It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Recent Reading

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Good heavens I loved this book. I had been putting off reading it because of the things others were saying. I think this book may be more relevant than To Kill a Mockingbird (a book that I like millions of others, consider one of my all-time books). If you are having race discussions with your friends, your church, your family...just trying to process the daily news, you should read this book. I want to talk about it: how it only takes place in a week compared to the years covered in Mockingbird, how I miss Jem and Dill, how I still love Atticus...possibly even more (even though the world seems to hate him now), how intrigued I was with the relationship between Atticus and his brother and sister, the thoughts on remaining single, visiting your small town, relationships with parents...let's just talk about this book (and please tell me you cried your way through it too.). And hey, let's talk about this book! 

She did not stand alone, but what stood behind her, the most potent moral force in her life, was the love of her father.

By the time I'm ready to get married I'll be ninety and then it'll be tool ate. Who'll bury me? I'm the youngest by far - that's one reason for having children.

Why doesn't their flesh creep? How can they devoutly believe everything they hear in church and then say the things they do and listen to the things they hear without throwing up?

I should like to take your head apart, put a fact in it, and watch it go its way through the tunnels of your brain until it comes out your mouth. We were both born here, we went to the same schools, we were taught the same things. I wonder what you saw and heard.

They as people did not enter my world, nor did I enter theirs: when I went hunting I did not trespass on a Negro's land, not because it was a Negro's, but because I was not supposed to trespass on anybody's land. I was taught never to take advantage of anybody who was less fortunate than myself, whether he be less fortunate in brains, wealth, or social position, it meant anybody, not just negroes. I was given to understand that the reverse was to be despised.

As sure as time, history is repeating itself, and as sure as man is man, history is the last place he will look for his lessons.

Men tend to carry their honesty in pigeonholes, Jean Louise. They be perfectly honest in some ways and fool themselves in other ways.

You have the tendency not to give anybody elbow room in your mind for their ideas, no matter how silly you think they are.

Remember this also: It's always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are.

Very well, if you won't let me tell you what Melbourne said I'll put it in my own words: the time your friends need you is when they're wrong, Jean Louise. They don't need you when they're right -

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I have read 1 1/2 books by Elizabeth Gilbert before: Committed and only half of Eat, Love, Pray. I didn't like Eat, Love, Pray and eventually even gave away my copy without ever finishing it. I think this book was wonderful even for someone like me who has no obvious creative passions. As someone is is inching down the path to classical and liberal arts education, it made me think. I appreciate her informality and her humor. I really appreciated how real she was. 

I think it's a might act of human live to remind somebody that they can accomplish things by themselves, and that the world does not automatically owe them any reward, and that they are not weak and hobbled as they may believe.

But that's what you have to do at the beginning; everybody imitates before they can innovate.

Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men.

We must understand that they drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism.

I also keep remembering what my mother always used to say: "Done is better than good."

I believe that our creativity grows like sidewalk weeks out of the cracks between our pathologies - not from the pathologies themselves.

He realized that "failure has a function. It asks you whether you really want to go on making things."

Fierce trust demands that you put forth the work anyhow, because fierce trust knows that the outcome does not matter.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

I have enjoyed this author before especially her book the Husband's Secret and Little Big Lies. I believe this was her second book and honestly, it stunk. She still does a great job of fleshing out the characters and making them believable people but they were not likable. The only quote from this book was regarding a character who was suffering from depression. I think it only made me think because it hit close to home. 

She has a strange, not unpleasant sense of disconnection from everyone, as if she is floating somewhere high above her head and operating her body by remote control.

Have you read any of these books?
If so, what were your thoughts?
What have you been reading recently? 

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Another book post!

    I read Go Set a Watchman and neither loved nor hated it. It was obviously a draft, not so polished as TKAM. It was intriguing to see another side of Atticus--maybe Atticus through the eyes of a more objective adult than the hero-worship of a child?

    Have never read Gilbert.

    LOVE Moriarty, but agree, this is not one of her better works. Still, I like her characterization. Like the quote you pulled out. I think it's neat how Moriarty always digs into human nature and hits a chord with a person. Here is the quote that stood out to me: "There is something about Veronika that makes Sophie want to fold her arms tightly across her chest and say 'You can't have any more of me.'. . .It feels like if she spends too much time with Veronika there will be nothing left of her. She's like a vampire sinking her fangs into Sophie's neck and sucking her dry."

    I have struggled in relationships when I felt this way. Some friends smother us, copy us, insinuate themselves into our other relationships until we instinctively hold a part of ourselves back just to protect ourselves and keep a nugget of our own identity before we become exactly the same.