April 28, Monday night -- Reading Peter J. King

Reading One Hundred Philosophers: The Life and Work of the World's Greatest Thinkers, by Peter J. King. What she loves about philosophy is that it cheers her up by introducing new ways of thinking. She grew up Catholic, but loves reading about Taoism and African Philosophy.

If she were to write a book it'd be a self-help book containing models of positive thinking. She'd add her own experiences of how she's dealt with difficult things in her life--like losing her father to heart disease two years ago--and apply different philosophical perspectives from around the world.

Her favorite book of all time--The Law of Love, by Laura Esquivel, who also wrote Like Water for Chocolate. The book is about reincarnation and finding your soul mate. She read it for the first time when she was sixteen and still has the book....it's one of the few books she's ever bought--she's a library person. She grew up with one on her block and got her first job at the library. She has worked at the Mission Branch of San Francisco Public Library and now works at the main branch!

What is unique about The Law of Love is that it is the first multi-media novel. It has a CD that you're supposed to play in different parts and even graphics that go along with it. She likes to play the CD even when she's not reading the book to remind herself about what she read.

...but back to the library. When people ask her for suggestions of what to read, she directs them to the library's newsletter, which you can pick up at the library. It might also be online.

Personally, she likes books in the Social Sciences. She just read a book called Sultana, by Jean Sassoon, about an Arabian princess. It was horrifying, she said. If a woman is promiscuous she can be stoned by her father. The book made her appreciate how good life is in our country.

What have you read lately that's made you appreciate how good life is?


webbie said...

I read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and, upon finishing, called my parents to tell them how much I loved them and appreciated the life they had provided for me.

Liesel said...

The Constant Gardener, not because of the main characters, but because of how the 3rd world countries are forgotten by everyone.

Liza P. said...

Hmmmm I think the most recent one I can think of was Life of Pi. I remember reading about his mother and got really sad about ever having to lose her.

Another book that really made me feel grateful for what I have is Johnny Mad Dog by Emmanuel Dongola. I took a course on his novels and this one depicts life as a child soldier and another girl who is victim to their actions.

Nono said...

I realize not everybody reads French and this author is not translated in English yet but I recommend to those who are interested: Guillaume Musso's "Et Apres" or "Y Despues" in Spanish.
This is one of the book I recently read that made me think about life and made me see it in a different light.
Another one that I read recently very close to the reader's experience in this post is Persepolis from Marjane Satrapi. That makes you appreciate life in the US in your case or Europe in mine.

alexis said...

What Is The What by Dave Eggers about Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese "lost boy." Holy god, what a good book.

Mrs. Wait said...

I was just this afternoon re-reading bits and peices of "Eyes Of The Tailless Animals". Not an easy book to read, but powerful in the way it makes you look at the life of one who has suffered in some unimaginable ways. The Author is Soon Ok Lee. It would be hard to read this book and not realize, as you put it down, that you are a different person from having read it.

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Ms. Bassette said...

The Glass Castle and The Life of Pi were both good books that I enjoyed. The Glass Castle has been compared to Angela's Ashes, and I totally agree. Both made me appreciate the life I have.
I also just finished a book called Nora Jane, done from a very positive perspective. I started slow and then got into the characters, and by the end, I too saw my life as a series of pretty good times.