Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

by Jan-Philipp Sendker

I borrowed this book from my sister, who recommended it.  I loved it!  It has a graceful beauty that is soft, gentle, and endearing.

Even though it wasn't a book I owned I still made good use of marking passage that caught my attention - I used book darts and left them in the book.  For me, one of the treats of reading a book is to look back and reread the phrases I marked.  Sometimes they merely remind me of moments in the story and other times they take on greater meaning after the story is finished.
This passage is beautiful in its sadness, eloquent in its sense of loss.It's odd, Julia, but a confession, a disclosure is worthless when it comes at the wrong moment.  If it's too early, it overwhelms us.  We're not ready for it and can't yet appreciate it.  If it's too late, the opportunity is lost.  The mistrust and the disappointment are already too great; the door is already closed.  In either case, the very thing that ought to foster intimacy just creates distance.
These passages are spoken by a young, blind man to a woman with club feet who is unable to walk.
The true essence of things is invisible to the eyes.  Our sensory organs love to lead us astray, and eyes are the most deceptive of all.  We relay too heavily upon them.  We believe that we see the world around us, and yet it is only the surface that we perceive.  We must learn to divine the true nature of things, their substance, and the eyes are rather a hindrance than a help in that regard.  The distract us.  We love to be dazzled. 
It is rage that blinds and deafens us. Or fear.  Envy, mistrust.  The world contracts, gets all out of joint when you are angry or afraid.  There is only one thing that is stronger than fear.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers

by Sally Allen

I read this wonderful book on a trip to Oregon and the California Redwoods via Glacier Park, Spokane, and Seattle.  My husband did the driving - it's our favorite kind of trip.  Mostly I watched the scenery and listened to our favorite music but in the evenings and when we would stop somewhere awe-inspiring I would read morsels from this book.  Sometimes I read aloud to Myke as he drove and that would spark a discussion on books, authors, and the magic of reading.

The problem with reading at a jaw-droppingly beautiful vista is you don't get much reading done.  In my plans for the trip I wanted to provide pockets of time to just sit and soak in the surroundings.  If I read a bit I remember both the book and the scene more vividly.  And if I have a tasty treat the memory can become a lasting one.

I read the majority of the book in our hotel rooms while Myke documented our trip on Face Book.  It's easy to concentrate in the mediocre environment of a hotel room compared with the grandeur of Glacier National Park.

I highlighted so many passages.  When I finish a book I quite often go back and reread those passages and then when I sit down to write my review I get to read them again.  Memories flow back in and passages are valued over again.  I'm not suppose to share bits from an advance-copy book because those bits may not show up in the published book.  

Allen shares her views about reading, connecting with the world the author creates, and the shared experience of various readers of the same book.  I related with her experiences with the written word.  She so eloquently describes what I feel and also opens up some new perspectives.

The harm in reading this insightful book is adding many more books to my lengthy list of to-be-read books.  The upside to that is I recently finished reading The Light Between Oceans.

I strongly recommend this book to any and all book lovers.  You will discover like-mindedness with Allen and you'll enjoy reading about her recommendations.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**