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I love watching at master work, and John Grisham has certainly mastered the art of telling a story. That's what he does better than most people(including writers) on earth. He gives us characters we recognize in ourselves, and then puts them in impossible situations(ones we pray we never find ourselves in) and then allows us to see how it's done. How we too can dig deep into our psyches, and pull out what it takes to keep from being ground into nothing by circumstances beyond our control.
Grisham understands the Hero's Journey putting it down on paper for us to observe and enjoy. I believe that he novels will one day classics in the way that we read the works of past generations such as Hemingway, Steinbeck and Austin.
Sycamore Row starts off with a big question. Why did Seth Hubbard, a reclusive, dying, rich old man, dying of lung cancer, change his will and then hang himself one Sunday Morning? Why did Seth Hubbard change his will, which previously left his millions to his nearly estranged children, which now left most everything to Lettie Lang, his black housekeeper/maid?
Monday morning the new, handwritten will is delivered to Jake Brigance, the small town lawyer from Grisham's first book A Time To Kill, with instructions to fight the old will with everything he's got. To never give up. To say that this new will might cause some excitement is an understatement. Seth's two adult children hire team of big league lawyers to fight for what they believe should be theirs, and it's off the races.
The biggest question of the story is why did Seth change his will? Jake doesn't care, believing his only duty is to enforce the new will. The lawyers hired by Seth's children don't care about anything but winning and taking home their third of the pile of money.
Sycamore Row is a study in greed, and racism in a small southern town. It's about the past and finding a way to heal the future. It's literature at finest as it shines a light on our flaws as human beings, and also our strengths.
I look forward to every book Grisham writes because his books are not just page-turners, but stories that change my idea about what I think I know.
While the Brewing Buddy Machine is pictured with a clear coffee mug, which would probably make it perfect, it's hard to judge how much water to put into a coffee mug you can't see through. That's the downside, which is why I only gave mine review 4 stars. Maybe Primula should consider making the red plastic part out of clear plastic instead so you could see how full your cup was so you didn't overflow it.
On the plus side, this device, unlike my large plastic, cone-shaped device that needs a filter, the Brewing Buddy has its filter already in it. This device would be ideal for travel, or at home for those of us who live the strange species of humans who don't NEED coffee in the morning.
I've made coffee with it and it's turned out to be delicious. I used Gevalia Bold Majestic Roast, 2 teaspoons, and it was so good I had a second cup. This is so much better than Starbuck's instant coffees.
I will also use this for my loose teas, so it has multiple uses. Storing it will be easy since it's really just a flat plastic ring.
A wonderful book for the Christian woman, full of hard-won wisdom that will serve a woman well in her life if she follows the author, Kimberly R. Lock's sage advice.
Lock gives stories from her own life, and passages from the Bible to reinforce her point on how to be a virtuous woman.
"Not all women seek validation and acceptance from others, but some do. The realization is recognizing what is the root cause of you allowing men to use and abuse you physically and emotionally." (Kindle Locations 168-170). TriMark Press, Inc.
Lock asks if we are willing to take our marriage vows seriously and then lays out some examples that might make a woman take a step back and realize the weight of those vows. "Will you still commit to your vows you made if you learned your husband’s credit score prevents you all from buying the house on the hill with the white picket fence?" (Kindle Locations 829-830)
There's talk of forgiving a straying husband, not for his sake, but for you own healing. Good advice, though it might be hard to take. I found Lock to be a positive and uplifting person whose book can help a lot of women become what the Bible calls a 'virtuous woman' whose price is above rubies(paraphrasing). A great book to give to women at the beginning of their lives in order to instruct them wisely, and to give a woman at the end in order to allow her life to show her all that she's accomplished, and that it was worthwhile.
This is a wonderful compilation of the oral history of our native brothers and sisters. I'd read Lance Richardson's book The Message and loved it so much I just had to see what else he might have done. To my surprise I ran across this wonderful talk of what we'd call native myths. It's a cd full of the what we'd call myths yet they saw far into the future, and it's certainly something we should be paying attention to now.
Richardson takes the listener on a journey across the world, using his storytelling skills and wonderful voice, to give us the legends of the Hopi, the Kikuyu of Africa, the Mahayanas of China, the Nez Pierce and many more. I can't tell you how interesting this cd did is, and in fact I've listened to it 3 times already. There's so much jaw-dropping information that you can't take it all in in just one listen.
I have in fact read and reviewed a book on the same subject of the 'Great White Brother' who visited and taught the natives peace and brotherhood, called "He Walked the Americas". Again, it tells the story of a white man who came in peace and promised to return, which explains Cortez's easy conquest of the native peoples of Central America.
This information should be taught along side the rest of American, and world history to give us a complete view of our past. Churches should insist on it because it's so relevant to today's times. See what is predicted for our future and what has already come true.
