When I was in first grade I loved to walk around the house carrying under my arm what was probably an old high school history text left around by by uncle. I had underlined all the words I could read, mostly monosyllabic. It seemed absolutely natural to have a book as constant companion because there were lots of books in our house and my father was always reading them. Later on, an ideal summer day for my sister and I would be packing a lunch, biking to the new public library (formerly just two storefronts), loading up on biographies with a Louisa May Alcott thrown in and then riding down to the bike path running along Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn. Trees were rare but there was a cluster we aimed for, a place where we could spread out and read to our hearts content. We'd time our excursion with the arrival of huge ocean liners heading for the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island (where the Verrezano Bridge now stands). If time allowed we would venture farther to the Staten Island Ferry which we could board with our bikes and take the breezy trip across the Narrows and back for a mere five cents! Am I old, or what?
This is all by way of drawing your attention to some new books listed in the side bar. Scroll down and take a look. You'll see that this former librarian and always avid reader has rather eclectic tastes. The Jungians among you will love the James Hollis books. I happened upon the "Raising Boys" book in the public library. It looked like it might offer a good refresher course for me as I revamp my style for two grandsons. The book about the influenza epidemic (1918-1920) was recommended by the members of the reading group I started a few years before entering the monastery. They consider me their member emeritus and come to the monastery once a year for a meeting. I have kept on the list two books about monastic life. Since many people have seen or are waiting to see the German documentary "Into Great Silence" filmed in the Carthusian Monastery of Grande Chartreuse, I thought them still timely.