Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

Posts Tagged ‘books’


Monday, October 17th, 2011

ladybird_2I started out the week asking questions. (I was searching for a new oven)  I just wanted to know especially what other people thought. I hungered for the conversation and the thrill of the reply.

My book group was so excited about not having to pay for books and how to get everything for free and, and how the Library in Seattle was doing all sorts of audio books for free downloads.   I asked them how they thought the authors would get paid?  Would the authors still want to write for us to read if they could not make a living?

Marketing and value were the main words of their reply.  “I do pay for my books because I pay my taxes for the streets, schools, buildings and books within.”

I went back to the internet and wandered through all the free words and giveaways, clicking bravely on every link that I saw.

I found visual beauty.

I found the art of listening.

I found the understanding of staying young.

I found new thoughts about money and worth.

And the Rooster crowing.

I found beauty. The Feynman Series  Beauty  Part I

and then came full circle to the celebration of exploring curiosity.

The Feynman Series  Part III Curiosity

( Where I found the last two videos, and this post included lots more amazing links: Sightline  Writer’s recommendations)

Do you get curioser and curioser as you explore?

I would love to find and read your comments.

If you liked what you read here you might also enjoy my other sites  Biking Architect and Wise Ears.

Oh yes!  You could continue to enjoy what I share here by subscribing by RSS or Email!

Do you think others might enjoy this post, why not share on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Google + or Linked in – There are even more choices under the Share button.  Thank you!

Related Reading:
Second Thursday Teaser Post
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Social Animal
You Are Not Your Brain

Four Great Books to Add to Your Reading List

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Book at the Beach

Book at the Beach

Here are some great reads that I wanted to share with you because I enjoyed them.  None of these books are on easy topics, but they are all valuable story lines and explore the concept of children experiencing trauma.

1.     The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow  Based on the author’s own  adapting to prejudice towards being a biracial individual as she relocated  to the United States.  The author premised the book around an incident she read in the newspaper soon after she arrived in the USA.  A gentle story of a young girl figuring out who to be after the death of her mother. Appropriate for young adult readers.

2.    ROOM by Emma Donoghue  This story is told by a five year old boy about how he experiences his life and his mother’s role in keeping him healthy and strong in the worst of circumstances.  I thought I did not want to read this story, but then Delia of RealDelia http://realdelia.com/
described it as a WOW and the next thing I knew I was hooked.  Very well written book – I would not recommend this book to my children – it is adult reading.

3.     Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott    I read everything Lamott writes and I use her How to Write Book as my writing guide – Bird by Bird. This story does not disappoint and it was hard to put down and go do something else.   This is a contemporary story about how dabbling in drugs helps to mask a teen’s emotions and confusions; those experiences which can enable them to mature and problem-solve. The story is told both by the mother and the daughter as they push against each other and sort out how best to encourage their growth.  Lamott’s ability to create the web of lies involved in covering up is just wonderful, and I wish I had read this story when I had an omitting teenager in my daily life.  The cues and words are all right there as a parental guide book for those with “good, smart kids.”

4.   Apologia to My Second Child by John Hodgman – you know the PC guy on all those funny ads and often a commenter on The Daily Show.   This is an essay from Psychology Today, that made me laugh and brought me to tears as he shares with his yet to be born male offspring.  It is pure pleasure to read – just a joy to discover.

Feel free to share this list by using  the share buttons.

I did not receive any copies of these books and was not asked or paid to review them. If you order these books and purchase new books from Amazon, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

What are you reading these days?   Have you discovered any of these books already?  What did you think?    Let me know your thought about Hodgman’s essay – please.

I would like to just add that I do not review, recommend, or write about books that I do not like or did not find some level of enjoyment – I have made 2 exceptions.

Related Reading:
American Wife
Breakfast With Buddha
The Highest Tide
The Help

In a gentle way – Inspiring Myself

Monday, April 11th, 2011


I have a hand woven flour storage basket.  It has never held flour of any kind, rather I keep it on my desk and undo the hook and latch to drop quotes in that I find pleasing.  When I need a bit of a push with my thinking, I open the lid and reach within and pull out slips of paper.

Yesterday, I played in the sunshine all day.  After 60 days of straight rain, we had a wonderful day of sunshine.  I did not write, instead I walked and greeted my many neighbors who were out and about.  I weeded and puttered in the garden and I just enjoyed the stunning beauty of the sky.

Today the next storm is fast approaching and the wind is picking up; the clouds have gone from white puffy to gray and now with charcoal out over the water soon to be stuck on the mountains as a downpour. I feel cold and I want to eat and break my fast.   Walking, prayers, meditations, laundry, even errands are completed and now soup is simmering on the stove.  Hammer and saw work on the garden beds to prepare for the season ahead and I find I am in need of a shove to get going on these words.

I opened my basket and randomly pulled out 10 slips of paper and here is what I discovered:

7 quotes from Gandhi:
1.    In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
2.    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
3.    An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
4.    A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.
5.    You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
6.    We must become the change we want to see in the world.
7.    We do not need to proselytize either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study.

1 Quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

1 Idea from Einstein
The important thing is to not stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.

And 1 Exercise from Steve Pavlina, I had just placed in the basket this week:
…sit down with a piece of paper, ask yourself what your life purpose is, and keep writing down answers until you come to the one that makes you cry.

I was filled up and ready to go and my mind was in full swing and thinking.  It is a rather magic basket.

