Thursday, July 21, 2011


Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau 
Compiled by Kenny Luck
Illustrated by Jay Luke and Ren Adams

My thoughts:  Kenny Luck was a young man who felt such an affinity toward Thoreau that he spent months studying Thoreau's works from a devotional point of view.  He began collecting Thoreau's quotes and soon found that the quotes had relevance to many aspects of life.  He decided to compile the quotes into a book to share with others.  The book is divided into sections.  The sections are Society and Government, Spirituality and Nature, and Love.  Kenny also includes an index which enables the reader to quickly locate quotes pertaining to subjects they are interested in such as:  war, truth, mankind, sympathy, etc.

I enjoyed this book.  I have long been a fan of Thoreau's writings and I liked the way this book touched on many of his most brilliant quotes, at least in my opinion.  The only downside was reading the eBook on my Sony Reader, which is not color.  The book is purported to have beautiful illustrations and, unfortunately, I was unable to experience them as I was reading.  In the end though, the words are what matter and here are some of the quotes that I found most meaningful....

It is never too late to give up our prejudices.  (Walden, "Economy," p. 9)

There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them...  (Civil Disobedience, p. 362)

The mass of mankind who lives in houses or shops...know nothing of the beautiful days which are passing about and around them.  Is not such a day worthy of hymn?  It is such a day as mankind might spend in praising and glorifying nature.  It might be spent as a natural Sabbath, if only all men would accept the hint, devoted to unworthy thoughts.  (Journal V, vol. II, August 19, 1853, p. 383)

It is astonishing, as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest man thinks he must attend to in a day...
(Familiar Letters and Index, vol. 6 "Letters to Harrison Blake," March 27, 1848, p. 161)

Nothing can be more useful to a man than a determination not to be hurried.  (Journal I, vol. 7, March 22, 1842, p. 342)

Every man carries a fire in his eyes, or in his blood, or in his brain.  (Journal II, vol. 8, July 16, 1850, p.41)

There is never an instant's truce between virtue and vice.  Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
(Walden, "Higher Laws," p. 241)

I learned this, at least, by my experiment:  that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,  he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
(Walden, "Conclusion," p. 356)

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them.  (Walden, "Conclusion," p. 356)

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it or call it hard names.  It is not so bad as you are.  It looks poorest when you are richest.  The faultfinder will find faults even in paradise.  Love your life, poor as it is.
(Walden, "Conclusion," p. 361)

Life is so short that it is not wise to take roundabout ways, nor can we spend much time in waiting.
(Familiar Letters and Index vol. 6, "Letters to Harrison Blake," September 1852, p.220)

Great thoughts make great men.  (Journals I, vol. 7, February 7, 1841, p. 2)

All the past is equally a failure and a success; it is a success in as much as it offers you the present opportunity.
(Journal II, vol. 8, 1850, p. 44)

...I have freedom in my thought(s), and in my soul (I) am free.  (Journal II, vol. 8, July 21, 1851, p. 325)

What infinite faith and promise and moderation begins (with) each new day!
(Journal II, vol. 8, August 12, 1851, p. 3)

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Cover Illustration:

Read an excerpt from book's introduction HERE

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I received an eBook copy of this book from Tribute Books to read and review.  I received no monetary compensation and the review is my honest opinion.


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  1. Thanks Michelle for reviewing "Thumbing Through Thoreau" and for sharing your favorite quotes. I'm glad that you enjoyed the book and we appreciate your taking the time to share it with the readers of The True Book Addict.

    P.S. No worries the interior illustrations are all black & white so you didn't miss anything by reading the book on your ereader.

  2. Howdy, Michelle. I'm a new follower and I readalot. But, I'm a slow reader and have no hope of reading that many books in a week, but count me in.

  3. This doesn't seem like what I usually read, but I might like to read this, I think. Thanks for sharing the quotes. I love the fifth one the most.

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