Saturday, December 29, 2007
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
This story is inspiring in that it shows how much good one person with lots of determination and direction can accomplish. For me personally, however, reading about all of the time, travel, and obstacles made me a bit tired. But that's probably because I'm still, to some degree, still recovering from living overseas.
It's neat to read about how his projects came together, especially in terms of the funding. However, the writing in this book is sometimes tedious and I skimmed some parts.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Your email made my day. Thanks so much for writing and sharing a little about yourself. I wrote KIMCHI & CALAMARI because I truly believe there are so many "sandwiches" walking around. Some are ethnic, some are due to interests, different friend groups, etc. Iwanted kids to see a character wrestling with this but who wasn't a "problem" in and of himself.
How terrific that you check out children's books! I'm biased but I think there are many out there that speak to all people.
Thanks again for writing Elaine, and best to you in Sunnyvale. I will add your email address to my list, if you like, and let you know when my next book comes out. And feel free to recommend KIMCHI & CALAMARI to any kids who might be interested. As a new author, that's really the best way books get read.
ps Lemonade and Cheez-Its rock. (Together might not be bad either!)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
- Begin your journey with God
- Choose your traveling companions wisely
- Place high value on wisdom
- Leave your baggage behind
- Own your faults and weaknesses
- Embrace problems as gifts
- Take life as it comes
- Love God with all you are
There are also separate chapters addressing specific concerns that come with marriage, dating, parenting, depression, addictions, weight loss, and personal goals. Definitely nothing comprehensive, but enough to give us some steps to get started and, maybe more importantly, the hope that things don't have to be like this forever.
I was especially encouraged by the chapter on personal goals and dreams. As I muddle my way through the middle of this graduate program, part of me wants to throw in the towel. The following quotes reminded me of some truth:
Overall, an encouraging, yet practical book with solid truth and lots of wisdom. I recommend this book. A chapter a day will give you plenty to think about.
"Look hard at what will be true if you do NOT pursue your goals or dreams. What do you see? How does that feel? Can you live with it? Is that what you really want your life to be?"
"...reaching your goals is always secondary. The process of who you are becoming with God and others in that process is what's important."
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This book is a repeat of The Devil Wears Prada. Similar storyline, predictable ending. However, instead of taking place in the fashion magazine industry, this book is set in the world of public relations.
So...why did I read this? What can I say? I'm on vacation.
Monday, December 10, 2007
This book was very amusing and funny. I think it would fall under that chic-lit category, but it's written well-enough so that it's not distracting. It seems trivial in all of the fashion details and gossip, but the author manages to pull in some important things to think about: Which qualities do we want to cultivate? How important is it to "get ahead"? What price are we willing to pay to succeed professionally? The book also questions the idea that celebrities have happy, perfect lives. Miranda may be successful and wealthy, but she is also a very mean, bitter, lonely woman. Overall, this was a very easy read and much better than I expected. I would recommend it if you're looking for something relaxing and light.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
"Aslan threw up his shaggy head, opened his mouth, and uttered a long, single note; not very loud, but full of power. Polly's heart jumped in her body when she heard it. She felt sure that it was a call, and that anyone who heard that call would want to obey it and (what's more) would be able to obey it, however many worlds and ages lay between."
Sometimes The Magician's Nephew is ordered as the sixth book in the series, but I prefer reading it first. It explains how Narnia was created and the significance of the lamp post and the wardrobe. What a delight...There's something timeless about how these books manage to connect with my heart and sense of adventure. Plus, they do help me think more about what God is like. Maybe this is why, every so often, I experience the urge to pick them up yet again.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
This book traces the family history of Camilla Dickinson. Her granddaughter begins to question if Camilla is truly her biological grandmother and this is the story that comes out.
I think the author intended for this book to illustrate a human's capacity to extend mercy and forgiveness. And she did communicate that and actually, the first half of the book was quite absorbing. However, the characters were very flat and the storyline was pretty predictable. So the best thing about this book was the quote above from which the title came.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
"Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?"
"Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you're thinking about life and about the world."
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Reading about Tayaotao's death made me remember that thousands of families have lost family members. As of today, there have been 3,754 confirmed US deaths in Iraq and 44,729 Iraqi deaths (the number of Iraqi deaths reflects only those deaths reported by news agencies, so the actual number is much higher). Also, 27,186 US soldiers have been wounded so far.This weekend, I read The Iraq Study Group Report in an effort to gain a better understanding of the situation. The Report gives an overview of what's going on and also includes 79 specific recommendations for "moving forward." I feel more informed, although I know that this 96-page report is simple and just the tip of the iceberg. It made me realize that it's not just a black and white choice between "staying the course" or withdrawing troops.