One of my daughters keeps a journal of quotes that inspire her.  She keeps them in a rather neat order and within categories.   I kind of like my random jumble.  Do you keep quotes that inspire you?  Orderly or jumbled?  Nature inspires me and relaxes me too; sometimes I just get too relaxed in the great outdoors!

I was even inspired by getting so many quotes from people who practice nonviolence and were concerned with justice.  What do you think about this random selection, I would like to know what motivates you and inspires good thinking and encourages your actions?

A reminder:  there are two book” give aways” happening on Patricia’s Wisdom right now:

April 22, 2011 will be the drawing for a copy of the book THE LONG GOODBYE – all you need to do is be from the USA or Canada and leave a comment.

April 28, 2011 The author of the book THE PROCRASTINATION EQUATION is giving away a copy to the best procrastination story or anti-procrastination technique from the comments section.

If you liked what you read here and would like to read more you can subscribe by RSS or email, which are at the top of the page.

Related Reading:
Red Fox – Good Morning
Move Your Money and Build Your Community
Stopping to Smell the Flowers
Adulthood Quiz: How Diverse are Your Friends Politically

The Long Goodbye: A Memoir ~Meghan O’Rourke

Thursday, April 7th, 2011


This is a loving story of a “normal” family who experienced the loss of the Mother and Wife to colon cancer.  It is a story about their growing and parented years, it is the story about the years of sickness and the family’s responses and actions, and is introspective of that which a daughter understands about her own development, growth and the mother-daughter experience.

This book is a study in grief and it is well researched, literary, and supremely well written.

Right up front I give this book 5 Ladybugs and I hope that I inspire people to read this story and benefit from this information.

There were moments where I thought I was reading a 300 page obituary for a talented and energetic teacher.  I often thought, wow I wish I had read this before my own Mother was dying; I am happy that other people can now benefit from the research, poetry, insights, and lessons shared in this book.  It is a celebration of living a good life, having a good death, and how mourning and grief play out amidst the living and the survivors.

“One of the grubby truths about a loss is that you don’t just mourn the dead person, you mourn the person you got to be when the lost one was alive.”

I found myself feeling jealous several times during the reading of this book.  O’Rourke writes about familial love as a resource and strength in the face of immeasurable loss and how each family member took part in the care of the patient and the nurturing of each other.   The extended family was fairly close by and offered their support also.   I had to wonder how my experience would have been changed with even a spoonful of that “yogurt” of the author’s experience.  It was a very personal read.

“It is, of course, difficult to study ‘grief’ because a salient feature of grief is that it’s not monolithic or singular; it’s personal and variable.  That said, there seem to be certain universal aspects. And one is the ameliorating influence of watching your loved one accept his or her death. (Another is that the dominant feeling after a loss isn’t anger or denial but yearning, exactly the feeling I’d had.)”

O’Rourke has moved well beyond the studies and conclusions of Kubler-Ross’s stages and even refers to these as states, because there is not an orderly progression – rather it is” an ongoing, messy process”

“But even ‘normal grief’, Prigerson said, is hardly gentle. Its symptoms include insomnia or other sleep disorders, difficulty breathing, auditory or visual hallucinations, appetite problems, and dryness of mouth.  I had had all of these symptoms, including one banal hallucination at dinner with a friend, when I imagined I saw a waitress bring him ice cream.  In addition to the symptoms Prigerson named, I had one more: difficulty spelling. Like my mother, I had always been a good speller. … My problem was not unusual; certain forms of grief can take a toll on your cognitive functions.”

Grief is such an important part of living and living a “good” life that there are many studies being done and this book offers up so much of the new thinking and “facts” presented by the current research. It has been a question on the mind of most human’s experience.

Missing from this book, were all the details of the “paperwork” involved with the process of illness and dying.  There is little mention of the insurance, and co-pays, fees and lawyers. The author does talk about how they had to tell her Mother’s treatment history to each new Doctor and Administrator that they encountered and how exhausting that part of the experience can become.  She also mentions how sometimes her notes arrived ahead of charts and labs and these were the basis of keeping her mother cared for and proceeding with less pain and trauma.  I wanted to add, how lucky she was to have so many helpers and friends who did a conscientious job of helping her keep track, because it seemed like when I could finally get away for a shower or rest, some physician arrived and changed the routine and medications – and no one told me.

This book is an invaluable resource of how to care for one’s self through the tough sieges and loss, and it is recounted by a good teller.

Richard Ford said: “The LONG GOODBYE is emotionally acute, strikingly empathetic, through and unstintingly intellectually, and of course elegantly wrought.  But it’s above all a useful book, for life—the good bits and the sad ones, too.”

The book was sent to me by TLC book tours but I did not receive any compensation for reviewing this book.  If you purchase the book from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

Everyone who makes a comment on this review will be entered into a give away for a copy of this book to be mailed to you by the publisher. Only available for USA and Canada.  The random drawing will be held April 22, 2011.

If you would like to read more here you might wish to subscribe by RSS or via email – directions are at the top of the page.
If you enjoyed what you read here please feel free to share on Twitter, or Facebook or Stumbleupon or any of the portals listed under the share button.  Thank you

Related Reading:
The Gifts of Imperfection
The Love Ceiling
The Wisdom to Know the Difference

Let’s talk about this idea of grief in the comments section.  I think you would truly like this book.

I know I experienced many of these feelings and I think this was why I torn the ligament off my ribs and had to just sit still for several years to heal it – powerful impact physically and emotionally. Looking forward to what you are going to share.