Written on: July 23rd, 2008 in Learning Journeys
My reading/learning path wound its way back to old territory over the last few weeks.
There I was, in my bed,comfortably surrounded by pillows, the early morning sun just peeking in the window, when a realization struck. As I used a magnifying glass to examine the details of the treasures found in King Tutanhamen’s tomb pictured in the huge book across my lap, it could be 1978 instead of 2008. I had assumed that same stooped position when I examined King Tut: The Boy King shortly after visiting the King Tut exhibit at the Smithsonian with Mom in that year.
There is change, of course. We say King Tutanhamen now; the collection is much more extensive as preservation and restoration has proceeded over the last 3 decades. But, the core remains. I stand looking though a window into the life of a young man 3300 years ago.
How has your path twisted back? What insights have presented themselves to you? What’s next for me? I may just need to search out one of the events in the Boy King’s current Comeback Tour, pick up my mother and head on out…
Written on: July 14th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
Laura here: Not too long ago I came across a question that I found
intriguing: “What one book changed your life as a
child?” The answer was simple
because Mrs. Dee was my favorite teacher ever, and in third grade she allowed
us to choose between two books for our reading assignment and book report. I
chose Watership Down by Richard Adams and as a result was magically
transported to a world of talking rabbits and characters that entered my heart
and curled up and stayed. This book is the reason I became an avid reader as a
child and a lifelong bibliophile.
During my reading life I’ve discovered how much I enjoy a well made audio book.
It’s not the same as reading a book. And I say well made because for me it has
to be recorded expertly for clarity and crispness and also employ a reader who
uses different voices for the characters, which really makes the story come
alive. I’ve listened to non-fiction audio books while I exercised or home-cared
but then happily discovered fiction worked in this format as well.
I discovered I could combine my continued enjoyment of audio
books with revisiting old favorites when I found Watership Down on audio
in my local library. Once again I was swept away by Adam’s universal story of
survival, happiness, friendship, and love. I haven’t read this book in twenty
years or more but it captured my imagination as strongly now as it did when I
was ten and twenty. I think that’s what makes certain works timeless and
classic because they resonate with us so deeply at any age.
Over the past two years I have listened to Outlander one of
my favorite historical fiction series by Diana Gabaldon. The entire series is
delightfully read by Davina Porter and I haven’t slacked over two years because each of the six books is
approximately 48 CDs in length. Wow is right! I hadn’t read the first in the
series since it was published in 1991 but once again the characters were so
familiar, real, and beloved that I was effortlessly drawn in to the story after
all these years and so richly rewarded by the experience.
Do you make it a habit to re-read your favorites? If so, how
often and which titles? Have you
experimented with listening to audio books? Please share your thoughts and
criteria for a good listen. We’re all ears! 😉
Written on: July 7th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
I have just returned, Sunday before last, from a week-long visit to the desert
isle of Aruba – what a grand experience: sitting on the beach, staring out at
the sky, the ocean, the birds in flight and on the beach, constantly foraging
for food…you haven’t "lived" until you’ve seen a pelican dive
vertically into the ocean for a fish or two. All along the stretch of beach
were big barricades, demarking places where sea turtles had laid eggs, as many as
40+. I never saw any babies but my friend did one morning. I imagine it was an
walked; I ventured into the ocean -though I much preferred the pool; I read; I
wrote and sketched in
my Between the Lines journal – but mostly I sat
and stared out at the horizon, the clouds, and contemplated: Why do the trade
winds always blow? How could people pre-1942 conclude the world was flat? What
causes the azure blue and dark grey bands of color in the ocean? Why isn’t the
perspective right in my sketches? What drawing medium suits me best? Where’s
the library? Could I live here forever?
now I’m back home and it feels right to be here; I shall revisit—in my mind’s
eye, my journal and sketchbook, photos and other projects—the sights and sounds
of my week on a desert isle…and oh, I’ll also find the answers or
explanations for some of my questions. I know where the library is.
Written on: June 30th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
I read about Stump the Bookseller on Dawn’s blog Write Well
Me and thought it was so much fun I wanted to share it here at Between the
Lines. Loganberry Books allows you to enter information about a long lost childhood read and allow them to find the title and author for you—what a great marketing tool! The search costs $2.00 and I’ve entered my challenge; my favorite book when I was four or five—many
moons ago. It featured a humorous little witch and a family that moved into her
house uninvited. It was funny and had a happy ending but I’m not sure what the attraction
was. Of course I knew the story word for word and my mom never got away with
skipping anything. It would be so amazing to read that book today and set it
aside for future grandchildren. 😉 Any
lost treasures you want to search for?
