From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams, here is an inspires, lyrical meditation on religion and science that explores the tension between our yearning for permanence and certainty, and the modern scientific discoveries that demonstrate the impermanent and uncertain nature of the world. As a physicist, Alan Lightman has always held a scientific view of the world. As a teenager experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of a universe governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws that decree all things in the world are material and impermanent. But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself—a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial. Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is Lightman's exploration of these seemingly contradictory impulses. He draws on sources ranging from Saint Augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's theory of relativity, from the unity of the once-indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes. What he gives us is a profound inquiry into the human desire for truth and meaning, and a journey along the different paths of religion and science that become part of that quest.
In this timely and essential book that offers a fresh take on the qualms of modern day life, Professor Alan Lightman investigates the creativity born from allowing our minds to freely roam, without attempting to accomplish anything and without any assigned tasks. We are all worried about wasting time. Especially in the West, we have created a frenzied lifestyle in which the twenty-four hours of each day are carved up, dissected, and reduced down to ten minute units of efficiency. We take our iPhones and laptops with us on vacation. We check email at restaurants or our brokerage accounts while walking in the park. When the school day ends, our children are overloaded with “extras.” Our university curricula are so crammed our young people don’t have time to reflect on the material they are supposed to be learning. Yet in the face of our time-driven existence, a great deal of evidence suggests there is great value in “wasting time,” of letting the mind lie fallow for some periods, of letting minutes and even hours go by without scheduled activities or intended tasks. Gustav Mahler routinely took three or four-hour walks after lunch, stopping to jot down ideas in his notebook. Carl Jung did his most creative thinking and writing when he visited his country house. In his 1949 autobiography, Albert Einstein described how his thinking involved letting his mind roam over many possibilities and making connections between concepts that were previously unconnected. With In Praise of Wasting Time, Professor Alan Lightman documents the rush and heave of the modern world, suggests the technological and cultural origins of our time-driven lives, and examines the many values of “wasting time”—for replenishing the mind, for creative thought, and for finding and solidifying the inner self. Break free from the idea that we must not waste a single second, and discover how sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all.
An unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on—with the help of one not-so-little dog… After the death of her husband, Rocky flees to Peak’s Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine, a million miles away from everything she’s lost. Taking a job as an Animal Warden, Rocky meets Lloyd, a large Labrador retriever, who enters her world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and an injured, lovable beast. Can the magic of Peak’s Island and its quirky residents heal Rocky’s pain? As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd's accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed...and joy does exist in unexpected places.
Winner of the Caldecott Medal! For fans of Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Make way for Ducklings. "Out on the islands that poke their rocky shores above the waters of Penobscot Bay, you can watch the time of the world go by, from minute to minute, hour to hour, from day to day . . ." So begins this classic story of one summer on a Maine island from the author of One Morning in Maine and Blueberries for Sal. The spell of rain, the gulls and a foggy morning, the excitement of sailing, the quiet of the night, the sudden terror of a hurricane, and, in the end, the peace of the island as the family packs up to leave are shown in poetic language and vibrant, evocative pictures.
'Brenda Bowen's Enchanted August is a perfect summer read – for any time of the year' Everyone needs a place like Hopewell Cottage – a romantic holiday rental on a small, sunny island. For Rose and Lottie, it’s a refuge from the frenzy of the school gates. For Beverly, it’s a chance to say goodbye to two lost loves. And for disgraced movie star Caroline, it offers the anonymity she craves. But on tiny Little Lost Island, with its cocktail parties, tennis matches and Ladies’ Association for Beautification, will they really find the answers to their very modern problems? ‘Delightful... I'm dreaming of blueberries and Maine lobster. We all need a sunny island or castle to which we can run away’ Helen Simonson, author of MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND
On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There's no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues. But that's just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still...? No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world's great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself...
September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?). When she gets there, she finds a land crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes. But while she loses her shadow, her shoe and her way, she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides . . .
An acclaimed expert in Christian mysticism travels to monasteries high in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus and offers a fascinating look at the Greek Orthodox approach to spirituality that will appeal to modern seekers. In an engaging combination of dialogues, reflections, conversations, history, and travel information, Kyriacos C. Markides continues the exploration of a spiritual tradition and practice he began in Riding with the Lion. His earlier book took readers to the isolated peninsula of Mount Athos in northern Greece and into a group of ancient monasteries. There, in what might be called a “Christian Tibet,” two thousand monks and hermits practice the spiritual arts to attain oneness with God. In his new book, Markides follows Father Maximos, one of Mount Athos’s monks, to the troubled island of Cyprus. As Father Maximos establishes churches, convents, and monasteries in this deeply divided land, Markides is awakened anew to the magnificent spirituality of the Greek Orthodox Church. Images of the land and the people of Cyprus and details of its tragic history enrich The Mountain of Silence. Like the writings of the great mystics, the book brilliantly evokes the confluence of an inner and outer journey. The depth and richness of its spiritual message echo the thoughts and writings of Saint Francis of Assisi and other great saints of the Western Church as well. The result is a remarkable work–a moving, profoundly human examination of the role and the power of spirituality in a complex and confusing world.