When I was very young my parents purchased a set of books that probably set the course of my life as a reader: My Bookhouse Books. These were a set of books that began with nursery rhymes and stories for young children and progressed to stories for older children throughout 12 volumes. The stories were mostly classics and I learned about literature through those pages.
A Christmas present from my parents in 1971 was a sort of follow-up for me, although now that I think about it and where the book was purchased (a Christian bookstore) I wonder what was left out of the book for the sake of decency (yes, I am jaded these days). I was 15 when I was given the book. Mom bought herself a copy too — I found that in a desk drawer last summer.
I recently came across the book my folks gave me 46 years ago while sorting books in the basement. This is a keeper because of my feelings for its history (joy). Every single poem or quotation in the book can be found on the Internet, but it is nice to have these all in one place categorized by topic or intent such as Achievement, Creed, Determination, Influence, Joy and Work. I think used this book to find poems and quotations for when I’d send people cards or letters.
Now that I look through the pages for a sample to share with you, I notice that it is very Christian and God or Christ is mentioned in many of the quotes or poems. Here’s one that doesn’t, under the topic Criticism:
“I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.”
— Baruch Spinoza
I like that one. And according to Wikipedia Spinoza was a Panthiest.