As I count down to the end of 2015, (64 books read and a week to go,) two favorites emerged this past week.

I expected to savor the new book of poetry by Mary Oliver and it did not disappoint. FELICITY: POEMS is filled with love- its remembrances, surprises, and permutations. Here’s a poem for opening your heart and mind to the New Year:

                   “The World I Live In”

I have refused to live

locked in the orderly house of

   reasons and proofs.

The world I live in and believe in

is wider than that. And anyway,

   what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or

twice I have seen. I’ll just

   tell you this:

only if there are angels in your head will you

   ever, possibly see one.


The unexpected favorite is a memoir by Mary-Louise Parker. DEAR MR. YOU allows us to know the author through her letters to the men in her life – some real, others hypothetical. There is no “orderly house of reasons and proofs” here. Rather, Parker expands the events of her life and her reactions to them as the pages draw in various people in her world. She starts with the grandfather she did not know and ends with her beloved father. In between, we get vivid pictures of acting classes, sexual encounters, taxi rides, childbirth, rural life, faith discussions with her priest…and more. I expected a mildly entertaining celebrity memoir and became intrigued by an unconventional life story of someone with a very rich interior life.


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