Sunday, February 9, 2020

Reading and a bookish memory

The Sunday Salon is a place for readers to link up and to share what we've been doing during the week.  It's a way to visit other blogs and join in conversations there.  Some of the things we often talk about in our Sunday Salon posts:
  • What was your week like?
  • Did you read any good books?
  • What other bookish things did you do?
  • What else is going on in your life?
A memory
"I'll be posting 159 Love Books I Have Read on Tuesday.  Some of the titles are rather odd.  How many books with 'love' in the title have you read?" — posted yesterday by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
I don't track titles this way, so I have no idea "how many" I've read in my lifetime.  Deb made me smile, however, because I remembered a time when I read a book entitled Love and Will in the early 1970s.  I was working at the newspaper on Saturday nights, helping to pay for my college tuition.  My job?  Stuffing the comics and advertisements inside stacks of newspapers that had just been printed.  We'd stuff a stack of papers, replace them on the line rolling toward us, and grab another stack of papers to stuff.  The presses would break down, usually at least once every weekend, so some of us brought books to read while we stood around waiting.

One night, the presses broke down and I carefully pulled my book out of the pocket of the apron we wore to keep ink off our clothes.  Holding it open with something (paper? cloth? I don't remember) so my ink-stained fingers wouldn't ruin the book, I started reading.  A woman standing near me leaned over to see the title and said in a cooing voice, "Oooh, LOVE and WILL."  I suddenly realized she assumed it was a romance novel, like she and others around us were reading.  The protagonist must be looking for love with a guy named "Will."  Nope, it was my philosophy homework.  I was studying, not merely reading for pleasure.  She looked rather puzzled when I told her what the book was really about.

Love and Will ~ by Rollo May, 1969

Rollo May, an existentialist, articulated the principle that an awareness of death is essential to life, rather than being opposed to life. The book explores how the modern loss of older values, whose structures and stories provided society with explanations of the mysteries of life, forces contemporary humanity to choose between finding meaning within themselves or deciding that neither oneself, nor life, has meaning.
"Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing."
I found that quote from the book online, but with no page number.  This book may be borrowed online for free by clicking the title.

Just completed
Mortality ~ by Christopher Hitchens, 2012, memoir, 9/10
Essays about the author's struggle with esophageal cancer, published posthumously.  Hitchens, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, was asked to write about his illness for the magazine.  He managed to dispatch seven essays from "Tumourville" before he was overcome by his illness.
Reading now
Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner ~ edited by Ellen E. Garrigues, 1895 and 1910
A sailor dooms his ship’s crew by murdering an albatross and is lost at sea, alone with the burden of his guilt, until a meeting with divine messengers brings him the opportunity to do penance.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s (1772-1834) haunting parable of sin and absolution is widely recognized as one of the greatest narrative poems in the English language and was a defining achievement in the establishment of the Romantic Movement.
Up Next
Politically Correct Bedtime Stories ~ by James Finn Garner, 1994
Garner satirizes the trend toward political correctness and censorship of children's literature, with an emphasis on humor and parody.
Once Upon a More Enlightened Time ~ by James Finn Garner, 1995
Garner continues his mission to liberate our classic fairy tales from archaic, sexist, ageist, classist, lookist, and environmentally unsound prejudices with a new collection of humorous tales for readers of evolved consciousness.


stacybuckeye said...

Even though I've seen the Politically Correct books around I've never picked one up so I look forward to seeing what you think.

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

I agree with Rollo May in part at least. Thanks for sharing that story.

Wishing you a great reading week

Athira said...

I made more or less the same assumption about Love and Will as the woman in your post, lol! How can a title like that be about philosophy! Haha - it sounds like a Jojo Moyes book. Have a good week!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You gave me a big laugh today when I read your story about Love and Will. No, it sounds like there was not a lot of romance in that title!

I've just added Mortality to my list of books I hope to read. It sounds like a worthy read, and, of course, if you found it to be such a strong read, I want to try to read it, too.

I hope you have a lovely week, Bonnie.

Helen's Book Blog said...

The title Love and Will would certainly get people to pick up the book. Won't they be surprised when they realize what it's really about?!

pussreboots said...

I'm not sure how many love books I've read either. Like you it's not something I track. My weekly update