The illustration above caught my eye, the awakening and vivid colors: she’s on a train (I like reading on trains, on airplanes, even if I’m a passenger in a long car ride) and the word LIFE on the magazine or book she’s reading. Like the apple on her tray, the cup of water—reading is life-giving, reading should always accompany us on our life’s journey. And notice the colorful stamps on her luggage, stamps people once used to reveal, to celebrate where they had been.
A bookcase full of books or a Kindle jammed with titles, does the same thing, celebrates where you have been. Because reading is always about taking a journey, about opening your mind and emotions to someone’s ideas.
DAILY NEWS SOURCES—NEWSPAPERS, THE NET, MAGAZINES, TELEVISION
In today’s society, newspapers are struggling, but if you happen to subscribe to the magazine THE WEEK (I do) you will find major newspapers and magazines are still very important in pinning down stories that profoundly affect the bottom lines of our lives.
True, that many people now get the news online—or rely only on television news. But that doesn’t always provide you with an analysis, an interpretation to guide you through the pitfalls of opinion. When you READ, you can pause and evaluate a situation, you can compare the writer’s point of view to what You already know, what You have already read or an opinion You have maintained for a long time. Reading helps you grow, because it often challenges an idea or opinion you have held for a long time.
When you engage with a different point of view—that’s a good thing. Yes, we bring personal experience to almost every idea we encounter. But staying lock-step without looking around to investigate, might lead us to a dark place—or the wrong place.
And getting the NEWS isn’t always politics. News can be about an advancement in medicine, the pros and cons of self-driving cars or CBD oils, the latest advances in tech—anything you are currently interested in, anything that might change the society, the environment we share.
POETRY, ESSAY, NOVEL, NON-FICTION, QUIRKY
To stimulate your appetite for READING, I pulled some books off my shelves.
POETRY: Billy Collins, our poet laureate from 2001-2003; verses from ONLY CHILD (he wishes he had a sibling)
I would gaze into her green eyes
and see my parents, my mother looking out
of Mary’s right eye and my father staring out of her left.
which would remind me of what an odd duck
I was as a child, a little prince, a loner,
…and maybe we would have another espresso and a pastry
And I would always pay the bill and walk her home.
ESSAY: Marilynne Robinson, from WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?
The U.S is in many ways a grand experiment. Let us take Iowa as an example. What would early 19th century settles on the open prairie do first? Well…they found a university, which is now about 170 years old. Agriculture became, as it remains, the basis of the state economy. How did the university develop in response to this small, agrarian population? It became…a thriving and innovative center for the arts–theater, music, painting and, of course, creative writing. ..the arts are the signature of the place and have been for generations.
NOVEL: Alice McDermott, from CHILD OF MY HEART
...all their interest and enthusiasm was reserved for the places they had left. Like exiles, their delight was not in where they now found themselves, but in whatever they could remember about the place, and the time, they had abandoned.
NONFICTION: Margaret Robinson Rutherford, PhD from PERFECTLY HIDDEN DEPRESSION
As I’ve stressed before, the characteristics of perfectly hidden depression, in moderation, can be helpful. But when they begin to govern every aspect of your being, they can become a huge problem. It becomes self-destructive when your perfectionist critical voice is screaming at you nonstop in the background.
QUIRKY: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS (quirky, because this little book of 48 pages could change the world.)
Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture… My own definition of a feminist is a man or woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.”
HAPPY READING, Beth
P.S. Thanks to amreading.com for the photo.