Reading Not Bartlett's is like dipping into a box of exquisite but varied Godiva chocolates: smooth and satisfying, but without the calories.
Author Elise Lupkin offers a tantalizing menu to feed the soul: collected wit and wisdom ranging from Family, Happiness, and Melancholy to Art, Taste, and Style. And let's not forget dogs, gardens, and other pleasures of life.
When I first read "We cannot help the birds of sadness from flying over our heads, but we need not let them build nests in our hair," I thought it was a fine example of positive thinking. When I read it weeks later, my mother was dying, and the entire family/friend dynamics, which always offers color and challenge in such circumstances, cast a whole new light on the phrase.
The reader will soon come to realize that in a few days, weeks, or months, reading the current excerpts may have a different flavor. Life changes so fast, and many of us are constantly rethinking yesterday's assumptions and ideas. That's the delight of this kind of a sampler.
How relevant these words to memories of my grandparents: "Gardening is not a rational act….In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." They did, and these words sparked precious memories to life.
Memories of a physician who kept his balance in part by growing and harvesting amazing vegetables. Memories of a physician's wife who kept her balance in part by working in her husband's vegetable garden, overseeing a huge flower garden and nurturing fabulous fruit trees.
And so it is with the entire collection. Give it to yourself as a gift if you like to read random—often gentle and occasionally harsh—thoughts carefully saved over time, and then put together for your inspiration.
If this type of book is not your cup of tea, consider giving it to others who like to pick up a book at odd moments, knowing they are probably going to chuckle, weep, or say, "Yes!"
Such beautiful graphic presentation! Not Bartlett's is a keeper. Pears it isn't, but sweet, rich, and full of flavor it is.