sharing my love of books with you

Tag: From My Library (Page 1 of 2)

From My Library: Blue Horses, by Mary Oliver

This is my newest book of poems by Mary Oliver. It’s a small paperback volume with thirty-eight poems, but I’m sure it holds beauty and wisdom between it’s covers.

I studied two poems by Mary Oliver for one of my last college classes, Nature Writers. I fell in love with how she loved the natural world. Her works are inspiring. She writes about the beauty of nature and the majesty of the elements, but she never glosses over the ugliness. Love and sorrow, joy and rage, hard work and idleness all have value in Mary Oliver’s works. Her world is real, and her writings are about that real world.

I can’t wait to start reading Blue Horses and see the world through Mary Oliver’s eyes again. It’s been several months since I read anything she wrote. Here are some of the poem titles that intrigue me:

  • “Rumi”
  • “If I Wanted a Boat”
  • Good Morning
  • “The Wasp”
  • “Watering the Stones”
  • “Loneliness”
  • “Do Stones Feel?”
  • “What Gorgeous Thing”

You can’t read poetry like a novel. Each poem is a part of a whole, but they must be taken slowly and carefully. I’m not sure how long it will take me to finish Blue Horses, but as I find poems that I love, I’ll share them with you. Hopefully you will want to find one of Mary Oliver’s books and see for yourself the world as she saw it. Happy Reading!

From My Library: Lion in the White House

I wrote a few days ago that I was switching genres to read this biography of President Theodore Roosevelt. I’m only two chapters in, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t read a lot of biographies because I subconsciously deem them “boring”. I suppose if the subject is boring, then the book will be too. However, the subject of Theodore Roosevelt is anything but boring. I think that’s why I was drawn to this book.

I bought my hardcover copy on sale at Barnes and Noble with a gift card. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was one of the first gift cards my new boyfriend gave me. (That boyfriend has since become my husband.) I’m pretty sure I was trying to impress him by buying educational and historical books instead of the fiction I am usually drawn to.

I chose Lion in the White House because President Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite president. Though I never made a point to read his writings, or even to read about him, I knew that he had accomplished great things in his lifetime. I suppose you could say I have admired him at a distance. I am excited to read this little book to gain better insight into Roosevelt’s life. Already I have been impressed by how much he wrote at a young age. He kept a diary as he grew up, chronicling his illnesses, his love of nature, his family, and his travels. As a child, even during illnesses, he was quite the handful. He strove for excellence in his education, mastering college preparation in two years instead of the usual three. When he graduated Harvard, Roosevelt “ranked twenty-first in a class of 177.”

Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Aida D. Donald has been “hailed as the best short biography of Theodore Roosevelt ever written”, according to the front flyleaf of the cover. “Avoiding the pitfalls of excessive detailing, Donald vividly portrays one of the most colorful and ambitious figures in American history.” I will keep you updated as I read, but I think I shall enjoy this biography.

From My Library: The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October is a classic Cold War novel. When I had the opportunity to purchase the novel in hardback, I jumped on it. I actually found my copy on a social media marketplace; the gentleman who sold it to me had already read it and had another copy at home. I told him how I loved the movie and had just recently realized it was also a book. He was glad to pass it on to someone who would enjoy it.

My copy is like new – the pages still smell fresh. The cover is red with the title in silver on the spine. The dust jacket has a simple white background that show both the submarine and the Communist hammer and sickle on the front just beside the title.

The story follows two main characters: Russian Captain Marko Ramius and CIA Analyst Jack Ryan. Captain Ramius commands the newest Russian nuclear submarine, Red October. When the Red October fails to follow through with its first test run at sea and disappears into the Atlantic Ocean, the Russians deploy their Navy to find the submarine, and the CIA requests Jack Ryan to assess the situation for threats against the Unites States. What follows is a gripping tale of naval hide-and-seek that could have grave consequences if anything goes wrong. You’ll have to find your own copy if you want to know what happens.

From My Library: Five Children and It

Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit, was first printed in 1905. It is a short read, just over three hundred pages. My copy is a little paperback that my mother gave me several years ago.

