Posts from the books Category

Started in on this one recently. Big thinker, really, and not something I’ve read much before.

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Two Gifts

In this universe we are given two gifts: the ability to love and the ability to ask questions. Which are, at the same time, the fires that warm us and the fires that scorch us.

~ Mary Oliver, “The Bright Eyes of Eleanora: Poe’s Dream of Recapturing the Impossible,” from Upstream

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the EndBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a must read for anyone who considers such things as end-of-life care, elder-care, and helping or working with people at that stage in life. We have prolonged life and yet we still struggle with how to discuss death openly and clearly. Even moreso we struggle with how to help elderly people make decisions that honor their autonomy and that honor their sense of what gives their life meaning at that point in life. Meaning and autonomy are the two takeaways that we must honor for people as they age. This is a great read.

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Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Elusive FishBody of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World’s Most Elusive Fish by Chris Dombrowski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a GREAT book – even if one is not into fly fishing or fishing at all. There’s a depth to the stories that are shared – an arc, if you will. I learned more about the Bahamas, bone-fish and the history of the place, the people who live there and make their livelihood guiding. In addition, Chris’s writing is dense – I often would find myself needing to take a break from reading to consider what it was he was getting at. There was beauty in the writing, as well.

Chris plays a little geographic travel with this as he will compare fly fish guiding in Montana, where he does this, to guiding in the Bahamas. He also attempts to touch on how very wealthy people buy land in order to preserve it and keep it from having resources exploited. It’s a mixed bag in a sense – in that if government won’t do it, then perhaps those with means can, will and should (?).

Near then end his writing goes deep with the ideas of presence, longevity, dreams, and what makes a life worthwhile. There’s an existential element to the book that captures more than one can see and/or experience.

His ability to convey the depth of the lives of the people in this book is exceptional. It doesn’t make me want to go there (to the Bahamas), but makes me want to be more present and aware of my current circumstances. Traveling there would be wonderful I imagine, but that’s not the point of this book. The point is presence, clarity and understanding. I highly recommend this book.

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