Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reconnecting with an Old Friend

It’s my favorite time of the spring semester…

When I get to begin teaching one of my favorite books…

Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

It’s a wondrous and magical story about a little boy from India named Pi who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

But it’s really about so much more than that.

It’s a story about choosing faith over doubt.

"The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.
It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was,
in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God."
(Life of Pi, Chapter 93)

It’s about seeing God in all things.

“The presence of God is the finest of rewards.”
(Life of Pi, Chapter 20)

It’s about creating connections instead of dwelling on differences.

“When I corrected her, I told her that, in fact, she was not so wrong, that Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims.”
(Life of Pi, Chapter 50)

And most of all, it’s about choosing the better story.

“So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer?
Which is the better the story…?”
(Life of Pi, Chapter 99)

I’ve learned a lot from Pi over the years I’ve had the privilege of teaching this beautiful book, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with him this spring.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
(Charles W. Eliot)

Have you read any good books lately?

~ Nel ~

P.S. Fun Fact: All the photos for this post were taken from the books on my shelves. ( :


Anne said...

Thank you! I'd forgotten all about this book - never read it but I'm going to pick up a copy.


Special 'K' said...

Your posts always have me looking within, thank you for your insightful posts. Take Care, Cheers SpecialK XoXo

Special 'K' said...

Your posts always have me looking within, thank you for your insightful posts. Take Care, Cheers SpecialK XoXo

magie said...

I have never read this book..I will have to try and get it out next library trip..thanks for letting me know about it. Lovely photo's..I like the one with the sunflowers :)
Enjoy the weekend..

Mary said...

Beautiful post! Love the book and your photo's are wonderful!

val's alentejo said...

What an enlightning blog. Thank you Nel.
I will be ordering the book on Monday.
Are we all not on this earth to learn.
I have a funny feeling I have seen this book on my daughters shelf..! but now i want it.
I have just started reading Isabel Allende ..Island beneath the sea.
I took it to Lisbon with me, but alas. I was much too busy to read. Will be into it later tonight.
lovely blog.
I believe if we have faith, we know who we are.!
Happy saturday

Zinnia said...

Thank you for telling about the book. Think Worth quotes you posted from it. I wish you a wonderful weekend! Zinnia

NanaDiana said...

What a great book- This is one I DO NOT KNOW! How can that be? I will go looking for it now. I absolutely LOVE books-LOVE them! xo Diana

Anne said...

Lovely post! Hope you are having a good weekend:)

Barefoot in Blue Jeans said...

I have never heard of it but it sounds very interesting. As a kid I hated to read, but now I really do enjoy it.

Have a great day Nel.

JENNIFER said...

Hi Nel, that sounds like a wonderful book, one with lessons we can all learn from :o) Have a nice weekend! Hugs Jennifer

Becky said...

Hi Nel,Im loving the book.I dont read much simply because I dont have much time for books.I think it sounds like a good read.

Love the very last photo Nel,now that would tempt me to what do they say;"dont judge a book by its cover".Thats always been me.I loved beautiful covers on books ha.

Tell your mom hello for me,Happy Sunday ahead!


I am familiar with this book. I picked up a copy at a garage sale several years ago for 25 cents. I happily poured over it, then donated to a local charity. GOOD reading, indeed. You told the story well. Take care.

From The Heart said...

Great post! I have never read this book..though I am an avid reader. Will have to check it out.

gi gi said...

Hey Girls :)
Ooooo, this sounds like something I need to read!
God is everywhere.... yes!!!!

I just finished listening to Loving Frank on Audible!
What a story! I haven't been able to stop thinking of it all day!

Hope you gals have a wonderful week!
Much love
gi gi

Rainbow Gatherer said...

lovely and very inspiring blog =)

Sandy said...

Nel, what a beautiful spiritual posting. I've never read the book but I think it's one that should be on my reading list. It sounds like like the message that god conveys to us, to not look for differences but to find connections.

What grade do you teach? My son teaches high school special education. I love your blog because there is always something here that inspires.

C'est moi Claudette said...

Hi Nel
I DID read The life of Pi and LOVED it too. It took me to a certain place in life that I had not been to before.
My gf recommended it me years ago. I put it off. My daughter and son Colt both read it. I picked it up and couldn't put it down.
Life is full of options and questions. This one being a GRAND one.
LOVE your images and what a wonderful teacher you must be.
Have a great week Nel.
Hi to your sis and mom for me.
Love Claudie

Danelle said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments. I hope if you do decide to pick up Life of Pi, you love it as much as I do.

Sandy, I teach at the college level. The class I'm teaching now is an Intro to Fiction course, but I have a mix of students from Freshman to Seniors. That's wonderful about your son. We need great teachers in our high schools, and especially in our special education programs. He must find his work so rewarding.

GiGi, I read Loving Frank a couple years ago after Jess recommended it to me, and I had the same experience! I just couldn't stop thinking about it. What a wild story, huh?

Wishing everyone a great week!


Draffin Bears said...

Hi Girls,

Thanks for sharing this book have not seen it before, so will look for it in our library.
At the moment I am reading a book of the life of Coco Chanel which is very interesting.

Have a happy week

Sandy said...

Hi Nel,

Thanks for answering my question. Teaching is a wonderful profession. Yes, Nick loves teaching and he loves coaching. He knew at a young age what he wanted to do and never veered from his path. Sure wish I had his level of focus. I must pick up the book the Life of Pi. He's an avid reader so I want to ask him if he has read it. Love your blog! You gals to a wonderful job. The images and words are always so inspirational and you like to have fun too.

Hugs, Sandy

Kristin said...

Looks like a wonderful book!!!


CraveCute said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. It sounds like it has an inspiring message.... something we all need in these trying times. Thank you for stopping by my blog, I will be posting more on children's books in the near future! Diane

Lila Moonlight said...

Hi Sheri, I read this book many years ago in Turkish ( and gave my dad to read it ) and liked it so much I got it also in English for my husband and read it again myself : ) I was really impressed by this book. thanks for your visit and lovely comment. I love roses too, color pink is my favourite : ) have a lovely week : )

Kris said...

I'm always reading a good book! Just finished a memoir called Clara's Way about a young girl and her family who survived the Nazis occupation in Poland by living in a bunker for 18 months. One of the best books I've ever read and a true story.

I've read the Life Of Pi many years ago and loved it!

Books are windows into the soul!