Spring came early this year in the Northern California foothills, and we even had a few small fires during our driest record-setting February. The only rain that month came in the very last four hours. Yet, winter is paying a visit this week with over 2.5 feet of snow. Still, the birds have returned, including our gentle cooing dove, dogwoods are preparing to bloom, and soon the bumblebees will grace the lavender flowers. When the forest awakens, it is full of beautiful possibilities, like life. Spring is a magical place in time, much like the books I read. Books not only entertain me, but move me, or change my perception. Here are my spring picks in no particular order.
It amazed me that Haikus could tell a story like this! My poetic introduction to Maine has fueled my imagination of a place I want to explore. Each season offers a beautiful vision through Ms. Stevens carefully crafted Haikus.
“My Maine” is a fantastic collection of nature haiku. Going through the seasons, I would think I’d found my favorite one, but I hadn’t because they were all good. It was impressive with the limited wordage of the poems that so much information came across. The pictures added more depth to the words, and I enjoyed learning some new details along the way. This is an excellent blend of poetry, photographs, and facts about Maine. If you love nature and poetry, you will enjoy this book. I highly recommend this!
So much is packed into this coming-of-age, short story. It’s very relevant for the times we are living in and a lesson to look deeper than a designer label or skin. But there was a very dark side of hatred that was portrayed. I hope that ugliness disappears from our society, and we learn to see the soul.
by Nonnie Jules
“No Pedigree” is a short story able to convey so much in a few words. It tackled difficult subjects, including racism and poverty. Baylee was thrust into an elite high school where her mixed-race left her shunned and cruelly treated in a world of designer clothes and attitudes. Her mother worked hard to make ends meet, giving her daughter a good example of how not to give up. Baylee’s strength was the center of this story, especially when she suffered through a horrendous attack. Karma came to mind as it all played out to a satisfying ending. This was a well-written short read that I highly recommend.
I became Catholic at nineteen years old. There are periods in the Church that make me question that decision at times. Racism is one of those ugly parts I have a hard time absorbing. There is another part of me that is more hopeful. This book teaches us about the past but opens our hearts to the future.
by Shirley Harris Slaughter
I love history and what we can learn from it.”Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community by Shirley Harris Slaughter is exactly that–history we can learn from.
Ms. Slaughter has written a fascinating reflection not only of the Catholic Church but racial issues within it and the surrounding community in Detroit. Not only did the author show the Church through her own family’s history, but the book covered many well-documented backgrounds from the parishioners that attended the Church, the Priests, and Nuns. Included were pictures giving the reader a full insight as to what happened in the rise and fall of this parish.
Ms. Slaughter showed us a past in which we can improve upon. Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community” fills a void in history that I was unaware of was missing. For anyone who has an interest in history, religion or the African-American experience. I highly recommend this book!
NOTE: I was silent for a few days. My power and landline were down during a powerful snowstorm. Kind of living the storyline I’m finishing up editing–minus the killer:) I will try to catch up the best I can. You were all missed!
Stay safe while embracing your inner child this spring by reading a fantastic book! D. L. Finn