Saturday, August 1, 2009

Heat Wave

This has been the craziest year for weather ever. Oh, climate change. We had snow for a week in December, and now we've had a week of ridiculously hot weather. And by ridiculous, I mean record breaking. I live in Seattle. We are known for rain. We do not have extreme weather. And yet, it has been hovering around the 100 degrees mark. Wednesday, it got the hottest it ever has, at 103.

I've been swimming every day (sometimes twice), been to five different beaches, hung out in a friend's basement, eaten a lot of popsicles and ice cream, and in general managed to stay surprisingly cool. Still, one should not be able to walk around in shorts and t-shirt in the middle of the night.

What does one choose to read in weather this crazy? I've found watching TV makes it feel hotter, and I've no doubt some choice of books would have the same effect. Do you read books set in cold climates, or books set in the desert? Last summer I read The English Patient, and was glad I'd read it in summer, with its settings of Italy and North African desert. I'm inclined to think hot books are better for hot weather, especially if it's hotter there than it is here. Cold books just make you envious.

Of course, my current reading is England in fall and winter (Diary of a Provincial Lady and Marking Time), so I've not exactly chosen hot books. Diary of a Provincial Lady is at least rather short and sweet, which I am inclined to think is better for this weather. You don't really want page-long paragraphs, which leave you sweaty and gasping for breath at the end. Anything with short chapters, short diary entries, short sentences, seems preferable. Poetry, too, is good hot weather reading. I am inclined, again to turn to Michael Ondaatje, and read his poems. The Cinnamon Peeler is a book I've been halfway through for ages, and as it's poetry I could pick it up again at any time. The idea is very much starting to appeal.

Look at all the poor dead grass in my back yard. It's like straw on the ground, it's so flat. The grape vine, tomatoes, and flowers are all flourishing, though.

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