Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Prayer and Meditation. A Wordpress Production

Book Reviews

Open up my Heart and Cause my lips to Speak …

tumblr_l87c92E6eN1qzh5j8o1_500 tylerbear

Courtesy:TylerBear

“Bring the heaven and the stars down to work for me …”

It has been an interesting past few days. So much so, that I had to let my brain calm down in order to not speak the wrong words at the wrong time.

Suffice to say that … I know who I am in the grand scheme of things. And that I am powerless over people, namely, my friends, or men whom I call my friends. And after this weekend, I’m not really sure about that.

The time is coming that a decision is on the front page. One that I don’t really want nor need to make right now, unless circumstances change between now and then.

I am reading a book on Catherine of Sienna. A kind of hagiography. The man who read it before me, didn’t get a thing from the book, and all he did when he gave it to me was complain. That’s another story for farther down the page …

But I did come across this and it hit me right over the head.

“You know that a person who walks with a lamp at night doesn’t stumble. Souls who have God as their lamp cannot stumble either. They open the eye of their understanding and reason to see which road this gentle Master took. And once they have seen it, because of their will and desire to follow their Master, they run attentively and eagerly. They don’t stop to look back – at themselves, I mean.

They see themselves well enough where knowledge of their sins and failings is concerned, and admit of themselves that they are nothing. And at the same time, they recognize in themselves the immeasurable goodness of God, who has given them what ever being they have.”

Catherine goes on to say about an inner dialogue she had with god is this …

“You are she who is not, and I am he who is…”

Thomas Aquinas writes that “God is pure being – God simply Is. All the rest of creation takes its being from God but does not possess being in the same way God does. Everything and everyone else “is not” until God intervenes.”

I’m not sure why that passage impacted me so much when I first read it, for that very same reason, I had to note it.

I am not sure my fellows really know who I am, and why I am who I am and why I do the things I do. In a certain community, these men have twenty or thirty years on me age wise, and all they do is complain. And over and over, coming rote nowadays, is the part of the prayer that speaks of “Tolerance for those with different struggles!”

The Old Gay Men Group is totally working my Very Last Good Gay Nerve !!!

I have to remember this when I want to run my mouth and rant and rave, just like I really wanted to a couple of days ago. And who wants to read a missive of verbal diarrhea.

So that is a thing.

Our friend “Baby MAMA” texted us very early this morning, before the sun came up that she was in the hospital and that the baby was on the way. We have been texting New Foundland several times throughout the day waiting.

And at the meeting this evening a friend said “Let he be, it’s not like she is sitting on her bed with her phone in her hand waiting to text you she is getting ready to push a watermelon through a pea hole. Let her be for God’s sake.

We talked about the “Coming of faith.” And several of us said those very familiar words … We come, then we Come To, and finally we Come To Believe.

I’ve been worried about a certain issue that has been dogging me for the past ten years, Thank God for Gay Rights moving across the U.S. on the state and even on the Federal level. I had a question that needed answering, and I could not find an open office on the East coast, they all close at 3 p.m. WTF ???

So I called a number in Minot South Dakota and found a man who spoke truth to me and I could hear it in his voice, the tone and tenor … “Tell the Truth.”

That was the end of the conversation. I made a second call this morning and asked a related question, and the answer came easily, “no problem, it makes no difference in your qualifications.” That was a load off my back.

That brings us up to today.

The sun shone, it was really hot. Perfect traveling weather. We have been a very warm stretch. The A.C. is a real gift.

More to come, stay tuned …

 


Holiday Haul …

WeNeedToTalk

It is cold out. We are sitting at a balmy (-10c) at this hour. I was up early and I dithered around the apartment trying to decide whether or not to go shopping. Hubby was doing laundry, so I showered and get ready to go.

The trains were packed at the 3 o’clock hour. Since we sit between 2 stations on the Green line, schools were all letting out. I headed off to Peel Metro.

I wanted to run into the Hallmark store beneath Scotia Bank Place Theatre where I do most of my holiday shopping. For the last few years, I shop here because of the family who owns the store. They are gracious and kind and I enjoy their store. I bought two boxes of Christmas Cards and a gift for a friend.

I set off for Bentley in The Eaton Centre to buy a new backpack – since I have destroyed the one I have. I go through backpacks quite quickly. The one I was using was ripped and really needed to be replaced. I found one that I liked and bought it. It was big enough that I could stuff my old one inside along with some items I bought at Hallmark.

