Harbor Light Newspaper LitChat page Feb. 2014
LitChat 4B Harbor Light Community Newsweekly www.harborlightnews.com As part of our ongoing efforts to honor reading and writing, “LitChat” will be included in our newspaper on the first Wednesday of every month. Emily Meier, a writer and reader with deep connections to northern Michigan, is our LitChat editor. Celebrating Words, Literature, Authors, Libraries, Booksellers and Reading! With special Harbor Light Newspaper LitChat Editor/Columnist Week of February 5-11, 2014 Heard in the Bookstore “I’ve got a new book, a Gurney’s sandwich and five bucks left in my pocket. I’m pretty rich.” -Young man on his way out the store Katie Capaldi, Between the Covers Between the Covers | 152 E. Main St., Harbor Springs | 231.526.6658 | email@example.com Emily Meier, firstname.lastname@example.org New Year’s Reading Resolutions I t’s February. Do you know where your resolutions are? recognition, the spark of shared understanding contained in a single great line of writing that makes readers book lovers. In a wonderful essay entitled, “Why Read the Classics”, the now deceased Italian writer and journalist, Italo Calvino, writes, “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” A classic is a book that a reader can return to at various ages and stages of life and find something new. The nuance and wisdom of a classic only get richer upon a reader’s return. And this is why, Calvino explains, that “every reading of a classic is as much a voyage as the first reading.” “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” is the hot question to ask between December 30th and January 1st. But come February this question has long been dropped from polite conversation. It’s the pile of new gym Of course, then there is the famous quote by Mark Twain clothes and the broken alarm clock on who said, “A classic is something that everybody wants to have the floor of the closet. No one wants read and nobody wants to read.” This is where the comparison Emily Meier and Wally to have this discussion. of classic literature to vegetables seems to fit. I’ve never been good with resolutions. Last year, I told myself that if I just tried to do better in So my resolutions begin: small, daily ways--like organizing my closet, eating an extra more veggies and more helping of broccoli, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, great books. Feeding the helping to make someone else’s day a little easier, going to bed mind and the body in 2014. an hour earlier—that I would be on the right track. While I won’t bore you with the whole, raw versus This year, I procrastinated the whole resolution thing and juiced or steamed debate now it is February and I am thinking there should be at least in regard to best vegetaone resolution, one goal to strive for in the name of selfble consumption plan, I improvement. Perhaps something with a literary bent? will share my planned Here is where I admit that, despite being lucky enough to starting point with the have benefited from a great education, there are some holes in classics. I thought I’d my “classics” reading list. Here is where I go on to admit that I start with Middlemarch may have chosen People magazine over finishing The Brother’s by George Elliot (aka Karmazov. Doesn’t everyone need to know what Julia Roberts Mary Anne Evans). wore to the Golden Globes? Or rehash the snarky comments Several years ago, a that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey directed at George Clooney? woman sitting next to But like vegetables, I feel that the classics feed us and offer me in the airport was healthy benefits to our mental diet. And so I am planning on reading this book and we struck up a conversation between attending to the holes in my list. This is my resolution. Anyone boarding announcements and flight delays. She told me that with me here? she wasn’t really a fan of the classics but happened to pick it up What makes a book a classic? To me, the classics are books months before and that she found she’d been thinking about it that have stood the test of time. Human struggle, emotion, and ever since. That day at the airport she was rereading it in order family drama are timeless. The quote worthy lines in the works to “figure out why it’s stuck with me unlike any other book.” of Shakespeare, Austin, Dickens, etc. still make even a modern She explained that Elliot had used a masculine pen name in day reader nod his head in recognition of basic truths. It’s that order to make publishing easier. The fact that a novel written by a woman and published in 1874 was a success peaked my interest. It’s been on my “to read” list ever since. Recently, My Life in Middlemarch by the New Yorker staff writer, Rebecca Mead, caught my eye and has been added to my resolution reading stack. In her book, Mead writes about the influence Elliot’s Middlemarch has had on her own life and career. In the New York Times book review, Joyce Carol Oates classifies Mead’s book as a “biblio-memoir” due to the fact Mead delves into the life of Elliot as well as her own. Mead’s book seems to serve as a nice introduction to the classic and so I chose to begin reading it as a way back down the rabbit hole of classic literature. While I also have a copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens on the same stack, I don’t want to self-sabotage. I have read that scientists believe making resolutions that are too grandiose can lead to failure. So, this year I plan to read Middlemarch. If I happen to also read Great Expectations, it’s just icing. But it’s already February and I don’t want to get too cocky in this business of resolution making. I also read somewhere that partnering with others in the pursuit of a similar task assures success more often than not. So, anyone out there want to read Middlemarch? We are still months away from a real thaw and hint of spring. What better time than now to delve into the pages of a good book and let ourselves be carried away from storm warnings, slippery roads, and school closings? C’mon, steam some veggies and crack a classic with me. This is our year. Should have been reading during this year’s ‘Big Game’ According to Kristin Miller in an article she wrote for NPR, entitled 14 books you could read in the time it takes to watch the Super Bowl, the average adult should be able to read a 200-page book during the Super Bowl. She then goes on to list the following books: • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry • Casino Royale, Ian Fleming • The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot • We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson • The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald • The Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri • Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, Dava Sobel • Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer • Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley • Animal Farm, George Orwell • The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells • The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway Senior Living | Independent and Assisted Living Fabulous February! More Great Events: Super Bowl Tailgate Party Sunday, February 2 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Join us for a traditional football tailgate with food, beverages and fun games for all as we wait for the Super Bowl kick off on the big screen TV. Friendship Center Chorus Monday, February 3 12:45 p.m. Be our guest as the Emmet County Friendship Center Chorus entertains us with an afternoon of music and friendship. Quotable Gentleman’s Valentine’s Day Celebration Friday, February 14 2:00 p.m. “Why, what’s the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?” -William Shakespeare Much Ado about Nothing “The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots.” -George Elliot Middlemarch Gentlemen, bring your favorite Valentine to the Village as we host a Valentine’s Day celebration with cognac, chocolate and cards. Musical entertainment to be provided by the barbershop quartet, “Sonic Tonics”. Sweatin’ with the Oldies Week of February 17 - 21 At Independence Village, we focus on helping you combat the winter lull that may be creeping up during the coldest months of the year. Our meals and activities focus on brightening up each and every day. Experience how exciting senior living can be! Independence Village of Petoskey 965 Hager Drive Petoskey, MI Off US 131 South and Lears Road www.SeniorVillages.com 231-348-8498 ©2014 Independence Villages are managed and lovingly cared for by Senior Village Management. Mon – Fri, 1:00 p.m. each day Join us every day this week as we exercise with a different celebrity instructor and music of years gone by. Stay and enjoy a healthy snack prepared by Chef Erika after each work-out. To kick-off our week, bring your leg-warmers as we exercise with Jane Fonda. RSVP Don’t miss out on the fun!