Written on: June 23rd, 2008 in Learning Journeys
As I was driving the other day, I caught a 60 second feature on WTOP-Radio by
Bob Madigan, "Man About Town." Bob was talking about "summer
reading" and shared snippets of an interview with Victor LaValle, one of this
year’s PEN/Faulkner fiction judges. LaValle says we should be able to read at
least ten books this summer, in a leisurely pace. Listen to the entire 60
seconds interview —> Audio —>Summer Reading Lists.
started wondering why summer is considered "leisure reading time" and
haven’t come up with anything earth-shattering. What do you think? Share your thoughts
in the comments. How many books do you read over the summer? More or less than
the rest of the year?
I also want to share with you a website that one of our librarians in Somerset County shared as a great source for finding good books – especially mysteries- to read. Just thought I’d pass it on. Whatever you read this summer, enjoy!
Arrangement/Ease of Use: This is
new to me, although, I recall someone on NPR describing it during a book
discussion about summer reads. I both appreciate and need the characters’ names
being as searchable as the authors’.
Special Features: Although this
is a mystery fiction website, it broadly embraces the genre and encompasses
many, many authors. It has an incredible amount of information. I like that it
has the read-alikes by both author and category. Character searches can be done
by location, occupation, historical periods, etc.
One Fun Fact: I must look into
perusing those books that have sleuths whose occupations fall into one of the
following: activists, interior decorators, pet sitters, and rich people.
One Title Found: Cockatiels
at Seven by Donna Andrews (pub. date July 2008)
Written on: June 16th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
There are all sort of challenges or games of "tag! you’re it" played
on the Internet – usually on blogs. All involve sharing with others
unknown or obscure facts about the person who is tagged. Recently I ran across
one on Bookmarks magazine that I thought I’d share with you…and also, a
little about me:
mother was also a librarian and a reader. She would entertain me with stories
of climbing out her 2nd floor bedroom window into a tree where she could read
in peace and quiet, away from her younger sisters.
a child, I read – horrors – comic books! And I’d get totally involved and lost
in them. Contrary to popular opinion, didn’t harm me one iota. Don’t read
comics much, anymore – not even in the Sunday or daily newspapers.
Occasionally, I’ll happen upon a cartoon that strikes my funny bone – guess I
"comic-booked out" as a kid.
I’ve related in our Delaware Library Learning Journey programs, I don’t read
much fiction these days – but, that’s changing and I’m looking forward to
rekindling that interest, especially since I’ve recently obtained a Kindle, – Amazon books’ new ebook reader.
like reading books about process – especially written by writers, artists,
crafts-persons, quilters, etc. I’m not so interested in technique, i.e., how to
do something but moreso, in the author’s learning journey and reflections.
start my day, nearly everyday, reading. I make a cup of tea, pour a glass of
orange juice and fix a glass of ice water, sit myself in my chair, surrounded
by my books, magazines, reading log, journal, pens [they are in color; I like
to write in color] and now my drawing tools and read, write, reflect…be in
the moment. My day begins about 5:30 – 6:00 am, and if I have a meeting or
appointment, I will adjust my wakeup/start time, accordingly – just so I can
have at least 30-45 minutes of morning time. I find this practice grounds me
for the day.
I’m a ‘vertical’ reader/learner – that is, I read deeply and widely in an area
that interests me until I tire of it or another interest supersedes. Oddly, for
some strange reason, I read a lot of books on time management and organizing –
most say the same thing, once you get down to it but I’m still intrigued enough
by the possibility that maybe there’ll be something new on the scene. I guess
these types of books are my “escape" reading. I’ve been "escaping"
for over twenty years. Am I any more organized or time-managed? Somedays, yes.
Even though I start my day reading, and snatch reading time throughout the day,
I do not read at night, in bed. Go figure…
these are my seven for the time being…I’m sure there are many, many
about you? Willing to share?
Written on: June 11th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
Laura here: Summer has arrived in Florida! For me it means reading even more than usual—at the beach, on our boat, under a tree with a picnic lunch. 😉 What’s your favorite spot?
I’d love to help add to your summer reading list and I wanted to share my favorite reads from last year so I’m using a partial post from another Blog I write for The Virtual Wire, which is all about working virtually with clients:
"I’m reading a book recommended by one of my clients that is fascinating, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink. Dan’s book resonated with my client so much she added it to LATI’s Virtual Training curriculum for library associates.
I also plan to tackle an account at one of these sites: Good Reads or Library Thing and get my favorites entered if not my entire library.
Have you had a chance to use an online book sharing program? Do you have a favorite resource for finding great reads? Curious bibliophiles want to know.
Do you belong to a book discussion group? I haven’t been able to attend a meeting for several months due to my travel schedule and miss our insightful talks. There have been several books that I saw in a whole new light after we talked about them. Do you find a book talk helpful in your literary endeavors?
Here are a few of my good reads from 2007, I hope you’ll share yours!
