Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amazing account of healing and transformation. I totally agree with Anita’s message that we are all one, and to let go of fear to heal the world. Highly, highly recommended. If you’re a Wayne Dyer fan it’s a must read!
There are books that entertain and books that speak to our souls. This book hooked itself in my soul and left me speechless. There are no words to describe Ido’s (pronounced Eh-do) journey to communicate despite the barrier of autism. Amazing. Extraordinary. Miraculous. This insightful authentic book of essays about Ido’s world is impressive—witnessing his growth from negativity to hope and possibility made me cheer for him! His language development and quick wit and humor make for an engaging read.
My friend for the past seventeen years Mark has autism and is now twenty-nine. I wish more than anything to give him the tools that would allow him to communicate with his loved ones. Glimpsing his world through Ido’s words has been an uplifting and inspiring call to action to help Mark connect. Thank you Ido, for your courage, perseverance, and your beautiful heart.
Remember my post about the note that my hubby and I leave for each other? I opened the sealed Amazon box and guess what I found inside (besides the books!)? Yup, our ‘i loves you’ note! Jeff wins most-unexpected-place-to-hide-the-note award!
My book pile from the library surprisingly leaned more towards non-fiction over the past month inspiring me with insightful writing suggestions, an amazing adventure, and a remarkable friendship.
I began with Pat Schneider’s Writing Alone and with Others which my VerbTribe members recommended. Pat’s encouragement and wise counsel roll off the page like a quiet conversation over a cuppa tea with a dear friend. She writes, “It is my deep conviction that true discipline is a matter of love, rather than duty. If you are in love, you make time and space for the beloved. That preparation is part of the joy. There is nothing of duty about it. I believe that people who truly want to write are in love with writing, in love with the artist inside, in love with creating. That love is the root source of true discipline.”
Skip to a fiction title: I discovered Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King while searching the library shelf for a Stephen King novel for my dear hubby. Some of the best books I’ve encountered often call to me from the shelf like a magnet attracting filings. This is not Shakespeare’s Lady by any means, this masterful work of historical fiction draws you into the world of eleventh century Scotland where we meet Rue who learned to wield a weapon, ride a horse, and become queen of her people, “I am granddaughter to a king and daughter to a prince, a wife twice over, a queen as well. I have fought with sword and bow, and struggled fierce to bear my babes into this world. I have loved deeply and hated deeply, too….“
Wild by Cheryl Strayed gripped me from page one and didn’t let go. This young woman’s candid story about her journey ‘from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail’ left me shaking my head at her unpreparedness, crying softly with her, and laughing hysterically at her adventures and misadventures while applauding the young woman who emerged from the trail eleven hundred miles later.
An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff was a quick read and reminded me of the movement to ‘pay it forward’ and the movie Blind Side. Laura hardly acknowledged the young boy begging for spare change on a busy New York City street. But something made her stop and go back and offer to buy him lunch at McDonalds. He asked if he could have a cheeseburger. His name was Maurice and he changed Laura’s life. This is a moving story about overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles of poverty, crime, and neglect. Laura and Maurice are connected by an invisible thread—”An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” ~Old Chinese Proverb
I’m not a huge Anne Rice fan but The Wolf Gift looked intriguing and it was. It’s a supernatural Gothic tale with gorgeous descriptions of Northern California, the weather, a mysterious mansion, and one lost soul who receives the ‘wolf gift’. But is it evil or can he use it for good? The critics were harsh in their reviews but I enjoyed Rice’s storytelling and hope she’ll continue it as a series.
I thought I had read all of Tracy Chevalier’s books which are wonderful but somehow I missed this gem—Falling Angels. She chose to write extremely short first person accounts for each of the dozen main characters which I find original and highly engaging. The setting is 1901 in a London cemetery two little girls are visiting their family plots and become fast friends along with the grave diggers cheeky young son.
Reading excellent fiction and non-fiction inspires me as a writer—to dig deeper and excavate the ideal hidden word, to describe the indescribable, to make possible the impossible. I commend writers and authors for their love of the craft—for sitting down and putting one word after another. Their art allows me as a reader to immerse myself in their vision by turning page after page of a dream actualized. I am an immensely grateful reader.
