Books

Welcome to Books

I was adrift on the living room floor, in some kind of waterless shipwreck. The task was daunting: packing up nearly twenty years of family life into a few boxes for a major move. How was I ever going to sort through it all? My books were proving the greatest challenge, many of them felt like … friends. Authors and characters had become teachers, mentors, travelling companions. The adventures they took us on, the insights they provided, the questions they raised, were now a precious part of my story. Like the treasured community of people we were leaving, my life had also been significantly impacted and enriched by the stories held inside the worn covers of my favourite books. 

Books hold a unique ability to illuminate the recesses of our lives. With a book, the imagination and the five senses are free to explore.  A vulnerable willingness to linger over the written words and ponder the images evoked heightens curiosity and anticipation.  Allowing new thoughts and ideas to trickle through our minds and hearts can bring insight and understanding to our own experience. Laughter ensues, tears shed, questions asked, discoveries made. 

In my experience, this wondrous potential and staying power of stories becomes most evident when we share them; because they place us in community. They inform our own stories, even change us. So I invite you to join us in exploring books and tell us about your own favourite reads!

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”   Madeleine L’Engle

“I am unable to light the fire, and I do not know the prayer; I cannot even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell the story, and this must be sufficient. And it was sufficient.”   Elie Wiesel, ‘The Gates of the Forest’

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen

Mary, March 2019

 

In the Distance

In the Distance

"The hole, a broken star on the ice, was the only interruption on the white plain merging into the white sky.  No wind, no life, no sound."Thus begins Hernan Diaz's novel In the Distance, an abrasively raw and sweeping tale of one man's search for a place in the...

from ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ by Salman Rushdie

from ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ by Salman Rushdie

“Faced with the blazing magnificence of the everyday, the artist is both humbled and provoked. There are now photographs of events on an unimaginable scale: the death of stars, the birth of galaxies, soup-stirrings near the dawn of Time. Bright crowds of suns gather...

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

Who could not be drawn into Zafon’s atmospheric story with its dramatic opening chapter? Ten year-old Daniel is led through misty Barcelona streets in the early hours of the morning by his father.   "Daniel, you mustn’t tell anyone what you’re about to see" his father...

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

I admit it. I am an awards junkie. I like to check out what books have been handed the latest prize ... Booker, Pulitzer, Edgar, Indie ... and if the review sounds appealing, it’s downloaded onto my Kindle. Travelling invites the easier reads (Ngaio Marsh, anyone?)...

Understanding Ourselves through Story

Understanding Ourselves through Story

Life is so complex that it needs an unlimited amount of stories to express what we go through, how it feels, and how we survive. The writer John Berger asserts: "Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and the public narratives...

Jolabokaflod

Jolabokaflod

Life is so complex that it needs an unlimited amount of stories to express what we go through, how it feels, and how we survive. The writer John Berger asserts: "Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and the public narratives...

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea

Last month the Nobel Prize for literature 2017 was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro, the English writer born in 1954 in Japan, who came with his parents as a young boy to the UK and has lived there ever since. In 1982 I picked up his debut novel A Pale View of Hills, and got...

The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending

"When the porcelain bowls of scalding butter tea steamed in their hands, Haji Ali spoke.   “If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways,” Haji Ali said, blowing on his bowl.  “The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger.  The second...

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

I would like to suggest “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes as an example of a Nexus-like book. First of all, it is good literature. A recent winner of the Man Booker award, its size, language and content make it very accessible both in time and content....

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