Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for the sympathies that ye have shown!
Thanks for each kindly word, each silent token,
That teaches me, when seeming most alone,
Friends are around us, though no word be spoken.

Kind messages, that pass from land to land;
Kind letters, that betray the heart’s deep history,
In which we feel the pressure of a hand,–
One touch of fire,–and all the rest is mystery!

The pleasant books, that silently among
Our household treasures take familiar places,
And are to us as if a living tongue
Spice from the printed leaves or pictured faces!

Perhaps on earth I never shall behold,
With eye of sense, your outward form and semblance;
Therefore to me ye never will grow old,
But live forever young in my remembrance!

From “Dedication” by H. W. Longfellow

The Give Thanks for Books Tag

Saw this tag over at Rachel’s blog, and I really liked the theme and questions. Here’s my take on it—I made a video of my answers (soon to be uploaded to my YouTube channel) and also wrote them down below. If you’d like to do it, too, consider yourself one of my four friends tagged!

The Rules:

1. Thank the person who tagged you. – Thanks Rachel for creating the tag!
2. Fill out the tag.
3. Share the tag graphic in your post.
4. Tag four friends.
5. Provide a clean copy of the tag for easy copying.

G — A book you’re Grateful to a friend for recommending:
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (Julia on Goodreads); The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald (Blaz)

I — A book that fires your Imagination:
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

V — A book with a Vivid setting:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

E — An Encouraging book:
Spiritual Writings by Søren Kierkegaard

T — A book that Taught you something:
Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence

H — A Happy book:
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

A — An Amusing book:
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

N — A New-to-you book or author you discovered this year:
Hermann Hesse

K — A fictional character you feel a Kinship with:
Prince Myshkin from The Idiot

S — A book you want to Share with others:
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Clean copy:

G — A book you’re Grateful to a friend for recommending
I — A book that fires your Imagination
— A book with a Vivid setting
E — An Encouraging book
T — A book that Taught you something
H — A Happy book
A — An Amusing book
N — A New-to-you book or author you discovered this year
K — A fictional character you feel a Kinship with
S — A book you want to Share with others

Grateful: Kafka’s Lost Writings, etc

In my off-hours this week, I’ve been absorbing The Lost Writings of Franz Kafka. This little book is an enchanting diversion from social media. It also made me realize I’d been in a reading rut. Not for lack of reading, or even good reading material, but for lack of joy.

It is funny that a writer such as Kafka could bring me joy. (The sketch about the bread loaf that refused to be cut was downright hilarious.) Yet in these forgotten excerpts, there is a gentleness and humor that pulls you in, without neglecting the darker shadows of life that he, like us, knew only too well. Kafka shows a human, even tender, side in scraps of writing such as “I can swim as well as the others…“, “I loved a girl who loved me back…“, and “I am fighting; no one knows it…” Then the irony—that he wanted all of this burned!

I am grateful, selfishly perhaps, there is still more Kafka to be read.

This will be my family’s smallest Thanksgiving yet, I think—just us. It’s technically illegal to meet with multiple families here, but we wouldn’t anyway because of my grandparents’ health. It will feel a little strange, compared to past years, but I’m glad we can still celebrate even in a small way. I’ll be contributing for the first time (baking cookies!), and Friday we’re putting up the big Christmas tree. So it should be a good time in spite of everything.

I have quite a stack of books to read and am hoping to make a dent in it this weekend. If all goes well, expect a slew of reviews!

I hope you all have lovely Thanksgiving if you celebrate, and a great day regardless. I’m so grateful for all of you!

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