60 books: march and april
Are you ready for a really pathetic update on my reading list?
The First Man by Albert Camus
Albert Camus was killed just outside of Paris in a car accident in 1960, and this unfinished manuscript was discovered in the mud at the accident site. The First Man was intended as an autobiographical novel and Camus had hoped it would be his crowning work, wanting it to be "heavy with things and flesh." It is a spectacular work, even in its unfinished state. There are many beautiful themes and passages, but my favorite is toward the beginning of the novel when Jacques Cormery visits his father's grave for the first time. Jacques was an infant when his father, then 28, was killed at war.
"And the wave of tenderness and pity that at once filled his heart was not the stirring of the soul that leads the son to the memory of the vanished father, but the overwhelming compassion that a grown man feels for an unjustly murdered child - something here was not in the natural order and, in truth, there was no order but only madness and chaos when the son was older than the father. The course of time itself was shattering around him while he remained motionless among those tombs he no longer saw, and the years no longer kept their places in the great river that flows to its end. They were no more than waves and surf and eddies where Jacques Cormery was not struggling in the grip of anguish and pity. He looked at the other inscriptions in that section and realized from the dates that this soil was strewn with the children who had been fathers of graying men who thought they were living in this present time. "
One Life at a Time, Please by Edward Abbey
The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule
I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy by Hafiz
Brian's Aunt Faye gave me this book and it is a hilarious, light-hearted read that is so full of wisdom. There are so many of the poems I loved, but here is just a sampling:
If It Is Not Too Dark
Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.
Always exercise your heart's knowing.
You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:
Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.
Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants-
Why not let them get drunk and wild!
Every rung we've climbed on Evolution's ladder.
Whisper, "I love you! I love you!"
To the whole mad world.
Let's stop reading about God -
We will never understand Him.
Jump to your feet, wave your fists,
Threaten and warn the whole Universe
That your heart can no longer live
Without real love!
Creators by Paul Johnson
This book was so fascinating, and I can't even begin to share how much I learned about the creators (Chaucer, Bach, Tiffany, Austen, Wagner, Picasso, Disney, etc...) who shaped the world we live in today. Johnson wrote Intellectuals twenty years ago, and he's hoping to finish a final book, Heroes, in his lifetime. I honestly can't wait to read more of his work.
Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler
You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail
And that's it! I think I'm up to 24 books now, so as long as I read 6 books in May I'll still be on track. What are you guys reading? Any sweet recommendations? If I hang a "Free Little Library" on one of the big trees in my front yard will you visit it? Because I'm getting pretty serious about building one! :)