These next 5 books that I would like to present to you have stumbled into my life quite unexpectedly. Each and every one became a wondrous discovery, adding something to my daily routine that I didn’t know I needed.
Hidden underneath a pile of books at my local thrift store, discovering it while researching my next travel destination, or, as a lucky find at a library sale, I am so grateful for finding these books! They have given me a sense of peace, serenity and comfort. They’ve carved a small oasis of wonder at the end of my day.
The light softens, the day dies… reading these books soothes. When I hold them, I am reminded of other people, with their sorrows and triumphs, of the myriad, world-spread celebrations of Earth, of poems and songs of renewal, hope and change; of wisdom.
I hope you will be curious enough to find out more about these books and perhaps, even purchase one or two that speak to you.
Here they are:
- John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings”. I stumbled upon John O’Donohue’s poetry when I researched anything and everything I could about Ireland – that was a trip I dreamed about long before I actually took it (I finally visited the country in June, 2016). As I usually do when I can’t physically travel to a certain place (not soon enough anyway), I surround myself with pictures of that place, I put a desktop image on my laptop, I make a Pinterest board with things to see and do…all of these and more make me feel like I am getting closer to my goal of visiting that particular place and in doing so, perhaps I am :) maybe you do the same thing too. One thing that I have always done before traveling to a new country is research some of its famous writers, thinkers, philosophers, both contemporary and long gone, because visiting a local library when traveling is a must in my book. Thus, I find out about John O’Donohue and his magical work. It is a wonderful book of poems that speaks to any occasion: poems about life and its seasons, about friendship, love, brotherhood, about dying and growing. I have actually taken some of these poems, copied them into a fresh word doc and given them to friends and family next to a hand written letter when the poem fit the occasion. I encourage you to do the same. Some of John’s poems are so well known that you can find them online, on their own. Like this one, or this one.
- Elizabeth Roberts, Elias Amidon, “Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World”. This book was a thrift store find, a totally unexpected one, but it has brought me so much solace in moments of chaos or uncertainty! There is, to me, something utterly stabilizing in knowing that no matter what you go through, the seasons still change, the years pass, the Earth rolls…and what you thought was heavy, is actually not so looking at it from a distinct, broader perspective. This is a book about all life’s celebrations and I could not recommend it enough.
- Bradley Trevor Greive, “The Meaning of Life”. Bradley Trevor Greive’s book is filled with animal pictures, cute as can be, and captures, in small yet compact phrases, all the conundrums of being alive. Both adults and children will equally enjoy this book with much delight.
- Ethan Hawke, “Rules for a knight”. I discovered Ethan Hawke’s book (the well-known actor and director) when I started delving into the Middle Ages, some years ago. I haven’t stopped and my love for this period of time keeps on growing. However, I had no idea Mr. Hawke was also a writer. This little book is dedicated to his children, because it gave him “an excuse and permission to bring up subject matters that are very difficult to talk about with kids”. I very much enjoyed reading it. More about the book in author’s words, here.
- April Green, “Paper Wings: illustrated poems and haikus“. I discovered April Green’s poems by pure accident, on Instagram, and I am so glad I did! there is so much thoughtful sensitivity in her work, so much grace and wisdom. Her book makes reading poetry short and sweet, and if you’re not much of a reader, well, this one just might be for you. It would make for a great present to a special woman in your life, or your best friend. Or, as a wonderful gift to you.
Each and every one of these books has brought so much joy, comfort and hope and my wish is that they will do the same for you. Some of the poems are so beautiful that they deserve to be printed and hanged on walls in beautiful gilded frames.
I am not affiliated with any of the writers mentioned above but these books are so worthy of love and appreciation that I had to share them with you.
Invest in them. Keep them close. Share them with friends and family.
Play a little.