I walked through Eaton Centre towards Place Montreal Trust to see the Christmas tree. I thought they would put up the one they have been using for the past few years, with the train running beneath it, but was pleasantly surprised to see a new tree. The old tree had huge ornaments that moved, spun and danced on the outside of the tree.

This years tree was more interactive – with big huge screens with different moving scenes on them. I should have taken a snap, but the tree was too big to get with my phone camera, so I will take my Nikon up there later on.

I stopped in at Indigo. And like I thought it was a Book Bonanza.

So many good books to choose from. I wanted a copy of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, which is one of the best books I have ever read. I had once bought a copy, and last year Yann Martel came to Montreal for a book reading, and he signed the copy I had and I sent it off to Will (of Not Adam not Steve) fame. Yann is his favorite author so the gift was a real happy moment for him.

I got another copy today along with “We Need to Talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. Many of the folks who work at Indigo highly recommended the book. Hubby said he would get me a gift card for Christmas. Which is good because there is a stack of books I want to get.

I saw a book by Linden MacIntyre called “Why Men Lie.” It is a hard cover book and from the dust cover seems to be set in the same period of his novel, “The Bishop’s Man,” which I have read several times over. There was another novel called “The Long Stretch,” on the bookshelf, both books seem to house the same characters. I wasn’t sure if they were a trilogy or stand alone books.

I looked this question up … The Long Stretch, The Bishop’s Man and Why men Lie is a trilogy. Called The Cape Breton Trilogy. (wiki) Now I have to get both the copies I haven’t read yet.

I could have shopped till I dropped … but I walked with two books, instead of many. It is very hard to say no to buying books because books are life. If I had a job, and I applied to them several times over the years, to no avail, I would work in a book store. That would be a dream job.

I got some lunch on the way out. I was craving me some Burger King, so that’s where I ended my shopping journey. It was a good haul. Now I need hubby’s Christmas list, so I can to shop for him next week.
Le Coeur Montreal was decorated with fantastical Christmas trees and recycled green and red bottles lit from within in different holiday shapes of trees, ornaments and decorations.

The train was full on the ride back. I went back to Atwater to come home through Alexis Nihon Plaza.

When I got home, I removed the patches that I had sewn on my backpack and prepared to sew them onto my new one. It is almost a ritual. When I first moved here – and the demonstrations began against the war, people told me to sew Canadian Flags on my backpack. And since then I have collected them from places I have visited like Parliament Hill in Ottawa and other places of note. That took me about an hour to finish. I was very happy with the way it turned out.

It was a good day. More to come, Stay tuned …


Australian author Bryce Courtenay, writer of ‘The Power of One’ and 20 others, dies at age 79

Report From: The Canadian Press

CANBERRA, Australia – Australian bestselling author Bryce Courtenay has died of stomach cancer. He was 79.

His publisher Penguin Group said Friday that the South African-born writer died at his family home in the Australian capital Canberra late Thursday surrounded by his family and pets.

Courtenay had a successful career in advertising before writing his first novel, “The Power of One,” which was published in 1989 when he was 56. The story became a movie starring Morgan Freeman.

His 21st novel, “Jack of Diamonds,” was published this month.

*** *** *** ***

This is a very sad announcement. Bryce was a wonderful writer. All of his books are monumental. The way they are written is unlike any other author I have read. And if you have read anything by him, you will agree … Once you begin one of his books, you don’t stop till you reach the end. His ability to capture time and space and weave his stories with such amazing characters is amazing.

If you’ve ever wondered what Africa was like Bryce truly knew how to capture the people, the land and the images from his mind to paint just amazing pictures as you read. I’ve read a number of his books that are in my personal library.

If you’ve never read Bryce Courtenay … Put him on your Christmas list…


Stage II Recovery …

The women of my home group are all about this book as of late. It has made the rounds from one member to another and finally it came to me this past Tuesday.

I was all excited and ready to read something that was, hopefully, going to blow my socks off. That I was going to read something that I had never heard of in sobriety until now.

I’ve read a lot of books over the last ten years. Our bedroom is full of stacks of books that we have read for school and for fun. I found that in reading this book, I have heard the lessons written about before. But I wanted to give you some point of reference to look at in your own sobriety.

