I've been on the move the last couple of weeks ever since school let out. First stop was sunny Florida with the boy (a rising fifth grader!) and his dad, and now I'm seeped in the humidity of a Mississippi June, awaiting a friend's 80th birthday party tomorrow. Everywhere I've been I've seen people reading, and am thinking of recording all the books that travellers have their noses in. Maybe on the way home to New England.
The June 28th New York Times Book Review contains a review of Christopher R. Beha's The Whole Shelf: What the Great Books Taught Me About Life, Death, and Pretty Much Everything Else, which I just finished on the earlier part of my vacation. Beha spent a year reading the Harvard Classics, and, writes critic Alexander Nazaryan," he makes an elegant case for literature as an everyday companion no less valuable than the iPod." Isn't that a great way of putting it? The Whole Shelf is one of the best My Year of [Insert Project Here] books that I've read, and has me eying my parents' copy of Richard Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, which Beha mentions as particularly accessible.
I photographed a couple of great-looking children's books on display at the Sanibel Public Library, and hope to get those posted soon. By the way, that's a really nice library if you're ever down in southwest Florida, with aquariums, a shell collection, and a light-filled, friendly atmosphere.