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood
The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace by Martha Beck"
Written on: June 4th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
Honoré and Kathy here: Hi and welcome to "Between the Lines". We’re delighted to have a place where we can share all the great books we’re reading…and our various learning journeys or paths.
How many books have you read and/or listed since you got the journal? Take a few minutes and share a couple of your favorites – click on the link: "Share Your FAVORITES!"
Remember how Kathy said she didn’t want to identify her journal? Well, at last count, she’s added the letter K in at least four different places throughout her book.;) We’re curious to learn how you’re using reading log/journal. Have you personalized it yet? Click on the link: "How I’m Making the Journal MINE" and share your comments.
We invite you to check out the blog. Join in our conversation. Sign
up to have email alerts automatically sent to you each time we update
the blog . Share the blog and your journal with your friends and family
members, too. Encourage them to become Charter Members; it’s simple: click here for more details: Become a Charter Member.
We’re looking forward to our journey. Thanks for joining in. Enjoy the ride.
Written on: June 2nd, 2008 in Learning Journeys
Honoré here: I’ve started a new reading log/journal – occasioned by an upcoming trip to a desert island, Aruba – and the book: The Art of Travel with a Sketchbook by Mari Le Glatin Keis. My new log is dedicated to my learning journey: keeping a sketchbook and drawing. From time to time, I will share this journey with you; here is the first installment:
"I love the idea of words as graphics! Thanks Mari for this quote: "To me there is no difference between journaling and sketching. The French word jour, which means day, is embedded in the word journaling. It implies writing as a daily practice. In defining journaling, there is no mention of color or line. In sketchbooking, you can use everything that comes to your hand: drawing, painting, collage, words. None of these tools has to be more important than the others. Words are just another graphic you can use spontaneously, without judgment." [p.78] " 5/24/08.
"The plan – a sketch a day from the vantage point of where I’m sitting in the morning: inside or outside. At home or away. I want to practice "seeing" and translating that into something made visible to myself and others. In addition to Mari’s book, I shall also revisit a couple others: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain; Everyday Matters and The Creative License; and Drawing from Life: the Journal as Art." 5/26/08.
To be continued…
Written on: May 26th, 2008 in Learning Journeys
Laura here: Greetings! I am the Virtual Assistant for Between the Lines and am pleased to share a book that has resonated with me and supported me on my journey.
I have struggled with being over weight since my daughter was born. I can lose weight but I don’t keep it off. When I turned forty I made the decision I was done with dieting forever. I knew what I needed to do: eat healthy and exercise consistently. Simple, right? What I didn’t realize I had to do was reprogram the ingrained habits, beliefs, and thoughts that led to self-sabotage. As long as my self worth was tied to a number on a scale or a clothing size I would never believe I was enough. First I had to be open to changing my thoughts, and next I had to believe I could change my thinking and change my reality.
I devoured spiritual, self-help books on meditation, manifestation, and miracles. Something clicked for me over the years of listening to the enlightened words of so many wise teachers. I reinvented my life. I became a business owner so I could do what I love and love what I do, and create the resources of time, energy, and abundance to pursue my health and wellbeing.
This year one of the support tools I chose has been to join Weight Watchers; "stop dieting and start living" is their tag line. I’ve known several people who have successfully changed their body size with Weight Watchers but I was resistant and believed they taught members to diet. I said I wanted to do it alone, but really wasn’t ready to ask for help and support. The reality of Weight Watchers has been 180 degrees different than what I thought it would be. I’ve benefited from their experience and knowledge of course, but the weekly accountability, support, and inspiration has been phenomenal.
Another tool I’ve found essential to my weight loss journey is a book by Julia Cameron, The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size. Julia is the author of The Artist’s Way, which taught me Morning Pages; three pages of long hand journaling before you begin your day. Morning Pages are an essential component of the book, along with these tools:
• The Journal ~ recording everything you eat, whenever you feel like eating, and what you’re thinking and feeling
• Walking ~ twenty minutes a day, a creative romp to exercise your mind
• The Four Questions ~ am I hungry/is this what I want to eat/ is this what I want to eat now/is there something that I can eat
• Culinary Artist Dates ~ sacred time each week for self discovery
• HALT ~ a 12-step guideline never get too hungry, too angry, too lonely, or too tired
• The Body Buddy ~ a trusted objective person for daily check-ins and to reinforce positive behavior
Besides Morning Pages the most helpful tool for me so far has been the journal. I write down what I eat, what I’m thinking about eating, how I think I’ll feel if I eat, and what I’d do if I weren’t obsessed with eating. The journal keeps me grounded and in the moment. Forbidden foods for me are like worry; future oriented and tantalizing or in the past and filled with guilt.
Word by word, line by line, page by page I am discovering the creative outlet that being obsessed with food has buried. I feel lighter, less burdened and weighed down. What do the results look like? Here I am—reaching for a pen instead of a fork.