Stage I sobriety is the first stage in recovery. The admission of addiction, the surrender of ones life and the coming to believe that a Power Greater than Yourself can restore you to sanity. And so the journey begins. And last for a number of years. Numbers like 5 years, 7 years, 10 years appear in the text as the when Stage II recovery begins or should be begun.

You have to tackle stage one and work it successfully to begin to get your life back in one way or another. After so many years, one approaches Stage II recovery. The book, written from a woman’s perspective addresses many ideas. But I will begin with the first question that stopped me in my shoes.

  • How do you define recovery? If you are in a recovery program of any kind, you need to know. Write out your definition.

When we define recovery, we also define (1) what the problem or issue is, (2) what needs to be done about that problem of issue, and (3) what our program is for. Your program cannot take you further than your own definition of recovery

  • If your definition of recovery is ________, then your problem is ________, and your program will take you to _________ .

The book makes a specific request of the reader to actually specifically define what recovery means to you/the reader. And secondly asserts that problems exist in your life, therefore you need to name them in order to learn about them and thereby ridding yourself of them so as to move forwards in recovery. That before you can move forwards in recovery these things must be accomplished.

The major thrust of the book is about relationships. How to define them, what they are, who you are, what roles we played in past relationships, how do we change the people we were, into people we want to be and how to live in harmony in true loving relationships with the alcoholic.

In the book, the word “men” is missing from the story, but is instead noted as “the alcoholic.” This book was surely written by a woman to address women readers and how to get them into right space and right life in order to live accomplished lives with alcoholic husbands.

My life story, as it has been documented here gives credence to the lessons I have learned over the last 18 years living with disease, and dis-ease. Learning how to live and what to do to take care of myself and others.

I understand the sick patterns I used to follow when in relationships with others in the past, I did not have many successful relationships in the past, until now.

In the book, she talks about types of people:

  • The Caretaker
  • The People Pleaser
  • The Workaholic
  • The Martyr
  • The Perfectionist
  • The Tap Dancer

The writer assumes that each of us either in the past or in the present find ourselves as one of these people. And therefore have certain issues that must be dealt with in order to have a loving relationship with another.

She goes on to ask “Who is driving our Bus ???”

Then moves into this next project:

” According to my best insight, the habit pattern I most need to change, because it is limiting my recovery is this: _______________________.

We all have habits. Good ones and bad ones. And as sober people we are supposed to be able to detect and once detected, change habits. But habits are hard to change and will go down to the death before they allow us to change them. Hence, habits are a civil war …

What you live with you learn
What you learn you practice
What you practice you become
What you become has consequences.

The book moves on to change … And in order to have change one must hit a conversion point. When we “hit the wall.”

The Second First Step:

Everyone familiar with the Twelve Step Program knows that the First Step is called the desperation step. You take it when enough is enough, when things get to such a point that you say, “I don’t care what it takes. I’ll do anything. Anything. But I am not willing to continue this way.

Until there is a first step, there is nothing.

Stage II Recovery takes another first step. We call it the second first step. With it, you become as serious about your living patterns and habits as you were about the addiction that brought you into the program in the first place. Until the second first step happens, there is no Stage II Recovery …

We can only change ourselves and we are powerless over people, places and things. The whole thrust of the book is to recognize aspects of your life that need to be changed in order that in the end, you will be prepared to embrace a Stage II recovery level.

This is not new news to me. I have been in a loving relationship for almost 10 years now, and over those years I have learned about these things via other means of learning. Books, School, Life and medical situations.

I think the author assumes that we are damaged goods. That we have been addicted ourselves and so have our significant others. And that we all have issues that must be approached honestly and genuinely. And not until you face these things are Stage II recovery possible.

Been here, Done that, got the t-shirt.

In Working a Program there is a chart to fill out:

Daily Reading or Input …………………….. What and When

Sponsor / Mentor  …………………………… Who and When

Group ……………………………………………. Where and When

Evaluation ……………………………………… How and When

Prayer / Meditation …………………………. How and When

Health Care …………………………………….. What and When

Celebration …………………………………….. What and When

We each should take part in every portion of this list on a daily basis. Because if you do it regularly, it becomes ingrained and then becomes a habit. I think I hit all of these on a weekly basis.

