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on May 29, 2013
I bought this for myself but decided my daughter who has a 2 year old would like it better. Just didn't appeal to this Grandma!
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VINE VOICEon August 26, 2013
With the turn of every page of Christina Rosalie's enlightening book A Field Guide to Now: Notes on Mindfulness and Life in the Present Tense, one may see that the book is a mixed media of the Rosalie's personal translation of what it is like to live in the moment, but to also apply each and every minute to the next moment that will occur. Through the use of a stream of thought style of essay and poetic prose and very colorful illustrations within almost every page, readers are provided visual props that add a dimension to the author's personal experiences. From family, individual, and friendly and challenging encounters, much is provided to the readers of Rosalie's day to day life.

Upon reading the first few chapters, one may think that the book may only appeal to women or anyone that happens to have children and a family. However, that is not the case, and chapter after chapter there is something to take out of Rosalie's experiences, how human connections relate to nature but not in the respect of intense philosophical or religious reflection; her thoughts are much more practical and one where any reader may understand. She suggests this with the interactive format of the book, essays, notes, illustrations, invitations, and the old postcards of the 1960s that she has artistically and creatively reinvented that are interspersed in between essays; emulates the adage of stopping and smelling the roses or seeing the beauty that exists in just about anything, especially old postcards that may have been discarded. But in addition to the artistic display, Rosalie shares her experiences of encouragement, fears, thoughts, uncertainties, and through each of these traits, growth and maturity may happen in one's life. And this is prevalent in the chapter called "Give and Take - Intersection." Another interesting trait about the book is the terms that begin each chapter and relates to the essays.

For readers interested in a book is visually inviting and lightly touches upon food for thought, A Field Guide to Now is just that book, especially on a lazy summer, rainy, or simply free day.
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on August 16, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed "A Field Guide to Now: Notes on Mindfulness and Life in the Present Tense. It's a beautifully written and presented book. Each short, self contained chapter includes four elements: an essay, field notes, evocative postcard art, and a coda in the form of an assignment, reflection or even a recipe.

Those chapters cover subjects such as making a home, creativity, traveling, marriage, becoming a parent, the tension between rootedness and wanderlust, death, love, family and faith. The changing seasons and nature of New England literally grounds the book, appearing in every chapter, and is rendered in simple, telling detail.

A Field Guide to Now is thought provoking, moving, often funny, and always inspiring. For example, in my favorite chapter "Listing" the author writes: "Regret is not my inheritance; choice is." And, "It is easy to feel nothing will ever amount from the small moments of your life. It will" That chapter parallels the author's restlessness with that of her mother and grandmother, as she attempts to reconcile wanderlust with rootedness. Very different circumstances, but I can relate.

A Field Guide to Now: Notes on Mindfulness and Life in the Present Tense is a fantastic gift, especially for New Englanders (or New Englanders at heart). It's a great book to keep out and pick up often, for both its visual art and its friendly invitation to respect the small, ordinary moments. These small moments are the substance of a satisfying, creative life.
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on February 2, 2013
This book is one of the most beautiful, inexplicable things I have ever loved. It's a poem written on a painting and wrapped in a book whose spine is made from bones and feathers, glued together with jam and laundry detergent. I try to define, to capture, to translate "what it is" and I just can't, in the same way you can't hold a live hummingbird still enough to count its feathers.

For months, I was almost finished with this book, only had three pages left. There it stayed on my bedside table, waiting. At first, I didn't understand why I resisted. I thought it was simple forgetting, being too busy, too tired. But I was wrong. I didn't want it to be over. And when finally I was able to open it again, to turn to those last three pages, to finish, as soon as I did I went back to all the pages whose edges I'd folded over, reread and underlined, made notes in the margins, and then, I immediately started reading it again.

Because, this: "It is both an invitation to you to create whatever opportunity your heart yearns for and proof that it is possible. To begin, to be in the mess, to be right here." This book is a memoir, and a poem, and a piece of art. It is one woman's story, but also the reader's story if one chooses to contemplate the provided prompts. It is the story of a mother and wife and artist, of a family and a marriage and a house/home, but also of a being of light wrapped in skin trying to make sense of the confusion of being human. Its descriptions of nature are beautiful and at times brutal. She sees the tenderness and brilliance in the mundane, she notices everything, and invites the reader to do the same.
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on August 23, 2012
Christina Rosalie has an amazing way of capturing totally ordinary but totally beautiful moments in life with her words and with her art. Reading A Field Guide to Now is like reading a love letter to life and parenting and the world. I enjoyed the book very much and found myself more able to recognize those ordinary but spectacular moments in my own life when I was finished.
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on September 12, 2012
This book isn't just for mothers, but if you're a mother struggling with finding meaningful balance in your life as you reach for pieces of yourself while wrapping your arms and your life around your children, it's a must read. Brave, honest writing rich with detail envelopes you in a world of children and chaos and inner and outer struggle that will inspire you to find your own life and lean towards the life you want next. I keep coming back and buying more copies because this is a book I want to press into the hand of every mother I know. It's a book that made me say "Exactly. She understands. It's not just me." And at the same time it made me pay attention to my life, to appreciate the value and meaning in where I am now as I make my way forward. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough!
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on August 12, 2012
I love to read, but am often an impatient reader, rushing through a book, and sometimes even flipping to the last chapter just to get a taste of what is to come. Reading this book, I find for the first time in a very long time, I am taking my time and reading each chapter slowly. I am lingering over her poetic and descriptive writing , and pause at the end of each chapter relishing in the sensation of being satisfied and full. I am left inspired to write and open to seeing the poetry in my own life in the present moment.

Absolutely divine read. A great book to give a loved one as a gift. I will be gifting many copies this holiday season.
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on October 5, 2013
Christina Roslie drew me into her world, her daily moment to moment events showed how exciting all the little wonders of her life truly mattered. After I would read one thing pertaining to her life, I would put the book down and be in mine and see what subtle moments in my life I can absorb. Love the book, Love the kids, the chickens, love it all. At times I felt I was reading poetry. Wonderful Read!
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on November 16, 2012
I loved this book - the first time I read it I savored it over a few weeks - reading a chapter at a time to inspire my days. Now I pick it up often to help me hold on to that inspiration and each time find something new. Christina Rosalie is an exceptional writer and artist - she can paint the most minute details of the world in which we live with such aching beauty and she can expose the deepest truths with exquisite grace. This book inspires, it humbles and it provides hope when life feels a bit too chaotic to cherish. I recommend this book to anyone who needs that little push to remember how beautiful the world can be every day and how simple changes and mindful actions make all the difference in our journey.
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on October 25, 2012
This book reminds us what is possible in the small moments of everyday life so often overtaken by stress or the inertia of work and raising children. Rosalie weaves together stunning descriptions of life in rural Vermont with the tender joys and worries of raising small boys, changing careers, and finding a creative practice. We are all searching for meaning in this one great life, and this book reminds us that that meaning can be found right here, inside the ordinary moments of our days, if we only pay attention. For years I have been inspired by Rosalie's beautiful writing on her blog ([...]), and am thrilled to have a whole book of her words and art in A Field Guide to Now!
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