Friday, May 11, 2007

So Many Books, So Little Time

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.


Barbara said...

Haven't had time lately to post a comment, but your reference to Staten Island and its 5 cent ferry ride drove me to respond. I grew up on Staten Island and loved that ferry ride, too. I recall when the Verrezzano bridge was built -- not far from my old high school, St. Joseph Hill.
Your blog is wonderful. I enjoy your insights and learning how the monastic life is lived in the Redemptoristine tradition as opposed to some of the others. I have met a few Redemptorist priests and they have been refreshing, to say the least.

Br. Bernard Delcourt, OHC said...

When I lived in Manhattan, I would ride my bike across the Brooklyn Bridge and all the way to Starrett City and back. I did it as training for fund-raising rides and it would take me below the Verrazzano Bridge. I loved the proximity of the open ocean combined with the city's skyline in my back. As I read your post I couldn't help but smile at the fact that monosyllabic is a five syllable word. The human mind is wired for learning...