Summertime is lazy time…uninterrupted hours filled with books and magazines to read, movies to watch, music to listen to, and lemonade or iced tea/coffee to drink… At the least, we generally fill our weekend dance cards with these activities. Being in protirement, I am lucky enough to have the summertime way of life pretty much 365 days of the year, if I chose. And I do!
Most, if not every morning, I start my day with morning solitude and quiet time – MSQT; I have written about it before here. This summer, I find my days are starting a little later and MSQT, lasting a little longer (partially due, I think, to the unrelenting heat we’ve had). Thanks to my iPad, I can read and listen to music anywhere in the house. But, I usually enjoy MSQT in the Great Room (family room), and quiet as it’s kept, I still do a lot of my reading the old fashioned way: paper printed books and magazines.
These days, my reading focuses pretty much on creative pursuits that I am dabbling in: quilting, knitting, art journaling, etc. I seldom read fiction. I find that I am interested in reading about the author’s process as s/he pursues her/his art. I learn and am inspired as much by the author’s reflections and sharing as I do from the passages dedicated to technique, how to, instruction.
Last week I read and fell in love with a delightful book: Doodling in French by Anna Corba. I don’t fancy myself a doodler – and neither did she – and I’m certainly not a sketcher but I was intrigued by the title. The author, an artist known for her collages coupled with simple line drawings has traveled extensively to France. This little book demonstrates how to draw French iconic items, e.g., le croissant; la tour eiffel (Eiffel Tower); le chien (a poodle), etc., and then use the drawing as part of a collage. Filled with clear diagrams on how to draw the items, this book is also a treat to look at and [it] invites you to pick up a pencil and try your hand. Inspired am I? I’ve already come up with an idea that I will eventually create into a mini quilt using both paper and fabric…
The other title that garnered my attention is Gwen Marston’s 37 Sketches. Gwen is a quilter of renown fame, best known for her liberated quilt-making techniques. The book is a compendium of 37 small quilts – the largest is 11.50 x 13.25 inches – Gwen made in 2010, as she practiced techniques and experimented with ideas. She refers to each quilt as a sketch. Dynamic is the word that came to my mind as I read. And, I am going to make some sketches, too! What better way to practice technique and bring to fruition my own ideas? Click here to read more about the book and here to see an exhibit of Gwen’s sketches.
Both these titles have, as the subtitle of Doodling in French says, inspired me with joie de vivre. Can’t wait to start but I will have to ’cause I have a few other things in process and first, I have to make room for these two new activities. TBC…
What’s on your recently read and/or to read lists?
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
I’m a summer baby born at the end of June. So this week I’ve been making birthday plans to celebrate all week long! One of the most important self-care lessons I have experienced has been the power of celebrating myself—how far I’ve come in a year and my vision for the upcoming year.
- Home cooked dinner tonight with my family and maybe a DVD. (The only night my family will not groan when I pick a DVD and say, Oh, not one of those movies!)
- Jeff and I will have dinner tomorrow in Orlando at Margaritaville with my dear friend Antonette and her mom (my adopted mom)!
- Monday at Crescent Beach and maybe St Augustine with Jeff—dinner at South Beach Grill and their famous peanut butter pie for dessert!
- Wednesday night you’ll find me celebrating with my WriteNiters at La Cuisine our local French restaurant.
It already feels like it’s been summer for several months here in Florida, hot and humid and except for exercise I’m pretty much an indoor gal during the summer. My first career was as a movie theatre manager for United Artists so the movies are synonymous with summertime and a great escape from the heat.
These are my top picks this summer:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has an amazing cast including Judi Dench and Maggie Smith:
- Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
- The Dark Knight Rises
- The Odd Life of Timothy Green
My family and I have been visiting a friend’s swimming pool at least a couple afternoons a week and it’s a refreshing way to sneak in those extra activity points. Another friend is building a saltwater pool which I can’t wait to try next month!
Reading at the beach is one of my all-time favorite activities (this does qualify as an activity right!?). Here are a few books on my list; hopefully the weather will cooperate and give a us a few cooler days to make it to the beach at least once a month. I’m an umbrella shade, picnic lunch, good book beach goer!
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Surprisingly there are three non-fiction titles:
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff
The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
Happy summer—here’s to a slow and savor pace for your summertime celebrations!