Wednesday, October 05, 2011

 

Best Lied Plans

So, realizing I wasn’t enjoying The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis (I wanted to, I really did) I dismissed the idea of attending the book group meeting at which it would be discussed, feeling that not only would I have nothing to contribute to the discussion, I would also no doubt be inwardly seething. I wanted it to be funnier; also, Fallis erected a glass house when he had two of his characters be grammar purists. Fallis, you have to LIE low; and people get put through the WRINGER. The humour was stuffy, and here’s why: because (in the style of which his narrating character explicitly approves) he didn’t use one word when he could use many more than that.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest; on to Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari (can’t see that name without thinking about Friends’ pal Joey). This was one of those books I read for therapy, dealing as it does with the scenery of my deepest anxieties. It is a YA disaster romance, set in a drowned New York City, when only 1 in a million people have survived hemorraghic smallpox. A crazy scientist, a hot freak of nature, a jealous princess and the guy who won’t declare himself—it was pretty good.

And just for a lark, I checked Molly Bang’s Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life out of the library. What an enthusiastic delivery of one of the most vital processes on Earth. You can never begin too early to understand the importance of photosynthesis and its partner, respiration to Life on our planet: Molly and her partner Penny Chisholm do a great job of making it comprehensible. I never saw so clearly how glucose is so basic: how I love seeing the carbon and hydrogen and oxygen lined up like that in the chemical expression of its makeup. So clear and beautiful! My one difficulty with the book is the design, particularly as applied in the Notes section at the end: the yellow vibrates horribly against the blue page, and I pity any child or adult with vision challenges who wants to read it.

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