Reminders to Live Today & 10 Books



Last Sunday a former member of my writer’s group stopped by the library.  I knew she had quit her job to write full time and we talked about that a bit.  She said that life was short and she didn’t want to have any regrets. I really understood where she was coming from. Writing is a wonderful pursuit but it is work and trying to write while holding down a full time job out of the home and taking care of a child when you are home leaves little time for anything else.

Then Tuesday night I got the call that a dear friend and surrogate grandmother had passed away.  Wednesday morning I received an email that my uncle had passed. This hasn’t been easy to take. The only writing I’ve done since has been considering why this has been so hard to absorb.

One of my grandmothers passed away when I was eight.  I didn’t really understand what was going on. My grandfather passed when I was 11 and I don’t think I understood it any better. My other grandmother passed when I was 24 and I felt secure in what I knew and believed. I knew I would miss her but I believed that it was her time and she’d gone on to something better.

So why has this week been so hard? I think there are two reasons. One is that I feel less certain about whether our consciousness survives after death. I was once secure in my faith and beliefs but now I’m not so certain. The second is that I’m simply older and feeling closer to that inevitable conclusion of life

So that’s what I’m thinking and writing about this week.  On a lighter note, there’s been a post about ten books that have somehow touched you in some way.  I’ll list some below.

  1. Dune by Frank Herbert
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  3. A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle
  4. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
  5. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Eleanor Pruitt Stewart
  6. A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
  7. Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia (really hard to pick one) by C.S. Lewis
  9. The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck
  10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

These aren’t necessarily my top ten, though some would be on that list. My problem is not in picking ten books that have touched me in some way, but in stopping.  There are far too many.  I add something to my Goodreads book shelf whenever I think of one. What are some of yours?


  1. Pat Miran said,

    January 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss. No one knows whether our consciousness survives after death; however, we all know that life ends as we know it. Perhaps, if we acknowledged the totality of death we would celebrate life to its fullest; the here and now.

    Here are some books which are on my “good-reads bookshelf” :

    1. Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
    2. Always the Young Strangers by Sandburg
    3. Harry Potter series by Rowling
    4. The Border Trilogy by McCarthy
    5. Accordion Crimes by Proulx
    6. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
    7. War and Peace by Tolstoy
    8. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Hugo
    9. The Corrections by Franzen
    10. Hawaii by Michener

    Happy New Year!

    • melorajohnson said,

      January 4, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Hi Pat – Thanks for sharing. Those are some great suggestions for reading. Think I might have to get some on audio for the ride to work and back.

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