Good Reads Goal

“A man only learns in two ways,
one by reading, and the other by
association with smarter people.”
Will Rogers

2015 yyib header maxres
Congrats! You have read 100 books of a goal of 100!
2015 Reading Challenge

The beginning of the year, I made a commitment on the Good Reads website to read 100 books by the end of the year. Well, I’m happy to report that I was able to reach my goal.

I enjoy reading, so it wasn’t that difficult to read all the books I read. Although, I would have liked to read more of the classics. But while on my reading journey, I discovered some new authors and ended up reading most of these new authors books.

My plan for 2016 is to continue reading more with the coming year. However, I need to do more writing this year than reading. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to concentrate more on my writing.

I figure, if I put as much effort as I did to reading this past year into writing, I’ll be able to finish my novel by the end of 2016. With any luck, by this time next year maybe my novel will be on someone else’s Good Reads goal.

Shine On

Malaga Cove Library

A library is the delivery room
for the birth of ideas,
a place where history comes to life.”
Norman Cousins

The Malaga Cove Library

Libraries have always been such a big part of my life. This morning I made a visit to one of my favorite hide-a-ways, the Malaga Cove Library. When I visit this particular library, it’s always such an inspiration. I leave there with all these new ideas popping into my head, and my creative juices flowing. It’s such a magical place.

Tucked away behind the Malaga Cove Plaza shopping area, this charming  library was built in the 1920s. Designed by Pasadena-based architect Myron Hunt, the library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

The grounds surrounding the library are another reason I take such pleasure in visiting this library. If I’m in need of a quiet spot to enjoy nature, this is where you can find me. It’s also where you’re sure to catch sight of the popular peacocks who like to roam the grounds.

The peacocks of Malaga Cove

Malaga Cove is only .66 square miles with approximately 2,000 residents. It’s a charming area that, still retains an old-world charm and small-town feel.

The Olmstead Brothers helped with the initial design of the Malaga Cove Plaza and were responsible for the park-like feel of the city. At the time of the city’s incorporation in 1939, the business and shop area around Malaga Cove contained almost all of the Peninsula’s earlier buildings.

malagaplaza

Malaga Cove Plaza serves as the official entry point into Palos Verdes Estates and features beautiful Spanish Renaissance architecture and elegant archways.

On weekends the Plaza holds art exhibits for local artists. The library has weekly and yearly events as well, which are free of charge.

They say “the best things in life are free.” Today, that usually isn’t the case. Except when it comes to visiting the Malaga Cove Library.

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

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

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