• Jill Hance Bakke

Turning the Page on a Good Read

With coronavirus lockdown in place over the country, I thought a few thoughts on reading might be of interest. I will be using quotes from the writers below on my Facebook page for The Magic Theater: Your Personal Journal, beginning the second week of April.

If you haven’t read her Maya Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, you have missed one of the best autobiographical books written by an American writer. Angelou died in 2014 at the age of 86, after accumulating numerous honors.

Angelou’s reading of her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration was the first time since 1961 that a poet had been invited to read at an inauguration. Obama awarded her the the Medal of Freedom. She has also received the National Medal of Arts, 50 honorary degrees, and many awards which are simply too long to list. Her life was a patchwork quilt of creativity, including talent as a poet, songwriter, singer, dancer, stage and screen producer, and director—in addition to writing six more best-selling autobiographies. Everything written by Angelou is worth reading.

Another one of my favorite books is Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s timeless classic, Gift from the Sea, published in 1955. This is perhaps one of my most treasured books. I used to read it once a year. As most of us know, the author was the wife of the famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh, who made the first transatlantic flight in 1927. His solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris is considered the turning point of aviation history and advancement, and he received the Medal of Honor for this achievement.

Five years later the Lindbergh family again became prominent in the public eye when their infant son was kidnapped from his crib in an upstairs bedroom and murdered. The trial of the kidnapper ended up with the jury finding him guilty, and he was executed. The act itself led to what we know as the “Lindbergh Law,” which makes taking a kidnapped victim across state lines a federal crime.

Neither of the Lindberghs lived the life of an ordinary citizens. Yet, Lindbergh’s charming, thoughtful, and insightful book speaks to all people and gives the reader insight into the woman herself.

My present read is a book on shamanism, Masters of the Living Energy –The Mystical World of the Q’ero of Peru by Joan Parisi Wilcox. I highly recommend this book for anyone familiar with shamanism or even someone who wants to know more. However, I should advise it is more in depth than the usual books on the subject. In a similar vein, I recently finished Hank Wesselman’s book, The Re-Enchantment, which I recommend to everybody. It’s on shamanism as well, yet isn’t academic, and it contains mystery and reassurance. I loaned my copy to a friend, who found it “enchanting.”

My final author for this newsletter is Richard Bach, who wrote the perennial favorite Jonathan Livingston Seagull, but Bach’s Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah I found equally well-done. I have included many of Bach’s quotes in earlier posts, but I cannot close without mentioning him.

Whatever your genre is, HAPPY READING! There are a number of great reads available. And an afternoon spent with a good book is never wasted. Browse the online bookstores of Barnes and Noble and/or Amazon. In fact, I’m going Amazon shopping now for a Captain Underpants or a Dog Man book for my seven-year-old great grandson. Those series are his current favorites.

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