All in All habits can be good and bad. We need to foster the good habits and detect, define and work on changing the bad habits. And the writer assumes that in order to reach Stage II recovery, you must first do all this work and then be able to approach and begin to reap the rewards of Stage II Recovery.

At the end of the day, I see things that I need to work on. Some habits that I would like to change. There are areas in my marriage that could be better and need to be discussed in the future.

We are both heading into a transition period over the next few months and life with make a certain turn for the better. Because we will finally define what it is that we each want to do with the next stage of our lives.

You have to have stage I recovery for a while, well lived and situated, before embarking on Stage II. I don’t agree. Recovery comes as it does, and as life happens we see these things and habits that we need to change. At least for me and my sponsees. They write, they look and investigate and so they are always changing as the days go on.

We are all damaged by addiction. And it is up to us to make things better. It takes time. Years really. And you can’t rush the process, it comes with time. Well invested and finely worked one day at a time.


All those things we never said …

If you knew you were dying and you had the chance to spend 6 days with someone you loved to say all those things we never said, would you? What would happen if someone you loved died and you missed an opportunity to say all those things you never said?

Julia’s life is running swimmingly. She has a great job, doing something she loves and devotes her life to. She is engaged to be married in just a few days, to a man who understands her drive to succeed.

But, fate is about to deal her a hand that will turn her life upside down. The death of her father.

A man she has rarely seen, or more to the point hasn’t spoke to really in months. So her father dies in Paris, and is being shipped home to arrive on Julia’s wedding day. So much for the wedding …

They bury her father on a perfectly sunny day, the most perfect day that they have seen in forever. Soon a huge box is delivered to Julia’s apartment, and she is in for the shock of her life.

All those things we never said …

In the box is a humanoid.

Julia’s father is dead and buried yet here he stands …

A Humanoid created in the likeness of her father. Created by a firm whose technological prowess is to create beings to communicate with family members after their deaths. The humanoid comes with a remote control and a toll free number, in case of problems, or the need to shut down a program.

This humanoid is endowed with all the memories, and mannerisms that her father once inhabited. And the adventure begins …

She has six days with her father. What will she do in these six days? Will they get along, will they learn about one another? Or will all the things they never said be like silences between them?

Germany – The day the Wall Fell …

Julia is an 18 year old teenager who has hopped in a car with three friends from the Sorbonne in Paris, and they take a road trip to Berlin Germany on the eve of the fall of the wall, where she meets a boy named Thomas …

They spend time together and they fall in love …4 months later …

Julia’s father finds her and extricates her from the bed of the man she has fallen in love with, punching him in the head and breaking his jaw, and forces Julia back to New York.

Julia goes on with her life, Thomas is never heard from again …

Or so we thought…

Julia’s father carries a secret back to his daughter from the grave.

The wedding never happens and Julia decides to travel with her father on an adventure that will change her life. Julia’s father is a resourceful man and shares with her a secret, one that he has kept for 18 years. What will she do with this secret knowledge?

Thomas became a journalist and reports from many fronts of wars and conflict zones of the world, and is writing to Julia from his travels. What Julia doesn’t know won’t hurt her right?

Julia’s father has controlled what his daughter knew after her extrication. A choice daddy might regret … But we’ll see …

The letters collect in her childhood home unbeknown to her.

What does she tell her best friend? And what does she tell her fiancee, about what is going on, where she is going and with whom?

The journey carries the two to the cities of Montreal, New York and Berlin, Germany. Inside of six days, Andrew has to tell his daughter all those things he never said to her, will she listen? And will she grow up?

Confusion, resentment, and anger rule Julia’s life.

The adventure that unfolds is craft. Mark Levy has crafted one of the best stories I have read in as many years. This book is a serious page turner, it will keep you up at night, and once you reach the end of the book, your head will spin, with a final twist that you don’t know from where it came.

I am sure if you read through once, you will go back and reread portions of the book to make sure you haven’t missed anything in the telling of the story.

I highly recommend this book to you.

What would you do if you had a second chance to say all those things you never said to someone you might need to say them to…


Books are Good …

The weather outside is frightful. But I did get out of the house for the first time, in as many days. I had a gift card sitting on the desk for Indigo and so that’s where I went.

The store has changed so much since the holidays began. They have huge displays of really nice things on the upper floor. They have shifted the locations of entire categories of books to other places in the space. They moved the entire religion / new age / philosophy section to another location upstairs, it seemed to me that they got rid of a good portion of those books.

