i just finished this book by hermann hesse last night..it is of the Franciscan influence (obviously, as the saint is discussed a good bit) and concentrates on listening to and studying the "pulse" of nature and learning to embrace and love all of creation, including mankind. This is a beautiful novel and I strongly suggest it to anyone as it teaches both the appreciation of nature and the shame that can be found in knowing more about celebrity gossip, politics, etc than one's local paradise. This was my first reading of Hesse's work and am soon heading to the bookstore to pick up another of his masterpieces, any suggestions?
edit: also, do any of you have any suggestions for books by or about st. francis of assisi? i hear the little flowers of st.francis is charming but was written by franciscans who completely fabricated all of the amusing little stories.