A Book Recommendation Youyou* and Dancing Delight

Everyone needs good books to anticipate in the new year. Leave a comment with your name and the title and author of the book you're reading now, and I'll

a) recommend a book for you
b) tell you why I think you'll like it and
c) lend you a copy if I have it and you're interested**.


"It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue to body or mind; but when a beginning is made—when the felicities of rapid motion have been once, though slightly, felt—it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more."

Thus wrote Jane Austen in Emma, and once again Austen's wisdom has proved true in my life. For while I was in Edinburgh, I had the pleasure of participating in the World's Longest Strip the Willow, a Scottish country dance that, as performed in the streets by exuberant tipsy twentysomethings, mostly consisted of a lot of joyous swinging each other in circles. But I did indeed experience the "felicities of rapid motion," and my heart indeed did ask for more; so tonight I attended a meeting of Country Dance * New York, a fine organization of about forty people (at tonight's event, anyway). A caller instructed us in the intricacies of each dance, and a fiddler and pianist provided the music; and we turned, skipped, did honor, took hands, and cast up and down set after set after set. We didn't dance "Mr. Beveridge's Maggot" --Lizzy and Darcy's dance at the Netherfield Ball in P&P2/3 -- but we did "Mr. Isaac's Maggot," "Fandango," "The Corporation," a couple waltzes, and many others besides. It was thoroughly exhausting and exhilarating -- and, for better or for worse, no one said I was not handsome enough to tempt him. :-) CD*NY meets every Tuesday, so if you'd be interested in coming too, just let me know.

* youyou, n. The opposite of a meme, where the blogger offers information to/about a specific commenter at the commenter's request.
** The fine print: And it isn't signed and you promise to return it within six months (as I seem to have lent and lost my signed His Dark Materials trilogy, which distresses me exceedingly).