Tribute to Tolstoy

imagesBorn today September 9th 1828
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
(Usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy) was a Russian aristocrat and one of the world’s most preeminent writers. Tolstoy become famous through his epic novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

“We can know only that we know nothing.
And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” (
War and Peace)


Tolstoy’s fictional work includes: dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and Hadji Murad. He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.


“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (
Anna Karenina)

Towards the end of his life, Leo Tolstoy became increasingly interested in a version of pacifist Christianity with support for a strand of anarchist Communism. His exposition of pacifism and non-violence had a profound influence on others – most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
This prompted his non-fiction work;
A Confession and The Kingdom of God is Within You.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

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In Memory of Maya Angelou

Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
49d88b296835f6f1d715de7c02f902b5An acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer, Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou has had a broad career as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and Hollywood’s first female black director, but is most famous as a writer, editor, essayist, playwright, and poet. As a civil rights activist, Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.


Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelo gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. The beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

 


The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.

 

 

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight

 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”

Filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous people, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, but perhaps most important is the story of Maya Angelou’s relationship with her son. Because this book chronicles, finally, the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she had cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly finally grows to be a man.

In what ways has Maya Angelou inspired you?

René Descartes Remembered

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”

unnamedRené Descartes (1596 – 1650)
French philosopher, mathematician, scientist and writer of the Age of Reason. He has been called the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings. He is responsible for one of the best-known quotations in philosophy:
“Cogito, ergo sum”

(“I think, therefore I am”).

Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes is widely considered to be one of the top philosophical books of all time. For many, Meditations on First Philosophy is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic philosophical literature, this gem by Rene Descartes is highly recommended.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”

Tribute to Browning’s Beauty

“The beautiful seems right by force of beauty…”

elizabeth_barrett_browning_2Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March  1806 – 29 June 1861)
She was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime.

Elizabeth’s volume Poems (1844) brought her great success, attracting the admiration of the writer Robert Browning. Their correspondence, courtship and marriage were carried out in secret, for fear of her father’s disapproval. Following the wedding she was indeed disinherited by her father.
The couple moved to Italy in 1846, where she would live for the rest of her life. They had one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. She died in Florence in 1861.A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.
Elizabeth’s work had a major influence on prominent writers of the day, including the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. She is remembered for such poems as “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43, 1845) and Aurora Leigh (1856).

“What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?”
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

A Seussical Tribute

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

How appropriate that this year UK World Book Day falls on the Birthday of the legendary Dr. Seuss!

drseuss300Theodor Seuss Geisel was born today March 2 in 1904 in Springfield, MA. The pen nameDr. Seuss was developed during his years at  Dartmouth College and the University of Oxford. His first jobs were mainly that of an illustrator, working for such companies as Time magazine, Vanity Fair, and Life. Our beloved Dr. Seuss  later became a famous American writer and illustrator; who we know as the author of famous children’s books such as The Cat in The Hat, Oh The Places You Will Go, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Green Egg’s and Ham

“Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”

 

 

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

 

 

Horton Hears a Who!

“A persons a person no matter how small.”

 

 

 

 

The list goes on, and on. I have honestly never read a book by Dr. Seuss
that I did not like, let alone love. drseuss-brand-hero-01

His brilliance and charm have always captured my heart, as well as many others (of all ages and backgrounds.) I believe his clever and inspiring words will continue to have a profound effect on the literary minds of children, the world of education, and serve as an inspiration to those needing to get back to the basics.

dr-seuss-hat-clip-art-yio9LoeiE
Fun Fact:
  During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature

 

Please share about your Dr. Seuss experiences, books you love,
quotes that inspire you, etc.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”