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This episode we discuss Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. This book came out in 1970, and as discussed in the previous episodes, was on the New York Bestsellers List long into 1973. It inspired a movie with a soundtrack by Neil Diamond. Although the soundtrack won both a Golden Globe and a Grammy, Ebert called the movie “banal.” The book didn’t sell well at first, but as the Christmas season approached it became a popular gift book.
This short book centers around a seagull, has photos, and is supposed to be a happy, uplifting fable. Autumn said “[her] brain worked too hard to find it,” when referring to the allegory. She thinks the book is required reading in some (maybe high) schools.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull has some beautiful lines that sometimes get overshadowed by the fact Richard Bach was an aviator who originally wrote the text as articles for an aviation magazine. It does include some Christian messaging, but also some Eastern thought.
Miranda said, “If you can relax your awareness of your boundaries, you realize they’re not really there.” Jonathan Livingston Seagull wanted to fly fast and far instead of just being boring and eating and settling like all the other seagulls. He has a drive that benefits him as he starts as an outcast who eventually has his own followers.
Check out these books we were reminded of when reading/discussing Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Books we discussed in this episode
The next episode of The Bookmark drops May 8, 2023!
- Bookmark S4E34: Bookish Balderdash (Part 1)
- The Bookmark S4E33: Summer Reading Radar
- The Bookmark S4E32: Jonathan Livingston Seagull
- The Bookmark S4E31: New York Times Bestseller List (Part 2)
- The Bookmark S4E30: New York Times Bestseller List (Part 1)
Meet your Hosts
Autumn Friedli, Chris Blocker and Miranda Ericsson relish talking books with recurring readers and special guests from the library and community in The Bookmark.
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