Friday, February 21, 2020

Time Travel with Madeleine

Yesterday was spent catching up on things and getting some rest. I made a quick trip to work so I could pick up a package (we have everything shipped there because someone's always around to securely receive it) and I checked in a few returned books.

The package contained a red glass vase that I ordered from an antique shop in Oklahoma. It's identical to one my grandmother used to own that my brother has now. I was reminded of it while watching the new Star Trek show, "Picard" -- one of the characters drinks out of one. Anyway, I always loved Grandmother's and now I'm glad to have my own. (They were made by Anchor Hocking decades ago but they're not expensive.)

In the afternoon, Dave and I went to the high street so he could use one of his Christmas presents, a gift card from the local cook shop. He wanted an oval gratin pan, but of course they didn't have one in stock. I like the idea of supporting local merchants, and I always try to do that, but this is the downside -- unlike the Internet, they sometimes don't have what you want! (And yet they did have an entire wall of reusable water bottles, which seemed excessive in such a small store.) Anyway, they're looking into whether they can order Dave's pan.

I've worked my way through all but two books from my February Break reading stack. I read "A Wrinkle in Time" and "When You Reach Me" on my overnight trip to the beach. I first read "A Wrinkle in Time" when I was in the fifth grade and loved it. A friend of my mom's loaned it to me, and I distinctly remember the cover (image at left, found online).

Our library copy looks entirely different, but of course I still enjoyed it. It's so interesting to re-read a childhood favorite as an adult. What was a very rich book as a kid seems a bit slim now, and there were elements I didn't detect before -- several religious references, for example. (Apparently L'Engle was quite religious herself, in a liberal New England way.) There's a very clear light vs. dark, good vs. evil, anti-authoritarian theme. I loved how she gave us just enough science to make time and space travel seem feasible, and I remembered some secondary characters, like Aunt Beast, quite clearly. Five stars!

"When You Reach Me" is a Newbery winner from several decades later that refers back to "A Wrinkle in Time," and even has a plot somewhat inspired by it. So it was fun to read it immediately afterwards. Also five stars!

We got more rain yesterday, two gusty storms that blew through in the afternoon. The garden is certainly not lacking moisture.

(Photo: A garage on Cinnamon Street in Wapping.)


  1. Cinnamon Street sounds like an antidote to Sesame Street. Don't follow the yellow brick road, follow the double yellow lines and they'll take you all the way back to Wapping in a wrinkle of time.

  2. Funny thing about book covers and how they sometimes differ for the same book depending on where/when it is sold. UK and US cover artwork is often dissimilar. An example is Hilary Mantel's new book, The Mirror and the Light--entirely different covers. I prefer the UK cover.

  3. That vase is lovely! I would buy it if I saw it somewhere. I'm sort of a sucker for vases. And colored glass.

  4. I tried to get my daughter to read A Wrinkle In Time back when she was young but she was not interested. I've never read it myself but I did watch the movie a while back.

  5. Did you happen to see the movie "A Wrinkle in Time"? It's on my list of movies to watch. I wonder how closely it follows the original story.

  6. when Erik was little we read Wrinkle along with THE GIVER...and then RED...The kids mind exploded, as it should and has not been confined in reality since.

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed the books! And your issue with the cooking shop is exactly my frustration too. It doesn't help that I've gotten so used to getting whatever I want within a couple of days.

  8. I'm reading "A Very Stable Genius", god knows why. But it is written in easy to read language so I'm enjoying it. At least as much as one can, reading about an ignorant, vain, obnoxious mob boss type of person.

  9. I love the red vase. Colored glass is so pretty. You're doing great with your reading list. I have a few more things to finish here before I can get back to reading. That's quite an interesting sidewalk by the garage. Rather curvy. I do love the cobblestones. Reminds me of the roads near my grandpa's house many years ago. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  10. My mother had one of those vases! I wonder what became of it.

    You are plowing through your reading list!

  11. YP: There's a children's poem in there somewhere. Where's Shel Silverstein when we need him?

    Mary: YES! We've noticed that in the library. The UK and US editions very often have different covers. I don't know why the publishers do this, because it just sows confusion!

    Ms Moon: Me too! The glass is called Royal Ruby, and Anchor Hocking also made the same vase in deep green, Emerald or something like that. I'm thinking I may need the green one too. :)

    Ellen: Supposedly the movie is pretty terrible.

    Sharon: I think it's a hard book to film, because so much of it is so fantastic and impossible to reproduce visually. (Maybe now with CGI it's more possible.) Madeleine L'Engle herself said the film version was terrible. (I think there are two -- she was talking about the earlier one, but there's a more recent one as well.)

    Linda Sue: Yeah, "The Giver" is fantastic too! What is "Red"?

    Bug: It used to be commonplace that stores would have to order items for a customer. People were much more patient way back when!

    Catalyst: Oh, Lord. I don't think I could take a whole book about him. Even a critical one.

    Edna: Many parts of London still have cobbled streets.

    Jenny-O: They're super inexpensive. I think mine cost about $8, not including shipping (which was far more!).