Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It’s a Matter of Time

In the post, I called Oscar and Felix,
I told you why I was offered a $50 dollar gift certificate to a bookstore. Well, the gift card finally arrived and I wasted no time taking it to the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove where I looked for the books I most wanted to read.

 The first was a book called The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli who, according to the back cover, is “the physicist known for making complex science intelligible.” (God, I hope so.) If you know me, or if you have read my memoir, Rude Awakening, you know that I have long been fascinated by the concept of time.

In that book, I wrote that one of the things I learned during my rude awakening was that “there is no such thing as linear time, and that all things happen simultaneously. I suppose that another way of saying it is that we don’t exist in time, but rather, we exist, and time is superimposed onto us” (in other words, it’s wired into our brains) “to give us a sense of structure and order much the same way the lines of latitude and longitude are placed onto a map to give us a sense of place.”

“The secrets of the universe,” I wrote, “aren’t really secrets. We all know them all the time. We simply don’t know how to access them.” Or – I am smart enough to know that the answers to all the questions lie somewhere inside of me (and you), but I am not smart enough to find them. However, according to the NPR critique quoted on the book’s back cover, Carlo Rovelli is an Italian physicist-poet who sees “the world or, more adequately, physical reality, as a lyrical narrative written in some hidden code that the human mind can decipher.” (Emphasis mine.) Wish me luck! I’m about to find out.

Of the other two books I selected, one is called The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which was recommended by my son who bought a copy of it this past summer while he was here visiting from Germany where he lives. The third book is James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, a love story he wrote back in 1974 which, I was intrigued to discover, has just been made into a movie that will be released in November.

So with these three books and the two I have yet to read for my Literature/Discussion class, I should be able to meet my Goodreads reading challenge (of 50 books) well before the end of the year.

Which reminds me, next year I am going to promise to read less than a dozen books because the ones I most want to read are some of the longest ever written, including Les Miserables, Doctor Zhivago, and War and Peace. I have, for years, been telling myself that I was saving those books for when I reach 80 which, no doubt, will arrive while I’m reading them.

My memoir, Dear Elvis, a story about grief and loss can be found at