Monday, May 1, 2017

flipping through the colors of a rainbow

April wasn't a great month of reading...

Thankfully, I did read two gems that I'll share with you. 

The Gardener's Color Palette by Tom Fischer

As someone who knows very little about gardening, I thought this book was very helpful and easy to understand. It's organized rainbow-style and gives information about how much sun, water and light is needed for each flower. 

Also included are color combinations that work well for each flower and a little information about additional care required. For example, poppies are gorgeous, but their foliage disappears as soon as the plant finishes blooming. So maybe this isn't an ideal flower for beginner gardeners like myself. 

This is a great book for any gardener, but especially those of us who are beginner gardeners needing help choosing not just a palette, but one that works best for our yards and lifestyles.

Callings by Dave Isay

Yesterday I finished the latest StoryCorps book, Callings, and loved it.  For those of you who haven’t heard of StoryCorps, it’s “a very simple idea. You make an appointment to bring in anyone you want to honor by listening. When you arrive at the booth you’re met by a StoryCorps facilitator who takes you inside and sits you across a small table from, say, your grandmother. You face one another, a microphone in front of each of you, and for the next forty minutes you ask questions and listen.”

David Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, has done a marvelous thing by taking a handful of stories centered around a theme – in this case job stories – and pairing them down to just a few pages.

My favorite people in Callings were Sharon Long, a forensic artist, Storm Reyes, a library assistant whose life was changed by libraries and Al Siedlecki, a science teacher who received a very touching surprise call from a former student.  I loved Callings for all the same reasons I loved other StoryCorps books.  You get a sneak peek into lives that are inspiring, nearly every story is incredibly touching, and if your life is crazy you can just close the book after a story and come back to it whenever you have another free moment.

As much as I love the idea of StoryCorps and am thrilled that so many stories are being recorded, I am partial to the books. Besides preferring books to audio, I also like the brevity of the stories in the books and appreciate the bit of distance the book format gives.  So many of these stories are such an emotional rollercoaster that hearing the conversation with the voices and tears is way too much emotion for me to handle.

After reading Callings, you will want to ask others what they do for a living, about the circumstances that brought them to their line of work, who initiated their interest in that job, and whether they believe it’s their calling.  And just like every other StoryCorps book, this one will change your life and leave you feeling connected to every individual you come across.

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