life of pi.

When my students read, I read too. I think it’s good for kids to see adults reading, as I want reading to become a lifelong passion for my students.

Currently, I’m re-reading Life Of Pi by Yann Martel. As someone who enjoys being contrarian, I assumed I’d hate this book since it won the Booker Prize in 2002, and critics and friends fawned over it. But I love this book. It’s beautifully written, and it’s about animals, religion, suffering, and peace. Simply put, it’s quite an extraordinary read, and it’s funny at times. Plus, he talks about sloths. I love sloths.

Any books you’d like to recommend? lv, molly

Life Of Pi begins…

“My suffering left me sad and gloomy.

Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion brought me back to life. I have kept up what some people would consider my strange religious practices. After one year of high school, I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor’s degree. My majors were religious studies and zoology. My fourth-year thesis for religious studies concerned certain aspects of the cosmology theory of Isaac Luria, the great sixteenth-century Kabbalist from Safed. My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed sloth. I chose the sloth because its demeanor- calm, quiet, introspective- did something to soothe my shattered self.

[…]

The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfect harmony with its environment. ‘A good-natured smile is forever on its lips,’ reported Tirler (1966). I have seen that smile with my own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human traits and emotions on to animals, but many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at the sloths in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation or hermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intensive lives were beyond the reach of my scientific probing.

Sometimes I get my majors mixed up.”

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