High adventure and inspiration

 Do you like a touch of inspiration with your real-life adventure?

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Tby Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin errorism and Build Nations — One School a3cupsoftea.jpgt a Time

OK, I’ll admit I picked up this book because “everyone’s reading it.” It was featured in The Seattle Public Library’s “September Project” and the author Greg Mortenson, mountain climber turned humanitarian, spoke at the Library (listen to the podcast).  But what really grabbed me once I started reading this book were the descriptions of mountain climbing in the forbidding Karkoram mountains of northern Pakistan and Mortenson’s encounters with tribal people in Korphe, a village nestled high in the mountains, who had never seen foreigners before. Continue reading “High adventure and inspiration”

Happy Birthday, Betty MacDonald!

image-of-egg-and-i-book-cover-courtesy-of-pat-sum.jpgEvery so often history offers us a chance to revisit a good book. This March is the centennial of the birth of Betty MacDonald, author of The Egg and I (1945) which is a memoir of life on a “chicken ranch” on the Olympic peninsula near Chimacum from 1927-1931. Betty observed the very rural and undeveloped farmland and forest and commented on the facts about farm living. Her large cast iron cookstove which she nicknamed “Stove” was a constant source of frustration for her; baby chicks seemed to be self-destructive; her neighbors throw-backs from evolutionary development of the species. She wrote the book after her divorce and she had remarried and moved to Vashon Island. Here’s a sample:

“By one o’clock on winter Sundays the house was shining clean, my hair was washed, Bob had on clean clothes and dinner was ready. Usually, just as we sat down to the table, as if by prearranged signal, the sun came out. True it shone with about as much warmth and lust as a Victorian spinster and kept darting behind clouds as if it were looking for its knitting and sticking hits head out again with an apologetic smile, but it was sun and not rain. The mountains, either in recognition of the sun or Sunday, would have their great white busts exposed and I expected momentarily to have them clear their throats and start singing Rock of Ages in throaty contraltos.”

                                                                   ~ The Egg and I. p. 77 Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Betty MacDonald!”

Happy Birthday, Doris!

Century GirlA friend told me about the book Century Girl: 100 years in the life of Doris Eaton Travis, last living star of the Ziegfeld Follies, by Lauren Redniss, a mind-blowingly original and unique illustrated biography of Doris Eaton.  I love this book so much for all its cultural cross referencing and magnificent handwritten text, memorabilia and photo montages.  It discusses the social and cultural movements that shaped her career from the age of fourteen when she became the youngest chorus girl to ever join the Follies.  She interacted with so many stars and famous people, you’ll hardly believe it’s possible!  It would take 10 lifetimes for most people to accomplish what she was able to do in just one: “from receiving her honorary doctorate at age 101, she starred in silent and talking pictures, performing for presidents and princesses, bantered with Babe Ruth, offended Henry Ford, outlived six siblings, wrote a newspaper column, hosted a tv show, earned a Phi Beta Kappa degree in history (at 88), raised turkeys, and raced horses. And that’s just for starters.”– from the title page.  I can’t say enough wonderful things about this one-of-a-kind book–by far the best I’ve read in a long time.   March 14th is her 104th birthday—Happy Birthday Doris!

~ Amy

Dijiste Que Me Querías: Como Sobrellevar lo Impensable por Maria Antonieta Collins

 Our library serves people speaking many languages. Here is one of them.

dijiste-que-me-querias-book-cover.jpgMaria Antonieta es una escritora fácil de leer, con un colorido y peculiar lenguaje. En este libro nos narra el sufrimiento y dolor que soporto con la enfermedad de su esposo Fabio Fajardo; para después descubrir que su amado esposo cometió bigamia y estaba casado con otra mujer en Colombia. ¿Cómo un hombre que dice quererla como nadie pudo haberla engañado de esa manera? He leído casi todos los libros de María Antonieta pero este me ha sorprendido muchísimo. Quizás porque no logro entender por que ella siguió con él al descubrir el engaño. ¿Es posible perdonar un engaño de esta naturaleza? No lo sé y tampoco quiero averiguarlo. Pero si nos enseña mucho de la calidad humana de Maria Antonieta, que se enteró de toda la verdad de a poquitos. ¿Qué lleva a un hombre a cometer ésta clase de delito? ¿Piensa acaso que nadie lo va a descubrir como quiere hacernos creer Fabio? Este libro es como una telenovela, con María Antonieta como la actriz principal y Fabio como el malo de la telenovela. Ojala les guste a ustedes, como me gustó a mí pero que me dejó un sabor agridulce cuando lo termine de leer.   ~ Marcela

Have you heard about “Seeds of Compassion” ?

dalai-lama-book-cover.jpgA historic five-day gathering to focus the world’s attention on the importance of nurturing kindness and compassion will take place at large-scale venues in Seattle from April 11 to 15, 2008. This spiritually-significant event will include public presentations by the Dalai Lama, as well as other luminaries. For a complete listing of events see Seeds of Compassion.

At the local level, the children’s, young adult and adult services librarians at Green Lake Branch are inspired to join forces and mount an interactive display, and to compile a list of suggested books for all age levels in the community. We invite you to visit our Branch to exchange seed packets in our “Sow Seeds of Compassion” display.

We also invite YOU, the reader, to contribute to and expand this list for our diverse communities in Seattle, and elsewhere. What books are you familiar with that signify compassion, or can help people become more compassionate by reading them? Feel free to provide your favorite author/title(s) and short comments at the end of this list. Let’s share our knowledge and awareness of compassion so that everyone can benefit!

Sow Seeds of Compassion:

Recommended Reading for adults, teens and children

 

ADULT BOOKS

Kindness in a Cruel World by Nigel Barber

Buddha Heart, Buddha Mind by Robert R. Barr

Ordinary Grace by Kathleen Brehony Continue reading “Have you heard about “Seeds of Compassion” ?”