Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Reading

by Linda

Well, the kids are out of school and the temperature's up. It must be summer! I still look forward to summertime with as much glee as I did as a child! Certain aspects can appear not so fun but all in all, summertime is fun.

It doesn't matter if you stay in town or plan a get-away trip, there's nothing like longer days and backyard BBQ's with family and friends. And fireflies, oh yes fireflies! Those magic little creatures that appear for an instant. I remember spending many summer evenings chasing those little flying insects. This is something I have been able to do with my grands and to see them delight in it as much as I do just warms my heart!

Summer's more leisurely pace (and high temperatures) often has me looking for a book to get buried in while I wait for the oven outside to cool down, at midnight, or 2 AM.

But I digress...

There is an app called Overdrive that I enjoy. It connects with my local library and allows me to check out books, audiobooks and videos. They stay on my device for 14 days then they go away. While the selection is not as extensive as what is actually available in the library, new titles are added daily. It's getting there. It is just so convenient to just do the whole thing online. No trips to the library to check out/return books. If a title I want is checked out, I can place a hold on it, just like at the library, when it is available I get an email and it pops in on my bookshelf. (virtual bookshelf)

Overdrive has partnered with Big Library Read. This is like a giant book club all online. The selection of the month is available for immediate download. I was somewhat interested in this when I got the email but didn't look at which book was selected. Then I started watching Genius on the National Geographic channel. Are you watching it? It's about Albert Einstein from his higher education to the end of his life. 2 different actors play him. I think they did a great job. His name has become synonymous with genius. I'm no Einsten but Albert Einstein is a well known name but how much do we really know about him? We know he was a scientist, but who was he? And for that matter, how much do we know about his first wife? Mileva Maric?

Here's a spoiler-she was from Eastern Europe at a time when Eastern Europeans where looked down upon and she was a women at a time that women were forbidden to attend school and she was born with a handicap. She was also quite a genius herself, having managed to attend school and do very well in the face of a male dominated society. Extremely well, she was a physicist and mathematician, a lone woman in a male dominated profession. She was at least at bright as Albert Einstein and perhaps, more, and there is much discussion about how much input she had on the many papers he wrote and published during their marriage and how much input did she have on his most famous paper - the Theory of Relativity.

You know, that one. The one that involved lots of physics and math.

The paper he won a Nobel Prize for, and interestingly gave Mileva the prize money, was a paper he wrote in 1905, while married to Mileva, was an explaination of the photoelectric effect.

You can imagine how surprised, and interested, I was when I took a look at which book was selected for the Big Library Read.

"The Other Einstein" by Marie Benedict. This book is based on facts but there are so few facts about Mileva Maric Einstein, the author did have to use her imagination to fill in some of the gaps, a fact she acknowledges. Mileva did not keep a diary but there were numerous letters written between Mileva and Albert that capture the nature of their relationship. A relationship initially based on intellect and equality as well as passion. This book was very thoughtfully written. It was not written to discredit Albert Einstein in any way. It was written to show Mileva and her life with Albert Einstein, her struggle with choosing between an intellectual life and a domestic life which is probably one of the reasons their marriage did not last. And it's fascinating. She was fascinating.

If you're looking for an online book club, or a good summer read, check out Big Library Read through Overdrive.

All you need is a library card.

Do you have one?



heyjudephotography said...

What interesting information about Mileva Einstein! And I will be checking out that app, it sounds so easy. Have a great summer Linda!

Cathy H. said...

I do love summer reading! I'm still one that likes to hold my books, but when I'm traveling or in waiting rooms I like my Kindle. I do get most of my E-books from the library. As you said the selection is getting better and better.

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