We often begin the last month of the year ping-ponging between events, shopping, and preparing to host visitors. As the new year approaches, some people make resolutions. Rather than pretend I’ll try to lose weight or start exercising, I prefer to enjoy the quiet and contemplative mood of long, ever-darkening nights lingering over lovely books with big ideas.
I’ve chosen three new titles that help readers see the world from different perspectives. The first two are: How Do We Look and Questions are the Answer. Although the third, Keeping a Nature Journal, was published in 2003, it is new to OFPL.
Happy Reading! Susan C.
How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the question of Civilisation by Mary Beard – From prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul, Mary Beard looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity. Focusing in Part I on the Olmec heads of early Mesoamerica, the colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, and the nudes of classical Greece, Beard explores the power, hierarchy, and gender politics of the art of the ancient world, and explains how it came to define the so-called civilized world. In Part II, Beard chronicles some of the most breathtaking religious imagery ever made–whether at Angkor Wat, Ravenna, Venice, or in the art of Jewish and Islamic calligraphers–to show how all religions, ancient and modern, have faced irreconcilable problems in trying to picture the divine.
Questions are the Answer: a Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life by Hal Gregersen. For Hal Gregersen, the power of questions has always been clear, but it took some years for the follow-on question to hit him: If so much depends on fresh questions, shouldn’t we know more about how to arrive at them? That sent him on a research quest ultimately including over two hundred interviews with creative thinkers. Questions Are the Answer delivers the insights Gregersen gained about the conditions that give rise to catalytic questions and breakthrough insights and how anyone can create them.
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You by Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth – Offers simple techniques to give first-time journal-keepers the confidence to go outside, observe the natural world, and sketch and write about what they see. At the same time, they motivate long-time journal-keepers to hone their powers of observation as they immerse themselves in the mysteries of the natural world. The second edition includes a new 32-page color portfolio from Clare’s latest journal.