Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Little book reviews and recommendations.....

Two long days of travel with planes, airport concourses, followed by lazy afternoons and evenings of relaxation allowed me to gallop through a couple of good books this past weekend. They were such good reads I plan to linger over them again in the near future for more in-depth enjoyment. (You may find these familiar titles that you've already enjoyed!)

Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. I'd heard a little about this book and frankly thought it was another "feel good" book of quotes. Wrong - Ms. Remen relates her experiences as a medical doctor, seeing beyond the prescribed manner of detached treatment of patients by professionals trained to sublimate their personal feelings and emotions toward patients, into the realm of true care and leadership in patients' personal self-awareness to bring healing and peace to the dying as well as physical recovery to many. Stories of the spiritual side of humanity never fail to grab me!

What We Ache For by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. The subtitle, as you might imagine with the author's last name Mountain Dreamer, is "Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul." I purchased this small used volume after visiting Oriah's blogsite. I was not disappointed with her "how to" style. Tending towards "The Artist's Way" in its content, I found her admonishment to practice, practice, practice, while ignoring your own as well as others' discouragement, to be inspirational......what can I say - I like this stuff!

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Although I didn't read it this weekend, rather this month, I highly recommend this book. Here are the opening lines of Chapter 22 - "The Enemy is Ignorance" -
As the U.S. confronts Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, Greg Mortenson, 45, is quietly waging his own campaign against Islamic fundamentalists, who often recruit members through religious schools called madrassas. Mortenson's approach hinges on a simple idea: that by building secular schools and helping to promote education-particularly for girls - in the world's most volatile war zone, support for the Taliban and other extremist sects eventually will dry up.
- Kevin Fedarko, Parade cover story, April 6, 2003.

This is a wonderful story of one man's efforts to make a difference in the world!! Click on the Three Cups of Tea link and see what he's accomplished - remarkable.

Have you read any of these? What books are waiting on your bedside table for reading right now?


  1. great recommendations SS, I haven't read any of those yet so I will have to add them to my wish list!

  2. Hello again,
    Wonderful recommendations, I haven't read any of them either.

    The book on my bedside table right now is The Conch Blower. It's a children's book...I'm taking a delightful break after reading Moll Flanders. Something magical and light was in order!

    And...I tagged you for a little meme. If you don't do those no worries, but I thought of you.

  3. C and J - thanks for the comments. You make me feel better as so many people recommended "Three Cups of Tea" to me that I thought I was the last to read it:) Reading is addictive - the more I read, the more, etc:)

    Thanks again for stopping by. J - I'll check out the meme.

  4. Oops...that book I'm reading is titled The Conch Bearer, not blower...either way, it's a good story. :)

  5. thanks for the great recommendations. i loved oriah's trilogy of "the invitation", "the dance" and "the call", so will have to check out this one. i appreciate the reminder of "kitchen table wisdom"...was that a geezer dude recommendation? "three cups of tea" was inspiring indeed!

    two books i am reading write now (deliberately side by side) are "reviving ophelia: saving the selves of adolescent girls" by mary pipher and "when the heart waits" by sue monk kidd inspired by her own mid-life experiences of "becoming". i highly recommend both and will probably have my own little review of the two.

    i would also love to know what you thought of annie dillard's "the writing life."

    (i have now typed this response twice so i hope it goes through this time. arrggghhh!!!)

  6. So glad to hear from all of you. Conch Bearer, I've never heard of, will have to check that one out, J.

    Lucy - I'm going to have to check out Oriah's trilogy - although right now I just need to get busy making all of the resolves I made while reading her come to being!!! And, 3 cups of Tea, there's a rumor Mortenson will be coming to Whitman College this fall - I hope so. His work is truly inspiring!!!

    Annie Dillard's The Writing Life reminded me a lot of "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott - liked it - but once more I need to put my money where they've placed my mouth, resolve, resolve, resolve.