Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler

After the Women's Club book sale at Lakeside Chautauqua a few weeks ago, I tucked the bag of books under the wicker on the porch. Friday while waiting for our guests, I poked around in the bag and found Anne Tyler's Noah's Compass. I didn't remember buying it, but there it was. Although I was in the middle of two other novels, this one held my interest and I finished it quickly. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/books/review/Harrison-t.html?_r=0

“At 61, Liam has lost his job “teaching fifth grade in a second-rate private boys’ school,” an embarrassment he accepts with the informed stoicism of someone who completed all but his dissertation for a doctorate in philosophy. Now he can settle into retirement in a smaller, cheaper apartment on the outskirts of Baltimore, the city Tyler owns as a novelist, so faithfully does she return to its setting. But before Liam has spent even one night in what he expects will be his “final dwelling place,” a would-be burglar comes through the back door Liam failed to lock.

The next thing Liam knows, he’s in a hospital bed, his head bandaged, with no idea of how he came to be there. The burglar may not have made off with any of Liam’s material possessions, but he hit him hard enough to obliterate a few hours’ worth of his memory, and it is this loss — rather than that of a teaching position he didn’t much like — that serves as a catalyst for all that follows. Neither his ex-wife nor his three daughters, who consider Liam so obtuse they call him Mr. Magoo, understand his growing fixation on retrieving what he can’t remember, especially as it was, presumably, traumatic. But as Liam understands it, “his true self had gone away from him and had a crucial experience without him and failed to come back afterward.”” NYT review

Joann gives it 5 stars: “I love the way Tyler takes everyday happenings and makes the reader realize that nothing is really insignificant, that everything has meaning or value. While reading the book, you hardly realize the layers of character development that she has woven into the story. Her observations of the human condition are always so on-target, but she never makes judgments about what she sees.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Complete guide to walking

I had my gate pass with me this morning, so I turned and walked outside the 2nd street gate at Oak Ave., and browsed around the neatly kept neighborhood.  I walked past a man sitting on a park bench, with his right arm in a sling, typing on his laptop computer.  “I bet you’re right handed,” I said as I walked by.  “You’ve got that right,” he said, going back to his one finger typing.

I looked at the lake for awhile then turned south on Park Avenue;.very nice new homes (about 10 years old) on that street.  Then I passed a “little free library.”  Take a book, return a book.  I’d seen them on the internet but had never actually stopped to look and borrow.  It had about 12 books behind a glass door, well protected from the elements.


This one is from Pinterest—I didn’t have my camera with me. But it was very simple.

I selected, The complete guide to walking for health, weight loss and fitness.  With bursitis and asthma, my walking days are probably numbered, but I thought I’d take a look.  Can’t resist a library. There were actually some pretty nice books—I saw C.S. Lewis and John Grisham, and a few others.  Lakeside has two volunteer libraries, one at the Methodist Church and one at the Women’s Club, plus there is one in Marblehead. We also have a nice bookstore with both new and used books. And of course, yard sales, like the one where I bought the 1934 Reader’s Digest.

complete guide to walking

"Mark Fenton strides right past all the fad-and-gimmick fitness books with practical, no-nonsense advice to help people of all ages, sizes and shapes start and stick with exercise."--Miriam E. Nelson, PhD., Director of the Center for Physical Fitness, Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and author of Strong Women, Strong Bones

"Mark Fenton is the master at helping people get the most from walking. His new book provides a highly motivating, step-by-step plan to take you as far as you want to go--from beginner to race-walk marathoner. Even I gained a wealth of new insights about the science and practical application of walking for better fitness." --Kathy Smith, author of Kathy Smith's Lift Weights to Lose Weight

"Having competed in walking races all around the world, it took having a baby and adding a couple of notches to my belt for me to realize the full value of Mark Fenton's structured approach to developing and maintaining a healthy daily walking program." --Carl Schueler, four-time Olympic race-walker (Amazon reviews)