I encourage you to read this. There's no way you could read this and not come away better informed.
An excerpt:"While it is clear that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is moderating the violence, there is little evidence that the long-term deployment of U.S. troops by itself has led or will lead to fundamental improvements in the security situation. It is important to recognize that there are no risk-free alternatives available to the United States at this time. Reducing our combat troop commitments in Iraq, whenever that occurs, undeniably creates risks, but leaving those forces tied down in Iraq indefinitely creates its own set of security risks" (Baker, 2006).
Saturday, September 8, 2007
All the Little Live Things is about Joe and Ruth, a couple living in rural California. The other characters include Jim Peck, a wanderer and hippie-type fellow, who camps out on their property, and the Catlins, a young couple with a daughter, who move in next door. The topics in this book range from enjoying the little pleasures in life to taking one's own life, pregnancy, anticipatory grief, and untimely death.
How the characters dealt with heartbreak resonated with something inside of me. Sometimes we can't escape disappointment and despair. Feeling it and going through it (rather than trying to avoid and deny it) is the only route to take. It's not fun, but to not experience the pain and grief is to cheat ourselves out of the richness of the emotions that life brings, both good and bad.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Boomer is recently rediscovering the joy of reading and is honored to be a guest blogger on El Estante Para Libros.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
This book also made me think more about my own experience with food. I was born and raised in suburbia where most any fruit or vegetable can be bought at the grocery store down the street whether or not it is really in season. I didn't realize this was unnatural until I lived in southwestern China and relied almost solely on the local open-air market for my meat, vegetables, and fruit. It really wasn't until I was 24 years old that I learned that onions aren't in season year round. Tomatoes aren't either! Once I got over this shock, I became more in-tune with what food life was like outside of suburbia and in a more rural setting. I started to love that all of the produce I bought had been picked that morning by the person (or their family members) selling it to me. And that their farms were probably within a mile of my apartment, in the farms surrounding the university campus. Filling up my bicycle basket with this bounty of local, fresh vegetables became one of the highlights of my week. It's also something that I miss the most about living there.
Friday, August 3, 2007
I really liked this book because Taylor is so honest about her feelings, questions about God, and what spirituality looks like. Her writing is eloquent and I stopped many times to jot down quotes in my journal. Reading her story is inspiring. It makes me want to strive less and rest more, to enjoy being human and alive, and to expand my idea of where and how I can find God.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
"The Jesus of Suburbia is the Jesus of Christian religion. He is the Jesus who calls us into comfort and convenience and away from engaging the world around us with truth and grace. He is the Jesus who makes sense. Not surprisingly, we are tempted to follow him. The children of God have always been tempted to temper and soften the God who is there into a much tamer counterfeit."
Friday, July 27, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sometimes I need to think about life differently. So that's why I checked out this book by Richard Carlson, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Carlson suggests ways to make small adjustments in our lives that will make huge differences in how we experience life. For example, he writes about: being aware of unhelpful thought patterns, resting, listening without interrupting, being fully present, laughing, saying no, and reading (Yay! He challenges us to read just ten pages a day. At this rate, we'll read 3,650 pages a year! Think of how many books we could read!). Overall, this book is encouraging and everything in this book is very practical and inspiring at the same time. There are 39 suggestions, and I read one a day.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
- Kids like boundaries and structure. All families need some spontaneous fun though.
- The home should be a refuge from the world, a place where family members can let down their defenses and find some rest and peace.
- Kids want attention and if all they can get is negative attention, that's what they'll settle for.
- Although Rabbi Shmuley was usually called in because of trouble with the kids, the deeper problem was usually with the quality of the parents' marriage.
- Kids require lots of time, love, attention, and leadership! If they don't find it at home, they'll look for it outside of the home.
I'm interested in watching the show now to see what these families look like. I'll file all this information away for my future with or without kids.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Either way, I read this G.K. Chesterton book during those waiting times over the last several weeks. The big question of this book is: who is this Thursday guy? And who are these other guys hanging out with him? There are lots of surprises and everyone turns out to be someone other than who they appear to be. The last 30 pages are particularly crazy. However, this was a dense book, full of lots of long sentences and paragraphs that made me kind of tired. I guess that's what made it a good book to read while I waited because it was okay, but only in little spurts of 5-10 minutes.
Should I give Chesterton another chance? Any recommendations for what I should try?
In this book, Albom chronicles his weekly visits with Morrie Schwartz, his college mentor, who is dying. This is one book that I read every year. Last week was my reading for 2007.