Archive for the ‘love’ category

The Saturday Book Shop – How Far You Have Come

May 15, 2021

Morgan Harper Nichols has a marvelous new book How Far You Have Come which was just released a few weeks ago.

I talked about her All Along You Were Blooming book here a few months back, and I’m just as excited and enthusiastic about this new book.

New stories, prose, poems, and illustrations by an exceptionally talented author and artist.

AND HERE ARE MORE PLACES TO FIND WONDERFUL BOOKS & TERRIFIC WRITINGS ABOUT BOOKS …

Reese Witherspoon has some great selections over at Reese’s Book Club (and an app too!). I am also especially fond of the marvelously thoughtful Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, Austin Kleon’s brilliant and eclectic weekly newsletter and blog, AND: Elizabeth Gilbert’s new Onward book club as sources of sharing a wide wealth of writings and books. Well worth being on their mailing lists.

That’s it for now, other than a plea to support local independent booksellers whenever you can—these intrepid entrepreneurs have made the publishing world go round for a long long time and are essential nooks of civilization and creative caffeine everywhere! 

What are you reading now? Would love to hear what’s on your nightstand table or in your book bag or e-reader if you want to share in the comments. And if not, that’s cool too. To be here to celebrate books and reading is enough. See you most likely next Saturday …  I’ve taken some extra time recently to just read, write, get vaccinated, be grateful, make some art, and just enjoy being as well as being out and about a bit more. Sending reading smiles and book hooray thanks to everyone checking in at The Saturday Book Shop. 📚 

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”

 

The Saturday Book Shop: The Poetry Deal

April 10, 2021

April is National Poetry Month. This is the 25th Anniversary of the Academy of American Poets celebration of the meaningful role poets and poetry play in our culture, our dreams, and our inspirations. It has become the largest literary celebration in the world with readers, writers, publishers, educators, librarians, and anyone who loves the written word uplifting the importance of poetry in helping us see life anew.

I thought I would share a couple of books from a poet I greatly admire: Diane di Prima, a legendary feminist Beat Generation poet and activist. To quote Allen Ginsberg, she was “… a learned humorous bohemian, classically educated and twentieth-century radical, her writing, informed by Buddhist equanimity, is exemplary in imagist, political and mystical modes. A great woman poet in the second half of the American century, she broke barriers of race–class identity, delivered a major body of verse brilliant in it particularity. — Allen Ginsberg”

Pieces of A Song is one of my favorite Diane di Prima books. It contains her Poems from Loba series as well as so many other gems, such as Rant, in which she reminds us in her bold caps refrain:

The Poetry Deal (San Francisco Poet Laureate Series, 7) is a collection of poems and personal reflections on her 40 years in the Bay Area, which became her home after moving to San Francisco from New York in the 1960s.

My ongoing thanks to Rob Brezsny, author of Pronoia: the Antidote to Paranoia—How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings for introducing my the poetry of Diane di Prima via his weekly email news and vivid writings.

I’ve also written here about favorite Mary Oliver poetry books.

May April be a month of rediscovering your favorite poems, exploring new poets like Morgan Harper Nichols, or jotting down some lines of your own poetry or a brief haiku.

POETRY ALL AROUND

Poetry is an ongoing gift whether you’re reading it, writing it, or being inspired by it. I was delighted to find a list of collage prompts drawn from lines of poetry last month on Instagram, which both helped rekindle my collage joys, and also brought a talented new poet to my attention, Nayyirah Waheed, who has written a book called salt.

“remember,
you were a writer
before
you ever
put
pen to paper.
just because you were not writing
externally.
does not mean you were not writing
internally.”
Nayyirah Waheed

You’ll find poetry I’ve written over the years scattered throughout the posts here on this blog, as well as included in several books published recently, including these titles which are filled with visual poetry in the form of amazing art and fabulous photography. Was thrilled to be a part of both of these books:

Beyond the Surface: Art, Discovery, Healing and Transformation by Chantal e.y. Bethel

Exumas: The Kingdom of Blue by photographer Alessandro Sarno

Here’s to poetic days! Would love to hear about any of your favorite poets or books of poetry or anything else you’re excited about reading.

Thanks for checking in here at The Saturday Book Shop. Hope you have a great weekend with time to read …enjoy and see you back next week!

A book is a present you can open again and again.

The Saturday Book Shop: Bisa Butler—Portraits

April 3, 2021

I am in awe of Bisa’s Butler’s art. Her work creates stunning and powerful portraits made from myriad vibrant fabrics and patterns, cut and stitched together with meaning and a depth that almost defies description. Her portraits speak of a multitude of life layers, generations, and experiences that are expertly woven into a new picture both moving and mesmerizing in its depth and humanity.

Bisa Butler—Portraits was published in conjunction with an exhibit by the same name that opened at the Art Institute of Chicago last fall, and where it continues through September 6, 2021.

The catalogue is exquisitely done. 96 beautiful pages of Butler’s incredible art, along with wonderful essays focusing on her influences, process, and stories held within the individual art pieces. Printed in Italy. Hardbound. This book leaves you feeling as if you almost got to be at the exhibit. Always better to get to see original art in person, but this book brings me closer, and I’m grateful for it during this time.

Bisa Butler’s work is a treasure. This catalogue captures both the intricacies of her art and how her work illuminates the family album of humanity.

Thank you for being here at The Saturday Book Shop for a few minutes during this holiday weekend amidst Easter — Passover — and Springtime celebrations of the Revival and Renewal of The Spirit. Hallelujah! ❤️🙏🏼❤️

The Saturday Book Shop – Dusk Night Dawn

March 14, 2021

I think I have a copy of every single book Anne Lamott has ever written, so I’m excited to read this new one that seems quite timely:  Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage. 

Anne Lamott has a way of holding all the ups and downs with a warmth, thoughtfulness, and smart sense of humor that somehow puts things into perspective with a quirky and endearing blend of honesty and steady grace. Her stories are seriously funny and rock solid in staying open to love, even when it ain’t easy. Uplifting and hopeful, without shying away from any of the awfulness out there, Anne Lamott helps renew the faith and the laughter within life’s most fallible and fabulous moments—quiet tender places where the heart asks the important questions and anchors us back to the divine roses within our thorny humanity. 

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers:  Hallelujah Anyway; Help, Thanks, Wow; Small Victories; StitchesSome Assembly RequiredGrace (Eventually)Plan BTraveling Mercies; Bird by Bird; and Operating Instructions.

I can’t believe it’s time already to be looking at setting our clocks forward at the beginning Daylight Savings Time later tonight. Augh. Maybe a couple chapters of this new book will help me get through this annual “Spring Forward” transition that usually feels anything but!

Happy Reading All, and see you back here next week at The Saturday Book Shop!

The Saturday Book Shop – Small Wonder

February 27, 2021

Small Wonder is a collection of essays by one of my all-time favorite authors: Barbara Kingsolver. This collection of essays was originally published in 2002 and written in response to the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Still, it feels quite timely in trying to wrap our hearts and minds around the unique challenges facing all of us today … holding fast to the little moments of life and love that make up the big picture—and making our natural inclination to hold hope and light more bearable, more together, even when we’re apart and it sometimes feels as if so much has shifted.

is

I’ve only just discovered this book. I thought I knew all the books this author had written, yet finding it now just underscores the notion that we all get a glimpse of when being led to a book or re-reading a book: that it finds its way to us at just the right time and in just the right way to fully receive the precious stories it holds. Barbara Kingsolver’s unique way of capturing moments of loss as well as laughter—amidst the dailiness of myriad mundane miracles that often lead to the grandest ongoing hopes and resolve—makes her essays, novels, and non-fiction a complete joy to read. They’re inspiring like a glimpse of an early-rising wide full moon on a clear bright night. Thank you, Barbara Kingsolver, for writing, and for continuing to write.

The royalties from this book support the work of Physician’s for Social Responsibility, Habitat for Humanity, Environmental Defense, and the humanitarian aid project called Heifer International. The copy of the book I’m showing above is a hardcover copy. Paperback is also available (with a different cover).

From my bookshelf to yours … Happy Reading!

 

Would love to hear in the comments if you’re finding time to read these days and any titles that have caught your attention or favorites you’re re-reading.

Look forward to seeing you back next week at The Saturday Book Shop

!

 

The Saturday Book Shop – All Along You Were Blooming

February 20, 2021

The words of Morgan Harper Nichols wrap you in gratitude, in grounded open empathy, in beauty, in heart song — and especially in hope.



All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living by Morgan Harper Nichols is one of those books you can pick up at any time of day, read a few pages, and come away with a perspective polished up with grace. As beautifully illustrated as it is written, these poems shine light through the bumps, the worries, the hard unknowns, the shadows, the joys & Love—as if her hand unfurled a prayer through the pages.

An artist, poet, and musician, Morgan Harper Nichols’ work touches the weary, the wisdom, and wonder of life. Her compassion and kindness beams through in her writings and art, and she quickly grew a devoted audience on Instagram. This book is a blessing. And Nichols has a new book, How Far You Have Come, slated for release in Spring 2021. 

Morgan Harper Nichols has also just launched a phone app called Storyteller, that delivers daily messages of encouragement alongside beautiful original art. Enjoy the inspired talents of this extraordinary bestselling young author and artist. ❤️

 

The Saturday Book Shop – The Snail with the Right Heart

February 13, 2021

Most book stores do not have a section labelled “Simply Enchanting”, but they ought to, and this book definitely falls into that category of undefinable magic (mixed with true science) that will no doubt make it a contemporary classic for young readers—and everyone young at heart too.

