Of Whales and Men by R. B. Robertson

Of Whales and Men by Dr. R. B. Robertson is a creative nonfiction piece written in the 1950s about the whaling industry and the “psychopaths” that work on the factory ship for 8 months out of the year–every year. Dr. Robertson dubbed all the whalers psychopaths because they chose a life away from civilization, to the furthest ends of the southern seas, to the Antarctic and the South Georgia Islands to catch whales—a very smelly occupation. “You won’t get to know us, doctor, in the short time you’ll be with us,” he cautioned me, “and, when you come to write about us, it will be very easy to make us out to be a mob of half-crazy malcontents whose only aim in life is to see the bottom of every whisky bottle. But try to give a fair report on us, even when you come to tell about our boozing. After all, though the kirk and the owners and the folks at home say we drink too much, we bring the wales back to them.” –Old Burnett: Whaler (Of Whales and Men by R. B. Robertson; 1954)

I really enjoyed this, apart from the killing of whales—that was hard to stomach—but the men on the ship were an interesting lot. Thanks Dr. Robertson for giving us such rare glimpse of a (thankfully) deceased era. Below is my review on #goodreads … I don’t understand why the other reviews are just so-so?! Maybe I’m strange? I absolutely loved this creative nonfiction piece! …To the point that I didn’t want to put it down, especially toward the end. I found myself excited to get back to the sea with these whalers as they all became like beloved characters in a classic fiction novel. I would highly recommend. The content is interesting and mysterious since so man on earth, hopefully, will ever experience adventures in legal whaling again.

I found this copy tucked away in a damp, moldy basement during a local estate sale. I love seafaring stories and since this was TRUE, I had to read it. I’m so glad I did!!

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#whales #bookstagram #bookstagramer #bookshelf #library #writersofinstagram #writer #write #read #readersofinstagram #reading #sea #alfredaknopf #ofwhalesandmen #booksandloststories #authorsofinstagram #booklover

Journal or Diary writing..

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As you can see, I do!! I started keeping a diary when I was about 9. Most of what I wrote was complete nonsense, and more than once my friends would chime into the pages saying obscene things to be funny. I think I will burn all of these someday, but for now they stand as proof of my journey through the ups and downs of my life, through immaturity to semi-maturity 😄, to all kinds of human relationships, marriage, kids…you name it. The words written inside them are merely my ‘outer-sheddings.’ They do not represent who I am, but rather where I’ve been and some of the dirt I collected along the way. I would like to think I’m cleansed of all the yuck now. Please burn them upon my death. (That line is stolen from my grandma)

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Pictured are the diaries of my life in chronological order, except the left hand side with the deer are all my Bible journals. Some of them have been tossed.

The a story of a Soul by Saint Therese of Lisieux

The Story of a Soul was written by Saint Therese of Lisieux before her death in 1897 at 24 years of age. In it she talks about her “little way” of doing everything with great love. After she died this memoir was passed from hand to hand from priests to nuns and even the Pope, and was eventually published. It was a great read for anyone interested in her. She writes that she will send flowers from heaven (blessings) to anyone who prays for her. She is one of the only Saints to be photographed and one of the only doctors of the church because of her “little way”, an obtainable path toward virtue for all. She is very special to me.

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#books #bibliophile #bookshelf #library #christians #saint #catholic #catholicchurch #episcopal #episcopalchurch #writersofinstagram #writer #readersofinstagram #reader #bookphotography #church #episcopalian #religion

Sissinghurst by Vita Sackville-West and Sarah Raven

The sudden warm weather in Michigan has got me thinking of the garden. A couple years ago I wrote a garden blog every week dedicated to the garden writings of Vita Sackville-West. Some days I miss her writings, her wonderful way of describing “ordinary” flowers and plants like human beings. She knew them all so well—more so than humans actually which made her a bit cold when it came to her human relationships. Her friend, lover and muse, Virginia Woolf was an expert on people and enjoyed exploring the human condition. Thus being opposites, they made a nice pair. I think I have collected the entirety of Vita’s garden works. Her books helped me get through some of the most cold & dark winters of my life, she kept me alive and green. Anyone needing a little lift would be right to pick up something of hers. This book gives a great introductory view of Vita’s talented green thumb.

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#books #bookstagramer #garden #gardening #gardeningtips #flowers #winter #spring #readersofinstagram #reading #writersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #blogger #bookblogger #booklover #bookshelf #bookgeek #virginiawoolf #sissinghurst #british

The Second Book of Samuel

I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” -2 Samuel 6:21

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We should not be ashamed to make fools of ourselves for God’s sake. We may have seen people preaching on the street, holding signs, singing in church, maybe even dancing. Perhaps we feel embarrassed for them, perhaps we would like them to stop or we hurry by hoping to not catch their glance? Perhaps we think their display perverts our own vision of God? It is something I struggle with myself. I wish so badly I could be different. Everyone sings and I can not, everyone dances and I can not. My pride will not let me. I have a dangerously high level of self-awareness and it affects the way I allow myself to enjoy things in public. As some of you already know, I grew up with a born again Christian grandpa that would make us bow our heads and pray at public restaurants, he’d even want us to hold his hand while doing this! In those moments I could not fight the redness on my cheeks when I was asked to bow my head and pray in front of strangers. On the other end of this my brothers and my dad wouldn’t put up with it and verged on or dove into atheism. My mom and I were in the middle somewhere and had to find our way, tip toe, so as to not be seen by either side lest a judgmental eye strike us down in our quiet pursuit of God’s peace, discreetly going to church, praying our silent prayers. It is still hard to talk about my faith to many who have left it. And we are told not to preach to nonbelievers because our precious words will be wasted on “thorns”. But I can’t help thinking, surely if I am a lily among thorns, I should not be ashamed to let the light pass through my petals and the dew form on my leaves. So with this thought I am teaching myself to slap away that ego thing we call pride. #babysteps

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#books #bookstagram #authorsofinstagram #writer #writersofinstagram #church #religion #christ #bibliophile #bookshelf #read #readersofinstagram #reader #episcopal #episcopalchurch

The History of Fly Fishing by Ian Whitelaw

Life is filled with wonder and enchantment when we’re not worried about the fires in Australia. Living life to its fullest means exploring that which enchants us or excites our curiosity. For me that is fly fishing. I’ve never done it but for a long time I’ve wanted to learn this art, not only fishing with flies but learning how to tie them myself(make them). I feel the intricacy of this art would appeal to my ready hands. So through research I found this book and thought I’d start here. The History of Fly-Fishing In Fifty Flies by Ian Whitelaw gives examples of different rivers around the world and which flies are best for these rivers based on the insects and animals that live in the area. I can’t wait to dive into this book and learn more!

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#bookstagram #flyfishing #flyfishinglife #fishing #troutfishing #history #bibliophile #readersofinstagram #read #writersofinstagram #writer #curiosity #inspiration #rivers #booklover #booknerd #bookgeek