Moleskine 2013 12-Month Professional Daily Planner Black Hard Cover A4

Finally! A size that fits my thoughts! While not strictly a LITERARY review, it seems appropriate for this time of year.

For the past several years, I have been using Moleskine 20xx Hard Cover Pocket-Size 12 Month Daily Planners in either red or black. I was attracted to the convenience of the pocket size,but I found that the pages were too small and that I needed a supplemental undated ruled notebook in which to finish my daily thoughts. For some time, I attributed my failure with the pocket journals to a general failure of my journaling goal.

This year, I decided to try something a bit different: selecting the much larger A4 size so that I had a greater chance of fitting my observations and thoughts on a single page. It’s early, it looks promising so far!

Published in: on January 3, 2013 at 03:04  Leave a Comment  
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“Thoreau and the Art of Life: Reflections on Nature and the Mystery of Existence” by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau and the Art of Life: Reflections on Nature and the Mystery of Existence
Henry David Thoreau
North Atlantic Books (2010), Paperback, 116 pages
Reviewed: July 28, 2010

Like many who have read Thoreau’s works, I found “Walden” to be more than a journal of one extraordinary thinker’s journal of his personal experiment in voluntary, deliberate simplicity and solitude. I found that its purpose was to be lived, rather than read, as a sort of rite of passage by all who aspire to be philosophers.

The question at the heart of philosophy for over twenty centuries is this: how ought we to live? To try to answer this question, one must not only understand how one’s predecessors have contributed to the question. He should live his life as an experiment, a test of his own answer.

When I found “Thoreau and the Art of Life” on the Early Reviewers list, I hoped that I had found new and substantial material on Thoreau’s contribution to this focal philosophical question. Roderick MacIver’s introduction offers a brief but valuable biographical sketch of Thoreau, but the proceeding chapters are merely thematic collections of aphorisms gleaned from Thoreau’s published works and personal journal. The book is well-executed, and I would recommend it to the reader in search of such a collection. My own dissatisfaction stems strictly from a its disparity with my expectations, not from any flaw in the book itself.

“Hiking Trails of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wildernesses” by Tim Homan

Hiking Trails of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wildernesses
Tim Homan
Peachtree (2007), Paperback, 238 pages
Reviewed: Nov 24, 2008

This is an excellent guide to my favorite backpacking destination. I first fell in love with the Cohutta Wilderness after reading about it in Homan’s The Hiking Trails of North Georgia. Homan provides the kind of practical infomation that can only be gotten by having walked every inch of trail in his books. He saves a lot of reinventing the wheel, and his information about the difficulty and altitude changes of the trails can keep one from overstepping one’s level of fitness and turning a pleasant weekend into a grueling forced march.

Having said all of that, I urge you NOT to buy it! One of the things I love about the Cohutta Wilderness is that, if you pick your trails right, you could backpack inside the Wilderness for a week and never see another human being. That is a rare thing in the eastern U.S., and the LAST thing I want to do is encourage more people to visit this breath-taking area of the Southern Appalachians.