Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life in a Bed, Or What I'm Reading

This time around (as opposed to last time), I can hold a book and it makes all the difference. I'm much happier being able to read than to watch tv, though I have completely caught up on "Glee" episodes and started watching the new "Upstairs, Downstairs."

Otherwise, I'm reading, both off and online, including:

  • Sally Gunning's Satucket books, such as Widow's War, Bound, and The Rebellion of Jane Clarke, related but not exactly sequels, set in colonial Cape Cod. It's like a historic house docent tour come to life, which is particularly appealing to me as I sit out my first several tours.
  • other colonial history, including Carol Berkin's Revolutionary Mothers, and the opening chapters of No Idle Hands, a history of American knitting

  • I've blown through all the back issues of several food magazines (Saveur, Food Network, Vegetarian Times), Martha Stewart Living, Shambhala Sun, Smithsonian, random things (Early American Life, Time Magazine on pain from Gommie, Family Tree on civil war relatives, Civil War Times on Southern women's bread riots) and . . .
  • Archaelogy, which I put under a separate heading because I've read so many of them and would be glad to discuss: "bog bodies" of northern Europe; the geography of the ancient sites of Ireland as relate to the agricultural holidays of Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain; "Timberhenge" near Stonehenge; a Uighur site on an island in Siberia; Afghanistan's Buddhist remains along the Silk Road; Ottoman palaces in Albania; the rich burial of Chinese Lady Dai; the 18th-century ship found near the World Trade Center site; the ritual uses of the Nasca lines; the reconstruction of a colonial coffeehouse at Williamsburg; a battle between Hamilcar and the Greeks on Sicily; using archaeological techniques to trace current illegal immigration habits through the Sonoran Desert; an addendum to NAGPRA, about Native American remains and grave goods; Warner Herzog on cave art; traditions of Aboriginal rock art, including "x-ray" style that is distinctive and Europeans shown with hands on hips; fleet wrecked by hurricane near Florida that would've altered Spanish colonial expansion; ancient Korean love letter found on mummy; Salado pottery as expression of "poor woman's cult" in American Southwest; excavating a Bonaparte "palace" in New Jersey; excavating the effects of Order 11 and the burning of parts of Missouri by Union soldiers; the renewal of elaborate architectural stepwells of Gujarat that are almost a thousand years old; and, finally, a joint Israeli-Arab community excavation of an Ottoman khan, or inn, by local schoolchildren.

Huffington Post
New York Times


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