Monday, January 08, 2007

My book order

...finally arrived! Well, part of it anyhow.

I've read Tim Lilburn's Tourist to Ecstasy before, but I didn't have it in my collection. I do now.

Robert Bringhurst's Nine Visits to the Mythworld was described in a recent conversation as an important book. I look forward to reading it. Amazon wasn't able to obtain a copy of Bringhurst's new book, The Tree of Meaning: Thirteen Talks, which I had ordered as well. I've since learned from McNally Robinson that the book has gone into another printing, so I will get a copy eventually. I hear the book is very good.

Rachel Lebowitz's Hannus came as a pleasant surprise. I like to read books by both members of a poet couple and compare them, looking for similarities in style, influences, etc. It's a hobby of mine. My shelves contain books by Don McKay and Jan Zwicky, Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane, David Seymour and Karen Solie, and now Rachel Lebowitz and Zachariah Wells, each couple's books shelved together, side by side. So I bought Lebowitz's book without really knowing what it's about. When I took the book out of the box, I read the back cover. This bit caught my attention:

Hannus is a creative biography of Ida Hannus, a Finnish-Canadian suffragist and socialist living in Vancouver and in the BC Finnish commune Sointula through the turn of the century to the Cold War. Approached from different angles, employing a collage of techniques, Hannus is a constantly shifting -- and consistently engaging -- narrative that raises questions about the reliability of history and biography.

Engaging, indeed. I grew up in the Finnish community of Rock Point. Needless to say, curiosity kicked right in and I started flipping through the book. Hannus contains lots of photos and newspaper clippings. I've been examining the faces in the photos, looking for any that might resemble my relatives or neighbours.

In other news, I finished writing my face-off poem. I've been reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, a truly entertaining book. And I got a ukulele for Christmas. The cat hates the ukulele. Absolutely hates it.


Tracy Hamon said...

I'll be expecting a rousing version of "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" at colony.

As I've maintained before, cats know the meaning of life.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! You just wait. I'm determined to learn to play my ukulele. I even found a site that tells me everything I need to know. I already learned that it's more complicated than I first thought. Actually, I had planned to wander among the cows with my ukulele singing tiptoe through the, well, you know...

Mom said...

Better practice a lot, I don't want my cows put off their feed.

Edward Willett said...

My cat used to hate my harmonica. Hated it so much it was actually the best way to call him--start playing the thing and he'd come from wherever he was to climb onto my lap (or up my leg, if I was standing) to try to bat the devilish device right out of my hands.

I figured it sounded like another cat in pain. (It couldn't have been an mating call for him, since he wasn't...well, you know...complete.)

I was never sure how he felt about the piano, though. I used to think he liked it, but later I decided he just climbed into my lap because, when I played the piano, I had a lap, and his philosophy was always that a lap should have a cat in it, because otherwise what was it for?

Which isn't really a bad philosophy, come to think of it.

Amy said...

I once had a cat who hated Barbra Streisand. He heard a song by her once and his ears flattened and he looked *exceedingly* grumpy.

Brenda Schmidt said...

I will, Mom. Your cows don't care for me much at the best of times, so me + ukulele isn't likely to be a hit, at least going by the cat's reaction.

Ha! Edward, maybe your cat was a harmonica instructor in another life. Actually, the cat looks annoyed enough that I wouldn't be surprised if she decides to beat up the ukulele. We got a new vacuum cleaner last month and she took a round out of it. She's not an aggressive cat, so I was pretty shocked to see her go ape like that.

Amy, what song was Streisand singing? Maybe your cat misheard and thought she was singing The way we purr...

Amy said...

Brenda, you brighten my day!

I'm afraid I can't remember the song--it was a good 20 years ago. I'll just never the look on that poor cat's face.