Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Interesting Reads

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - The Magician's Elephant
I like to have "simple" yet interesting books to read while riding my exercise bike to nowhere. I can't highlight while riding, so I don't want to read a book for a class or training. The print in magazines is sometimes a little small if I don't have my contacts in.  So, books for young adults make a wonderful option.  Today's read, was such a book. I was going to write a review, but when reading the School Library Review on Amazon, I didn't think I could improve:

The illustrations were

Starred Review. Grade 4–6—On a perfectly ordinary day, Peter Augustus Duchene goes to the market square of the city of Baltese. Instead of buying the fish and bread that his guardian, Vilna Lutz, has asked him to procure, he uses the coin to pay a fortune-teller to get information about his sister, whom he believes to be dead. He is told that she is alive, and that an elephant will lead him to her. That very night at a performance in the town's opera house, a magician conjures up an elephant (by mistake) that crashes through the roof and cripples the society dame she happens to land on. The lives of the boy, his guardian, and the local policeman, along with the magician and his unfortunate victim, as well as a beggar, his dog, a sculptor, and a nun all intertwine in a series of events triggered by the appearance of the elephant. Miraculous events resolve not only the mystery of the whereabouts of Peter's sister, but also the deeper needs of all of the individuals involved. DiCamillo's carefully crafted prose creates an evocative aura of timelessness for a story that is, in fact, timeless. Tanaka's acrylic artwork is meticulous in detail and aptly matches the tone of the narrative. This is a book that demands to be read aloud.
I would agree with the "read aloud" idea.  I can't wait to read this book aloud with my grand kids.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - Let Your Life Speak
This morning, walking out of my bedroom, I noticed this book lying on the table beside my glider. I love this book and wanted to share it as an "interesting read".

The review says, "The old Quaker adage, "Let your life speak," spoke to author Parker J. Palmer when he was in his early 30s. It summoned him to a higher purpose, so he decided that henceforth he would live a nobler life. "I lined up the most elevated ideals I could find and set out to achieve them," he writes. "The results were rarely admirable, often laughable, and sometimes grotesque.... I had simply found a 'noble' way of living a life that was not my own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to my heart."

Thirty years later, Palmer now understands that learning to let his life speak means "living the life that wants to live in me." It involves creating the kind of quiet, trusting conditions that allow a soul to speak its truth. It also means tuning out the noisy preconceived ideas about what a vocation should and shouldn't be so that we can better hear the call of our wild souls. There are no how-to formulas in this extremely unpretentious and well-written book, just fireside wisdom from an elder who is willing to share his mistakes and stories as he learned to live a life worth speaking about. --Gail Hudson

My book is highlighted, has post-it notes sticking out from its pages, it has notes written within the margins and between the lines...  In other words, I really "chewed" on this book. I have quoted from this book in my blog/journal.  It will be a book I read again and again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011 - Akiane
I got to thinking that if you were interested in "Heaven is For Real" you might also be interested in "Akiane".

Akiane is the young prodigy who is referred to in "Heaven is For Real". Before I had ever heard of Todd Burpo and his son, Colton, I knew of Akiane.  Like Colton, her story is open to debate...I cannot say if she is telling the truth.  However, like "Heaven is For Real" I have asked myself what do I have to lose by being opened to the possibilities of both these stories being true? If they are fake, when I come to the end of my life, it won't make any difference!  If they are true, then I will have witnesses a piece of eternity before I arrive.

Saturday, June 11, 2011 - Heaven is For Real
by Todd Burko
All to often, I have more books waiting to be read than I actually get read! I was skeptical about this book and it was low on my list until several began asking if I had read it and what did I think about it.

My questions:
"What if it is a gimmick?" "How do I know preacher dad didn't brainwash this little guy?" "How do I know its true?"....

But, because so many from the church were interested, I read the book and I am so glad I did.  Reading the book, the questions I had before aren't really important anymore.  What is important is the hope this little book offers.

I've offered to facilitate a Parlor Conversation at church toward the end of the month around this book. I am looking forward to the thoughts, questions, has given others.