Thumbing Through Thoreau: a book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau
Literary Researcher Has
Illustrated Book on Thoreau Published
Thumbing Through Thoreau:
A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau
compiled by Kenny Luck
illustrated by Jay Luke & Ren Adams
ARCHBALD, PENNSYLVANIA – Tribute Books announces the release of Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau compiled by Kenny Luck of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The book is the most comprehensive
collection of Thoreau’s journals and correspondences available. Illustrators Jay Luke and Ren Adams lend their talents to artistically interpret Thoreau's vision. Each quote is accompanied by an original drawing. A collaboration of three
individuals breathes new life into the immortal words of Henry David Thoreau.
On July 4, 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond, he was probably unaware that his abode in the woods, and the impact and influence of that endeavor, would forever echo through time.
Thoreau was an uncompromising idealist; an ardent maverick who criticized his fellow man. He urged that men and women ought to live more simply, and more deliberately. “The mass of men,” he famously wrote, “lead lives of
Yet the scope of Thoreau’s message is much wider than social criticism. He speaks of spiritual transcendence in Nature and the unbounded potential of the individual. Thoreau is a dreamer and he speaks to dreamers. In aword, shun dogmatism and demagoguery; see beyond the immediate conventional religious explanations to reap a higher understanding.
In our commodified contemporary American society, with the rise of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, materialism and mass consumerism, Thoreau’s message is needed now more than ever.
Praise for Thumbing Through Thoreau
"As a historian who has made the study of Henry Thoreau my main interest for almost 15 years, I have always found his writings to be very "modern." This book of Thoreau's quotations, all of which were written 150 years ago, are indeed very timely for today's modern, over-worked, overstressed and over-materialistic world. Thoreau's ideas about the search for a simpler way of life ring truer now then they did in the nineteenth century!" - Richard Smith, The Thoreau Society,
historian, Concord, Massachusetts "Provides a convenient and attractively formatted focus on the influential thoughts of the quotable Thoreau." - Cape Cod Times columnist, author of upcoming Thoreau inspired novel, Life as a House
"Henry Thoreau's remarkable lyrical grace and riveting moral force shine through in these carefully selected quotations. This book is an inspiring reminder that a very few words, if finely crafted, can contain tremendous intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical power." - Michael P. Branch, editor ofReading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden "This attractively illustrated book presents a rich collection of Thoreau’s thoughts on topics such as society, spirituality and nature. The editor has distilled the essence of Thoreau’s thoughts into a compact, well-edited collection drawn from a wide range of Thoreau’s writings." - Richard Dillman, professor of American Literature, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota Kenny Luck Bio
Kenny Luck is a graduate student at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History & Political Science from the same institution. He writes for The Weekender – an arts and entertainment weekly – and The Independent. He is currently working on his second book. He enjoys recording music, book browsing and travel.
As I stood on the edge of Walden Pond, about to make a symbolic leap into what had become in my mind a scared place, Hawthorne’s poetic observation was not present in my thoughts. For a summer day, it was unusually cold; a light mist rose above the surface of the water; and having forgotten my towel and bathing suit at home in Pennsylvania, I was forced to strip down, making do with what I was wearing in that revealing moment. I hung my clothes on a nearby tree branch and began inching my way toward the water. It was a ritual Henry David Thoreau, one of America’s first literary giants, had performed countless times during his stay in the woods.
It was June 2007, and this was my second trip to Walden Pond. I had visited the previous summer but resolved only to walk along the shoreline, avoiding the seduction of the water. “This time,” I thought to myself, “I am going in.” Although I was initially reluctant, once the water rose past by waistline, I felt an extraordinary release. I made one final push off the rock where I was standing and let go. I let the water take me. Feeling free from constraints, I had transformed into one of Hawthorne’s angels, baptized by the clear, cool waters of the pond.
My experience at Walden Pond that day was emblematic. It was the culmination of a two-year journey which led me to Concord, Massachusetts, where I hoped to retrace the steps of a man who I had never met, but felt an extraordinary affinity towards. Moreover, I saw a little bit of myself in Thoreau. Here was a man who, despite the conventions of his day, shunned every comfort and convenience. Thoreau once refused to take a doormat, for instance, offered to him by an
elderly woman, hoping to avoid what he called the “beginnings of evil.” It seemed like something I would have done had I not read about it first. For the first time in my young life, I met my literary and intellectual soul mate.
Jay Luke Bio
Jay Luke is a musician and artist from Throop, Pa. He is a graduate of Marywood University, and is very active in all things art, whether it be through painting, performing with his band, or at his day job as a graphic designer. As a project engineer for the Olyphant Coal Miner Association, he researches the origins of the area and the forgotten histories of the towns around him. His published work includes When Coal Was Queen: The History of the Queen City – Olyphant, Pennsylvania from Tribute Books.
Ren Adams Bio
Ren Adams is a professional artist and writer currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bulk of her work is done with traditional Chinese brush painting techniques, a centuries old practice of using ground charcoal and water to create delicate worlds on paper. An ideal brush painting captures the spirit, or “Qi,” of the subject, not just what it looks like. Ren also teaches art & Eastern philosophy courses through the University of New Mexico Continuing Education department. She has been painting and sketching for over 20 years and is a southern California native.
About the Cover Painting
"Woodland Visitors [by Nicholas P. Santoleri] is truly a print with a purpose. When you purchase this limited edition print you are supporting the Walden Woods Project while receiving a lasting reminder of the historic landscape you are helping to protect."
- Don Henley
The Walden Woods Project is a nonprofit organization founded in April 1990 by Don Henley (Grammy Award-Winning recording artist and member of the Eagles) to preserve the historic and environmentally sensitive land near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Parcels of historic Walden Woods surrounding Walden Pond, the famed retreat of Henry David Thoreau, were threatened by the development of condominiums and an office park.
Each print has been individually hand signed by the artist and one of these celebrities: Kirstie Alley, Jimmy Buffett, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Don Henley, Bette Midler, and Jack Nicholson. Each print is individually numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and a thank-you letter from The Walden Woods Project.