Saturday, November 15, 2008

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think maybe someone did something VERY nice for me.

Today, I got a very special email. It was from the Kevin Rudd website saying I should click a link to confirm if I wanted to be added to his mailing list.

I think what someone did is add my email address for me. I'm so grateful because now I'm on the list; and I didn't have to lie.

I feel included now!

Thank you so much to whoever did that. It means a lot to me.

In other news, I'm reading three books right now.

First: I'm reading a book my dad pushed me to borrow. We were walking in the Botanical Gardens and saw a sign teaching about a tree that was thousands of years old. My parents acted amazed about that. I had to interject and say Well, the Aborigines were around before even that!

My dad told me he had this book I should read. It explains why some cultures ended up with technology, agriculture, political systems, etc. and others did not. Immediately, I assumed this book would be the type to offend me. I asked who wrote it. I THOUGHT my dad said David Irving.

I started freaking out. David Irving? Do you know who David Irving is? I thought my poor dad had been a victim of a sneaky intellectual con.

My dad said no, it was NOT David Irving.

With relief, I said good because David Irving is a famous Holocaust denier!

Still, David Irving or not. I was very weary about this book. I kind of hoped my dad would forget about it. He didn't. About an hour after we arrived home, he rode his bike to my house with the book in his hand. (must admit I'm impressed he managed to do that. The bike riding thing is pretty new for him). He handed me the book and when I saw the author, my perspective totally changed.

The book is Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and the author is Jared Diamond. I haven't read much of Diamond--just an essay in a book edited by Peter Singer. But from the little I know of him.....he's totally on my list of awesome people.

One of the things that Diamond believes is that we (humans) are apes. We should not belong to a separate scientific classification. I totally agree with this. We are closer genetically to chimpanzees than gorillas are to chimpanzees. Yet they are both apes and we are something else. On a scientific level, that really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

After knowing that Diamond wrote the book, I became actually excited to read it. The funny thing the preface , Diamond immediately addresses the concern I had when my dad first mentioned the book. He says:

Why did history unfold differently on different continents? In case this question makes you shudder at the thought that you are about to read a racist treatise; you aren't. As you will see, the answers to this question don't involve racial differences at all.

Okay, it's not like I expected my dad to give me some kind of Rush Limbaugh thing. I have more faith in my parents than that! But I thought maybe there were would be some subtle (hard to notice) prejudice things about the book--if not racism, than maybe at least ethnocentrism.

I'm on only page 69 of the book; so far I'm pleased with what I'm reading.

I also started reading the Tony Horwitz book I bought at Powells. One for the Road. It's about his adventures hitchhiking in the outback.

I couldn't find the book this morning so I picked Tracks off my shelf. That's Robyn Davidson's book about her adventures in the outback.

I think it's sort of a good idea to read multiple books at once. I'm not keen on doing that with fiction. It might get weird But with nonfiction, I think maybe it will slow me down and let me savor things more. I think one problem I have is when I have a lot of books on my bookshelf, I rush through them because I can't wait to get to the next book. If I read three books at once, I'm less likely to do that.

Hell, maybe I should just read ALL my books at once. That might be.....

Well, it would probably be very confusing.