I did browse the fiction section, I thought that I’d find some books by authors that I got for Christmas from Amazon at the store but alas, they weren’t on the shelf.

I did pick up a few titles that look interesting.

The first book I picked up is called “Why He is a Saint” The Life and Faith of Pope John Paul II and the Case for Canonization. By Slawomir Oder with Saverio Gaeta. This new book will go nicely in my collection of John Paul II books.

The second book is “All Those Things We Never Said” The number one international best seller, by Marc Levy.

The third book I picked up is called “Room” by Emma Donoghue, A novel, shortlisted the The Man Booker Prize 2010. The cover has glowing reviews, I am looking forward to reading all these books over the next few weeks.

At checkout I had to renew my Irewards Card, so this entire purchase ran me about $100.00 less the $40.00 in gift cards totaling like $60.00 some odd dollars.

I love books – now that I have some time on  my hands before classes start on the 17th, I can read here and there.


The Moonlit Earth …

I completed my read of “The Moonlit Earth” two nights ago. I must say that Christopher Rice gets better and better with each successive book he pens. There is a running theme throughout all of his books that deal with gay relationships. And he did not disappoint me in this book.

What starts out is a bomb attack at a Hong Kong hotel, and Cameron, a young beautiful flight attendant is a prime suspect of what authorities are calling a terrorist attack. His sister Megan goes on the offensive trying to clear his name, and is taken on a whirlwind tour of Hong Kong and the South Pacific.

What is truth and what is fiction, who did it and why? All these questions and more get fleshed out in this thrilling read of intrigue, mystery and friendship. The story of Aabid and Cameron’s friendship is beautifully written, in what we think might be an inappropriate indiscretion turns out to be Cameron’s saving grace.

“I know the truth, and if you don’t tell her, I will…”

There are so many twists and turns in this book, that if you skip one word you might miss something crucial in the telling of the story. Which brings me to my next comment… This book is a true page turner and had me caught up in the story so well, that I spent almost four hours reading the other night, I couldn’t put the book down.

Rice writes like a seasoned author. His ability to weave characters and story lines are a master stroke. Like his mother, Anne Rice, he really knows how to build a back story and fill in all the spaces with detail with his effortless story telling.

This book is a beautiful work of art, bringing together the East and West, and even a bit of Middle Eastern tradition and religion. You will not be disappointed by this book. Christopher Rice has written, I think, his best work yet in “The Moonlit Earth.”


What am I reading ???

This is what I am reading at the moment. Christopher knows how to weave a book together. It is turning out to be quite a page turner. I will let you know how it turns out. I am about halfway through the book as of tonight. And I am totally engaged in the read. Lots of twisting and turning. A familiar way he writes. Stay tuned.


The Bishop’s Man

The Bishop’s Man, written by Linden MacIntyre is a well written book. It is the story about Father Duncan MacAskill, a priest from the Maritimes.

Father Duncan is the “go-to” man for his bishop. The one who cleans up the messes that other priests create. MacIntyre’s attention to detail speaks to his being a journalist. Along with the assignments that Duncan works through, he has his own past, that spans back to the 1970’s in Honduras, and even further.

The way the book is written is very interesting. For me it was a page turner. It is not a straight forwards read, there are many threads weaving in and out at the same time, and the flow of the read depends on all these threads weaving in and out of the story. I found myself paying acute attention to his storytelling method.

Duncan is moved from place to place. His work takes him all over the globe, but never to a parish, until now. The Bishop wishes Duncan to clean up after a “situation” arises with a particular priest.

The story is about clerical abuse. A story that is ripped from the headlines of the recent past. Duncan finds himself set into a parish in Creignish. Duncan faces his past as he takes on his new parish assignment. It is too close to home for Duncan.

In having to face his past, while working in the present, many things are going on at the same time. Everybody knows each other, and secrets are kept in hidden coves and harbors. As Duncan faces his demons he becomes a victim of alcoholism, which he eventually finds himself in a detox for 40 days to clean himself up.

A scandal is brewing and Duncan’s job is to route out the guilty party and find out what really happened. That is not an easy task because of the people involved and the role that father MacAskill plays in their lives. Duncan lives on a need to know basis. And that creates heat between himself and his bishop and the other priests that he find himself friends with. This need to know problem almost costs Duncan his sanity, when the situation blows up in his face and he needs to be extricated from the situation and sent to Ontario for detox and to get away from the media storm.