The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story by Maria Popova with illustrations by Ping Zhu is a children’s book that holds a fascinating story with down-to-earth wisdom alongside soaring wonder of the ages within its covers. (And if you’re a book printing/design geek like me, you’ll notice that not only the stunning pages, but even the end papers of the covers are delicately and brilliantly illustrated. The tiny details of book production, along with the inner workings of tiny gliding snails zing me.) Three years in the making, the book is quite timely, especially in these times:

“A love story, a time story, an invitation not to mistake difference for defect and to welcome, across the accordion scales of time and space, diversity as nature’s wellspring of resilience and beauty.” – Maria Popova

Maria Popova’s name is familiar if you’re a reader of her fabulous BrainPickings site where she mesmerizes us all with her passionate and poetic writings about all things books, art, design, poetry, music, marvels, philosophy: LIFE.

Popova is after my own heart here when she describes so wonderfully what I have long felt about the best of children’s books:

“Great children’s books move young hearts, yes, but they also move the great common heart that beats in the chest of humanity by articulating in the language of children, which is the language of simplicity and absolute sincerity, the elemental truths of being: what it means to love, what it means to be mortal, what it means to live with our fragilities and our frissons. As such, children’s books are miniature works of philosophy, works of wonder and wonderment that bypass our ordinary resistances and our cerebral modes of understanding, entering the backdoor of consciousness with their soft, surefooted gait to remind us who and what we are.” – Maria Popova

There’s more to Popova’s behind-the-scenes about writing this gem, as well as more photos of the gorgeous inside pages of the book here.

And while we’re on the subject of snails, and because it’s the day before Valentine’s, I’ll leave you with a little poem I wrote back in 2014 about embracing the spirit of snails and all they can teach us about unexpected blessings of perspective, whether we’re in full tilt hummingbird-heartbeat doings mode or embracing the reminders of slow and steady rhythms of just being that come our way … Happy Heart Day All! ❤️❤️❤️

OF SNAILS AND TRAILS
by Paula Boyd Farrington

 

I read about Totem Animals
whose essence shows The Way
The article said if you don’t know yours,
Be aware: it will somehow speak to you; show up during your day
 
And there you were
when I went out to the car
In plain view—a darling little snail
On the rear view mirror: driver’s side
 
Oh no, I groan …
I don’t want my totem to be a SNAIL!
Sluggish. Slow. Escargot.
No, thank you. No. Just … no.
 
But there you are again
In the evening dusk
climbing outside the kitchen window,
seemingly everywhere I look.
 
Oh my. Not what I wanted to see.
Why couldn’t I have glimpsed a National Geographic Gazelle?
A Lion. A Jaguar. A Hawk. A Flamingo!
Something powerful or exotic. Oh hell.
 
But there you are.
Carrying your likeness of a gratitude symbol
upon your mandala of a spiral shell,
your home right with you, wherever you may dwell.
 
Let me look closer, your antennae sweeping out
Stretching forward, inquisitively sensing the air
I watch you quietly know where you’re going,
on your own glossy path, climbing here and there.
 
Let me rethink this tiny powerhouse of Now
to warm to What Is
seeing anew the natural grace
In everything that lives.
 
This little snail is more than cute,
It fulfills an important role
Recycles organic matter,
Strong and steady it goes and goes.
 
And your giant ocean cousin?
All pink lipped with curvy shell,
known as an aphrodisiac,
her majesty feeds the islands well.
 
Named the Queen Conch.
She sometimes sports a pearl.
A royal snail in aqua seas
Classic beauty, a crown of whorls.
 
So can I embrace this totem tale?
As a celebration of gentler slower trails?
Of gliding along smoothly through time & tide?
The heart’s humble wisdom says: oh, snail—be mine! ❤️
Paula Boyd Farrington ©2014Oh! And one last time-oriented p.s. … I had the pleasure of getting to create the art for the cover of this Exumas: The Kingdom of Blue coffee table book (and wrote a poem inside about my first flight to Exuma!). The book is filled with gorgeous photos by Alessandro Sarno, holding a reverent gaze on life in this beautiful chain of islands surrounded by some of the most stunning clear ocean waters anywhere. It’s perfect for anyone who loves The Bahamas or whose heart wants to visit. The publisher is offering a 20% discount through Valentine’s Weekend. Link to the site is here.

 

Enjoy & see you back next week at The Saturday Book Shop!

 

The Saturday Book Shop – Trees, Glorious Trees

January 24, 2021

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop (which originally started here.).

