Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recent Reads

Tonight I read "The Good Life of Helen K. Nearing" by Margaret O. Killinger, 2007.

Helen and her husband Scott were pioneer back-to-the landers. I have read several of their books and also articles in "The Mother Earth News." I saw this headlined as a new book at the local library and snatched it up as something that might be interesting.

And it was. This is a biography of Helen Nearing, from her teen years until her death in 1995. Throughout the book I found ringing similarities between myself and Helen; and also my friend K and "Boss" from the farm. Perhaps Boss is most like Helen with her Northern European background and stronger work ethic. K and I are more like the lost hippies that Helen scorned as visitors.

However, a closer look shows that Helen shared a lot of those traits in her own youth. It was only when Scott came into her life that she developed strong political opinions and a good work ethic. Scott was also strongly influenced by Helen, which he is quoted as saying in his last years. It is clear that together they literally moved mountains.

I found it enriching and encouraging to find that what I deem to be my more eccentric tendencies were echoed in such an esteemed woman, and a relief that a woman could possibly be even more eccentric than myself.

Yesterday I read "The Time Machine" by HG Wells, 1895 (my copy a 1964 reprint snagged for .25 at the library used book shelf)

I either read the book or watched the movie-possibly both, as a pre-teen, so my mind needed some refreshing. Actually, an episode of "Big Bang Theory" featured the time machine, and it was really funny as usual. So, when I saw the book I grabbed it. I wanted to find out more about the subterranean-dwelling flesh-eating Morelocks and etheral, gentle Eloi. I know I either read the book or saw the movie because I remember the last part of the book.

I won't tell anymore about it -you'll have to go read, or re-read it, for yourself. It's a quick read, and still good after 113 years.

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