Painting by Warwick Goble
Painting by Warwick Goble
Today blog is my not-so-humble brag about the original Angel Boy. I am so very proud of him.
I talk an awful lot about the second boy who stole my heart, AB 2.0, my curly haired free spirit/sprite, but there is still the one who owns MOST of my heart, his daddy…
Here’s the deets:
Title: THE GEOLOGICAL UNCONSCIOUS
GERMAN LITERATURE AND THE MINERAL IMAGINARY
From the author…
“Already in the nineteenth century, German-language writers were contending with the challenge of imagining and accounting for a planet whose volatility bore little resemblance to the images of the Earth then in circulation. The Geological Unconscious traces the withdrawal of the lithosphere as a reliable setting, unobtrusive backdrop, and stable point of reference for literature written well before the current climate breakdown.”
“Through a series of careful readings of romantic, realist, and modernist works by Tieck, Goethe, Stifter, Benjamin, and Brecht, Groves elaborates a geological unconscious—unthought and sometimes actively repressed geological knowledge—in European literature and environmental thought. This inhuman horizon of reading and interpretation offers a new literary history of the Anthropocene in a period before it was named.”
“These close readings show the entanglement of the human and the lithic in periods well before the geological turn of contemporary cultural studies. In those depictions of human-mineral encounters, the minerality of the human and the minerality of the imagination become apparent. In registering libidinal investments in the lithosphere that extend beyond Carboniferous deposits and beyond any carbon imaginary, The Geological Unconscious points toward alternative relations with, and less destructive mobilizations of, the geologic.”
It might take me as long to read it as it took him to write it ‘cos it’s definitely going to stretch all of my working brain cells which are more used to reading chicklit by Jennifer Weiner or Sophie Kinsella, but it’s IMPORTANT to read things that are outside our comfort zone. WAY OUT.
This is the kind of book you need to read with a dictionary and Thesaurus very close by.
Sample page 121:
“An impressive and accomplished study that delves deep into the layers of German mineralogical imagination from Goethe to Benjamin. Stones may not be able to speak, but they have found their spokesman. A pleasure to read.” (Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, University of British Columbia)
“The Geological Unconscious offers subtle close readings of several canonical texts that receive provocative illumination from ecocriticism. The book’s focus on the instability of ground is insightfully paired with a consideration of how already in the nineteenth century literary style and narrative register geological time and planetary wounding.” (Catriona MacLeod, University of Chicago)
The author, Dr. Jason Groves, is Assistant Professor of Germanics at the University of Washington. He is cotranslator of Werner Hamacher’s Minima Philologica.
“The New Baby Blueprint”
Caring for You and Your Little Ones
By Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, FAAP
This was supposed to be a team review with my daughter-in-law who’s not only the mom of my two angelic grandchildren, but is the proud recipient of a PhD in Neuroscience.
She and my son and the little ones were supposed to be here for a nice long visit, but Covid-19 has kept them home and us apart, so I’m doing this review solo.
No matter what’s going on in the world, new parents need help navigating the early days and weeks with a new baby. The New Baby Blueprint gives them the information, resources, and tools they need to make early parenthood not just tolerable, but successful!
A Stanford-trainied pediatrician, Dr. Cesares offers important tools about how to win at parenting without losing oneself in the process. Her advice combines important health and safety information from the American Academy of Pediatrics with honest insights from her own parenting experiences.
From her blog https://modernmommydoc.com:
Dr. Cesares “is a pediatrician and a mom to two young girls in Portland, Oregon. Every day, she tries to balance taking care of work, her kids and herself, laughing at the craziness of the early years with young ones.”
With topics ranging from Preparing Your Mind to Finding a Pediatrician, Taking Care of You and Your Partner, to Setting Yourself up for Breastfeeding Success, this is a must-read for moms, dads, AND grandparents.
There sat my motherWith the harp against her shoulderLooking nineteenAnd not a day older,A smile about her lips,And a light about her head,And her hands in the harp-stringsFrozen dead.
Since I was lucky enough to become a grandma (thank you DIL!) I’m always searching for new and interesting books to tempt Angel Boy 2.0 and his voracious appetite for words and pictures and language. One of my favorite photos was of AB 2.0 at around two months looking intently at AB 1.0 while he read a story. We swear he was paying attention. Maybe/maybe not, but we like to think so.
I went to our local library where they have a store staffed by volunteers and always find great books-sadly some never even cracked open-and grabbed an armful.
