Quote of the day

February 9, 2018

 For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives. Amy Lowell who was born on this day in 1874.

She also said:

In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.

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365 days of gratitude

January 23, 2018

C.S. Lewis said if we could read only old books or new we should choose the old.

If you chose the old I guess in time the new would become old so you’d get to read them too.

But the idea that I might be dictated to so that I was able to read only one or the other feels like Hobson’s choice to me.

I have a lot of old favorites which I re-read and enjoy afresh but I also enjoy discovering new works by authors whose earlier volumes I’ve liked and encountering works by authors new to me.

I am fortunate to have the ability and, quite often, the time to read old books and new and I”m grateful for that.


The Resilient Farmer

August 31, 2017

Marlborough farmer Doug Avery had already faced more than his fair share of difficult times when successive droughts through the 1980s and 90s  struck.

It got so bad that he hated to go outside and despair turned to depression. He treated that with alcohol and anger, neither of which helped.

The turning point was a meeting addressed by  Lincoln University professor Derrick Moot.

Doug became a convert to lucerne and started working with the environment rather than against it.

He not only turned himself and his farm around, he used what he learned to help others become more resilient on their farms, in their businesses and their lives.

He’s told his story to many different audiences and now he’s written it in The Resilient Farmer, weathering the challenges of life and the land.

It’s an honest and simply written account of  his life and troubles which could have sunk him and nearly did. It’s sad in places but far from being depressing, it’s an inspirational read.

It’s one of the best stories of or by a farmer I’ve read but that doesn’t mean it will only appeal to people interested in farming and farmers.

The book would make a great gift for Fathers’ Day but that doesn’t mean it would only appeal to men.

It would  be of interest to a wide audience, men and women, country and town.

The Resilient Farmer is co-authored by Margie Thomson with a foreword by Sir John Kirwan.

It’s published by Penguin Random House with a retail price of $40.

 

Doug has a website Resilient Farmer.

Doug and Wendy are interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon.

There’s more on Doug here

 


Saturday soapbox

July 1, 2017

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

who you read

You are now the main character in the last book that you read. Who are you?

(For the record: I’m Jake Bailey, in What Cancer Taught Me.


Michael Bond 13.1.26 – 27.6.17

June 29, 2017

Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear and author of more than 200 books has died.

What will be wanted on this voyage and will there be marmalade sandwiches when he arrives?


Book readers better people

May 12, 2017

Reading could make people kinder and more empathetic.

Readers were more likely to act in a socially acceptable manner while those who preferred watching television came across as less friendly and less understanding of others’ views, British researchers said. . .

Researchers told the British Psychological Society conference in Brighton that fiction fans showed more positive social behaviour.

Readers of drama and romance novels were also empathic, while lovers of experimental books showed the ability to see things from different perspectives.

Comedy fans scored the highest for relating to others.

The study suggested reading allows people to see different points of view, enabling them to understand others better. . .

But there’s a but:

However, the authors warned the study did not prove cause-and-effect.

So it could be that reading causes positive behaviour, or it could be that thoughtful, well-mannered people are more likely to prefer reading.

Is it that better people read books or readers are better people?

Either way, book readers are better people.


Quote of the day

April 20, 2017

I don’t know how you can understand other people or yourself if you haven’t read a lot of books. I just don’t think you’re equipped to deal with the demands and decisions of life, particularly in your dealings with other people. Sebastian Faulks who celebrates his 64th birthday today.


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