Month: August 2013

My Thoughts On Proof of Heaven by Alexander

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I must admit, I stopped reading this book. There are many more books out there that handle NDE’s better with more descriptions and more details. If you are looking for a book about what happens and where you go when you die, I recommend The Message by Lance Richardson. I have also heard that Burning Within by Ranelle Wallace is very good.

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What I’m Reading Now: Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander

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From Amazon.com:

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.

Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.

This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.

My Thoughts On Wonder by R. J. Palacio

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Hands down one of the best books I have read in a long time.

When August was born, the doctor saw him and passed out. That gives the reader an idea of how deformed August’s face is, right from the beginning, though August clues the reader in as well when he says: Whatever you’re thinking, it’s worse.

August is now ten, and his parents have decided that it is time for him to go to school. He is able to enter Fifth Grade and must handle not only being the “new” kid but also the “new” kid that everyone is afraid to touch or be too close to.

August’s year is full of ups and downs and there are some real moments of beautiful insights throughout the book. The entire book was beautiful and funny but this is my favorite quote, spoken by August’s principal at Fifth grade graduation:

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”

I loved this book.

What I’m Reading Now: Wonder by Palacio

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wonder

From Amazon.com:

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

“Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year,” said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

My Thoughts On Stargirl by Spinelli

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I believe that every teenager should read this book and so should every parent of a teenager.

“Stargirl”, also known as Susan, has been homeschooled by her parents for a number of years but finally enters high school in the small town of Mica, Arizona.

She’s different. She plays the ukulele. She decorates her desk at school. She is nice to everyone. For a little while she is ignored while people try to figure her out. Then she is embraced and even copied. And then she is shunned.

Stuck in the middle is Leo. Stargirl loves him, and he is caught up in love with her but unsure how to love someone everyone in school hates.

This book is heartwarming in some parts and heartbreaking in others. You hurt for the choice that Leo makes until the very last paragraph. And then you are simply left to wonder. . .

What I’m Reading Now: Stargirl

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From Amazon.com:

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.”

She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity,

Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

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My Thoughts On Beautiful Disater by McGuire

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I had only one reoccurring thought while reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire: these people are going to end up old, angry and in a trailer park.

Abby is the daughter of a famous card player whose luck went south when she turned 13 — and her luck at cards went through the roof. He blamed her vocally and publically. So when Abby is able to get away to college, she wants to get away from the life that has hurt her so deeply. She no longer wants to be Lucky 13. She just wants to be Abby, the studious college student.

Regardless of her perfect plan, cardigan sweaters included, Abby is drawn to Travis, the cousin of Abby’s best friend’s boyfriend (did you follow that?) Famous for very short relationships (like an afternoon. . .or shorter) Travis is drawn to Abby as well. We always want what we cannot have. . .

This book is their love story as they get together and break up and get together and break up for a little longer and then get back together. There is a lot of emotion (Travis throws a desk in the class he has with Abby after she breaks up with him) and other immature actions.

It does not quite all fit together. In the book you find out that Travis is incredibly smart and has a great future ahead of him, but because of all the fights, verbal as well as physical, and great dysfunction you cannot help but think. . .

These two are going to end up old, angry and in a trailer park somewhere.