Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. If you are not familiar with her poems, they are infused with the natural world and contain so much wisdom that they are a balm for my soul. A couple of my favorites of hers are "The Summer Day" and "Wild Geese". Google them and read them. They'll give you a taste of what her delicious poems are like. This collection is pretty much standard Mary. A feast for the senses and emotions. I highly recommend this, or any other collection of her poems. Here's one of my favorites from this book:
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Will the hungry ox stand in the field and not
of the sweet grass?
Will the owl bite off its own wings?
lark forget to lift its body in the air or
forget to sing?
Will the rivers
Behold, I say - behold
the reliability and the
finery and the teachings
of this gritty earth gift.
Eat bread and understand comfort.
and understand delight.
Visit the garden where the scarlet trumpets
opening their bodies for the hummingbirds
who are drinking the sweetness, who
For one thing leads to another.
Soon you will
notice how stones shine underfoot.
Eventually tides will be the only calendar
you believe in.
And someone's face, whom you love, will be as a
both intimate and ultimate,
and you will be both heart-shaken and
And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper:
let me, for a while longer, enter the two
beautiful bodies of your
Someday I am going to ask my friend Paulus,
The dancer, the potter,
To make me a begging bowl
Which I believe
My soul needs.
And if I come to you,
To the door of your comfortable house
With unwashed clothes and unclean
Will you put something into it?
I would like to take this chance.
I would like to give you this chance.
We do one thing or another; we stay the same, or we
You have changed.
Let me ask you this.
Do you also think that beauty exists for some
And if you have not been enchanted by this
What would do for you?
What I loved in the beginning, I think, was mostly
Never mind that I had to, since somebody had to.
That was many
Since then I have gone out from my confinements,
I mean the ones that thought to rule my heart.
I cast them
out, I put them on the mush pile.
They will be nourishment somehow
(everything is nourishment
somehow or another).
And I have become the
child of the clouds, and of hope.
I have become the friend of the enemy,
whoever that is.
I have become older and, cherishing what I have
I have become younger.
And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I
Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.
Okay, I admit it. I'm a Neil Young fan and that was my main reason for reading this book--which by the way, I found interesting. It is a book suffused with comments about loss and aging and its author is not a high faluting author, just an old rocker who has some things to say. He says them in a stream of consciousness style, jumping around in time a lot as he's telling you his story. But it was interesting to learn a bit about how he was raised and the kinds of experiences he has had that played themselves out in his music. He also tells you a great deal about his ideas about improving the sound of today's music by restoring high resolution digital music. If you are not a Neil Young fan, I'm not sure this book would hold your interest--but if you are a fan of his music, you'll enjoy this back story.
Edward Warren has been living in Thailand for several years, after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. He gets a frantic phone call from his mother, in which he learns that his Dad lies comatose in a hospital, gravely injured in a car accident that also involved his younger sister Cara. He quickly returns to the United States. Luke is an animal conservationist who became famous after living with a wolf pack in the wilds of Canada. It's impossible for his children to reconcile the broken man in the hospital bed with their dynamic father. When doctors say Luke's chances of recovery are practically nil, his daughter Cara hopes for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father's organs.
With this book, Picoult examines the intersection between medical science and moral choices, and she manages to make us confront some provocative questions. If we can keep people who have no hope for recovery alive artificially, should they also be allowed to die artificially? Does the potential to save somebody else's life with a donated organ balance the act of hastening another's death? When a father's life hangs in the balance, which sibling should get to decide his fate?
Jodi Picoult is known as a writer who deals with family, relationships, love, and so much more. She is a meticulous researcher who says it drives her crazy as a reader when she catches authors in inaccuracies--so she is a stickler about it. For Lone Wolf, she spent time with a man who lived in the wild with a wolf pack for a year (Shaun Ellis) – and got to meet some other wolves he has in captivity. She recommends that you read his book "The Man Who Lives with Wolves," and tells you that if you want to learn more about wolves or sponsor wolves, you can contribute to The Wolf Centre and Foundation, where he continues to work to understand more about wolves and wolf behavior. The website is www.thewolfcentre.co.uk
Her research into wolf biology, and the heirarchy and mentality of the pack makes the story all the more enjoyable. It is also a compelling read because of its examination of a very complex subject that many families may have to deal with at some point.
It is well written, packs an emotional punch, and the family dynamics are handled quite well (this is a Picoult trademark).
Good books. Good times. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good beginnings. Good ends. Good people. Good friends. Good fiction. Good facts. Good adventures. Good acts. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good books. Good times.
Yeah, Reading is Sexy
A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
River of Earth by James Still
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
The Stand by Stephen King
This quote from Eudora Welty captures perfectly how I feel about books and reading
"I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself."
Get Caught Reading
Want to find time to read? Fall in book love. Seek out the books that fire your passions. Follow your intellect and your heart. Then time will find you. ...Steve Leveen
Stop thinking this is all there is...
Realize that for every ongoing war and religious outrage and environmental devastation, there are a thousand counter-balancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breathtaking scale, from flower box to cathedral.
Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel.
Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume; right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious...there's your opening!
And, finally, believe you are part of a groundswell, a resistance, a seemingly small but actually very, very large impending karmic overhaul, a great shift, the beginning of something important and potent and unstoppable.
...Mark Morford, Newspaper Columnist and Yoga Instructor
CONAN THE LIBRARIAN
I read as if time were running out, because technically it is. As I grow older, I find I'm increasingly impatient with mediocre entertainments: I want books that will take my breath away and realign my vision...Barbara Kingsolver
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill...Barbara Techman (Writer)
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul...Samuel Ullman
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order...John Adams, 2nd President of the U.S.
Every page allows me to live in the main character's thoughts and marvel at how all of us who grew up poor and female are bonded, regardless of where we were raised or who raised us. I not only feel I know this person, but I also recognize more of myself. That's just one of the great joys of reading. Insight, escape, information, knowledge, power. All that and more can come through a good book...If you're going to binge, literature is definitely the way to do it...Oprah Winfrey
"I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved."
Asking a Librarian her favorite book is like asking a Mother her favorite child
So you want to become a librarian? Welcome to a vibrant and exciting profession. Click here.
The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen. Health and strength may fail. But what you have committed to your mind, is yours forever...Louis Lamour
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.Just get people to stop reading them. ..... Ray Bradbury
I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN
Do yourself a favor and read American Gods, Anansi Boys, Fragile Things, Smoke & Mirrors, The Graveyard Book, MirrorMask, or Good Omens
Love the Fantasy/SciFi genre
Many good authors to try, John Scalzi is one of the newer ones
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, interesting...Aldous Huxley
The Chronicles of Narnia are an excellent read!
I was an adult before I read these books...how sad...
BOOKS: The Other Channel
My lifelong love affair with books and reading continues unaffected by automation, computers, and all other forms of the twentieth-century gadgetry. — Books in My Life Robert DOWNS (1903- )
A room without books is like a body without a soul. .....Marcus T. Cicero
To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ......Gaston Bachelard
The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. — Cosmos Carl SAGAN
The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. — Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475 Norman COUSINS (1915- )