I'm reading a bunch of things at once. Wait, it's been a long long time since I've written about what I'm reading. Things have been happening out here in the real world that have been quite intense and distracting. My sister has cancer and that came about quite quickly and shockingly. So I've been traveling to see her plus traveling for work. I am on my way back from Washington DC as I write this after two weeks on a movie shoot. Okay, but I have been reading. Hang on...I decided that since to load all the books I have sitting on my actual shelves at home into Shelfari would be too much work, I'm adding to Shelfari every time I buy a new book (be it a gift or something for me to read). So that's my shelfari plan. I like it and I like the little widget that goes with it. You can see what I've purchased lately and have been reading lately. Okay okay, back to the reading. I'm in the middle of Revolutionary Characters which was recommended by a friend who lives and works near/in Washington DC. My love of history, specifically American History, makes this an easy one to plow through. My recent flirtation with John Adams also helps a lot. What that means is, I almost was the VFX Producer on John Adams mini-series in 2005, but HBO put the show on hold for a year and so I had to move on. But I enjoyed learning about one of the most ardent revolutionaries and our second president through that project and it inspired me to read more about these men who changed the world. While in DC I went to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Seeing the documents, the actual, for real, signed by John Adams himself (et al) blew my mind. People risked their lives to write up these ideas an ideals and here were the very documents, right in front of me. It brought a tear to my eye. I'm not ashamed to say I'm a sentimental softie and quite an American patriot, in the truest sense of the word. Have you read the Constitution lately? Read it. It's not long. It's very straightforward and clear. These days, you want to pay particular attention to Article I, Section 9. Also, listen to This American Life's Peabody Award winning show "Habeas Schmabeas". And I highly recommend reading Revolutionary Characters because it gives you an insight into these men. Not gods or icons as we learned them in elementary and high school, but flawed, brilliant, multi-faceted, men. The other book I'm in the middle of is The World Without Us. The hook is, all humans are gone from the earth tomorrow (all of us, just gone) -- how long would nature take to reclaim what she had before we came along? The answer, in some cases, might astound you. The subways in NYC would be flooded within just a few days without anyone there to control the pumps. The book is more than that, the author talks about what us humans have put into nature and how hard some of it will be to get rid of. Plastics, for example. Personally, this is the first time I've really understood what plastic is and how it will be in and on the earth forever. I have been doing a good job of using my personal grocery bags every time I go shopping and therefore no longer get plastic or even paper bags. Sometimes I forget, but even then, if I can carry what I've bought without a bag, I'll not take a bag. Small changes, yes, but changes. Plastic isn't going away for a long long long time. And I mean thousands upon thousands of years. This book really opened my eyes. The World Without Us is entertaining and eye opening.