Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau - Henry David Thoreau, compiled by Kenny Luck

Summary: On July 4, 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond, he was probably unaware that his abode in the woods, and the impact and influence of that endeavor, would forever echo through time. Thoreau was an uncompromising idealist; an ardent maverick who criticized his fellow man. He urged that men and women ought to live more simply, and more deliberately. "The mass of men," he famously wrote, "lead lives of quite desperation." Yet the scope of Thoreau's message is much wider than social criticism. He speaks of spiritual transcendence in Nature and the unbounded potential of the individual. Thoreau is a dreamer and he speaks to dreamers. In a word, shun dogmatism and demagoguery; see beyond the immediate conventional religious explanations to reap a higher understanding. In our commodified contemporary American society, with the rise of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, materialism and mass consumerism, Thoreau's message is needed now more than ever. Author Kenny Luck has thumbed through Thoreau's voluminous journals, correspondences and other publications to make this the most comprehensive collection of Thoreau aphorisms available. (Summary from Amazon.com and image from http://4.bp.blogspot.com - Book given free to review)

My Review: I received this book free to review and I'm so glad! I love quotes, so maybe I'm biased about this book. I also loved all my Thoreau readings in college. This book takes all of his most thought provoking thoughts and put them in an easy to digest, small bites format. I'd like to use this in my classroom for a quote of the day, although not all would be discernible for my middle school students. I believe though that we could build up to the vocabulary, the sentence structure, and the higher (critical) level thinking. If you like books that make you analyze yourself and your motives, do pick up this enjoyable read.

Rating: 5 stars.

Sum it up: A wonderful compilation of quotes that provokes intra-personal contemplation.

1 comment:

Tribute Books said...

Kari - thank you so much for the 5-star review! I'd be interested to hear back on how using the quotes on a daily basis with your middle school age students worked out. Great idea!


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