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Turning the Pages
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Turning the Pages

Knitting has been a little slow around here. I have been burying my nose in some books…


I have some great books on the shelf. A lot less than I used to. I culled a few months ago, and now the real gems remain. I saved several books to read in this element of Project Spectrum, but until recently, I have not had much time or desire to sit down and read. I had plans to get through some of the gardening books and nature and adventure books on the shelf. They can wait for another day – those topics are always of interest to me.  I think I am just an earthy girl.

I am reading The Wild Trees by Richard Preston, right now. The book centers on the amazing coastal redwood trees found on in the Pacific Northwest, and the botanists that study them. The book reminds me of our trip to Muir Woods a few years ago, and the majestic, awesome (and every other superlative you can think of) experience of viewing these giant living things. According to the book, the trees of Muir Woods are barely half the size of the trees you can see in some of the other parks and wilderness areas in the north. His vivid descriptions definitely make me think about a backpacking trip to see these wonders.

Muir Woods Redwood Trees

I am packing my bags and searching for another book for the trip. I have a few books that rose to the top, and I am leaning towards Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. That guy could write out tax information, and I would read it. Luckily, this is not tax info, but rather the central thesis of “do plants rely on humans as much as we rely on them?” He uses several models to look into the question – tulips and apples among them.

Consideration - 365:10


Read any good books lately?

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39 Responses

  1. lyndsey-jane

    totally unrelated to plants but I have just finished Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale. I had lost my reading mojo for quite a while due to lack of concentration caused by ME/CFS but this book bought it back. A great read!!!!
    I am also really excited about the new Carl Zimmer book about E.Coli but then i’m a microbiology student!!! Carl’s other book about parasites called Parasite Rex is also a great read.

  2. knittinandnoodlin

    Botany of Desire is next on my reading list! I’m reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver right now…if you haven’t read that and like Michael Pollan, I highly recommend it!

    What is this book culling process you speak of? For the life of me, I can’t make myself get rid of anything but old college textbooks (and even then I struggle) lol.

  3. Lauren

    I absolutely loved that book. It also inspired me to take a trip to see the redwoods and we did! My favorite place was the Ladybird Johnson Grove – huge trees! I just finished The Hot Zone and it was quite the read for me.

  4. Faith

    Both of those are high on my to-be-read list, especially after walking in a redwood grove in Henry Cowell State Park during my recent trip to California, the redwoods truly are awe-inspiring.

  5. Kim

    I just finished reading a book by an author from Nova Scotia that was amazing! The Birth House by Ami McKay.

  6. Leeann

    I need to cull my books soon too — I’m just too attached to too many of them! Anyway, I loved The Botany of Desire! I say take that one with you, I don’t think you’ll regret it. :)

  7. jillian

    I imagine I’m the last one on this train, but I’m near the conclusion of Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet(t?). It’s such a phenomenal story. One of those you can’t put down!

  8. Aunt Kathy

    I love to read, but I find it hard to read and knit at the same time so I am often left at choosing and I don’t want to choose I want to do both.

  9. Emily / knitwhere

    I really loved that book! I want to see redwood trees in California — I’ve always wanted to, but that book makes it seem necessary for your life. Right now I’m reading “Everything We Love Can Be Saved” by Alice Walker, which is a collection of essays she’s written over twenty years or so.

  10. Linda Watson

    I’m “reading” Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver also. Not really reading – I have it on my Ipod, that way I can read and knit at the same time. Also just finished reading (in the usual way) Restless Souls. It’s about the growth of spirituality in America, starting back in New England in the early 1800s, Emerson and such. Got a lot of personal insight from it.

  11. Phoe

    Unrelated but I like the Mouse Ears. :)

    I’m currently reading A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf. How I managed to get through women’s lit classes without reading her, I don’t know. I’m making up for it now.

  12. Mackenzie

    I love the pictures of books! They are my biggest distraction from knitting. My 20th century British literature class has got me in the mood for that period so I have been reading a lot of D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forster.

  13. Nadia

    One of my friends told me about “Botany of Desire”. It sounds like such an interesting book! That conversation certainly helped me to see humans’ place on Earth in a different light. That book is definitely on my “to-read” list!

  14. Dame Wendy

    Botany of Desire sounds really interesting! I’ll have to pick it up. :)

  15. Viktoria

    botany of desire is a great book… i read it just last month. I am just about to start in on another one of his books: the omnivore’s dilemma.

  16. kv

    oh, yes, reading……so much less of that since knitting took over….but just more important to pick really good things. thanks for the leads on good books!

