Monday, September 11, 2006

Blame it On the Rain & Cocaine Blues

As we all know, today is the fifth anniversary of 9/11. It's a day that lives in everyone's memory, but last night I watched a documentary on CBS that really brought home the destruction and devastation of that day. 9/11 was filmed by three young filmmakers who just happened to be trailing a fire department in New York the day of the attacks. The footage they got is amazing. There are the most amazing acts of bravery and some of the deepest sorrow I've ever seen. This movie makes Loose Change and other conspiracy theorists look like the fools they are. These theorists mock all of the courage and loss that marked the day.

Blame it on the Rain by Laura Lee is a terrific, enjoyable read about how the weather affects us in ways we don’t realize. I love books like this: filled with short bits of historical trivia that often inspire me to read other books and dig deeper. From pre-historical times to the present, episodes in history are explained with some form of weather as their primary cause. The reason the Anglo-Saxons were able to completely conquer Great Britain? A drought in Africa. The reason several rulers including Hitler and Napoleon were unable to conquer Russia? The cold. Even Truman’s triumph over Dewey is explained by the heavy rains that probably kept conservative voters away from the polls on voting day. Her conclusions are heavily notated at the end of the book. Perhaps most entertaining about the book is Lee’s writing style. She includes occasional sarcastic and snarky comments within the text making the book feel less like a history book and more like fun.

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood did not grab my interest at all. I couldn’t finish the book. It was lacking detail, and it felt like the writing was immature. While I’ve read several good reviews of the Phryne Fisher series, the character seemed flat and uninteresting.

Honestly, the book felt like it was trying to hard to be blase about drug use and sex. Not my idea of good reading. I've just started reading a hefty biography of Alexander Hamilton. So far it's fascinating; I had no idea he had such a tragic childhood. Yesterday was a wonderful day. Mia successfully started Sunday School, and I really enjoyed being back in church.

It's chilly and rainy today, perfect weather for the day.