A great book that is a collection of short stories that follows one day on the court. It's great to see things from a bunch of different characters viA great book that is a collection of short stories that follows one day on the court. It's great to see things from a bunch of different characters view. Each player has a unique story to tell and even the spectators of the games are interesting. A great book for anyone who likes basketball....more
Great book that details one of the few remaining bark canoe builders. Although first published in 1975, the year I was born, the history and techniqueGreat book that details one of the few remaining bark canoe builders. Although first published in 1975, the year I was born, the history and techniques of bark canoe building are still relevant. I hope that much has changed since then and the art and skill of bark canoe building are alive and well.
McPhee is definitely no greenhorn when it comes to canoeing. He has to instruct the guy that builds the canoes how to paddle it. Overall a very humorous and comprehensive character sketch of the canoe builder and a journal of a canoe trip through the Maine "wilderness" in the path of Thoreau.
Here are a few of my favorite parts:
"Travel by canoe is not a necessity, and will nevermore be the most efficient way to get from one region to another, or even from one lake to another--anywhere. A canoe trip has become simply a rite of oneness with certain terrain, a diversion of the field, and act performed not because it is necessary but because there is value in the act itself; and what you take along depends on what you can afford and on how you see yourself in the setting."
"On Malecite [tribe] canoes, a lynx would be drawn on one side and on the other a rabbit smoking a pipe. The rabbit symbolized the tribe. The lynx was the rabbit's moral enemy. That the rabbit could calmly smoke a pipe so near the lynx showed the cool of the Malecite in the presence of enemies." The drawing of the smoking rabbit is still used today as the emblem of the Mad River canoe company (of which I own two).
"We kneel, of course, [in the canoes]and lean against the thwarts. There are no seats in these canoes. Kneeling is the natural paddling position anyway. It lowers the center of gravity, adds to the canoe's stability, brings more body into the stroke. Arms don't ache. You don't get tired."
"The stream is only a few yards wide and has many bends. The canoes keep hitting the banks and sticking in the mud. With some trepidation, I suggest that there are bow strokes--draw, cross-draw, pry, cross-pry--intended to help the canoe avoid the banks of the rivers. Trepidation because it is astonishing how people sometimes resent being told how to paddle a canoe. I have paddled on narrow, twisting rivers in New Jersey with good friends--easygoing, even-tempered people--who got royally incensed when I suggested that if they would only learn to draw and cross-draw they would not continue to plow the riverbanks. The look in their eyes showed a sense of insult, resting on the implication that every human being is born knowing how to use a canoe. The canoe itself apparently inspires such attitudes, because in form it is the most beautifully simple of all vehicles. And the born paddlers keep hitting the banks of the rivers."
"I go down in my pack for my pharmaceutical bottles, which are white and plastic and contain bourbon and gin. Henri makes himself a gin-and-Tang. There are worse things in life than stopping early for the day, surveying whitecapped water across the rim of a tin cup, standing in a wind where no-see-um no fly."...more
A great story and fun book to read. I loved the story. It was a mystery and an adventure. It was a huge book but very easy reading. There a lots of awA great story and fun book to read. I loved the story. It was a mystery and an adventure. It was a huge book but very easy reading. There a lots of awesome drawings and even photographs from old-time movies. Some of the characters in this book are actual people. I can't wait to see the movie. I'll definitely be buying a copy of this book to have in my personal library. ...more
Favorite Quote: "There's lots more things that go into making a man than the number of years someone has lived. Live long enough, and the years will cFavorite Quote: "There's lots more things that go into making a man than the number of years someone has lived. Live long enough, and the years will come to ever'one. The other things--honor, duty, and knowin' how to do what's right--don't come to ever'one, but they done come to you. Let nobody tell you different. You're a man now. And I'm glad to call you my friend." ~Pete Harding...more
Beauty Queens is one of the best books I've read this year. You have to approach it with a sense of humor and don't take it so seriously. It's a funnyBeauty Queens is one of the best books I've read this year. You have to approach it with a sense of humor and don't take it so seriously. It's a funny and original plot that covers a lot of ground. All the characters are stereotypes, but this book makes that work. It is for a more mature audience and be forewarned there are some serious issues that this book brings up and deals with. For a more mature audience only. So, if you're planning to give this book as a gift, make sure you read it first. Essentially, it is a story about young adults becoming themselves, instead of what parents, society, and corporations want them to be. Very funny!...more
"There is something beautifully final in certain phases of river travel: you make your decision and pick your course, and after that tFavorite Quotes:
"There is something beautifully final in certain phases of river travel: you make your decision and pick your course, and after that the rest is all action. You are committed, and there is no turning back--you must make it or swamp. The result is a supreme peak of physical effort and a split-second awareness of changing water: and mentally a sort of cold excitement and exhilaration--a high point of living."
"The sun slid down the sky and the shadows swung and deepened, but time, for me, had lost its meaning, for I myself was lost in the fascination of this place of wild, chaotic beauty."
"I loaded up and let the canoe slip away down Caribou Creek: there was something unusually pleasant about this small river on such a perfect afternoon; through the glassy water I could see the stones fly past beneath me in the riffles and, in the pools, the shadow of the canoe gliding over gravel twenty feet down in the cool, clear depths. Here and there trees leaned out towards the center of the stream, and the canoe slid beneath them in the dappled shadows, green and gold."
"We drove the big canoe downriver at top speed, shot through the Figure-of-Eight rapid in one mighty surge and lunched at Faille's cabin."
About other men exploring the Northwest Territories: "Greathouse, Southard, and Quinlan. Carl Aarhuis and Ole Loe. The Nordic races were in the vanguard as usual. The first three had a cabin a little way down the Nahanni...Nothing would do but that I should pull in and stay overnight--never mind if it was still daylight. So I went into the warm, dark, crowded cabin and downed some tea with bannock and honey, and limbered up my tongue which had hand almost six weeks' holiday."
Just trying to get a head start on our deck garden this year. But, just because I'm reading a gardening book doesn't mean I'm tired of winter. Let itJust trying to get a head start on our deck garden this year. But, just because I'm reading a gardening book doesn't mean I'm tired of winter. Let it Snow!
Now that it's mid-April and I've already got my first crop of spinach, carrots, basil, and beets in the yard garden I can start concentrating on the deck containers. I'm going to plant pole beans on the railing planters and let them vine their way up some fencing attached to the roof. This will create a nice, natural shade for sitting on the deck and for the other plants as well. I'll be doing two pots each of the following "succession gardens."
#1 Spring: mustard spinach, bush snap peas, and pansies. Summer: tomato, kale. Fall: plant tulip bulbs
#2 Spring: looseleaf lettuce, chervil, and calendula. Summer: hot pepper, cilantro. Fall: arugula, scallions.
#3 Spring: spinach beet, Asian radish, and a few nasturtiums. Summer: summer squash Fall: mesclun
Overall, I find the information in the book very helpful and clear. However, the organization is not methodical. It jumps around a little bit and certain informational items are not listed in the table of contents and the index isn't always accurate. The text is interspersed with things that should all be in one chapter, such as thematic gardens. These are difficult to locate in the book if you're looking for some specific information from one of these items. Other than this little gripe, the book is excellent....more