Sometimes a book finds you. When The New York Times “By the Book” recently interviewed Robin Roberts, she mentioned Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul as the book that “taught me how to gently calm my thoughts and emotions.” Seems like a skill everyone could use, so I looked for the book. Although I’ve just started this slim volume, the tone is similar to others I’ve read - Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Miracle of Mindedness and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You, Go There You Are, or any by Deepak Chpra - books on meditation with suggestions for well-being and self-realization. Unfortunately, I forget their message and return to my own cynical view of the world soon after reading. Perhaps reading another could motivate my inner self to shape up – again.
Although Singer’s book made the best seller list and was touted by Oprah, I missed its debut (or ignored it). The chapter titles offer a mix of possibilities – a few appealing; others I many skip, but the opener – “The Voice Inside Your Head” – has me already talking to myself – but then I always did.
Have you read it?
With only one independent book store left on the island where I live, and the Borders book stores all gone, the recent replacement of the Barnes and Noble with a Ross Dress for Less seemed like the end. Although I find it hard to leave a bookstore without buying a book, clearly my purchases could not sustain their existence, and I too have been guilty of the convenience of mail orders and e-books. But a place without books is like a room without books – says something about who lives there.
So, on my road trip in California, I’ve been seeking out book stores, finding friendly owners who actually read books, and losing myself in the stacks, opening covers, touching pages, feeling the comfort.
So far, thanks to a fellow reader, I found Chaucer’s books in Santa Barbara – bought Rosemary Ahern’s The Art of the Epigraph: How a Great Book Begins a book I never would have found without browsing. Next, nestled among the bakeries and kitschy storefronts of Solvang, I found The Book Loft; my purchase – Valerie Martin’s The Ghost of Mary Celeste.
As I travel North to Monterey, I’ll be looking for more book stores. Do you know of any I can visit? I brought an extra suitcase.
This is the one-thousandth post for the No Charge Bookbunch. Thanks to faithful followers and to all who just stop by now and then. I’ve enjoyed the writing and the connection with all of you.
To mark the event, I revisited all those posts and organized them into lists of years on a new page that now appears under the masthead The Annual Lists of Books Read - my reading and reviewing record since 2009. I hope you’ll stop by and compare notes – and send me your recommendations for good books I’ve missed.
I’m always looking for another book to devour – aren’t you?