Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood & Illustrated by Renata Liwska

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood Title: The Quiet Book
Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by: Renata Liwska
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0547215679
Genre: Children’s Books, Picture Books
Pages: 32
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

The beauty of stillness is something else. Not to forget what happens when there is a certain kind of hush all over the world. There is almost something magical about silences. When no one needs to say a word and maybe that is good enough. In hindsight, maybe that is how the world is supposed to be. And what better place for the world to start learning these lessons than from a children’s book.

The Quiet Book - Image 1

I honestly believe that children’s books aren’t written for children alone. There is a lot that adults can learn from these books and apply in our day to day lives.

The Quiet Book - Image 2

“The Quiet Book” is about simple twenty-nine kinds of quiet that children go through in their daily life. What makes it so special is that it is so relatable even to adults. We have all been children at some point, so we know how it was to experience the quiet before we have to yell “Happy Birthday” surprise (which we still do) and also the kind of quiet when we do something not so good.
There are all types of quiet in the book – happy quiet, sad quiet, also pondering quiet (for instance when you are the last one to be picked up from school) and many more.

The Quiet Book - Image 4

The idea really is to introduce children to “types of quiet” and the serenity they bring to life. Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska’s combination when it comes to words and illustrations is simply terrific. It is adorable. It is cute. It is a book full of heart and soul.

The Quiet Book - Image 3

No word or illustration is out of place and that is how a picture book should be. I have as an adult read it close to five times now, just because it helps me find my calm. I can then only imagine the effect it will have on children. If you are stuck on what to gift a child, I highly recommend this book.

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Ongoingness : The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso

Ongoingness - The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso Title: Ongoingness: The End of a Diary
Author: Sarah Manguso
Publisher: Graywolf Press
ISBN: 978-1555977030
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Pages: 104
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

What is “Ongoingness”? What does it mean and how does it come to be defined? Is it even a word like that? Is it okay for anyone to invent something like that? And does it also then mean that it is all okay and to just experience moments as they come by? “Ongoingness” by Sarah Manguso is a diary – it is however, not your usual run-of-the-mill diary either. Come to think of it, it is not like something I have read in a very long time and trust Ms. Manguso to come up with something so uniquely different and contemplative.

Of course you can finish this book in one sitting and that is the idea. However, I also had to pause in most places and keep contemplating about life. The book is about Sarah’s life as a mother and how memory and loss of it played a major role for some time then. This diary is just a series of fragments on time, memory, the nature of the self and how one connects with the internal and the external world.

The memoir is barely only about 100 pages long and yet there is so much you will see in this book which perhaps no other book will be able to communicate or show. Manguso has dealt with the passage of time beautifully from the time when she was not a mother to the time she became one and how things changed drastically.

“Ongoinginess” is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. It is about relationships and life and yet Manguso has a different perspective and outlook in everything. It is a poetic meditation on our need to remember and capture life through words, images and sounds.

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