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Archive for the tag “Inspiration”

a garden of literary delights

five books (2)That’s what I discovered at the website Five Books: The Best Books on Everything. I can’t believe it took me this long to find it! But at least now I know I will never run out of ideas about what to read.

As the site says:
We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview. This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations. We publish at least two new interviews per week.

The 1,000+ interviews are organized into 18 categories, including philosophy, history, fiction, politics, science, psychology, environment, and music and drama. Under the subheading of literary nonfiction and biography, I found this interview with writer and journalist Peter Hessler, who recommended the best of narrative nonfiction. His selections were:

  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee
  • Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • A Capote Reader by Truman Capote
  • Son of the Morning Star by Evan Connell

The only book in that list that I’ve read is Slouching Towards Bethlehem (along with Play It as It Lays and The Year of Magical Thinking, also by Didion). Last month I watched The Center Will Not Hold, the 2017 documentary that told some stories about her I could sync to a few of my own memories of those times. None of our stories are true stories, but some are better than others. And Joan Didion is a very good storyteller.

I plan to read Among Schoolchildren because I enjoyed House so much that I still have a copy of it after several major book purges. I’d like to read some of Kidder’s other books, too, especially Strength in What Remains.

If you’re interested in pretty much anything, you’ll probably enjoy this site—and you’re likely to find some new interests there, too. Besides, curiosity and learning new things—including new concepts—expands your mental model, keeps your brain young, and improves your emotional granularity!

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celebrating bright things redux

sparkleThe world is full of poetry.
The air is living with its spirit;
and the waves dance
to the music of its melodies,
and sparkle in its brightness.

–James Gates Percival

One cold, dark winter afternoon when the temperature never rose above freezing all day and I felt trapped inside my office in front of my computer, I looked around the room at all the bright things I’ve put here.

I won’t go so far as to say say my world is full of poetry right now, but there’s a hint of its brightness here and there.

Butterfly

Butterfly

Lizards

Lizards

Suncatcher

Suncatcher

Tiger

Tiger

Mandala

Mandala

Vase (underwater upside down)

Vase (underwater upside down)

Reality (ala Brian Andreas)

Reality (ala Brian Andreas)

Good Advice!

Good Advice!

A bit of brightness landed on that one. Happy Saturday!


Note: This was originally published in January 2013. If anything, my office (a/k/a my playroom, at least on a good day) is filled with even more bright things.


This post is part of April’s 30 Days of Celebration. To read more, click on the Celebration category link.

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