Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fighting the Tide...

As I packed my “carry-on” backpack for the long haul to and through California, I thought a lot about the merit of Sara’s argument for the Kindle. My pack must have weighed over 50 pounds and bulged with the sharp edges of all the books I might read. I thought about why I so doggedly hold on to the notion that I can’t give up holding an actual book. Is it weird to confess I love the papery inky smell of a book? Is it shameful to admit that I just can’t imagine taking a Kindle to the bathroom with me? (Don’t judge, when you have three kids sometimes that’s the only place you’re afforded any peace.) Does anyone else think that the risk of dropping a paperback into the tub is markedly less than dropping any sort of electronic device? 
I’ll admit that I’m pretty slow to pick up on most technological advances. I resisted digital cameras, and now my computers memory is full of digital images. I thought texting was ridiculous, until I grasped it meant not actually having to talk on the phone. So I have a feeling at some point I’ll give in to the some sort of Kindle/Nook/Ipad reader, but until then here’s the book that made me put off that purchase just a wee bit longer.....

                                           Yosemite: the Complete Guide: Yosemite National Park, James Kaiser, Paperback
I know there are plenty of savvy computer users out there who successfully use the internet to plan there vacations. People who can filter through all the excess of information out there. I’m sure everything contained in this book can be pieced together online. But for me, I need a book that I can dog ear the corners of, that I can hold my finger in one part, while flipping to a map in the back or an address in the middle. A book that can be passed around the car and that is sturdy enough to handle being jostled around in the bottom of a backpack. And I love that once I’m home I still have all the information, literally at my fingertips. Sometimes once you’re home, the interesting anecdotes and historical facts are more interesting that when you’re there.
So if a trip to Yosemite is in your future, I really enjoyed this as a guidebook. The author, James Kaiser, loaded the book with more than a sterile guide to the park. It’s full of amazing photographs, interesting history and of course all the basics on lodging, hiking, dining, etc.

And maybe it’s not fair to use a guidebook against a Kindle. Travel books and novels are kind of apples and oranges, but it’s just my way of defending my books. Guess I’m old school, or just old.

PS Anyone know how I can score a job writing travel books?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Capitol way of life...not far off???

We read Catching Fire in October of '09 as our 11th book club selection. I was slow jumping on the Hunger Games wagon and probably wouldn't have made time for it unless one of the girls picked it. I was not disappointed. All the hype over these books have not been overrated and a great pic for a book club- that is if there are any gals out there who haven't read it yet.

One thing that I thought was a little disturbing for a YA was the premise of the Hunger Games themselves. You know, children killing children. But the push and pull relationship between Peeta and Katniss is perfection and easily makes me forget any disturbing thoughts.

I was also very fascinated with the Capitol peeps. With their dyed skin, whiskers, wigs, and other eccentricities. If you think about it people today aren't all that much different. I mean plenty of people have full sleeve tattoos and lots of piercings and dye their hair all sorts of colors. And that's not even getting into plastic surgery. BUT I think ALL of us actually aren't all that much different from the Capitol. I mean, we tan to enhance the color of our skin, we dye our hair colors it couldn't be on it's own, poke holes in our ears to dangle metal from them, put paint on our finger and toe nails and even super glue on fake ones that hurts like no other when they're ripped off.

We put chemicals on our teeth to whiten them, and we wear high heels to appear taller, slimmer or sexier even though we pay for it in blisters and cramps.

And we use a wide assortment of Spanx to appear slimmer and spend hours at the gym trying to change our shape. And remember the days of getting perms? Although I am not opposed to these I do wonder has Suzanne given us a possible glimpse into what mankind will become....