stories 2016 | make time for the great outdoors
stories 2016 | celebrating freedom

Read a book published before you were born (and 52 New Books in 2016 | 41)


One of the categories of Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2016 Reading Challenge is to "read a book published before you were born". I knew this would be a difficult category so I intentionally made it my first selection within the challenge. I do have several titles on hand in my library of growing book titles I haven't read yet. This is also another new book in my 52 New Books in 2016 challenge with less than 10 new books to read before I accomplish that goal. Pretty cool!

For my first selection of this challenge and for this category I chose the beautifully sweet, The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery (translated by Katherine Woods). It was originally published in 1943, twenty years before I was born. At almost 53 years old and reading for the first time this slim 83-page treasure is fraught with profound pearls of wisdom of what really matters in the course of life, friendship, and, of course, love. While I am sure there is specific meaning to each of the vignette's offered within the story, I believe each person can find a piece that is their own, meaning within the meaning: time spent on others is what makes the time spent and the others, both, valuable and not wasted; we see things as they truly are if we see them from the inside out, "One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes"; is a desert beautiful (or anything) only if someone sees it in its' deserted glory; grown-ups are strange, they only care about numbers (grown-up things) and they lose their sense of wonder, a seeing things as a child see them (have you ever read a picture book to a child and you'll see what I mean). "And no grown-up will ever understand how such a thing could be so important."

I loved the lessons gleaned on leadership from the visits to the planets near the Little Princes' planet; and since we will all be a leader in some way through our life, these short pieces are fitting for everyone. For instance, "I know a planet inhabited by a red-faced gentleman. He’s never smelled a flower. He’s never looked at a star. He’s never loved anyone. He’s never done anything except add up numbers. And all day long he says over and over, just like you, ‘I’m a serious man! I’m a serious man!’ And that puffs him up with pride. But he’s not a man at all!" Oh, pride! How sneaky are you, pride?

This book is a healthy, reminder to look at things from a different perspective. As a Christian, its a good reminder to look at the world and its people through the eyes of God.

Rating: 10

Digital products used: One Little Bird