My latest bit of indulgence - the batch of new books I ordered off Amazon last week, has arrived. Here are the titles: The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White Jr., Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom, Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman, And four Ed Emberley's Drawing Books.
I ordered another copy of The Elements of Style shortly after giving the first to a friend. It was bitter-sweet to part with this little volume: bitter because it was a new love, sweet as I was eager to share with someone who I hope would love it just as much. I was reading and applying what was in it not only to my deteriorating writing, but also to my paintings (I find myself applying advice from writers more than from painters, but that's another subject for another time/post :)). I held the new copy pressed against my face like an old friend, and felt a surge of familiar security.
And what a delight the Beginning to Pray is! Thank you Anchoress on First Things, for recommending it! I had never heard of the author. I just read through the introductory interview at the beginning of the book, and immediately knew it's my kind of book! Beautiful, thoughtful, meat & potato densely compacted into yet another slim book.
I thumbed through the other books too. Free to Choose is in entirely different realm, and somber in tone. This is the type of book you wish you never had to read - but necessary for your own education. The Ed Emberly books teach kids to draw. I can tell they will be helpful when it comes to my visits to the elementary schools.
Well, that would suffice for now. I'm off to painting outside. The skies are not blue, as it was fore casted. But I will try to love the pearly grays, as Charles Hawthorne, the good art teacher, advised his student in his little book on painting.