Thursday, 24 June 2010
Summer fields and books
Death comes to the Archbishop
It is some years since I read Willa Cather and I couldn’t remember much about her. I feared at the start that this priestly travelogue might not be that interesting, but very soon changed my mind and became involved in the astonishingly long and brave journeys. I'm afraid I had to look out the atlas to see where New Mexico was and then I googled Albuquerque and the mountainous pueblos, and so the novel gave me an insight into a world I knew nothing about.
But it wasn’t exactly a novel, more of a series of stories and anecdotes, simply but movingly told.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Amazing book, a rough guide to science, erudite and well written. I find my mind glazing over during some chapters about atoms and particle physics (and have to admit Einstein is beyond me) but e.g. those on volcanoes and earthquakes are fascinating. Don't read this book if you are a worrier because he says we could easily be destroyed by a random meteor like the dinosaurs. Even if meteors continue to miss us, Yellowstone Park, which is one enormous volcano, could one day errupt and finish us off. Tokyo is due a major earthquake but even if you don't live there earthquakes can happen absolutely anywhere. Moral appears to be eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die. This book will take me ages to read, but maybe I'll just dip in and out.
Can't do much at the mo as am busy watching Wimbledon, with a bit of football now and then. Just recovering from the Mahut/Isner match.