September Random CAT - Equinox
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I think I've always loved the Equinox. It just feels so right to have life in balance. Equal amounts of light and dark.
Definition from Wikipedia; An equinox is commonly regarded as the instant of time when the plane (extended indefinitely in all directions) of Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun. This occurs twice each year: around 20 March and 23 September. In other words, it is the moment at which the center of the visible Sun is directly above the Equator.
This month our Random CAT is Equinox, read a book that is about Light and Dark, night or day, fall and spring. You could read non-fiction or fiction for this. Fantasy or reality. It really is open. You could even read about a Chevy Equinox if you want. It really is quite open. No summer or winter allowed. Covers with moon and sun are options, too.
I am looking forward to all your ideas and suggestions.
I do still have Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon, which I didn't get round to last time I thought of it for a challenge.
I have a couple of books that I think will fit, one is quite short and is a collection of short stories called Under an Autumn Moon: Tales of Imagination by Lena Ng, while the other is Under a Silent Moon a thriller by Elizabeth Haynes. Not sure if I will read both, but right now I am leaning towards the thriller.
I found a few good options:
Days by Moonlight by Andre Alexis
Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson
Night School by Lee Child
And one that has been sitting around for ages Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved by Chris O'Dell
The last one deserves a prize for the length of the title, which is what has always put me off reading it.
>7 majkia: yes, I believe it would as it talks about the sun passing through the line of the equator.
This is a really cool idea! Off to see what's on my TBR that might work...
I already have Vol de nuit, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, on my on-deck pile, so I think I'll count it toward this challenge too ;)
>12 fuzzi: black could be the same as dark. It really is open. I just think winter and summer should be avoided as this is equinox and not solstice.
Oh, I think I have the perfect book! And, my library has it:
The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light / Paul Bogard
ETA: Both light AND dark (and, of course, night.)
I thought this was going to be easy and I just perused my shelves -- so many books with "summer" in the title! Heh.
I have Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss that I have been wanting to read. It's not about either of our two seasons but it has "light" in the title. I also have Dark Star by Alan Furst. Maybe that would be better.
If I hadn't already read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, this would be the perfect opportunity.
>15 EBT1002:, I think Light, dark are both good. Fine Balance would be great!
So, this challenge had me puzzled. I wasn't seeing anything in my TBR that seemed to reflect the balance inherent in the equinox. Then I realized that Ray Bradbury's book The Golden Apples of the Sun takes its name from a William Butler Yeats verse:
. . . And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
My husband has been urging me to read Ray Bradbury—perfect timing!
>17 NinieB:, that sounds perfect! And apples are harvested in fall.
>17 NinieB: I have just 'discovered' Ray Bradbury and love all the ones I have read so far. May have to look for this one too!
>17 NinieB:, I was sad to discover that the book that contained this story is missing at my library. Darn.
>21 Kristelh: Oh, bummer. Does your library have free interlibrary loan? Maybe they could get it for you.
>22 NinieB: yes, they do, and I am sure I can get it that way. I am shopping this weekend and bookstores are one of the spots I will be hitting so can check that out too. Ray Bradbury books are always good to have around. They fit so many challenges.
By coincidence, I read The Dark Angel. I have plowed through this series and am patiently waiting for book #11 from the library.
I finished reading the stories in The Golden Apples of the Sun today. I have always thought of Ray Bradbury of a science fiction author, but based on this collection I have been thinking of him much too narrowly. Some of the stories are fantasy, some horror, some straight fiction, some in fact sci-fi. The title story, the last in the book, is sci-fi. I'll definitely read more Bradbury in the future.
I finished The Darkness, which was pretty good. The ending was interesting, but I'm not sure where the series will go from there.
>27 Kristelh: I remember reading The Sound of Thunder with my middle school students when I was still teaching full time. That is one I will never forget. I recommend that one in addition to The Golden Apples of the Sun.
I just finished a quick read Sweet September (Home to Heather Creek) by Kathleen Bauer aka Tricia Goyer. This is part of a series of which I read most of the books.
I just started the perfect book for this theme. It's They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded by James Alan Gardner, the second book in his series about the war between the Dark and the Light, with the Darklings as the supervillains and the Sparks as the superheroes.
I'm thinking that Autumn by Ali Smith would be a good choice doe this month.