We find out what abuse does to the men who perpetrate that kind of sin, the effect it has on the innocent victim’s, but the Bishop is not keen to recognize victims, he once tells Duncan that he is either with the church or against it, when Duncan is forced to choose allegiance to Holy Mother Church, a choice he does not make willingly.

Nobody escapes abuse, and I think that is a running theme in the book, from Duncan’s past and his wartime father and mother, through his life as a priest, and into the present day. Duncan has seen his fair share of abuse and he attempts to reconcile his own life in the process of trying to save the young people he meets and befriends in Creignish.

Read the book, it is well worth the time. Linden did a fantastic job of capturing all the emotion and sadness of the situations. Life in the Maritimes is much different than in the big cities, and you get a birds eye view of just what matters to small town Canada.


The Bishop's Man

The Bishop’s Man, written by Linden MacIntyre is a well written book. It is the story about Father Duncan MacAskill, a priest from the Maritimes.

Father Duncan is the “go-to” man for his bishop. The one who cleans up the messes that other priests create. MacIntyre’s attention to detail speaks to his being a journalist. Along with the assignments that Duncan works through, he has his own past, that spans back to the 1970’s in Honduras, and even further.

The way the book is written is very interesting. For me it was a page turner. It is not a straight forwards read, there are many threads weaving in and out at the same time, and the flow of the read depends on all these threads weaving in and out of the story. I found myself paying acute attention to his storytelling method.

Duncan is moved from place to place. His work takes him all over the globe, but never to a parish, until now. The Bishop wishes Duncan to clean up after a “situation” arises with a particular priest.

The story is about clerical abuse. A story that is ripped from the headlines of the recent past. Duncan finds himself set into a parish in Creignish. Duncan faces his past as he takes on his new parish assignment. It is too close to home for Duncan.

In having to face his past, while working in the present, many things are going on at the same time. Everybody knows each other, and secrets are kept in hidden coves and harbors. As Duncan faces his demons he becomes a victim of alcoholism, which he eventually finds himself in a detox for 40 days to clean himself up.

A scandal is brewing and Duncan’s job is to route out the guilty party and find out what really happened. That is not an easy task because of the people involved and the role that father MacAskill plays in their lives. Duncan lives on a need to know basis. And that creates heat between himself and his bishop and the other priests that he find himself friends with. This need to know problem almost costs Duncan his sanity, when the situation blows up in his face and he needs to be extricated from the situation and sent to Ontario for detox and to get away from the media storm.

We find out what abuse does to the men who perpetrate that kind of sin, the effect it has on the innocent victim’s, but the Bishop is not keen to recognize victims, he once tells Duncan that he is either with the church or against it, when Duncan is forced to choose allegiance to Holy Mother Church, a choice he does not make willingly.

Nobody escapes abuse, and I think that is a running theme in the book, from Duncan’s past and his wartime father and mother, through his life as a priest, and into the present day. Duncan has seen his fair share of abuse and he attempts to reconcile his own life in the process of trying to save the young people he meets and befriends in Creignish.

Read the book, it is well worth the time. Linden did a fantastic job of capturing all the emotion and sadness of the situations. Life in the Maritimes is much different than in the big cities, and you get a birds eye view of just what matters to small town Canada.


Summer 15 …

A project was introduced on You Tube over the past couple of weeks called the “Summer 15.” It is a reading project for the summer. I did not go out and buy 15 books … too much money. But I have bought some new books in the last month. Here are the books that I have read so far in the past month or so.

1. beatrice and virgil – Yann Martel
2. Life of Pi – Yann Martel – winner – The Man Booker Prize
3. John the Baptizer – Brooks Hansen

The next two books I just bought today from Indigo.

4. The Bishop’s Man – Linden MacIntyre (CBC 5th Estate journalist)
Giller Prize winner.
5. Fall – Colin McAdam – Giller Prize finalist

Linden, Colin and Yann are all Canadian authors. I think this is a trend, that I picked up these two books today, they sound like good reads. I will keep you posted.

So what are you reading this summer, leave a comment below.

More to come, stay tuned …


Life of Pi …

Imagine being on a ship crossing the pacific ocean. On that ship are humans and animals. Now imagine that a problem arises, the ship is sinking and someone has opened the cages of the animals on board.

