Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Treehouse

Inspired by the quote on the front of the last book I just read, I asked my well-read brother-in-law if he had any books by Naomi Klein. He said he had. I went over and picked it up, though it wasn't until I was home that I noticed it wasn't a Naomi Klein book, but a Naomi Wolf - The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from My Father on How to Live, Love, and See.

One of the great aspects of spending two hours a day on a commuter train is all that glorious reading time.

I say: I really enjoyed this book. After all the books I have read of late, even though I relished them, it was nice to read a more feminine, maternal book. 

As Naomi's father, Leonard, helps her build a treehouse, he hands on to her all the lessons he has taught his students during his many years as a teacher, including: "Your Only Wage Will Be Joy," "Do Nothing Without Passion," "Mistakes Are Part of the Draft."

Soppy in parts and profound in others, this book is for anyone artistic whose creativity needs a defibrillation.

Wolf says: "I believe my father’s insistence on creative freedom may be the secret to happiness. He believes that the creative act is the secret of joy and, in spite of his occasional fits of pro forma testiness, he is the happiest man I have ever known."

I say: This book was exactly what I needed. The fact that it came to me by accident seemed to add to the power of Wolf's words and her dad's lessons. I didn't find them on the page, more like they found me.

The Treehouse is a rich personal history, a meditation on fathers and daughters, a how-to guide for honoring the creative impulse, and a unique instruction in the art of happy living.

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