As an aside, it's the sun that gives all of Earth and its creatures life by way of information through light. Native peoples were told to look for the white buffalo calf as a sign of the end times. Now if the sun were to change, which would change the information it gave to the animals by way of their DNA, then whoever told the natives of this sign would have known of the future(cyclic) changes the sun would go through, and how it would affect the Earth. To tell an unscientific people to look for a white buffalo to indicate the changes that would come is so beautifully simple. And it's a story that can easily stand the march of time because it is so simple.
This cd is so easy to understand and fun to listen to that the only flaw I can find is that it's too short. At just over and hour, it leaves you wanting more. I wish Richardson would have made a 10 cd series, but unfortunately he left us too soon. If you want to read is fascinating and inspiring story, read The Message, which is about Richardson's Near Death Experience. It's wonderful and takes away some of the fear of the death.
Sturdy and beautiful, the Golla case keeps my Paperwhite snug and protected, in fact, I'm sure it could be dropped from at least one story and survive the fall.
This is my second case for my Kindle Paperwhite, which is my favorite Kindle so far. When I first took the case out of it's wrappings, I was sure my Kindle would be too big. The padded square with the four elastic bands weren't even the width of my Kindle's screen, but they did stretch out to fit my my Kindle in very securely, and I like the added security of the outside strap.
The elastic strap that fits over the front cover has its own grove with a cut out to make it easy to slip the elastic off when you're ready to read. The cover material is thick and soft to the touch, and I chose it because of its beautiful black and white sketching of a city(it says Helsinki Chicago Tokyo) but it looks classy and it's even better in person.
I love this new case. It feels good to handle and protects one of my most valuable possessions(avid readers will understand).
Part 3 of the Park Service Trilogy wraps up the story of Aubrey, his best friend Jimmy, and the girl who would be king, Hannah. Ryan Winfield isn't afraid to ask the hard questions, so don't expect your typical young adult themed trilogy with easy to identify good guys, and bad guys. Park Service is the kind of book that entertains, and challenges at the same time, without getting all up in your face with its message.
It takes a seasoned, and very talented writer to even hint at the issues Winfield brings up in this conclusion to his exciting Park Service Trilogy. Book 1 starts off with a young boy, Aubrey taking a test on his 15th birthday to find out what level he will live and work at in the underground complex that humans are confined to in the future.
Aubrey passes the test and to his surprise is sent up to the top, meaning the outside. Book 2 is filled with Aubrey's adventures with his best friend Jimmy, and book 3 brings it all together with a very satisfying ending. Aubrey is a very different character than what we all might be used to, probably because he was raised underground in a tight, and very structured environment where everyone knew their place, and had Eden to look forward to at the end of their short, 35 years on Earth.
Like a religion, Aubrey was raised to spend his life working for an eternal reward at the end. This is one of the wonderful ways that Winfield comments on a sensitive issue in our world, without hitting us over the head with it.
To go from such a cloistered environment to to the loose and open world outside without loosing his mind, shows the kind of strength of character Aubrey has in spades. He goes from knowing a clean, almost childlike world, to a world where deceit is more common than the truth, and hard choices have been made in the name of preserving the earth. Aubrey thinks that he knows the right thing to do, but as he matures throughout the story, he learns that maybe there are no absolutes.
This is a great lesson to teach our young people, and all great stories carry this theme, from the simplicity of Animal Farm, to The Lord of the Flies, there are no black and whites, just shades of gray which we all must choose from.
But aside from a great lesson in character, morality, and friendship, State of Nature is an exciting read. It's a page-turner that kept me glued to the pages as I had to know what choices Aubrey would make, or if he would even live through the Park Service's intent to kill any human living on the surface of the earth.
Great gift for a young person, or to read yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed the Park Service Trilogy, with my only complaint being, that I didn't get to read them all at once, though Winfield did do a nice job of catching me up at the beginning of the this third book.
Consistent, quality work from Ryan Winfield, one of my favorite authors. I'm still reeling from Jane's Melody, which was ridiculously romantic.
I'm amazed at how well past-life regressions work to heal. Memories of the Afterlife is a compilation of true stories of every day stores of the 'walking wounded', and how they've had their spirits healed, and many times their physical bodies, as a consequence of getting in touch with their subconscious minds. It's seems to be the most promising form of curing a human spirit that there's ever been. I have to wonder why it's not more mainstream. Surely we need something better than drugs to help people with real mental issues(this would be all of us to some degree).
At the beginning of each chapter, we learn who the regressionist is who's working with the patient who's come for help for problems that modern medicine often doesn't have an answer for. Chapter by chapter, we hear about deep problems that sometimes go back far into the past, to a life that is still impacting the patient in profound ways.
I really enjoyed the man in chapter 2, a music therapist who is too much in his head and not in his heart. He's always after his family for not keeping the house 'perfect'. His guides suggest to him that he spend one day a week on his hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. This would get him out of his head and into his body(I read once that our knees represent the link between our spirit(thighs) and our calves(material) and that when we get on our knees we're literally letting our spirit connect with the earth).