Into your lifeboat falls a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a bengal tiger in addition to yourself. The ship has sunk, everyone else has perished except for this little group of people and animals.

What happens next is an adventure not for the feint of heart. Who survives, and who perishes? I got to the end of the book last night, and I was amazed at how it turned out. This was a masterfully written book. A story of survival in 100 chapters.

Yann Martel is a great writer.


Book Review: beatrice & virgil

Thanks to my friend Will, over on You Tube, I read another book because he really likes this author Yann Martel, the famed writer of “Life of Pi.” Thursday night is the meet and greet here in town and I will be getting Will his autograph.

I have to say that this book was interesting. A little unassuming, and surely strange. It was a short read, but a good read nonetheless. With little books, you have to pay attention to the words, because if you miss something, you will ruin the read, and that was surely the case with this book.

A couple times I wanted to put the book down but I always went back to reread something I missed. This read was interesting in that the story starts out with one story about a writer and morphs into a literary adventure between this writer and one of his readers.

And just who and what are beatrice and virgil? And why did he choose this title of the book? You’ll have to read to find that out.

What happens next needs to be tread very carefully. Every word means something. You have to read every word in the order that they were written, and not skip anything because if you do, you may miss it. You will have to buy the book to understand what “IT” is…

The twist in the book is subtle. Though the subject matter discussed is important for historical purposes. I enjoyed the read, as I am sure you will as well.


Book Reviews …

this is how

So I waited to review these books until I had finished both of them. I have to say that I enjoyed reading “This is How” it was a good read. Although I was troubled by the main characters choice of actions partway through the book then the storytelling became just a journal read, which I found to be really boring. You have to read the book to understand why I just said that. If I tell  you why, then I will spoil the whole book for you. Needless to say it wasn’t wasted money.

The_Hour_I_First_Believed

Here we have Wally Lamb. A most prolific writer and a good one at that. This story was a LONG read. It took me over a week to finish it overnight in bed. It tells the story of a couple (a teacher and a student nurse) who are married and living in Colorado during the Columbine tragedy.

The story narrates what happened to them on that fateful day and just how a series of really bad events can screw up a life in more ways than one. Wally tells a really good story. He weaves missives in between the main story line and connects the dots with pin point precision. I found in the read that he tells us a series of connected stories to enhance and enlighten the main story line.

It all wraps up into a really fine work of art. As I reached the end of the book, the story heads in a number of different directions and ends with a finality that brought tears to my eyes. I was saddened by the way that Wally ended the story.

But there was no way to really end the book in any other way – because of the story line and what was going on for most of the read. It had a lot of similar lines of “This is How” it was a fluke that I picked up BOTH these books at the same time, because they are so similar in story line.

There in the book was love, loss, death and destruction, and recovery and grace. Wally wrapped up all the major emotions into a really good read. I would recommend this book to you with high points all around.

READ THE BOOKS – I Highly recommend them.


What am I Reading…

indigo books

I went to my favorite bookseller this evening because I finished reading another book from my home library. “Ghost Light” by Frank Rick was a really good book, I enjoy reading from time to time.I can’t go to bed at night without having something to read. And I was tired of rereading old books, hence the trip to the book store.

With school beginning next week, I don’t see myself having much time to concentrate on side reading, I am told that reading for a graduate is something I better get used to. Hopefully it isn’t going to bog me down.

I try not to take academia to bed with me at night. I like my couple hours of reading of something other than religion or theology. So what are these two new books?

This is How – by M.J. Hyland

this is how

“When his fiance breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves to a boarding house in a seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan, and Patrick is soon driven to take a desperate and chilling course of action.”

Sounds like a good read. I saw it, picked it off the shelf and kept it in my basket while I walked around. I am looking forward to getting into this story.

The_Hour_I_First_Believed

New York Times Best seller – The Hour I first Believed

By Wally Lamb – author of  “I know this much is True” and “She’s Come Undone”  … From the front cover of the book:

“Audacious … profound and moving … A soaring novel as amazingly graceful as the classic hymn that provides the title.”

I like Wally, he’s a great writer.

Both of these books are HUGE, so I am sure I will be kept busy for some weeks to come. If you want to read along with me – I’d like to hear from you. The last time I put my reading list up, I got a few readers who left comments here on the blog.