Do you see that curious creature on the cover of the book? That is a Psammead (pronounced Sammy-add). It is furry, with a spider-like body and eyes like snails’ that can extend and retract. And its whiskers are extremely sensitive! A Psammead (according to itself) is a Sand-Fairy. It lives in the sand, and it can grant wishes. It has been alive since the time of Megatheriums and Pterodactyls. When the five children in the story find the Psammead, they begin to tell him their wishes. He makes the wishes come true, but they only last ’til sunset. Then everything returns to normal again.

What would you wish for if you knew your wish would come true? Be careful how you answer that. It may not be as good as you expect. And that is the lesson this little book teaches.

From My Library: The Greatest Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

It is no surprise to my regular readers that I have been reading my way through this large volume of Sherlock Holmes stories for quite some time. This book is a great addition to any library, but especially to that of a Holmes fan like myself. The volume is 939 pages and contains a great introduction by Barbara and Christopher Roden. As you can see in the picture of the dust jacket, there are 4 complete novels and 44 short stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories featuring Holmes, so the volume is only missing 12. My sister joked that those couldn’t be called the greatest adventures, so they were left out.

The four novels are:

  • A Study in Scarlet
  • The Sign of the Four
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • The Valley of Fear

The short stories were printed in four collections:

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes
  • His Last Bow

I am thoroughly enjoying reading these stories for myself. It is different to read them than to listen to them. I have picked up on small details that I had missed before. I encourage you, if you have not read Holmes (and even if you have), head over to Barnes & Noble and grab a copy of The Greatest Adventure of Sherlock Holmes. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

From My Library: Speaking in Bones

by Dr Kathy Reichs

This is the third Kathy Reichs / Temperance Brennan book I read. This is the one with the crazy plot twist at the end. I found my copy at the local library thrift store. It is a hardback with a great neon green/yellow/blue dust jack. Hardback books are my favorites! I just love how they feel in my hands. I hope to add more Kathy Reichs books to my collection soon, however, until then, Speaking in Bones is definitely the strangest of the three I own.

From My Library: Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

My first exposure to Emily Dickinson was in a college course on nature writers, and I did not like her poems at all. However, I decided to buy this tiny book and give her a second chance. These small books are a Barnes & Noble special; they are about the size of a wallet. I’m glad I decided to give Dickinson a second chance because I have enjoyed many of the poems in this book. It just goes to show, first impressions can be deceiving.

From My Library: Felicity

by Mary Oliver

This little book of poems is encouraging. Mary Oliver has such a great way with words. I picked up my copy at Barnes and Noble. It is a paperback, but the cover is soft, and the book just feels nice in your hands. Many of the poems in Felicity are about the things Mary Oliver loved, like her dogs and her friends. Every time I read one of these poems, I think, that was just a sweet way to put that thought into words.

From My Library: Break No Bones

by Dr Kathy Reichs

This was the second Kathy Reichs / Temperance Brennan book I read. I found my copy at the local library thrift store. I don’t think it is a former library copy, but I’m not sure because there are two date stamps on the inside cover. My volume is a little hardback with the same red dust jacket as is in the picture. The case was fascinating! I hope you are able to find a copy for yourself, because I think you would really enjoy Break No Bones.

From My Library: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Classic Works

by Lewis Carroll

I have not written much about Alice’s Adventures or Lewis Carroll yet, but I do plan to in the near future. The reason I had to add her to my library before I started reading the full volume was because I posted my favorite poem of all, “Jabberwocky“.

My copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Classic Works is a large volume that I purchased at Barnes and Noble. It is a lovely hardback with a bright pink dust jacket. The classic works included in this volume are:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Through the Looking-Glass
  • Sylvie and Bruno
  • Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
  • Verse: The Hunting of the Snark
  • Phantasmagoria
  • Puzzles from Wonderland

I will be sure to let you know once I do start reading these stories. I also intend to post each poem that Lewis Carrol wrote into the stories of Alice so we can enjoy them together.

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