Book Time

The reading theme for August is time. A cornucopia! My shelves runneth over! All sectorsHawking 2? contribute equally this month—nonfiction, poetry, and fiction.

I have to admit I front-loaded this one a bit. I started Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time in late July. I wanted to give myself plenty of time because I had tried to read it before and found it difficult. But this time I’m understanding a goodly bit of it (certainly not all of it) and am plodding through at a chapter a day. I did not expect Stephen Hawking to have a sense of humor, and he writes with exclamation marks! This is a man who so loves physics you can feel his glee. I am nearly halfway through, and now I am thinking I need to read something to find out what’s happened in the last 25 years. I bought this book 25 years ago!

Usually I only read one nonfiction, one fiction, and one poetry book at a time, but since I was reading only one chapter of Hawking per day, I needed more nonfiction, so I picked Armstrong bookup Sigurd F. Olson’s Of Time and Place, which I finished this morning. So I sought another book to accompany Hawking, and settled on Slow Love, by Dominique Browning (basically a treatise on slow living). But that wasn’t quite enough, so I’ve also picked up In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis, by Karen Armstrong. I love Karen Armstrong—a religion scholar of the highest order. I am only to page 6, but already I found this: Reading the Bible “demands the same kind of meditative and intuitive attention that we give to a poem.” I love even just thinking about reading the Bible that way. A poem says something different every time you read it.

Fiction has been lower on my radar. I finished Out of Time, a fantasy novel that I didn’t much care for, and have just started Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin. I definitely want to read Blackout, by Connie Willis—a time travel novel of 2060 and World War II. Then perhaps The Ladder of Years, by Anne Tyler.

Poetry is crazy fun for the time theme. I just yesterday finished The Time Tree, by Huu Thinh (which I liked a lot) and jumped right into Quick, Now, Always by Mark Irwin. And I have already chosen the poetry book I want to read next: When It Came Time, by Jeri McCormick. But look at all the titles with their siren call:

  • Ninety-five Nights of Listening
  • Sleeping Late on Judgment Day 
  • Time’s Power
  • The Last Usable Hour
  • Time & Money
  • Wait
  • Why I Wake Early
  • A Perfect Time
  • Timepiece
  • Rush Hour
  • Longing
  • The Arrival of the Future

The possibilities seem almost endless, and within the timeframe of a month they are; so I am very much looking forward to my August of endless poetry possibilities (this did not happen with last month’s theme of summer vacation).

KearnsEvery time I walk the river I am reminded of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), who built the trail through the river valley. This makes me think of FDR. So for the past several months I’ve had thoughts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt cross my mind on a frequent basis, while Eleanor has been crossing my path in the form of “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

It’s time to learn more about both. After I finish my nonfiction in progress, I am going to read No Ordinary Time, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

I think. But this month is so rich in possibilities, the uncertainty principle shines in all its glory. I either will, or I won’t.


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