Posted in READING

A True “Gift From the Sea”

One of my favorite books is the Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin.  Until I read this book, I’d known nothing of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of famed pilot Charles Lindbergh.  After finishing the book, I longed to know more about this remarkable woman.  I added her small book of essays Gift From the Sea to my TBR list. While browsing a used bookstore last week I was happy to find a copy and snatched it right up.  It is the first item I toss into my beach bag a few days back when the opportunity arose for an impromptu trip to Galveston, TX with my daughter.

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I feel a bit reprimanded as I read the first sentence.

“The Beach is not a place to work, to read, write or think.”

I rationalize I am reading for pleasure so after a slight stumble, I carry on.   I only make it through the first two essays before being enticed by my daughter to do some shell collecting.  As I was walk along the shore, I remember something I heard Ann Bogel say several times in her podcast What Should I Read Next.  She shares  a saying she has heard that sometimes a book comes to you at just the right moment in your life.  I believe this to be true as read this book.  The second essay, Channelled Whelk, compares the beautiful minimalist shell home of a whelk to the simplicity she seeks in her life.  I am fully open to this idea in my own life.  I have a strong desire to shed myself of many of the physical things I have collected through my almost fifty years of life, twenty-seven year marriage and the remnants of belongings left behind by my three grown children.

“…certain environments, certain modes of life, certain rules of conduct are more conducive to inner and outer harmony than others.  There are, in fact, certain roads that one may follow.  Simplification of life is one of them.”

As I near fifty, my goals for life are changing.  I identify with the following passage whole-heartedly.

“The shape of my life is, of course, determined by many other things; my background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires. I want to give and take from my children and husband, to share with friends and community, to carry on my obligations to man and to the world, as a woman, as an artist, as a citizen.  

But I want first of all – in fact, as and end to theses other desires – to be at peace with myself.  I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can.”

The timeless nature of her words and thoughts is profound.  Lindbergh wrote this book in 1955 and was a highly accomplished aviator and navigator as well as mother an wife.  Despite the first sentence, I enjoy the time I had to read her thoughts and contemplate them while spending some me time at the beach.

Posted in READING

It’s Library Day!

My favorite bi-weekly activity is Library Day. Today I stopped by two libraries to browse the New Nonfiction section.  I will admit that I read most fiction books on my Kindle.  I check the eBooks out from the library on my Overdrive iPhone app. My TBR fiction list is long, long, long.  But for nonfiction I have a harder time finding what I want to read.  So browsing the new nonfiction shelves is always like a gold mine of interesting books.  I was pleased to pick up the The Primal Kitchen Cookbook by Mark Sisson.  There are some great looking recipes and I may just be buying this one because it’s just so darn beautiful.  If I designed a cookbook this is how I would do it.  I’ve almost completely cut added sugar from my diet with the exception of the occasional piece of dark chocolate so I’m looking forward to learning more through reading The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes.  I’m not one to ever get taken up by self-help books but I do believe they are worthwhile if you find one thing within their pages that will enlighten you and maybe make a difference in one small aspect of you life so I am interested to read The Joy Plan by Kaia Roman.  Who doesn’t need more joy in their life?  And finally with all the nation’s current racial tensions I want to read Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson. The praises on the back cover from Toni Morrison and Stephen King prompted me to add this to my stack.  Now I need to go get to reading!



Posted in READING

My Word Book

Today I have been playing around with my site and deciding what features I would like to add and how to go about it.  I have added a Word Book page to my menu that is simply a list of words I have encountered during my reading time of which I did not know the definition .  Reading is my number one hobby.  Considering the time I spend reading, I have made it a goal to enhance my reading experience by being more selective when choosing my next book, highlighting and looking up definitions to unfamiliar words and writing honest reviews once I have finished reading a book.  Knowing I will be reviewing the book prompts me to pay attention to details and nuances.  I give myself several days to mull over the book before writing the review.  Always an added bonus is knowing I learned something.  By noting my newly discovered vocabulary words I can quickly browse back through them and keep them fresh in my mind.  What use is learning wonderful new words if they quickly slip to the back of my memory? At nearly 50, this is a frustrating fact of life!  I’m excited to see how long my list will be by the time the big Five-Oh arrives.