Category Archives: Books and Literature

Perspectives

“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us / To see oursels as ithers see us!” ~Robert Burns -·- “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” ~Henry David Thoreau, in Walden ©1854 Walden is in the public domain and may be downloaded or read …

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Who, not What

Excerpted from Insomniac City by Bill Hayes, ©2017: Earlier, over dinner, O (Oliver Sacks) talking about his late friend Gaj– Carleton Gajdusek, a Nobel laureate in medicine– with great excitement and conviction, comparing him to Goethe, of whom it was said, O told me, “He had a nature. A nature.” I thought I knew what …

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Move, Move Fast

“There is freedom in coming and going for no other reason than because you can. There is freedom in choosing to sit and be still when everything is always telling you to move, move fast.” ~-Elizabeth Acevedo, in The Poet X ©2018

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A Crayon Day

“It was a green summer day like what a child would draw, a crayon day with a few white cumulus children’s clouds, and the sun with yellow radiance lines sticking out.” ~Garrison Keillor, in Pontoon ©2007 I’ve read several of Keillor’s “Lake Wobegon” books, and Pontoon sticks out as my favorite. It can be very …

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Just a Perfect Day

I was young when I first read J.D. Salinger’s short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and I remember being just completely blindsided by the ending. I’m pretty sure my mouth was literally hanging open. I was shocked, dazed, stunned. I’m glad I read it when I was young. This older version of me would …

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Marveling at the Lottery Logic

“I am told by longtime New Yorkers that the subway used to be awful– garbage-strewn, graffiti-covered, suffocating in the summer, dangerous at night all year round. And of course I know plenty of people who despise taking it today, even though the cars are remarkably safe, clean, and cool. I suggest they ride with me. …

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Therefore,

Excerpted from Jess Keiser’s review of Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science by Jimena Canales: Writing in the mid-17th century, the French philosopher René Descartes realized that in order “to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last,” he first needed to lash himself to a single …

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“If not you,”

Excerpted from a book review written by Mairead Small Staid: Isn’t this how we grieve, after all? Not solely for the person gone, for the immense and irreplaceable multiplicity that he was, but also for the fine strand that ran between us, the connection as singular as either of its participants. “Dead is dead, I …

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I love you, I miss you…

Steve Irwin wrote his autobiography, The Crocodile Hunter, in 2001, just a year after the death of his mother.  His dedication to her is heartbreaking: I’m dedicating this book, and my life, to my mum. I loved my mum more than anything in the world. She nurtured, protected, and loved me all my life. Lyn …

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Waiting

“I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.” ~Richard Brautigan, from Trout Fishing in America ©1967 And that reminded me of this:

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A Thousand Desires

Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness by Tsai Chih Chung, ©1994, is a wonderful little book of illustrated Zen and Tao parables. The illustrations don’t add a lot to understanding, but they make it a little friendlier. I recommend it.

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No Matter How Hopeless

The appeal of Don Quixote eludes me. It’s the story of a mentally ill man and his mentally ill enabler who travel the countryside upsetting people and getting the hell beat out of them. I’m not charmed. But without the book we wouldn’t have the musical, and without the musical we wouldn’t have one of …

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