Thursday, August 26, 2010

Monkey Business

Day 199 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and Jan has just finished reading The Gorilla Experiment, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, because her son knows one of the authors. She was fascinated, and didn't want to tell me too much about the gorilla aspect, so I would enjoy it when I got there, so I won't tell you too much, either. But I will send you to the website, entirely copyrighted, so I won't even show you the gorilla reading a newspaper as an image here, and you can do the gorilla experiment on your own. Best to click the video without reading the caption.

There is even a sequel!

Jan also finished Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, recently, while on a trip. There's a "sequel" to that, too, World Without End, which Jan mailed to herself because it was too heavy to carry home, at 1024 pages.

She is a little annoyed with herself. "I went all the way to New York by train, and all the way to Maine by car, with my grandchildren, and all I can talk about is the two books I finished."

She is also reading more W. H. Auden than she ever did before, because of many references to Auden in books by Alexander McCall Smith. (I notice we got a couple Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency books in at Babbitt's this week.) Jan doesn't much like Auden, or not as much as Smith does, anyway, but she does like "Lullaby," the poem that begins, "Lay your sleeping head, my love, / Human on my faithless arm," which kind of gets right at the human faithlessness at the heart of it all, as in many a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Or Dorothy Parker.

And the human love.

And my niece walked into Babbitt's and found a copy of The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which she will need for one of her first courses in graduate school in Boston, and which she left at home, which she could have gotten here, online, I suppose, and/or printed out, but she's like me and prefers books! I was so glad we had it, as someone had just been in looking for it, and we were out, and it was even a slim paperback of just that story! Often it is inside something else.

Just like a gorilla.

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