When I can’t decide which one I want to do more, I try to find a way to do them both.
The “toe trick” works best with hardcover books, and with simple knitting. The real skill comes with turning the pages with your feet Of course, my usual middle road method is knitting while listening to audiobooks, and reading a few books on the side. Of late, however, I have been reading many a “real” book, almost to the point of devouring them… much like my pre-knitting days when I could polish off a few books a week.
This simple stockinette project is made using the lovely handpsun yarn that my dad bought for me in Santiago, Chile in 2004. It is a single-ply natural wool, bought from the market. Complete with little bits and pieces to remind me that this is real. I love that. I am using the ever-so-simple Verona pattern that produced my favorite and most-worn knit to date: the Verona Shawl I made last year. The shawl is my reading project, so, with all of the books that I am reading, I figure it will grow quickly.
I finished the book pictured above last night – I had a hard time putting it down. The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama follows the travels of the Tibetan spiritual/political leader, and provides a more realistic and intimate portrait of the well-known figure. The author, Pico Iyer, writes in such an engaging way, structuring the book around the life of the Dalai Lama with chapters like “In Public”, “In Practice”, “In Private”. He has lengthy discussions with his family, his followers, and the man himself. It was a beautiful book that taught me a lot about the Tibetan struggle, Buddhism, and the human condition. I definitely recommend it.
Like I said, I have been devouring books… I read these three books while I was in Nova Scotia – long layovers and canceled flights are good for something (well, especially since I left my knitting in my *checked* baggage). The Wild Trees made me wish for a redwood backpacking/camping trip. The author follows several scientists as they conduct tree canopy research, and invent new ways to scale the tallest of trees. Michael Pollan’s “oldie but a goodie” The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World was impossible to put down. I talked about it so much that Kris is now reading it too. Basing the narrative on four different plants: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes, Pollan studies how these plants actually used humans to propogate themselves. Interesting little twist, eh? Such a good book. The third book, Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It, investigates the bottled water industry and its effects on ecosystems and health. The author, Elizabeth Royte, travels to the small Maine town where Polar Springs water is actually pumped out of the ground – and because that water is being bottled and sent all over the globe, it is not replenishing the local aquifers. We learned about this book from the No Impact Man blog, and picked the book up. Kris finished it quickly, and I started reading it on the plane ride home.
It definitely has me thinking about water in a new way.
Sure, I have consumed my fair share of bottled water, but even before I read this book, I realized that this industry was having a very real impact – and not for the better. My main concern was the plastic bottles and how a large majority of them were not being recycled, but rather ending up in a landfill. After reading the book, I learned that the problem is even deeper than that, effecting other people’s supply of water, and fueling an industry that is not really concerned with the health of their consumers or of our planet (despite everything that their marketing says). I encourage you to take a look at this book… and to take a look at your own habits. My Klean Kanteen has been working quite well for me for awhile, and I feel pretty confident in my filtered water out of the tap.
…I am now listening to two different books, and reading a new one…
I can’t be stopped!
How are you spending your free time on these long summery nights?
Today is the deadline to sign up for the Project Spectrum AIR ATC swap! We only have a few participants, and it would be great to have a larger group… sign up now!
I found a new triathlon that just suits me better – and I am planning to do this one with my sister! I have updated my Training Page with more details…