I parked myself in a little child-sized chair and briefly skimmed through my treasures. I found a book by one of my son’s favorite authors, James Herriot, who wrote All Creatures Great and Small and Moses the Kitten, along with about a dozen other really good stories, mostly about animals (my personal interests shining through).
Somehow, though, this book slipped by…
The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay, illustrated by Beth Peek.
Visually stunning, I anticipated a lovely illustrated poem that Theo would enjoy, but waited until I had already driven home to fully read this one.
UH OH, thank goodness I read it first and I’m even more grateful that Theo can’t read at all.
I know I initially read it in high school, because as soon as I saw this page, the horror I had initially felt–returned.
A bedtime story? I think not. Not unless you want to seed some traumatic nightmares! I can’t imagine what kind of positive life lesson there could be here, can you?
I didn’t remember that it ended with the mom dying, having sacrificed her life for her son, and it’s not even that I DISAGREE with that concept because I believe a good parent should place her/his needs beneath those of the innocents we bring into this universe, BUT the guilt trip that little guy will most likely endure isn’t an equivalent value for having his loving mother ALIVE.
No wonder it appeared that this book looked as if it had never been touched.
The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver
I have a friend who wrote a book, which in and of itself is an amazing accomplishment since my own book is stuck in limbo somewhere between my head and a few notes in this computer, but this isn’t even his first foray into publishing-he authored Zen and the Art of Surfing, too.
Greg Gutierrez is an amazing human for many reasons. He’s an artist, an educator, a vocal supporter of the environment, and a powerful local community activist.
Also a surfer. Also a skier.
When I first started to read Mammoth Mountain, I was immediately transported back to my own college years when I split my time between San Diego State University and Mammoth, where I lived part of the year on Lupin St. For me, those were spectacular days with tons of snow, skiing from first light to dark. If I didn’t have a ride up to the mountain, I’d start walking and someone would always pick me up. It was a great little community before the whole mountain exploded in condos and timeshares and tourism.
I never met Greg back then–our paths never crossed–two ships in the night and all that, and my own experiences in Mammoth were TAME compared to his, that’s for sure!
The subtitle of Mammoth Mountain is “Follow the 1980’s life of Drew, a pot smoking, thieving, womanizer…”
Now I don’t have PROOF that Drew is Greg…but I’m kinda sorta connecting the dots, if you know what I mean.
I don’t want to give away the storyline or the ending, but this is way more than a journal that chronicles one debauchery after another…there’s serious substance here, a coming of age, a rite of passage, painful growth, self examination, and enlightenment.
He lost his way, his life went off course, but what did he find?
He found himself.
There’s love, there’s a lot of love here, and at the end of the day, that’s all we have. That’s all that really matters. To love and be loved.
And if we don’t love ourselves, we can never truly know love.
P.S. Who should read this book? EVERYONE.
“This is so good. Honestly, I think this is the best running book ever.”
–Bob Anderson, Founder of Runner’s World
Every so often I’ll accept an emailed request to read and review a book and it was that quote that caught my eye.
I’ve always wanted to run, but I don’t have great lung capacity. It’s no problem for me to hike ten miles and I regularly do high intensive boot camp-style training, but I don’t have the stamina for long distance running.
This easy-to-navigate book authored by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer, is full of valuable advice about training, healthy nutrition, and recipes.
I’m super motivated to start slowly and work my way up to at least a 5K.
Whether you’re a miler or an ultramarathoner, if you want a fit, fast, and injury-resistant running body, there’s a better way to train than relentlessly pursuing mileage.
This easy-to-use workout manual draws on the latest research in running physiology to target all the components that go into every stride—including muscles, connective tissue, cardiovascular fitness, energy production, the nervous system, hormones, and the brain.
With the breakthrough whole-body training program in Build Your Running Body, runners will improve their times, run longer and more comfortably, and reduce injury.
With more than 150 workouts—from weightlifting and cross-training to resistance exercises and plyometrics—fine-tuned to individual skill levels and performance goals.
• 393 photos that make it easy to follow every step of every workout
• 10 training programs to help runners of all levels integrate the total-body plan into their daily routines
• Interviews with leading runners, exercise scientists, and coaches—learn how elite runners train today
• Race strategy for the crucial weeks leading up to the competition and through to the finish line
• Exercises to prevent injury and rehabilitate common running ailments
• Seasoned insight on barefoot running, the pros and cons of stretching, and other hot-button topics
• Nutrition guidance on carbs, proteins, fats, and weight loss
• More than 30 recipes to speed recovery and cement fitness gains
• Beginners‘ guidelines every step of the way
• Valuable tips on proper apparel, tracking your progress, and more!
