Thursday, May 6, 2021

Stimulations for The Mind!

Ask the Life Coach


Dear Coach, 

I’m an elderly, retired school teacher who is staying safe at home most of the time. I need to virtually get out of my living room, learn something new, and read a powerfully written book about an important topic! I’m bored with the usual pablum.  

Any ideas of books that meet these criteria? 


No Pablum Please



Dear Serious Reader, 

I’m with you! I too am staying home, craving variety, and wanting to stimulate my mind. Here are three books that kept me engaged this fall. They are long and take some thinking, but when will there be a better time for reading that type of book? They definitely are not insipid intellectual fare, or pablum, as you call it.  

“The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Kadish, a 575-page historical fiction set in the London of the 1660s and of the early 2000s. It’s the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect—two women separated by centuries and the choices and sacrifices they must make to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.  

For starters, this is a beautifully written and well-researched book. In addition, the book taught me a great deal about life in the 1660s, Jewish history, and the meaning of sacrifice.  

A National Jewish Book Awards winner. 

“Prairie Fires” by Caroline Fraser, another 500 plus page book about the American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book is the first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the “Little House on the Prairie” booksI also reread “Little House on the Prairie. 

This book reveals the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life. You’ll learn that Wilder’s real life was harder and grittier than what she portrayed in her books. 

This was one of the Ten Best Books by The New York Times Book Review.  

“The Choice” by Edith Eva Eger, this is what Oprah said about Eger’s book, “I’ll be forever changed by Dr. Eger’s story. The Choice is a reminder of what courage looks like in the worst of times and that we all have the ability to pay attention to what we’ve lost, or to pay attention to what we still have.”  

Truly a book for our times! 

I hope at least one of these titles measures up to your expectations. Happy reading/learning. 



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