Tunes for a Monday Morning
Books, the Beast, and me

Recommended reading, with bears

Once upon a time, with bears

The White Bear by Jackie Morris

Recent items of interest...

* If you're not already reading Maria Popova's excellent Brain Pickings blog, these two pieces resonate with our discussion of perfectionism and creative confidence here last week: "How We Become Who We Are" and "The Pleasures of Practicing."

* Longreads (another excellent site) has asked several authors and editors for their favorite online essays of 2014. I recommend Rebecca Solnit's "The Art of Arrival" in particular, which relates to themes we talk about here on Myth & Moor, but all the other pieces listed are thought-provoking and beautifully crafted as well. Taken together, they provide a masterclass in the art of the literary essay.

Drawing by Kay Nielsen* In "Why we need fairy tales now more than ever," Rowan Williams (theological scholar and former Archbishop of Canterbury) discusses three new books on the subject by Marina Warner, Jack Zipes, and Malcolm C. Lyons (The New Statesman).

* The Goblin Fruit poetry journal has posted its delicious winter issue, with a fine "Handless Maiden" poem by Mari Ness and other magical offerings.

* The new issue of Interfiction Online was published back in November, and I've been remiss in not mentioning it until now.  I particularly recommend "Open Spine, Turn Page" (nonfiction) by Carrie Sessarego. "This is the true story of how I journeyed through an interstitial world," she writes, "and how that journey transformed me. It’s also the story of how fiction saved me. Some of these memories are confused and some may be entirely false, but they are the memories I carry, and so I call them true."

* A few good books for winter reading (or re-reading): Arctic Dreams, nonfiction by Barry Lopez; This Cold Heaven, The Future of Ice, and In the Empire of Ice, nonfiction by Gretel Ehrlich; The Reindeer People and Wolf's Brother, novels by Megan Lindholm (a.k.a. Robin Hobb); and The Ice Bear, a picture book by Jackie Morris, whose "White Bear" painting is above.

Bear Mates

Dreaming of Artic Dreams by Barry LopezArt above: "The White Bear" by Jackie Morris and an illustration from ''East of the Sun, West of the Moon" by Kay Nielsen (1886-1957). Photographs: Polar Bear Mother & Cubs and Polar Bear Mates (from wildlife information sites, photographers uncredited, fairy tale words in the former added by me), and Tilly contemplating polar bears with the help of Arctic Dreams. Previous posts on winter and bears: "Following the Bear" and "Embracing the Bear."