Cristina's Library

Joie de livres

Category: January books

Every Thing On It

A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years…

So begins the touching, magical, and often hilarious, collection of 145 previously unpublished poems from beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein. I read the book in one sitting on New Year’s Day, and absolutely loved it. Reading children’s poetry and books at this age helps me to realize even more clearly the underlying messages in them. A number of lines stood out to me, a few of them I’ve listed below:

This surely ain’t the magic
I was hopin’.
I guess in life it all depends
Which magic flask you open. – THE GENIE IN THE FLASK

She had blue skin
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through.
Then passed right by–
And never knew. – MASKS

Though it’s a posthumous publication put together by his family and original editor, Shel’s spirit and input is felt within every page, and the design of it stays true to his previous works. If you’ve read Where The Sidewalk Ends or The Giving Tree (which always brings tears to my eyes), you will love this never-before-seen collection. It’s one of those books that needs to be in everyone’s library. Like his other books, you will go back to it over and over throughout your life, and, eventually, pass it on. Shel Silverstein was one of those rare and masterful writers who penned works ostensibly for children, but with so much beauty and truth and humor that they can touch that last, faded remnant of innocence that even the crabbiest adults still have deep down in their shriveled little souls. Please do yourselves a favour and read this book!


Reading Challenge 2012

Hello, 2012!
It still feels so weird to write 2012. I couldn’t be more excited for this year, and all of the surprises that are bound to come my way, as they always do. January 1st was an overcast, dark, rain-splattered Sunday, one of those afternoons that are so gloomy they are inspiring. I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline, when I noticed SavvyReader post about their 50 Book Pledge, an initiative that began at HarperCollins Canada last year, and I decided to get on board. The great thing about it is that it’s not competitive, intimidating, exclusive or set in stone – it can be 50 books, or 20, or 10. The most important part of the pledge is not the number of books you read, but the time that you make to read what you love. It’s a fun and wonderful way to encourage us to finally get started on the books we want to read, or have had on our minds for a while – and for me, that’s many! So far, hundreds of people have accepted the challenge, and made it their own.
Though my mom does not have Twitter (Facebook is enough social media for her at the moment), I’ve convinced her to set a challenge, too. She plans to read 10 books this year, ones that she has always been dying to start. I’ve pledged to read 100 books, and have tentatively started a list on Goodreads, though what I read next always changes depending on how I feel when I finish one book, or on a particular day. There are so many stories I can’t wait to delve into! I’d also like to include at least 10 non-fiction books (so far, Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War is on my list), so if you have any suggestions, please let me know! Stay tuned for my reviews/updates as I go along. And join the pledge: tweet with the hashtag #50BookPledge to get involved, read recommendations, and connect with other bookworms 🙂
Happy reading!