Friday, June 30, 2017

The World is a Beautiful Book

Neverending Stories ~ Colin Thompson

I recently found the following
excellent fortune inside my cookie:

Sometimes the fortunes don't seem to make much sense and appear to have been randomly generated by a confused fortune genie; but other times, they truly hit the spot. This one is so perfect that I have tacked it on my kitchen wall along with a few other favorites from previous years.

The vision of the world as a beautiful book took me back to some picture books that used to be such a treat to enjoy with my kids:

How to Live Forever & Pictures of Home
these two and so many more
by illustrator and writer Colin Thompson

Speaking of beautiful books, lately, I've felt too rushed to read much of anything more than once, but glad I took the time to re-read:

Badenheim & The Iron Tracks
both by Aharon Appelfeld

The History of Love
by Nicole Krauss

Summertime is always a good time to catch up on various books that I never got around to in my own youth or when my kids were young. It seems that even two childhoods is not enough time to read it all!

Roald Dahl

Misty of Chincoteague
by Marguerite Henry

Dog Friday
by Hilary McKay

The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials
by Philip Pullman

Save the Colors: A Civil War Battle Cry
by Joanne Anderson Reisberg

And finally, no summer is complete without

1. some true crime:
Love You Madly
by Michael Fleeman

True crime is always somewhat eerie and this one even more so because my old friend Marvin Hamilton (1955 - 2011) served as a public defender during the trial, back in 2005. Another long - time friend of Marv's let me know about the book, and we both read it this summer but were disappointed to find only one specific reference to Marv's work on the case: "The attorney bolstered his argument by reading from Clarence Darrow's Attorney for the Damned and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." I wish the passages from Darrow and Twain had been included in the text!

2. some post - apocalyptic science fiction:
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel

Summer preparatory reading for rapidly approaching Dawn or Doom '17. I approached this bleak depiction of the United States in the near future with some skepticism, but references to Czeslaw Milosz, Shakespeare, and Yeats kept it interesting.

3. and a memoir:
Oblivion: A Memoir
by H├ęctor Abad

Thanks to Gerry for looking up the original title, El olvido que seremos, and providing a more elegant translation than mere oblivion: "The forgetfulness that we will be."

Or as Borges writes: "Already we are the oblivion we shall be" (233).

This biography / autobiography was recommended by our sweet friend Alma, when Gerry and I were in Medellin last December. It is the author's memoir and tribute to his father who was a medical doctor and professor of public health in Colombia -- and his struggle to impart common sense and leave the world better than he found it.

For excerpts, see "Magical Typing" & "Judging Time Aright". As Alma observed, both of these posts sprang from conversations with my brothers, thus bearing out the theme of family connections that runs through Abad's writing.
More magic coming up . . .

Photo from The Spiritual Warriors