The ongoing and everyday marvel of trees is on my mind this week. Books and trees. Trees and books. They are intertwined and connected at their very essence. We leaf through stories, ideas, adventures, wisdom, poetry, insights, and shared written human experiences thanks to pages made (mostly) from trees. 

I have long been enchanted by trees. And books. So many. Highly recommend these books for fellow tree lovers:

 This beautiful coffee table book, Wise Trees by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, with gorgeous photography and writing, tells tales of 50 of the most historic and inspiring trees around the world. Wonderful to learn there is a tree that still stands on the site where the Magna Carta was signed, as well as learning where the phrase “knock on wood” originally came from. So many moving, uplifting, and poignant stories told here through the living spirits of wise old trees.

Another favorite story, beautifully written and illustrated is about Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees

Wangari Maathai’s story is an amazing portrait in courage, dedication, and commitment, where the simple act of planting trees sparked resistance and equal determination to reclaim the environment of her beloved Kenya. Her determination led to a movement of peace, reconciliation, and healing that lights the way for all of us going forward into this time of looking for common ground and changing the world one loving, earth-friendly tree-loving act at a time. This inspiring book soars with light and life and spectacular illustrations.

AND HOORAY for the new books soon available by Amanda Gorman, the young poet and self-described bookworm that wow-ed everyone at the Inauguration. Such heart and talent. Brava for her work and books that will be available in 2021


 

“… there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman

 Happy Reading and have an especially lovely tree-appreciating week ahead! Please feel free to share any special favorite book titles about trees in the comments!

The Saturday Book Shop – Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 16, 2021

The enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his life’s work is celebrated in the United States this weekend. Seemed an apt moment to spotlight the last book he wrote, which is, sadly, still timely: Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? The issues addressed in his book echo deeply today, and point the way forward for fulfilling the dream of civil rights. For the important work of amplifying dignity. For increasing equal opportunity and equal justice under law. For protecting voting rights. For uplifting a living wage. For well being for all along the road ahead. For coming together in kindness and caring in everyday acts of service that matter even while isolating at home. (Thanks, CNN, for a great list of ways to serve, even from home, here.)

From the publisher’s overview:

“In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., isolated himself from the demands of the civil rights movement, rented a house in Jamaica with no telephone, and labored over his final manuscript. In this prophetic work, which has been unavailable for more than ten years, he lays out his thoughts, plans, and dreams for America’s future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. With a universal message of hope that continues to resonate, King demanded an end to global suffering, asserting that humankind-for the first time-has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.”

There’s also a great list of 20 Martin Luther King Jr Books in Honor of MLK Day here.

Here’s honoring hearts and hands coming together as we move into a new chapter. And here’s a link for re-listening to Dr. King’s I Have A Dream” speech. Will be thinking of that dream during next week’s Inauguration, and cheering for President-elect Joe Biden, and for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the first woman and first woman of color to be inaugurated as Vice President of the United States of America.

Dr. King took us all to church. Thank God for his life and the blessing of his leadership. May America move forward in healing with all due speed, peacefully, and forever in gratitude of his light and determination and grace. Amen.

 

 

 

The Saturday Book Shop: December 19, 2020

December 19, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop.

I’m sharing three books today that sort of sum up the moment here in the midst of the holidays, the pandemic, and looking forward with hope and faith toward 2021, even though we still have quite a ways to go.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamotte is just the right blend of funny-meets-unflinching faith that I’ve seen described as capturing “life’s imperfect moments perfectly”. She is also the author of so many favorite titles, including the classic Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, which is all the title implies and more. Love it, and have happily followed her writings long time.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a gem of a book by a “writer who draws”. It’s full of creative inspiration and reminder-smiles that do literally help keep you going, come what may. He has an excellent newsletter and eclectic fun blog you can sign up for too.  All of his books rock with  wisdom and wit and big riffs of delight.

And finally, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I am grateful to have many many poetry books. Love them all. Especially this one. Mary Oliver and all of her quietly elegant words—which uplift the everyday well spring of nature and life with such a notice-everything-and-tell-about-it open heart—are all time favorites, to be sure. When I was pulling this book off the shelf to snap this photo, a little postcard I had painted for myself and stuck in the book fluttered out. I’d popped it in opposite this poem … seems especially apropos at the moment:

WHAT GORGEOUS THING

I do not know what gorgeous thing

the bluebird keeps saying,

his voice easing out of his throat,

beak, body into the pink air

of the early morning. I like it

whatever it is. Sometimes

it seems the only thing

in the world that is without

questions that can’t and probably 

never will be answered, the

only thing that is entirely content

with the pink, then clear white

morning, and gratefully, says so.

— by Mary Oliver

Wishing you and yours a Very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy, & Heart-full-of-Love-and-quiet-Joys kinda Holiday season❣️

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”


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