A friend of mine cannot stand to leave price tags on books or any other item. I understand the impulse, but only to a point. When I find a great deal at a used bookstore, I leave the price tag on the cover to herald my savings. Sort of prideful, I know.
Before meeting my family for dinner yesterday, Johnny and I dropped by a Half Price Books store located in close proximity to the restaurant. My goal was to find a copy of Tinkers, yet it wasn't meant to be. No Wendell Berry novels, or poetry by Kate Daniels or Naomi Shihab Nye, either. However, we did score a copy of The Christian Almanac by George Grant and Gregory Wilbur for $2.00. This tome is worth much more, but our budget approved. I wasn't surprised to see a few copies on clearance - this type of book is surely underappreciated.
For every day of the year, Grant and Wilbur compiled an eclectic assortment:
-Feast Days. On March 20th we remember St. Cuthbert, St. Wolfram, St. Herbert of Derwentwater, St. Martin of Braga, St. Photina and her Companions, and the Martyrs of Mar Saba.
-an essay about an important person or event in history.
-a fact such as today's: "This day marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun moves north across the celestial equator marking the vernal equinox." Or yesterday's: "This is the day that the swallows traditionally return to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California."
-a quote. I love today's: "When I am dead, I hope it may be said, though his sins were scarlet, his books are read." [Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)]
-events that occurred on that day in years past. Today's list spans 43 B.C. to 1991.
I'm also impressed that the authors stated this in their acknowledgments:
"No book, of course, is merely the fruit of a single author's labor - it is rather the accumulation and collation of a thousand odd experiences, random collaborations, and peculiar inheritances."
I was just saying something similar to Johnny the other day. Though I sit alone in a room, I cannot write an acceptable sentence unless I surround myself with wise people, good books, and brilliant editors.
So now I have five books on my currently-reading list, though The Christian Almanac and ESV Bible are yearlong reading. A kind blog-friend offered to loan me her copy of Tinkers as long as I mail it back to Vermont when I'm finished. I better hurry and read Philip Levine's poetry. Five books is my limit.
As for dinner, Café Red Onion was de-lish. I did not feel deprived one bit with a chimichurri steak salad including cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, and avocado. And I saw Orion as I stood in our driveway. I had no idea the stars were ever that clear out in the 'burbs. I'll have to step outside at night more often. Speaking of constellations, did y'all see these embroidered beauties?
Posted by jenni at 1:30 PM