Monday, October 01, 2001

Written Sunday evening: Late this afternoon I went for a stroll around my neighborhood. As I passed by a large California Live Oak tree, I saw a squirrel with its back legs and tail stretched out behind it sunning itself along a horizontal part of a branch. It merely looked at me as I walked by and continued enjoying its Sabbath rest. I don't remember ever seeing a squirrel that wasn't scurrying around looking for food, chasing another squirrel, angrily scolding my cats for disturbing it, or dashing up a tree to get away from me.

I am reminded, once again, of why I am a fan of reading book reviews. The cover review in today's Los Angeles Times Book Review is of Venice: Lion City by Garry Wills. The reviewer, John Julius Norwich, highly recommends the book: "For any true lover of Venice, here is a book to read and reread and treasure." In the course of his review, Norwich explains the subtitle of the book, a reference to Venice's leading relic, the evangelist, St. Mark, whose traditional symbol is a lion. I've never been to Venice; otherwise I would have known the story of how two Venetians stole the remains of St. Mark in 828 and brought them to Venice where they were housed in the Basilica of St. Mark. This is just one tidbit I learned in reading the review. Now I want to take a trip to Italy....

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