Wednesday, May 29, 2019

#17..... Live from Cairo by Ian Bassingthwaighte

Live from Cairo 

I didn't know for sure when I chose this book, just how many memories it would bring back.  It did just that though.  The streets and memories of Cairo came flooding back to me.  Thinking about the moments I spent in taxis, the many adventures that I was able to have.  The emotions that living in Egypt brought out in me.

But this book also gave me a deep connection to those that are seeking to go to other places, due to war.

The story in this book tells so much of the time of the revolution.  What was going on in Egypt during that time, but it also tells the story of how hard it is to get to America.  I am always amazed by Americans that continue to put people down that try to come here.  I am always amazed by Americans that don't even pretend to understand just how difficult it is to be from a country that is constantly at war.  A country where women are raped, and it is okay.  A country where police have the right to just beat whoever they want, and that is the way business is done.

We have a long way to go in this world.  But I think the first step is to always be able to listen to someone else's story and really hear it.  Not to compare it to our own, but to understand where that person comes from, and how much they have gone through.


A few excerpts from the book:

"That's where the interview ended, with the feeling- belonging to no one specifically, but floating in the air above the table- that the only way to change Dalia's fate was to change her location."  -page 24

"Charlie recalled why he'd left Montana, not because he had somewhere to go, but because he couldn't bear living amid selfish white similitude."  page 55

"I was an immigrant in a land that didn't want me."  page 64

"Maybe he just wanted to assure Omran that it was possible to survive unfathomable tragedy.  That there might be some joy to be had in the end."  page 119


We have to let stories impact us, I'm thankful for this one!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Book #16.... Unsaid by Neil Abramson

I didn't really know what to expect with this book.  I was trying to pick something that I wouldn't usually pick.  I was also trying to pick a book that would be easy to read, because I needed easy with the crazy schedule that I've had.

This book was emotional, and it took me to a place I really didn't know I had in me.  A place that examined grief, but also lives of animals.  The level of emotion I held throughout this book was very high.  To understand this you would need to read it.  There was a lot that I took away from it.  A lot that I learned from it.

The first is that everyone grieves in their own way.  I think that I knew this, but this book was a portrait of that.  It so clearly allowed me to see just how we need each other in our grief even when we don't know that we do.  We need to be able to lean on each other, and open up to sharing the moments with others.  So they are able to be there when we need to lean on someone.

The second is that animals are an integral part of our world, and we need to treat them better.  I think that there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of the pharmaceutical company that I am just not aware of.  Understanding that maybe I need to be open to more research and understanding more of how testing is done is something that this book brought out in me.

The third is that love is something we all need.  Every breathing creature needs love.  We can't block ourselves completely out of it, or we will not survive.  We have to learn that love is what it takes to get through all the ups and downs.  Why don't we love more?  Why aren't we willing to go out on a limb for each other more?

I'm going to try to do that for sure.  So here's to love, and learning about how to be in that love.  

Friday, April 26, 2019

Book #15 Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Yes, this book was great!  I really needed a not too serious book.  This one was definitely a mysterious, thinking book in a weird way.  She always does such a great job of revealing pieces of the story, and then at the end showing the big picture.

It is amazing how you can also learn so much from something that is fiction.  Putting yourself in the characters position, trying to understand their stories.

What I especially appreciated was that each character was dealing with a different part of life, yet they all came together.  They connected, they heard each other's stories!

We need to listen more.  We need to be more aware of each other.  We need to stop being so self-focused.

Recommend this book!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book #14.... "the life changing magic of tidying up" by marie kondo

One of the best books so far!  I can't wait to start going through stuff and getting rid of it!  I can't wait to get everything organized!  What a glorious things to read and ponder.  She has such a great take on life.  Love her!

I wrote down so many good quotes, but here are just a few of my favorite....


"To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose."  page 61

"The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it."  page 95

"No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past.  The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important."  page 114

It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure."  page 118

"The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past."  page 118

There are so many things that she taught me in these pages.  So thankful for her as a person and what she is doing to rid the world of "stuff."

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Book #13.... The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I read this book first, before I read the first one, but I don't know sometimes it is good to know how the story ends, right?

What a devastating time to be alive.  There were so many different emotions that I felt during the time that I read this book.  Emotions of the different characters involved.  A little girl who learns how to trust, how to love, and how to be part of a family.  Family isn't always what we think it is.  Sometimes family comes to us in ways that are so unexpected we don't even realize it, until we are in the midst of it.

I look to this story and see a time in the world's history that was dark and scary.  This is just one story.  A work of Historical Fiction.  A story of a girl who is given a new life.  But a past that still haunts her and scares her.

We all have that kind of past.  We all have things that we have to work through.  Some of us are still working through them.  But I have never known war.  I have never lived afraid for my life.  There are people in this world right now that are.  People that have to fight everyday for freedom from whatever is holding onto them.

I hope to be as brave as Ada is in conquering the things I fear in this life.  To live life to the fullest, making the most of every situation I find myself in.

I'm thankful for this story.  I'm thankful that I got a chance to know this family through the words on these pages.

May we look past titles, races, religions.  May we all see the people underneath their masks and facades.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Book #12 A Long Walk To Water by Sue Park

Awesome story!  I loved the way that this book worked in two different time frames, and then brought those time frames together.  To tell two different stories.  What an amazing story of taking one day at a time.  Also just another great reminder of how blessed I should be to have the life that I do.  Everyday I take for granted that there is clean, good water coming from my tap.  That I don't have to walk miles to get it!

Love this story...

Heartbreaking at times, but a good story for kids especially.

Book #11 Beloved by Toni Morrison

This book was not what I was expecting at all.  I actually was never made to read it in high school or college, and honestly hadn't even heard much of it.

I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head right now.  This book so much truth, and so much that I feel like I missed in this first reading.

But what I do grasp is the awful amount of pain that slavery caused.  The depth of pain is something that I can't even fathom.  I am not even sure I can put into words all that I am feeling right now after reading this book.

Sacrifice is the one word that keeps playing over and over in my head.  The sacrifices that a parent is willing to give in order to keep her/his children safe.  The sacrifices that a person must make when someone feels like they own him/her.

So much sacrifice.

So much loss.

So much forgiveness needed for the things that have been done on account of the color of someone's skin being darker than the other's.

Sadness.