Sunday, April 23, 2006

From John Adams by David McCullough, this quote from Adams appeared that I thought really intelligent. It is reproduced here so that you might also be charmed by it, or that, I, upon rereading this on some future date might be again taken with this quote:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. (236-237)

I am nearing about the halfway point of this book, which means it is finally becoming comfortable to read in bed on my side, rather than when I was just starting, and one half of the book would be unwieldy and heavy weighing uncomfortably down my arm. This is the first nonfiction book I have read in a long time, aside from collections of essays. I can’t even think of the last nonfiction book prior to this one, and beyond that, I cannot think of the last nonfiction book I have actually finished. Normally, I quit not even halfway through, totally bored and move onto a fiction book I am eager to read. And while I am not yet halfway through this one and perhaps should not yet be boasting about again liking nonfiction, I do see myself finishing this book in the next couple days.

I am enjoying this book way more than I thought I would have. McCullough is a good writer and gives this story a strong narrative pull that keeps me starting new chapters even though I am tired. It also probably helps that I am really interested in constitutional history and find this era totally enthralling.

This book is my weekend. I didn’t leave the house yesterday and don’t forsee any reason that I might leave it tonight. So really, nothing much to tell. I am sort of sad the rain let up. It made me feel good about being inside, not that I was being lazy or missing out on life, but that it was raining and I was to stay inside, even though were it not raining, I probably would have stayed inside also. The rain just removed any guilt I might have felt about this decision of staying indoors. Now with the rain no longer coming down, I no longer have that justification. Am now officially lazy, lethargic, loserish and any other pejorative L adjectives you can think of.

In book news, Dave Eggers has a new novel on the horizon, What is the What, coming out in September, and from its description on Amazon, I am a little worried. A novel set in the conflict in Sudan? From Dave Eggers? At least, success has not tempered his ambition and I am really excited to read this, however nervous I might be as a big fan of his.

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