Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Free Speech: America’s Second Best Idea

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

See full size image “Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Action

are meaningless without Freedom to Think.”

Bergen Evans


What a pleasure it has been to enjoy Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on PBS (if you haven’t tuned in, it’s inspiring!) As I have been watching the nightly episodes, it occurred to me to consider America’s second best idea. I didn’t have to think long; the blogosphere offered a couple of controversies that confirmed my choice. If the Parks are America’s best idea (although I might suggest it could have been our consitutional democracy), then the second best idea is our First Amendment, and in particular freedom of speech. (more…)

A Great Place to Read

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

“No matter how busy you are, you must find time to read. ” Confucius

Ahhh, time to read…

For most of us, our schedules make finding time to read a challenge, even though we know how good it feels to settle in with a good book or magazine.

To add to the challenge, many of us who are particular about what we read are also partial to where we read. Our choices of the perfect places to read can be as personal and unique as choosing which books to pull from the shelf. We might translate the wisdom of Confucius as: No matter how busy you are, you must find a place to read! 

So where do you prefer to commune with words: (more…)

Question for the Day 6-17-09: Books to Reread

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

“Every so often, I take it out and read it again.” A friend talking about her favorite book

With summer here, the topic of books to take on vacation came up this week. Headed to the beach with a bag of books, a friend of mine was lamenting that, with her busy schedule, she didn’t usually have time to reread her favorite books — young adult novels that make her remember what she loved about childhood in a small town.

Books have a way of doing that — opening up places in our hearts and minds we have kept dormant. (more…)

Rocket Boys

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

It’s quite something, isn’t it? I am terribly excited!

Sir Richard Branson, upon unveiling his new shuttle Spaceship

It flew! It flew!

Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam

This week, as so often magically happens, several events in my life converged to offer a bright message. For me, the result was a reminder of the importance of wonder, of celebration, of exploration and of science. (more…)

Bookwoman and Others Like Her

Friday, December 7th, 2007

store logo

“I suddenly wanted something to read about women,

but I couldn’t find anything.”

Poet Judy Grahn


In Austin, Texas, on the corner of 12th and Lamar, there is a small shop that, for years, has been one of the sanctuary places in my life. Its bright storefront display promotes a wide variety of items:  feminist biographies, environmental photojournalism, insightful children’s books, progressive political commentary and gifts promoting peace. Entering customers, especially women, are welcomed home. Behind the counter sits owner, Susan Post, an unassuming woman with eyes as soft as her voice. When asked, she will speak of her unwavering dedication to feminism and her heart for writers. The shop I speak of is Book-woman, one of only a handful of independent feminist bookstores in the country and the only one in Texas.  A store devoted to improving women’s lives–what better way to live out a Passion for the Greater Good? (more…)

The Idea That Is America

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Cover Image

What Is the Idea That Is America?

That is exactly the question considered by author and pre-eminent foreign affairs expert Anne-Marie Slaughter in her new book, The Idea That Is America, whose title is based on a comment made by an Army Captain back from Iraq. Slaughter is Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and someone who writes and speaks extensively about foreign policy theory. (more…)

Life-Changing Books

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Reading That Book Changed My Life!

If you are a reader, you have probably said these very words.

Which one was it for you?

War and Peace? The Diary of Anne Frank? The Color PurplePurpose Driven Life?

Maybe it was something less weighty, but just as unforgettable like Nancy Drew or Huckleberry Finn.

Recently, I gave some thought to the idea of how books influence our lives. (more…)

A Hundred Ways

Monday, August 6th, 2007

There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Jelaluddin Balkhi (Rumi)

The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Imagine yourself so filled with gratitude and joy that you feel compelled to kneel–to kneel!–and kiss the very ground on which you stand, to thank God/Nature/Life for the pleasure and priviledge of living! Now imagine a hundred ways to express that joy!


InSpiritry Podcast: Peacemaking

Monday, July 9th, 2007

InSpiritry PODCASTS-

Twenty Minutes to Rekindle Your Spirit!

Theme: Peacemaking

Are you disturbed by the conflict in the world or maybe even the conflict in your own life?

Join Anne McCrady for this as she takes a look at how we can be peacemakers for ourselves and others.

Anne shares how peace is not just the absence of global violence, peace is a choice we make about how we live each day. In this compelling program, Anne McCrady inspires listeners to make peace a personal intention and peacemaking a daily practice. She reminds listeners that if we join forces for peace, the outcome can be a better world, a healthier society, a more loving family and that greatest of blessings: a peaceful heart.

Quotes by: Mahatma Gandhi, Howard Hunter, John F. Kennedy, Deepak Chopra, Isabel McCrady

An Inspirational Story about: Betty Williams, Northern Ireland Peace Activitist, 1977 Nobel Peace Laureate

Books Recommendations for: Peace Is the Way by Deepak Chopra; The Search for a Non-Violent Future by Michael Nagler; Speak Peace by Marshall B. Rosenber

Poems: What I Tell Children and Sus Madres by Anne McCrady

Read the complete text for this Podcast! (more…)