The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light / Paul Bogard
The author of this book travels to various places around the world – some are the brightest places and some are the darkest places. He is trying to find the best ways to get back to some natural darkness, and not let light pollution take over our world.
There is a scale to measure darkness (from 1-9, 1 being the darkest), and I liked that he numbered his chapters in reverse, as he started at the brighter places (Las Vegas, brightest in the world! And Paris, City of Lights), and made his way to darker places, as he continued on. He not only discussed the light or darkness of each place, and of course, the resulting lack of stars that can be seen, he also talked about crime (some light helps, but more and more light doesn’t make a difference), and also the effect of perpetual light at night on humans’ health, not just due to sleepyness for those who work at night, but also cancer. Of course, there was discussion of other animals, as well, who rely on night and darkness.
I found this very interesting. I love looking at the stars and miss being in a rural area in order to actually see the stars (or more than the very few I can see in the city I now live in). I love to be out at my parents’ cabin in the summers when I visit, and I can see the Milky Way and pick out so many constellations when I’m out there.
>36 LibraryCin: I think that (ironically) one of the darkest places in the US is Bryce Canyon, which is not very far, relatively speaking, from Las Vegas.
I am a city girl who moved a few years ago to upstate New York, and I'm out in the country from the small city I live near. It took me several months to figure out why it was so dark at night, then finally one night the penny dropped. Lack of light pollution.
Sounds like a very interesting book.
>36 LibraryCin:, nice review. I liked the structure of the book. That was smart on his part. I like to see dark skies with stars and even tho I live kind of in the country, there is a lot of light. Winter is better for viewing the sky than summer of course, but that is probably because of the seasons rather than the artificial light.
>37 NinieB: I believe that's one of the places he visited!
>38 Kristelh: Sadly, if you are even close to a larger centre, the light pollution will reach you, and it just seems to be getting worse. :-(
It's so cold in winter, I so rarely go out at night. I do get home to my small hometown to visit at Christmas, but it's just too cold to spend time outside to really look at the sky. So, most of my stargazing is when I visit in the summers and we head out to the cabin and have a campfire. I don't have to walk far, as long as I face away from the fire, the sky viewing is pretty good!
>39 LibraryCin: you're right about the light pollution getting worse. It might partly due to all the LEDs being used in street lighting and car headlights now. :(
On light pollution, I noticed a few towns in Ireland had a sign up on entry to the town saying they were dark at night to allow the sky to be seen. I don't remember the wording used, but that was in its essence.
I've read The Translation of the Bones which is set during Lent and Easter, which is at the time of the other equinox.
I began the series for the Summer Solstice and decided to read the others in the appropriate months. SO this month for Autumn Equinox I am reading Winds of Autumn by Janette Oke
I completed the police procedural, Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes for this month's RandomCat.
I chose this book because of the fall-colored leaf on the cover:
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
James plays the bagpipes, and he's extremely good at it. So good, in fact, that the special conservatory where he attends high school doesn't have an instructor good enough to teach him. But he didn't choose the Thornking-Ash School of Music to help his playing; he's there because of a girl. Because of course he is. And the two of them are mixed up with the Them, who chase teens with exceptional musical abilities. But James becomes more involved with the Fey than even he would have guessed at this new school, and becomes torn between his oldest friend/object of his unrequited interest, and his new and also very interesting friend, who happens to be a leanan sidhe. They're all in danger when they discover that the queen of Faerie is planning something big with the horned king of the dead, and James will have to make some tough decisions before it's all over.
I enjoyed this one a good deal, and it's a great follow-up to Lament. Stiefvater has fast become one of my favorites because she has that fabulous talent of blending the supernatural into the real world so effortlessly, and her love of myth and folklore shows, and I love her for that.
Days by Moonlight by André Alexis
Alfred Homer has been asked to accompany a family friend to search southern Ontario for a poet who has not been heard of for some time. They pass through towns with some bizarre customs. The result is a ribald, weird, darkly funny story of their travels. It's to be expected that an Ontarian odyssey featuring someone named Homer will form a highly imaginative work. Not only is Homer quirky but the people they meet are at the top end of the offbeat register.
"Days by Moonlight is not a work of realism. It's not a work that uses the imagination to show the real, but one that uses the real to show the imagination." -- André Alexis
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