In the 1960s, Robert Coles was the child psychologist who treated Ruby Bridges, six years old, black, integrating a white elementary school in New Orleans. He would hate my use of the word treated. Rather, he listened to Ruby’s story as he counseled her through the massive life disruption and trauma that was integration during the Civil Rights movement. Later, he would write a book about what he learned from these brave children, and he would win a Pulitzer for it. In another book, The Call of Stories, Coles wonders: What if we don’t jump to conclusions trying to fix others? What if, instead, we “listen carefully, record faithfully, understand as fully as possible”?Read More ›
“Inside Bag End, Bilbo and Gandalf were sitting at the open window of a small room looking out west onto the garden. The late afternoon was bright and peaceful. The flowers glowed red and golden: snap-dragons and sunflowers, and nasturtiums trailing all over the turf walls and peeping in at the round windows.”
—The Fellowship of the Ring
On a slow Saturday morning, my oldest daughter, who is eight, brings me a nature craft book, seeking hopeful permission to make something depicted in its pages. Before even taking a look, I roll my inner eyes. Children’s craft books come a dime a dozen, or a mere eighty cents at the local consignment store. Many are boring, or the crafts concepts are weird, or the designs look phenomenal but are so complex or confusingly-written that the books really aren’t much use at all. But then I look where she is pointing, at the craft titled, “Make Your Own Toy Garden,”and my heart leaps into immediate association.Read More ›
It is a good thing Agatha Christie was so prolific; summer is for detective stories. Every year, at just about the same time, the air gets hot, the trees turn green, the college town I live in grows quiet, and Arthur Conan Doyle comes through. Dorothy Sayers as well. And, thanks to the productive industriousness of one Agatha Christie, Poirot and Miss Marple for many summers to come.
For me, reading is intensely seasonal.Read More ›