I was up early and walking my new neighborhood on Sunday morning. It has become my routine most mornings. The people I meet along the way are also out to enjoy the morning and are friendly enough to utter a good morning or, nod and smile, but do not interrupt my walk. It’s perfect. I enjoy the flock of ibis that seem to be around most days; one morning there were actually a dozen of them suspended atop the electrical wire, such a strange and enjoyable sight with their long spindly legs. And I usually end up passing my new favorite spot: the burrow of the tiny burrowing owls on a nearby street. For those of you who have have not encountered these little guys you are missing the boat. Years ago when my children were small we had a nest across the street from our home. My oldest son used to make it his business to make sure no one got too close. You see, the older owls are very fierce. They will protect their own at all costs. We’ve seen the parent owl accost a nosy human who gets just a tad too close. It’s not pretty folks. So I am really careful not to stop in front of them or get too close. There are usually signs near the burrow letting you know what they are and not to bother them. Pretty cool.
After my walk I treated myself to a NYT. A real paper. The real deal. Not digital. Paper! I took my time and read almost every page top to bottom. I was in my glory. I had the Olympics on tv. And the local and Times at my fingertips. The NYT magazine was intriguing this week. Entirely filled with a feature on lands of terror. Now, that is not something I would usually choose to read, and certainly not on my lazy Sunday. However, I found the photos and the information so utterly compelling that I have chosen to hold on to this and keep it close. It was the first time I’ve really looked at a map to see where all of these countries actually are in proximity to other European and Asian countries. The piece is called FRACTURED LANDS. Very important.
And what am I reading these days? I received a finished first edition of A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles. I am taking my time, savoring every delicious word and sentence. Folks, this book is destined for classicdom! It is exquisite. I feel like I’ve won the book jackpot with this one. My friends at Viking have provided my book. I look forward to presenting this one at my lectures this fall and winter. You are in for such a treat.