The Little Things In Life

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is credited with saying, “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.” 
For my wife, Sharon, and myself, the little things in life (besides our seven grandchildren) are lunch or dinner out or a trip to a bookstore.  We visit various bookstores at least 3 or 4 times a month as well as shop online for books.  We also visit the library from time to time.  I came across the following quote from Vincent van Gogh, that truly describes the feeling we experience when we visit and shop at a bookstore:
” So often, a visit to a bookstore has cheered me and reminded me that there are good things in the world.”

♦ Portions of this post were adapted from goodreads quotes, grammarly quotes and google graphics.


child-pile-books-16993799As a former bookseller and librarian, I always love hearing about conversations between parents and children when visiting the library.  The following was recently overheard in a library between a mother and her daughter:

Mother: “You have 15 books! 15!  We are coming back later in the week; it will be okay.”

9-Year-Old Daughter: “You don’t know that.  Something could happen.  These are emergency books.”

♦ Portions of this quote were adapted from an internet meme, and google graphics.

I have written in past blogs about some readers’ preferences for ebooks rather than books in printed format.  However, I have not written much about audiobooks. My personal experience with audiobooks is limited, using them only in the car for long drives or when my wife, Sharon, had some eye problems which seriously curtailed her reading books in print format.  Over the years I have sold hundreds of audiobooks and know that many prefer this format.  Last week I came across an interesting meme that added a new twist to the need for and acceptance of audiobooks.

“Many people think that listening to a book is cheating.  I tell them that the words are still entering your brain, creating pictures, telling a story.  It’s not a crutch, it’s just a different way to get to the same place.”  Hannah Sherman, Student with Dyslexia

♦ Portions of this post were adapted from the Internet and google graphics.

sparring PartnersPublished just this year, 2022, Sparring Partners is the most recent book by John Grisham.  It is his first collection of three novellas, the law is the common thread throughout the three stories, and with several surprises in each of the stories.  I have often mentioned that Grisham is a “great storyteller” — he once again provides us with three great stories.  The stories are titled: “Homecoming”, “Strawberry Moon” and “The Sparring Partners”. I highly recommend this book, if you like stories about the law and human nature, you won’t be disappointed with John Grisham’s collection of novellas.

The Publisher’s Brief Summary of Sparring Partners

“Homecoming” takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham’s unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he’s not in the courtroom. He’s called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again—until now. Now Mack is back, and he’s leaning on his old pals, Jake and Harry Rex, to help him return. His homecoming does not go as planned.

In “The Strawberry Moon,” we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can’t save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request — one last look at the moon.

The “Sparring Partners” are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe each other, and speak to each other only when necessary. As the firm disintegrates, the resulting fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time in her career and try to save herself?

♦ Portions of this post were adapted from the publisher’s notes and amazon graphics.

MJODear Readers,
My weekend posts on The Bookman’s Page are limited to just one brief Thoughtful Quote. Featured below is this Sunday’s quote.

A Thoughtful Quote

“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.”

– Elbert Hubbard —

♦ A portion of today’s post was adapted from brainyquote website.

MJODear Readers,
My weekend posts on The Bookman’s Page are limited to just one brief Thoughtful Quote. Featured below is this Saturday’s quote.

A Thoughtful Quote

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.”

— Jawaharlal Nehru —

♦ Portions of today’s post were adapted from the brainyquotes website.

Abdullah Shoaib is a lesser-known poet of Asian origin. His name came to the forefront when he shook the internet with his reverse poem, Pretty Ugly in the year 2018.

Reading the poem in the usual order presents a scenario where the speaker accepts what society “feeds” in the form of conventional ideas of beauty, self-worth, and love.

Reading the text bottom-up reveals that once the speaker understands the meaning of true beauty that does not deal with one’s external features.  The speaker realizes that he/she is beautiful in the way they are. Therefore, they “deserve” to be loved and accepted. If others tend to reject this as an arrogant appeal, they are in a position to accept that they are “ugly”.

In this way, Shoaib shows that when we change the way of seeing things in ourselves as well as in the world, reality starts to take a more meaningful shape. It is similar to reading the text bottom-up rejecting the conventional notion of reading top-down.

th (19)

Pretty Ugly
by Abdullah Shoaib

I’m very ugly
So don’t try to convince me that
I am a very beautiful person
Because at the end of the day
I hate myself in every single way
And I’m not going to lie to myself by saying
There is beauty inside of me that matters
So rest assured I will remind myself
That I am a worthless, terrible person
And nothing you say will make me believe
I still deserve love
Because no matter what
I am not good enough to be loved
And I am in no position to believe that
Beauty does exist within me
Because whenever I look in the mirror I always think
Am I as ugly as people say?

(Now read bottom to top)

♦ Portions of the post were excerpted from poemotopia.com and wikipedia.

Many people have difficulty hearing or believing the truth. In today’s post, Mahatma Gandhi gives us Something To Think About…never apologize for being you.


♦ Portions of today’s post were adapted from the AZ quotes website.

Milne-Shadowland-1922In today’s post, I want to share a wonderful verse by the author, A. A. Milne. Alan Alexander Milne was an English author popular for his books about the teddy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, and children’s poetry. Milne was primarily a playwright before the huge success of Winnie-the-Pooh overshadowed all his previous work.  Milne’s verse today is titled: Halfway Down

AA Miline

♦ Portions of today’s post were adapted from the book Halfway Down the Stairs, google graphics and Wikipedia.

GrenvilleThe Story of Grenville King by Jean Grainger is book number three in the Tour series. I have previously read and reviewed books one, two, and four in the series. The series currently consists of six books featuring Conor O’Shea as the protagonist in the stories.  He is described as a handsome, charming Irishman with a kind heart and a knack for solving problems.

Even though he is a successful seasoned tour guide in Ireland, he tires of being away from home and his family.  He is presented with an opportunity to renovate and oversee the management of the rundown Castle Dysert and turn it into a five-star resort. He acts on this opportunity and problems arise throughout the story.  However, as in the previous novels in the series, Conor steps up to the problems and resolves the situations. This is another great installment in the Tour series which I highly recommend — I am looking forward to reading books five and six in the series.

The Publisher’s Brief Summary of The Story of Grenville King

“When an opportunity to renovate and run the magnificent but rundown Castle Dysert as a five-star resort presents itself, Conor O’Shea grabs it with both hands. However, problems arise almost immediately when his business partner appears to have more on her agenda than just business.  To add to that, his darling wife seems discontented as a stay-at-home mom, and his in-laws have moved in.

With his family’s future now entangled in a stunningly beautiful old castle on the coast of Clare, Conor undertakes a mammoth project, and in so doing, uncovers the troubled past of this ancient stronghold. The mystery of the family who lived, loved, and lost their lives within the walls of the castle is reflected in his own family as they too struggle to let go of the past.

Like in every small Irish village, gossip abounds. But do the ghosts of regret still haunt these ancient hallways? It is now left to Conor to explore the truth and uncover a heartbreaking lesson on the power of memory and the long threads that bind us together.”

♦ Portions of this post were adapted from the publisher’s notes and amazon graphics.