Thursday, June 28, 2007

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

I saw this book in a book list by Anna Quindlen titled " 10 Big Thick Wonderful Books That Could Take You a Whole Summer to Read (but Aren't Beach Books)." Well, I was so engrossed in this book that it only took me two weeks to read. And it is a big, thick, and wonderful book. Wow. READ THIS BOOK. That's all I can say.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

I first read this book several years ago and re-read it last week. I like the whole Ripley series (there are five in all). They are all enjoyable reads because Tom Ripley is a brilliant, fascinating, and repulsive character all at the same time. The movie starring Matt Damon captured Ripley and the story quite well, but I vowed never to watch it again because the murder scenes were gruesome. But I will re-read the books.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rise and shine by Anna Quindlen

Eh. This book started out okay. It contains enough description for two, maybe even three, books. I didn't really care about the characters. I found myself skimming the last third of the book. The story was boring for a really long time and the wordiness made it even harder to stay engaged. So, yah, you can skip this one! (I would like to note that I do enjoy Quindlen's columns in Newsweek and that I enjoyed her first novel, One True Thing, but I have yet to read another one of her novels that is as good.)

Easier than you think: The small changes that add up to a world of difference

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

Shalom in the home: Smart advice for a peaceful life

I haven't watched this TLC show. I've only seen Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Oprah. This is a companion book to his TV series. On the show, families request his help and he visits them and helps them work through the problems in their households. Some of the problems the families face: adultery, grief, excessive arguing, and rebellious kids. Some things I learned:

  • 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.