A Walk in The Woods

I want things to be better all the time.
And I tend to get angry about that.
Books are an opportunity to vent.

Bill Bryson

A Walk in The Woods

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve read a variety of books. I’m proud to say, I’ve read 65 books to date. They range from celebrity biographies to 100-year-old classics.

So it’s rare that I find a book to read that is laugh-out-loud funny, inspirational and educational all rolled into one. A Walk in the Woods is one of those rare books.

Bill Bryson’s 1998 book, A Walk in the Woods, which was made into a movie and will be released September 2nd, is a story about Bill Bryson’s quest to hike the Appalachian Trail.

The book has all the subjects and details I find interesting. It’s packed with history, nature and science with details about the hiking trails in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was Bryson’s sense of humor. This book was highly entertaining, and is a great read for all ages and walks of life who have ever hiked or simply enjoy a walk in the woods.

Shine On

Another Dr. Seuss Book

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.”
Dr. Seuss

Dr Seuss New Book

There was a new book released the other day. It was written over fifty years ago by a famous author. The author is one of my all time favorites. All his stories are always entertaining while teaching us a lesson.

I believe this book will long out sell Harper Lee’s new book, but obviously won’t get all the attention until it hits the best seller list.

The book was discovered by the authors wife in 2013. She found the book in a drawer in its original form. The title read The Pet Shop and had 16 black-and-white illustrations, with text that he typed on plain white paper then cut and taped the text to the drawings. The pages were stained and yellowed from over fifty years sitting in one of his desk drawers.

His widow knew what she had found. She recognized her husbands unmistakable lively rhymes. The Dr. Seuss book was turned over to a Ms. Goldsmith, vice president and associate publishing director for Random House/Golden Books Young Readers. Mrs. Seuss hired Goldsmith to take the rough manuscript and turn it into a new Dr. Seuss book.

The book took over two years to finish and was published and released this week. Like all of Dr. Seuss’ books this new book What Pet Should I Get? has a theme. The theme is about making choices. Why Dr. Seuss chose not to publish this book, we will never know.

It is believed that Dr. Seuss wrote the book around the same time as One Fish Two Fish, because the children in both books are identical. His wife stated that he was juggling multiple projects at that time and he may have set it aside for later publishing. Or it even might have been the jumping-off point for One Fish Two Fish.

For whatever reason he set the book aside, I’m grateful he liked the book enough not to trash it and keep it from his fans. I can’t believe our good fortune to have another Dr. Seuss book.

Shine On

Legacy of Harper Lee

“I never expected any sort of success with
‘Mockingbird’ . . . I sort of hoped someone
would like it enough to give me encouragement.”
Harper Lee
Harper Lee
At the beginning of January I read a book that was on my 100 books to read list. I also read this book because I had watched the movie when I was a young girl and it left an everlasting impression on me. That book and movie was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Mockingbird, a precocious child’s-eye view of race, justice and the mysterious ways of Southern life, was a mammoth critical and commercial hit when published in the summer of 1960. It sold 500,000  copies in its first year of publication, won the Pulitzer Prize and became an indelible part of American culture.

Shortly after reading Mockingbird, I wrote a post on January 13th Read Around the World. At the time of my post, the world had no idea that Harper Lee had written a second novel. After the world heard the news about her new second novel, Go Set A Watchman which was released yesterday, all of us avid readers cannot wait to get our hands on this book. The book that was written in 1957 and is the parent book to, To Kill A Mockingbird.

If Lee’s new book doesn’t live up to the old one, then we can choose which one we prefer. All of us bloggers, as writers, can only dream of having the same impact with our readers that Harper Lee has had on the world.  The impact of her novel which moved so many of us is the enduring legacy of Harper Lee.

Shine On

Required Reading

“Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning
— one that leads you toward becoming
the fullest human being you can be.”
Oprah Winfrey

Expectation Hangover

We all have dreams and goals. This is a good thing. It’s important to stay focused on the future and make our visions turn into reality through concrete planning and action steps.

But, some times in life, we end up frustrated or disappointed when our plans don’t become a reality we desired. We may feel like we are not living up to our full potential. This is when we are suffering from an expectation hangover.

Are you a Type A? An overachiever? Defined by your accomplishments? And then been disappointed when life didn’t go exactly according to plan? 

Has life recently thrown you a curveball? Maybe you have dreams and goals, but somehow things aren’t working out as you’d hoped? Or worse, maybe you’ve stopped believing that the life you’ve always wanted is even attainable?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then do I have the book for you: Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love and Life by Christine Hassler. The book is full of deep spiritual wisdom as well as practical advice for people from every walk of life.

If you are feeling like you’re not living to your full potential in life, then this book is required reading. 

Shine On

In Harmony with Animals

“I think of my life’s work as a celebration of all of nature,
an orchestra that plays not the sounds of one musician,
the music of one species, but rather
an expression of all of nature’s songs”.
Gregory Colbert


Elephant with woman by photographer Gregory Colbert.

The other day I read, Larger Than Life, by Jodi Picoult. It’s a wonderfully written novella about a young woman researcher studying the memory in elephants. It’s the first time reading one of her books, but the story made such an impact on me, I will surely read other books by Ms Picoult.

I’ve always been intrigued and in awe by elephants. It saddens me to hear in the news about poaching in Botswana and other African countries. The thought of elephants becoming extinct frightens me. Hopefully, with the help of numerous writers, celebrities as well as photographers raising awareness of the terrible threat to these noble prehistoric pachyderms extinction will not happen.

There is one man, a not so famous celebrity by the name of Gregory Colbert who is making a difference in saving the elephant. He is a Canadian photographer/film maker who created Ashes and Snow, an ongoing traveling exhibition of photographs and films focusing on the exquisite interaction of humans and animals. Better known as the nomadic museum, these images and films are displayed in purposely built temporary structures that travel the world.

Mr. Colbert started this exhibit in 1992 in hopes of exploring the relationship between man and animals from the inside out. Ashes and Snow has been viewed by more than ten million visitors to date, making it the most attended exhibition by any living artist in history.

He is fast become my favorite photographer. Not only for his heart warming images, but for his beliefs. He has discovered the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, and is working towards restoring the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals.

Shine On