The Wearing of the Green

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Happy St. Patrick's Day dear readers. In honor of St. Patrick's Day I decided to read a book about the history of the holiday. I'm not wearing green today (it's not my color), but the background to my blog is green so I still feel festive.

Today's book; "The authors, both historians (Cronin wrote A History of Ireland), trace the annual March 17 festivities back to the fifth century when St. Patrick converted the pagan Irish to Christianity in this dry, lifeless account of the origins and development of the holiday in Ireland, America, Australia, Canada and Britain. Originally a day of commemoration for the saint (believed to have died on the 17th), St. Patrick's Day began in America with, surprisingly,Protestants. The 18th-century American celebrants included Irish officers in the British army, and their festivities revolved around feasting and dancing. It wasn't until the 19th century, with its vast influx of Irish Catholics fleeing the great famine, that parades became popular."

Shallow thoughts -
  • Wow, I really wish I would have run across this description before I picked out today's book. I agree, it was dry and lifeless. If I hadn't been reading the book for the blog I wouldn't have finished it - and not just because it wasn't terribly interesting - but because the book was gritty. And I mean that literally. I reserved the book at the library and didn't even bother to look at the book until today when I sat down to read it - and that's when I discovered that the protective plastic cover over the book was sticky, a stickiness that no amount of wet paper towels or Lysol wipes seems to be able to alleviate - and there were stains on a lot of the pages. I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to read the book without actually having to touch it. Oh, if only I had some rubber gloves. Has that every happened to you dear readers, where you reserved a book at the library and then got home and then it turns out to be so gross that you want to boil it before reading it? Or is it just me?

  • Most of the book was so dull that I struggled to pay attention and I feel like I didn't retain anything beyond the shallow, surface level stuff. But, since that's what my blog is all about, it's okay. I learned a new expression which I've never heard before drowning the shamrock, which means to go drinking on St. Patrick's Day. I don't drink, so I'm not up on the holiday drinking lingo, so that was news to me - but it probably won't be new information to anyone who hasn't let a boring, square, Midwestern life.

At this point, I don't even care what tomorrow's book is about. As long as the book doesn't have to be disinfected before I read it, I'll be happy.