Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reading ruminations ~ what I've been reading

What I've been reading:

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously ~ by Julie Powell, 2005.

I've managed to get more than two-thirds of the way through the book (because my best friends liked it), but I'm slogging all the way. First, I don't know French and don't understand what she's about to cook. Second, I'm not all that fond of French food and can't get excited about what's she's making. Third, why would anybody keep struggling to make every recipe in Julia Child's 40-year-old cookbook when it causes her to curse her way through a year of her life? Dunno. After reading 216 pages, I have made only three notes. The first one shows the author's quirky style:
"But I did none of these things. Instead, I got married. I didn't mean to, exactly. It just kind of happened" (p. 18).

"If I wanted to learn to cook, I'd just cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (p. 20).

Her husband Eric: "You could start a blog. ... Julie. You do know what a blog is, don't you?" Of course I didn't know what a blog was. It was August of 2002. Nobody knew about blogs, except for a few guys like Eric..."
I'll come back and let you know, if I ever finish this sucker. Rating: "nah," which means I can't recommend it, even though it's now a movie.

How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science ~ by Michael Shermer, 2000.

All I've read so far is the preface about "The God Question," but here's what the book is about:
"My primary focus in addressing readers is not whether they believe or disbelieve, but how and why they have made their particular belief choice. Within the larger domain of how we believe, I am mainly interested in three things: (1) Why people believe in god; (2) the relationship of science and religion, reason and faith; and (3) how the search for the sacred came into being and how it can thrive in an age of science" (page xv).

The Power of Myth ~ by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, 1988.

I've already used this book for a Teaser Tuesday quote (click on the title to see that post). It isn't taking me a long time to read this book because it's hard to read, or anything like that; three friends and I are studying the book during August and September, taking one of the eight chapters each week. So I'm savoring the book over a longer period of time. I could share one quote a day here and probably not run out of interesting things to talk about for a year. Maybe more. Here's another one:
Campbell: "The dream is an inexhaustible source of spiritual information about yourself. ..."

Moyers: "What do we learn from our dreams?"

Campbell: "You learn about yourself."

Moyers: "How do we pay attention to our dreams?"

Campbell: "All you have to do is remember your dream in the first place, and write it down. Then take one little fraction of the dream, one or two images or ideas, and associate with them. Write down what comes to your mind, and again what comes to your mind, and again. You'll find that the dream is based on a body of experiences that have some kind of significance in your life and that you didn't know were influencing you. Soon the next dream will come along, and your interpretation will go further" (p. 40).
Have any of you paid close attention to your dreams or tried to understand them over a period of time? Coming up tomorrow in my discussion group: Chapter IV: Sacrifice and Bliss.

The Seat of the Soul ~ by Gary Zukav, 1989.

I've set this aside too often to read more immediate books, but it's due back at the library day after tomorrow and I need to finish it -- now. Here are a few interesting quotes:
"Our species has become arrogant. We behave as though the Earth were ours to do with as we please. We pollute its land, oceans and atmosphere to satisfy our needs without thinking of the needs of the other life forms that live upon the Earth, or of the needs of the Earth" (p. 50).

"Hatred of evil does not diminish evil, it increases it. ... Hatred of evil affects the one who hates. It makes him or her a hateful person..." (p. 71)

"You create your reality with your intentions" (p. 110).

"No two people have the same reality. ... By choosing to feel kindness instead of coldness, you change the frequency of your cdonsciousness, and this changes your experiences" (p. 111).

No comments: