I read Alice Hoffman’s “The Marriage of Opposites” for a recent book club. The discussion was very stimulating, as we touched on a broad range of topics, such as the fact that the title of the book might not have had anything to do with marriage at all. The book provided much insight into Painter Camille Pissarro’s life, and I came to learn of his Jewish heritage and his pivotal role as the father of the Impressionist Movement, and beyond. Through her powerful literary writing, and blending of real and fictional characters/events, Hoffman taps into a story that has universal appeal.
More recently, I participated in a discussion around the Mark Manson book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” While I was not too keen on the author’s writing style, I do admire his courage to speak his mind on a variety of topics. Having gotten that out of the way, I liked this book very much, as Manson, a life skills coach, provides such lessons as: “Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience” and the one at the beginning, “Don’t try.” The main theme we seemed to get out of this book is in this day and age we need to keep seeking improvement and to always keep an open mind. As the first half of the year comes to a close, I will look to dedicate myself to a goal I would like to accomplish and see what happens.
In between, I read “The Secret Lives of Bats,” by Merlin Tuttle, who has dedicated his life to something – studying bats. Tuttle, the founder of Bat Conservation International (BCI), chronicles his journey and covers a variety of topics, such as some of the different types of bats, the instruments he uses, obstacles he faces, the critical roles of bats and the movement to save the bats. Further, he uses photography to enhance the reader’s journey. I was amazed to learn how so different people’s perceptions about bats are in relation to when one sees a bat close up. The writing could be a little bland at times, but I do like how each chapter opens up a new adventure and a new stage in the development of bat knowledge. As Adam West’s role as Batman will live on well beyond his recent passing, I think some consider Tuttle to be a real life Batman, and I’m sure his work and contributions in the world of bats will not go unnoticed.