Multcolib Picks: Finding Peace and Quiet in a Loud World
Annotation:In her late forties, feminist, writer and mother Sara Maitland found herself living alone in the country, and, to her surprise, falling in love with silence. In this beautifully written book, Maitland describes how she explored this new love, spending periods of silence in the Sinai desert, the Scottish hills, and a remote cottage on the Isle of Skye.
Annotation:After witnessing the effects of an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, John Francis embarked on 17 years of self-imposed silence and 22 years of walking. Francis interweaves stories of silence throughout history and around the world. Meditations on listening and communication, and other practical exercises help readers build silence and peace into their lives.
Annotation:A family sets out to live an intentionally quiet existence, which is threatened when a busy highway is opened near their isolated house. Refusing to move, Marthe, Michel, and their three children find innovative ways to adapt to the challenge of noise in their lives.
Annotation:Hermitary contains a great variety of articles and reviews on living a solitary life, including books, films, and commentary.
Annotation:A rare look into the austere and silent life of the monastery of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps. Beautifully filmed, this is a window into a life with great depth and richness, despite its simplicity and silence.
Annotation:This anthology of poems speaks to the consolations of solitude. These poems, whether reflecting on the soul or on nature, addressing an absent loved one, or honoring the self, form a book of respite and contemplation, and a tribute to the interior life.
Annotation:Set at the turn of the twentieth century, the film tells the story of a Mongolian hermit living alone in Siberia, who is befriended by a Russian captain surveying the area. As a guide, Dersu displays an intimate knowledge of nature and survival, and the captain comes to recognize his rare gifts, born out of solitude.
Annotation:Thoreau's classic works on solitude and other topics. Walden is clearly the inspiration for a long tradition of American thinkers and writers who have sought solitude.
Annotation:Thomas Merton was one of the great writers on the spiritual quest for a solitary life. Part commonplace book, part spiritual journal, part diary, the journal reflects his spiritual development and his life of deep solitude.
Annotation:Everyday life is so frantic and full that we have forgotten how to live joyfully. Oxford professor Mark Williams and journalist Danny Penman explore the secrets to living a happier and more peaceful life.
Annotation:Published in 1988, Anthony Storr's meditation on the creative individual's need for solitude has become a classic. He challenges the prevailing idea that we grow only in interpersonal relationship, and cites many writers and artist who have thrived in solitude.
Annotation:From the obligatory music in every restaurant and waiting room, to the din of traffic, our world is full of noise. This exploration of noise is a fascinating look into its affect on our lives.
Annotation:Originally published decades ago, this cult classic explores the inner journey undertaken by philosopher Alice Koller, who spent a winter alone on Nantucket, stripping away layers of her being to get at the essentials.
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Solitude and quiet are difficult to find in our world. These titles reflect on, among other things, the virtues and challenges of being alone and savoring silence.