Full Spectrum by Adam Rogers

Yesterday my review of Adam Rogers’ fabulous book, Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern, was one sentence from completion. I had shared the span of history, biology, geology, commerce, physics, light, and more that he wove together in his exploration of color.  I had written about the other books about color on my shelf: Catherine McKinley’s  Indigo in which she traces this marvelous color from the dye pots of ancient Africa to the runways of 21st century Fashion Week and Simon Garfield’s delightful Mauve, the accidental invention of which by 18-year-old chemist William Perkins in 1856 gave way to mass-production of color by marrying chemistry and chroma. 

I’d written about Rogers’ clarity in explaining complex theories and even more complex science and how he managed to edge in humor as well.  He called the brain “think-meat” and offered up sentences such as, “The oscillation between seeing and learning is a steady hum in the background of human history.” There was also this sentence which I offer you the next time you are at a coktail party (remember those?) and want to impress: “A material’s refractive index is the ratio of speed of light in a vaccuum to speed of light as it moves through that material.”  I wrote how Full Spectrum arrived full of mystery. A deliver from Amazon with no note from the sender.

You know where this is going, don’t you? One sentence from completion my review fell victin to that sickening sleight of hand we all know too well. My review disappeared. Into the ether, over the rainbow, off the canvas for evermore.  So instead, I give you what Rogers says of Full Spectrum: “This book will roughtly folloiw the back-and-forth of color beetween — to be reductionistbout it — physics and mind.”  It is not a fast read, but it is a fascinating one.

 

PS Turns out my son saw a review of the book and thought I’d enjoy it. He was spot on.

PSS Also turns out that back in June I had tucked away in my “To Read” file a WSJ review of Full Spectrum. I love it that my son and I remain on the same wavelength.

There is Magic in the World…

…and the Heavens listen.  This is a “stop the presses!” moment.

Our daughter-in-law texted late last night that today at five would be a good time to read to Olivia and do music*.  When Martin told me, I realized I’d need to get to the library for some new books to read. This morning  I received a delivery from Amazon.  At the bottom was a book I don’t even remember ordering.

I reached for What Do You Know? by sisters Aracelis Girmay and Ariana Fields (I mean with names like that they have to be magic women!), opened it, began to read, and tumbled into that special place of mine where gratitude spirals from my very depths like the best fireworks you’ve ever seen.  Gratitude for these talented women, gratitude for my capacity to feel so deeply, gratitude for the years (two) and conversations (1000) that brought this book into being.

From the blurb: “What might a bear, a farmer, a historian, some goats or courage respond when love askes, ‘What do you know?’ ” Turn the page and be surrounded in wonder and astonishment. Reach the farmers’ pages and delight in the illustrations. Read the answer of courage and know that when you read this book to your children and grandchildren you will be teaching them life’s most difficult lesson in an unforgettable way.

That’s all I’ll say.  Except for this: Order this book today. Visit Enchanted Lion Books.  They are an amazing publisher of the art and philosopy we call children’s books.

 

* Martin finds incredible music videos to enjoy with Olivia.  Their repetoire spans opera, Broadway, ballet and symphonies. One of their favorites is Shostakovich’s opera The Nose which contains a scene of dancing noses.

 

I have classified this post in three drawers: Grandlife, Bookshelf, Kids @ Heart because the book is so wonderful I don’t want anyone to miss it!

Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen

The women photographed and featured in Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style are eye candy and inspiration for the rest of us. Cohen has made a career of photographing and celebrating fabulously put together women d’un certain age.

There is Rose, a centenarian who isn’t dressed until she is cinched with an iconic belt and clasped with string of outrageous beads. Tziporah Saloman’s canary yellow beanie, Bakelite bracelets and canvas espadrilles are the perfect foils to her perwinkle and maize tunic. “And sometimes it’s a fine line from costume to chic so I am for the latter and work on it until I achieve it.”

The women who caught the author/photgrapher’s eye, steal my heart on every page.  Their delight in their own sense of style and creativity shimmers in each image and sends the message that style never goes out of style and that age is never a barrier to being beautiful.