Book of Qualities

( 6 )

Overview

From Beauty to Compassion, from Pleasure to Terror, from Resignation to Joy — here is an insightful exploration of the rich diversity of human qualities. J. Ruth Gendler's evocative book has as its cast of familiar characters our own emotions, brought to life with a poet's wisdom and an artist's perceptive eye. In The Book of Qualities' magical community, Excitement wears orange socks, Faith lives in the same apartment building as Doubt, and Worry makes lists of everything that could go wrong while she is waiting...

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Paperback (1st Perennial Library ed)
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Overview

From Beauty to Compassion, from Pleasure to Terror, from Resignation to Joy — here is an insightful exploration of the rich diversity of human qualities. J. Ruth Gendler's evocative book has as its cast of familiar characters our own emotions, brought to life with a poet's wisdom and an artist's perceptive eye. In The Book of Qualities' magical community, Excitement wears orange socks, Faith lives in the same apartment building as Doubt, and Worry makes lists of everything that could go wrong while she is waiting for the train. In portraying the complexities of the psyche, Gendler uses the Qualities to bridge the distinctions between literature and psychology, and has created an original work that challenges us to look at our emotions in new and inspiring ways.

From beauty to compassion, from pleaure to terror, from resignation to joy, an insightful exploration of human qualities.

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What People Are Saying

George Leonard
"Ruth Gendler has discovered a way to give new meaning and immediacy to familiar words. Her brief meta-definitions sing, dance, and sometimes cry."
Art Kliener
"A bright new talent whose work is at once reminiscent of James Thurber's drawings, Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, and Zen koans."
Jean Bolen
"The Qualities are wise and whimsical and express truth in a very personal way."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060962524
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1988
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: 1st Perennial Library ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 186,440
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Ruth Gendler wears orange socks, arranges her clothes by color in the closet, keeps the herbs in alphabetical order, and doesn't understand the separation between work and play. Gendler was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and received B.A.'s in English and Communication from Stanford University in 1977. She has written articles on the arts, health, and education. She works in publishing and teaches intuitive art classes. Gendler currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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Read an Excerpt

The Wind

The Wind is a gossip. Not in a malicious way. She just likes to move around and stir things up. She runs through the fire barefoot and has no fear of heights. She carries big blue bowls of rain with her. She plays the flute and loves all kinds of sounds. Her laughter fills the sky. The Wind is a wonderful storyteller. I still remember how she introduced me to the Oualities when I was a child.

The Book of Qualities. Copyright © by J. Ruth Gendler. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Totally Unique- a Real Gem!!!

    This little book is a real treasure especially for those who love both words and reflecting on the human psyche. Ms. Gendler creatively explores the depths of human emotions with wisdom and creativity by personification. We meet about 75 characters (Qualities)from Courage("she is not afraid to weep, and not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to")to Depression("the child of Lethargy and Despair")to Harmony ("Simply by being himself, he alters the current in the field around him"). The illustrations that accompany some of the Qualities are simple but captivating. The Book of Qualities is beautifully written and deeply insightful about the characteristics and range of emotions. As a result, it is thought-provoking and helps us reflect on our own emotions. It's a real keeper and also makes a thoughtful little gift for special people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2007

    a xmas present for all

    i enjoy this writing every time i pick it up. This year I am giving it to everyone for xmas. I hope they will enjoy it as much as I enjoy giving it .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2007

    A Literary Masterpiece

    This book was given to me over 20 years ago. Since then I have purchased many many, and given to each person over the years near and dear to me. Ruth has a way of taking you thru the most difficult to navigate qualities of life...emotions. If you are new on the journey of self discovery, by all means purchase it. I have not seen anything like it before. Its a book you pick up year after year, to re-freshen or review 'Qualities' or emotions. The Qualities are written in brief, paragraph form. Easy to digest, easy to get. She uses metaphors to get you thinking in a fun, playful yet deep and in sync way with the emotion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    Best book I've read in a long time

    This is the best book that I have read in a long time, and I read A LOT. I liked how each quality had its' own separate personality. It made it a lot easier to see them in myself and other people without a negative feeling attached to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    Discover the qualities in each of us

    Reading The Book of Qualities helps to uncover the hidden qualities in each of us. J. Ruth Gendler makes human qualities visible, viceral, real elements of mankind. As you read each quality you identify yourself and others in your life. The Book of Qualities is a great tour guide for exploring who you might be.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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