I give Build Your Running Body 5 out of 5 Louboutans
Credit line: Excerpt from Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, from Milers to Ultramarathoners—Run Farther, Faster, and Injury-Free © Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer, 2014
When I got back from my (retail) therapy sesh, I was in a much better state of mind. A little purchase can do wonders! Check out my new Hello Kitty laptop bag. It got its first unsolicited compliment from the Apple employee who was trying to help me figure out my MacAir. I’m scheduled to go back tomorrow and have a technician re-install iLife, which somehow isn’t there. All I know is that the store was packed full of women who, shall we say, all fall into the category of needing reading glasses and who were passionately attempting to learn how to work macs or iphones. It was pretty funny and revealing. From a marketing standpoint, does Apple even know who their primary demographic is, at least in the La Costa/San Diego area? It’s not young urban professionals, it’s women like me! Ha ha ha, or maybe the joke’s on me? Whatev.
I decided to expand the theme of reading material, and walk around the house and list all the books and mags that belong to my Merchant Marine tugboat captain husband. He has a lot of time to read while he’s out to sea with no TV, mostly no internet, and he’s limited to the DVDs of movies and television shows that he brings with him. And yeah, there seems to be a recurring theme here.
Raising the Hunley Bryan Hicks and Schuyler Kropf
In Danger at Sea Samuel Cottle
Titanics Last Secrets John Chatterton
The Secret Knowledge of Water Craig Childs
George Washington’s Secret Navy James L. Nelson
A Stranger Came to Port and I Cover the Waterfront Max Miller
Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey
A lot of Joseph Conrad, who was a Merchant Marine.
Heart of Darkness, The Secret Agent, Nostromo, Under Western Eyes
The Rediscovery of North America Barry Lopez
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond
Inside Mavericks, a photo book of the surf spot by Doug Acton
Afoot and Afield in San Diego Jerry Schad (one of the greatest hiking guides ever written)
Of Wolves and Men Barry Lopez
Love in the time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lots of cookbooks, including Joy of Cooking of course.
Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special
Martha Stewart Cookbooks
Light in August William Faulkner
How To Raise a Jewish Dog Ellis Wiener and Barbara Davilman
…and all the other chick lit books that are in print.
What’s on your shelves?
When my brother and I were little, we were both voracious readers; books, magazines, newspapers, street signs, cereal boxes, anything and everything. Since I know he reads my blog, I’ll give him a shout out–“Hi, Skip!” He’s much, much older than I am, practically doddering, as it were. He told me that he really began to feel old when he got his Medicare card. It represented the symbolic confirmation that he’s… OLD! Ha ha ha. It was nice to grow up having an extremely older big (old) brother. I was the baby (still am) and could torture him all the time and never fear retaliation! All kidding aside, he was a great big brother until he went off to college and I was all alone with no one to torture except for our parents; they bore the brunt of my rebellious teenage “boy crazy” escapades. Ah, the good old days of ditching school and hanging out at Plum Street and listening to the Doors at ear screeching volume for hours on end!
I’m not sure if he still reads as much as I do, but I am lost without a book. I was out of chick books and picked up a novel my son sent to the captain, T.C. Boyle‘s When The Killing’s Done. It’s a real departure from my normal fantasy-based romance and witty banter menu, but it is a must-read; savagely compelling. It’s based on the true story of how the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy rid the Channel Islands (off the California coast) of sheep, pigs, black rats and, finally, opportunistic golden eagles, in order to give the rare island fox and some nomadic seabirds a fighting chance for survival. As expected, animal rights activists protest and actively thwart the efforts by attempting to sabotage the killing of some species to “save” others. It’s not all about the animals; there are relationship subplots and twists and turns that made it impossible to stop reading. I had to skip over a few of the more graphic paragraphs (thanks to my son who warned me), but I don’t think that minimized the brilliance of the writing nor the importance of the subject matter. It was an especially timely read for me during our great squirrel relocation program last week.
When I finished that book, I was searching around the house for something else to read and picked up one of the magazines delivered to the captain every few months. If you love nautical/maritime reads, you will love this. It was really interesting with beautiful pictures. Power Ships is a publication of the Steamship Historical Society of America. In this issue, they highlight the Providence Steamship Company. In the 1920’s the owner’s wife took over management of the tugboat company when her husband died. Some say she was the inspiration for the popular “Tugboat Annie” character.
Enough of that, I said to myself. I am excited to start reading Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand novel.