Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reading, Reading, Reading, Reviewing!

     I have to say: I love my job. I am an administrative assistant at an assisted living facility, and I love what I do. I work with great people (including the best boss EVAR!!!) and work for some truly wonderful seniors. I do however, have one issue with my job. I can't read there. I mean, I have to work. Not read. Well, we can't have it all, I suppose. On to the Reading List....

     We left off with me beginning Brenda Wineapple's White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The saddest thing, I think, is that the work Emily Dickinson left behind was 'edited' (many say butchered) by Mabel Loomis Todd before Higginson was able to arrange it in book form to present to the unsuspecting world. That being said, of the more than one hundred poems Dickinson personally sent Higginson, they survived intact, and thanks to Higginson's correspondence with Emily Dickinson, readers are able to read the very same words that so shocked, dazzled, and enlightened Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and forged a twenty-five year friendship that transcended literature,  place, politics, and time. 

     Next, Bernd Heinrich's Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
 I was disappointed in this one. Some years ago I had read Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, and loved it. (Really, if you like corvids as much as I do go check that one out.) I had expected this to be more of the same, just ravens, not crows (and yes, they are very different). Mind of the Raven is essentially the author's printed studies and the processes of those studies on ravens both in the wild and ones he has raised. While it was very well-written, I am not an ornithologist, and so was not very interested. (I did finish it, but with enough effort to deserve a medal.)

     Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by

      Soulspace: Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life - Creating a Home That Is Free of Clutter, Full of Beauty, and Inspired by You by Xorin Balbes brings to mind a slimmed-down version of Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance. It also bears a very slight relation to Radical Homemakers and Gardening at the Dragon's Gate in that Balbes encourages readers to make their home the center of their spiritual being. It is in our homes that we can find the center of who we are and who we wish to be. By working on our homes and creating a space that fits us, we will create a haven for ourselves, find inspiration, and grow. This was a great read, but as I rent an apartment and cannot paint my walls scarlet and vermilion and cut new windows, I think I'll save it to read again until I own a house.

     I am currently on page 18 of Peter Matthiessen's The Cloud Forest, and already love it. He's only in the Sargasso Sea currently, but the book is written as a travel journal, and the touches of humor he throws in amid observations and scientific notation are perfect.

     Whew, there's a review for you! That's what I get for not posting after each book I suppose. Happy reading, and I'll fill you in as Peter and I travel.

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