Also, the man learned that music is our connection to spirit and that it bypasses our head(ego), allowing us to speak from our heart(as a singer, I found this particularly beautiful).
There's a story of a woman who lost her brother to suicide when he was 17 and then her son when he was 17. To say that she was in pain would be an understatement. Meeting her guides and connecting with the spirits of her son and brother, gave the woman healing that made her understand the big picture of her life, and to stop entertaining thoughts of suicide herself.
Dr. Newton is truly doing God's work as he not only regresses clients himself, but now trains others to carry on the work. I've done regressions myself and I have to say that gives you a joy and a peace like nothing else. It's the ultimate 'feel good' drug and it's nothing more than connecting with your spirit, which connects you to the Creator.
I've read all of Michael Newton's work and I love them all. They are so joyful and soul affirming.
Earth has been hit by massive solar storms so those in charge believe that Mars is our future. A bio dome is set up in the old military post inside a mountain outside of Denver. Sophie, a brilliant scientist, heads the team that will spend the next six months in the dome testing the viability of ideas on living on a hostile planet.
No-stop excitement ensues as things go from bad to worse as the team realizes the extent of the past solar storms and their true source. An alien enemy that out-guns the humans to a pitiful degree leaving the reader wondering if humanity has a ghost of a chance of surviving.
Reading Orbs is like being in the middle of one of those video games where you never know from second to second who's going to survive, if anyone. There is a romance between Sophia and the biologist that nice, if a little lacking in passion. And just in case you weren't aware that Sophia means wisdom, the character never misses a chance to tell her fellow survivors that of course she can fix things, she's a particle physicist. I would have liked her better if she would have had a flaw besides her fizzy blonde hair.
One of the questions I kept asking myself, is that why leave a dying earth for a dead mars? Surely someone as brilliant as Sophie proclaims to be would have asked the same question. Surely she would have said, hey wait, is there another reason we need to leave earth instead of using all of our science to heal our home?
Smith is an excellent writer and he keeps his story humming along to the very end. I'm sure Smith is going to answer my questions in his future installments of his Orbs series and I'm equally sure it's going to be a wild ride.
Anthony Pell has written one of the most comprehensive books on learning to play the guitar that I've ever seen. I already play the guitar, and have for nearly 30 years, but I can still remember buying a book that came with cassette tapes(giving away my age now) that taught me a lot, but nothing like this book.
What Pell does is to lay out how to play the guitar in a simple and easy to understand way, and then give the reader a website where you can both see in audio form how to do what he's teaching, and on video so you can see what you're supposed to do. I need both.
While I can play guitar, reading Pell's book taught me more than I'd known, like how to do some lead work which I don't do, and some new picking techniques.
Pell starts the book out with explaining the 3 kinds of guitars, nylon stringed acoustic, steel stringed acoustic, and electric guitar so you know right away which one would work best for you. Each is used in different kinds of music, and since you've probably been inspired by a particular type of music, you'll want to know just how to get the same sound.
While Willie Nelson plays an ancient nylon stringed acoustic guitar and uses it as both a steel stringed acoustic and an electric, you might want to do things the easy way first.
Next you learn the parts of the guitar which is important because you don't want to go into a music guitar and have someone tell you that your guitar needs a fret-job, or that you have a string that's off the nut, and look like a fool when you have no idea what they're talking about(speaking from experience here).
From there, Pell talks about keeping track of your practice time, and tells you that a little every day is better than a lot on one day(we're talking callouses). He's a wise teacher and if you go through this book doing exactly what he says,( or you can get private lessons for $50 an hour) you can with enough desire and perseverance, learn to play the guitar. And what do they say? 10,000 hours to master something?
Time to get busy and start practicing. That 1/2 hour a day does ad up over the year, and that's not much to give towards a dream.
I was skeptical about a shoe that 'grounds' you, but I need grounding on a regular basis(haha) so I thought I'd give these sandals a try. They are very comfortable and heavy duty, which I like. I need my shoes to have lots of support because as a runner, I torture them on a regularly on hard surfaces.
I walked around on these sandals to give them a try. They did feel good, so I put one of my other rubber sandals(crocs) on the other foot to see if there was any difference. I did this twice, switching feet each day. I have to say that the grounded sandals felt better. They made my feet feel good in a 'walking on sand' sort of way that's hard to describe. I don't know if I was more 'grounded', but I do like to wear them before I go to sleep.
I'll also try putting them on, on those nights when I wake up and can't get back to sleep. That's the real test.
My only complaint with these very comfortable sandals, is that they come in doubles sizes. I'm a true 6, so they're a little big on me which bothers me. I want to try the 5-6 but I'm afraid they'll be too small. I hope the makers of these quality sandals start making true sizes. I'd then buy different colors.