Monday, November 30, 2009

Pam's Pick

What with Amazon and Walmart having price wars over best sellers...I found a book in our independent bookstore that will never see the light of day in one of those big conglomerates. It is utterly charming. The book is "The Whole Five Feet", by Christopher R. Beha,. In this literate memoir, the author decides to read the Harvard classics, compiled by the Ex president of Harvard, Charles Eliot and his assistant. The books measure five feet on a bookshelf. The premise is , If you can read these classics you can attain a very good liberal education..and possibly a more interesting life. The author has struggle with his catholic faith, the illness of a beloved aunt and his own perilous health issues. In the course of a year he reads all and cherry picks what is important to him to makes sense of his life and struggles. The writing is pure joy..modest, simple in only a good writer can do..but filled with deep issues to mull over in your head for a long time. This book is like sitting down with a very bright intellectual who shines a light on literature..and in the process you understand the reason for the classics..and how they effect the human soul.

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