review, but I'm merely giving you my impressions here because I hadn't planned to review until today and this is after all, my first month's attempt. I'll do better next time. I promise.

But before I go I have to share a bit about Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee. I recently read a blog that asked the question 'what is your favorite book?' and the blogger admonished anyone that listed more than one. Unequivocally it is this book. It has been my favorite book for a couple of decades now and I really try to read it only every three or four years. It's simple derisann, ooma. Lee produces this groshing new language that drives you tosky at times, but honestly, I don't see how the book could have been written without it.

Don't ask me the main character's name. I couldn't tell you and believe me, I've gone over it a few times to try to find it. Anyway it's about this culture who's youth (called the Jang) are encouraged to live life (for a century or so) to the fullest experiencing all manner of fun and games, sex, drugs and rock and roll. They change bodies, they change gender, they take ecstasy pills and explore debauchery with their inner circles (but only if they marry for an afternoon, or a week - hey, there are some rules). Great fun, no? Except it gets mindless and boring (droad) after a while. Who knew?

The book was written in 1976 and it is scary, I tell you, scary how much it reminds me of the youth in 2012. And yet, so profoundly moving when I realized how much the book reflects my own yearning for a green, local, back to the earth, agricultural, perhaps authentic, moments.

So, don't be a floop. Go and read and tell my it isn't the best book you've read in a while.

[OK, sorry to have called you a floop - unless of course you don't read it. Then you really are a floop!]

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