Monday, August 24, 2009

what the writer reads

August 11, 2008
Subject: what the writer reads

My Dad inspired this email. He and I were having a discussion about divinity one day and I mentioned a book I was reading at the time. He said to me, "You know, it might be interesting for you to somehow include some of the literature you've been reading. Some may be curious." I put that little nugget in the back of my mind until this morning when I decided to write down all the books I've read since January.

It stands to reason that anyone dealing with some kind of tragedy would be drawn to reading matter particular to the subject as well as things that offer a bit of escape and perhaps even some spiritual works. I often have a selection of each of these things on my night table. It is worth mentioning that I have 2 primary tables housing books that I continually read throughout the day depending upon where I choose to pause. In the living room, I have a tea table that has stacks of books on it as well as recent magazines from the 2 subscriptions I carry. One of those is an antique sampler magazine that I find extremely interesting and helpful in my work as a seamstress. The pictures are often mind boggling in their beauty and detail and this magazine offers me a bit of escapism whenever I decide to seek its pages. The other magazine on my tea table is MaryJanesFarm, which is nothing short of a work of art. MaryJane Butters is the author/founder and this publication has just recently gone national, so if you are interested in 'back-to-basics' living that is smart, considerate, beautiful and gentle in every way, then I highly recommend this magazine. Furthermore, if you desiring something that is inspiring beyond the palate of the more mainstream offerings, then I can not recommend this feast for your eyes enough. The books on this table vary and the 2 that I'm looking through now are: "Colonial Living" by Edwin Tunis copyright 1957 and "The Apron Book" by EllynAnne Geisel

My night table beside my bed is another matter altogether. On it are the books I'm planning to read and the book I am currently reading as well as a few chapter books that I read to the kids at bed-time. My books are in constant rotation. Since January I have read the following books:

"The 7 Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding your children to success and fulfillment." by Deepak Chopra
"Ignatius of Loyola Spiritual exercises and selected works" edited by George E. Ganss S.J.,
"MaryJane's Outpost Unleashing your Inner Wild" by MaryJane Butters. (by the way, Aria's photograph appears in this book on page 55!),
"Violet" by Susan Elizabeth Buzard,
"The Moon in the Pines Zen Haiku" selected and translated by Jonathan Clements,
"Chemo Craziness and Comfort" by Nanacy Keene,
"Know Before you go. The Childhood Cancer Journey" by Sheryl Lozowski-Sullivan M.P.H (Candlelighters Foundation),
"Humorous Stories and Sketches" by Mark Twain,
"Book for Bad Boys and Girls" by Mark Twain,
"The Shack" by William P. Young,
"How to See Yourself" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
"How to Know God" by Deepak Chopra,
"The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer" by Joyce Reardon, PhD,
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain,
“My Grandfather’s Blessing” by Rachel Reme
“Kitchen Table Wisdom” by Rachel Remen
*"Fables and Fairy Tales"* by Leo Tolstoy,
*"Peace"* by Mahatma Ghandi,
*"Contemplative Prayer"* by Thomas Merton,
*"One Minute Wisdom"* by Anthony De Mello,
*"The Way to Love"* by Anthony DeMello
Note: * indicate those books that I have read and continue to reference on an almost daily basis.

There are 2 books that I read religiously every single day. They are daily meditative type books that I keep in my bathroom. (no disrespect is intended!):
"Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much" by Anne Wilson Schaef (this was given to me on my birthday in 1997 by my dear friend Jen and I will always cherish it.)
"The Path to Tranquility, Daily Wisdom" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama edited by Renuka Singh. (I acquired this book in 1999 and have had it with me every day since)

The book I am presently reading is titled "Sky Burial" by Xinran. I just received this book from my most beloved friend, Jenny, who lives in Scotland.

The books waiting patiently to be read on my night table include:
"The Chalice and The Blade" by Riane Eisler
"No Time to Lose" by Pema Chodrin
"No Man is an Island" by Thomas Merton
"Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain (I've read the first half but I have needed to put it aside a while)
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe
"Hiromshima" by John Hersey (This is an actual account that I recently found at an estate sale. I suspect it will only confirm my belief that all nuclear powers, weapons or otherwise, need to be destroyed)
"Florence Nightingale" by Ruth Fox Hume
*"50 Famous Americans" by Ward Griffith (copyright 1946)
*"The Prince and the Pauper" by Mark Twain
*"Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell
*"Fairy Dust and The Quest for the Egg"* by Gail Carson Levine

Note: * indicate the chapter books that I read to the kids

I ought to add, that it is commonplace for me to go to bed with the kids sometime between 7 and 8 pm. I don't watch any network television but I do love to watch movies and will indulge in that 3 or 4 times a week with Doc. Most of my evenings, however, are spent cuddled on the big bed with the kids reading for a few hours. We have a very simple life here and most ways it is enchanting and blessed. Reading books is by far one of my favorite past-times and I'm always collecting and gathering them. If you have any recommendations, by all means, let me know!!

I know this is a completely different email from any you have received to date, but perhaps it gives you a little insight into what makes me tick. Funny, I'm still discovering that very thing! ~j

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