  17. Kim

    “The Botany of Desire” is a great book. It was my travel reading for a trip to the Netherlands a few years ago. I also enjoyed his book “Second Nature” which triggered a love affair with old English garden roses. What do you have planned for your Nova Scotia reading? If you’ve not read it, Annie Proulx’s novel, “The Shipping News”, while set in Newfoundland, is a wonderful slice of Maritimes life.

  18. Sarah

    Love book shelf photos!

    Am reading The Sea House by Esther Freud at the moment which is marvellous

  19. scoutj

    I’m on my second Anthony Bourdain book and LOVE it. I have a crush on him!

  20. milly

    Yes, I am reading Richard the Third, by Kendall right now and it is awesome!

  21. Leslie

    lolly — have you heard of the amazon kindle? (if not, you can find a link to it on amazon’s home page.) it is an electronic reading device that is extremely environmentally friendly. (you can hold 200 books/newspapers on it and not a page of paper is wasted.) i got one for mother’s day. i love it. might be something to check into since you are an environmentalist. (also, michael pollan’s books are available via kindle!) leslie

  22. carrie

    I have not read Botany of Desire, though it is on the list. I do agree though that Michael Pollan is a brilliant writer.

  23. Meg

    Oooo… The Botany of Desire… I’ve been wanting to read that one for ages. Also, The Omnivore’s Delimma, but I’m going to borrow them from my brother (an incredibly slow reader) who has currently taken them backpacking in Europe, so I’m going to have to wait for those.

    Also, I heartily second Kim’s recommendation for The Birth House by Ami McKay. One of the best fiction I’ve read this year, and particularly surprising since this is her first book, so she’s unknown to me. I’m super interested in midwifery, but if you’re not, it’s only one of many themes running through the book.

  24. k

    sounds like i’m not the only one, as i too am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. lately i’ve been really into books about local eating and sustainability. more of a cookbook than something to read, but i also recommend The River Cottage Cookbook if you’re interested in growing or procuring your own food.

  25. Nora

    Unfortunately, it’s all med books around here! I can’t wait to read a GOOD book again.

  26. Anne Lindenfeld

    Yes! I just finished “Nice To Come Home To” by Rebecca Flowers. A delightfully funny read about a thirty-something woman who lives in Adams Morgan and has her well-planned life up-ended when she loses her job, her boyfriend dumps her, and her spacey sister moves in.

  27. Kimmen

    Botany of Desire is WONDERFUL. Highly recommend it.

  28. Miss Scarlett

    Knitting and blogging have been suffering of late because I am reading. Yay! I read voraciously before I was a knitter and I’ve been missing it.

    I am going to queue Botany of Desire. I’ve been to the Redwoods many times and I love them. There’s something akin to holiness being in those ancient groves.

    I just finished People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – phenomenal! I know it’s been highly reviewed but, following that, Pillars of the Earth is a disappointment.

    I also was undone by Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock- not light reading but incredible.

  29. korinthe

    I have just begun reading _Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years_ which I think you might like (if you haven’t already read it). I have learned a few things about weaving in the first two chapters alone :)

    Before that I just read and enjoyed _Tom Bedlam_ and _Bearing the Body_, both new fiction.

  30. Lin

    I have just finished Jayne Eyre, I adored it. I am now doing literature for my studies so am going to be reading Wide Sargasso Sea next but I normally read anything although knitting does take up more of my time!

  31. Jenna Pink Monkey

    First off, you are an earthy Woman, not an earthy girl.

    Secondly, I got this book The Golden Spruce from the library. I think you’ll like it.

  32. stacey

    thanks for another few books to add to the list!!! :)

  33. Sarah

    Lolly – your bookshelf is the stuff of dreams. Well, maybe just my dreams, but still. Completely enchanted.

    Hope you had a lovely, lovely weekend.

  34. tiennie

    I love burying myself in a good book too!

  35. Erica

    Your bookshelves are so pretty. But then, I love books. Of course, I now have more to add to my reading list, too. I’d second the Kingsolver book (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, mentioned above)…it’s a great read for anyone interested in gardening and living a lifestyle suited to environmental sustainability.

    I have been so spoiled by the forests here in the pacific northwest. They are the stuff of fairytales, I swear. Hoping to make it to the Redwoods this summer or next…

  36. Debby

    I’m probably the last person to read this, but I started A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle on audio, and it is really interesting to hear about what life is like in that region in the “off” season. Most of us never consider winter in Provence, I bet.

    Love your photo of you and the bookcases. I think bookcases tell a lot about a person, and I can’t resist taking a peek at the titles when I visit someone new. :)

  37. mai

    i loved muir woods when i went!
    i am in awe of how you have time to knit, weave, AND read books! i always end up forgoing the reading for knitting when i have the time. what a bummer. i really miss reading.

  38. Terri

    “The 100 Mile Diet” was a recent read along the lines of some of the books you have mentioned.

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