"There was a surprise on every page as Menocal explored an historical period I knew very little about. The writing is poetic and the message is deeply optimistic."
CBC Manitoba Information Radio host Terry MacLeod
needs to read a lot of material for his job. When he interviews authors he needs to be familiar with their books. So it's no surprise that he is a voracious reader, by nature.
In fact, he has a reading chair that he is very fond of at home. Here's his story:
When I notched my 25th year with CBC the Corporation unexpectedly
presented me with a gift to mark a quarter century of service. The gift
was a very generous $250.
I decided to use it for something that would
bring me pleasure for the rest of my life. I applied it toward the
purchase of a reading chair - the best, softest most gorgeous leather
reading chair I could find.
I found it on the "secret" remainder floor
at The Bay downtown. It was a floor that is generally never open to the
public. The door is always locked and the floor had an abandoned feel to
it. The salesman only showed it to me because I pressed him to see if I
could find my dream reading chair - for $250. Not likely, I thought.
there, way in the dark reaches of the back, sitting by itself, waiting
for me was my coffee-with-single-cream brown leather Italsofa chair - at
$325. It now sits in my dining room, by the window, under a beautiful
quartz reading lamp. It's a great reading chair and a pretty fine one
for a nap too. SCENE asked Terry MacLeod to tell us about one of the books he has enjoyed reading in that chair of his.
My favourite book of the last year, by far, is: The Ornament of The World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
by Maria Rosa Menocal
I discovered the book on March 29,2011 at a performance of The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
. Conductor Anne Manson
mentioned it in her notes as a source of inspiration for the world premiere of Trobairitz Ysabella
featuring vocalist Isabel Bayrakarian
. The work was composed by her husband Serouj Kradjian
This stunning and exotic work was inspired by the lives, poetry and music of the trobairitz
, female troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe. They were considered to be the first known female composers of Western secular music and Ysabella was one of the wandering minstrels.
I so loved the music
that I ran to the library and got the book. It provides a startling portrait of the arrival of the Muslims in Spain from Damascus and Baghdad in the 8th century. It traces the hybridized culture that evolved as Muslims, Jews and Christians created an interdependent society that flourished until the 11th century.
There was a surprise on every page as Menocal explored an historical period I knew very little about. The writing is poetic and the message is deeply optimistic.
I highly recommend you read this book, and that you go to tonight's concert with the MCO
, featuring Spanish cellist Asier Polo
. Music Director Anne Manson
conducts the program of music by Boccherini, Haydn and MCO Composer-in-Residence Serge Arcuri
.Pictured above: Terry MacLeod's reading chair (Terry MacLeod)Publisher: Cambridge University Press