Monday, June 9, 2008

A few "must reads" for the summer...

So, I've taken a few days to step out of the cooking and cleaning and chasing kids-zone, and get back to one of my deepest passions. Reading! So, here are two book reviews: one is definitely a "must read" and the other is of the "if you want to be pleasantly entertained" genre.

Most of you have probably already heard of Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science who was recently diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and only given about 6 months to live. He put all his thoughts together and delivered them to a group of students at Carnegie Mellon as his 'last lecture'. This book is a combination of that lecture, and also a lot of his philosophies on life. May I first say, that his writing style kept me going, page after page, as his life ebbed and flowed before me. Here is a man who, early in life, set a goal to publish something in the World Book encyclopedia, wanted to be Captain Kirk, and dreamed of becoming a Disney Imagineer and then became one. How cool is that? The personal and touching peek into the relationship he has with his wife and children are poignant and very real. The advice, quotes and thought-provoking passages are too many to share, and I wouldn't want to spoil anyone's reading experience, but I will guarantee you this: Set aside a few hours as soon as possible to read this book. You will walk away feeling inspired, uplifted, rejuvenated, happy, sad, and very blessed to have been given a glimpse into one man's ability to take the worst situation and live it with dignity and grace.

BOOK #2: THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO; How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less; Terry Ryan
I heard about this book a few year's ago, and after being on a waiting list for at least one year, my library finally called to say my book was in. This is the story of a family who spent years living in poverty, with an abusive, alcoholic father, and a very word-saavy mother, who spent all of her days and weeks and months and years, writing jingles and slogans for various contests that used to exist in America. I was extremely fascinated and amused at how lucky she was, and how most contests she entertained brought her family just what they needed to keep the family afloat through various financial tragedies. It was a quick read, and made me grateful that what I write for fun does not have to support my family. I am so lucky to have a bread winner, especially one who doesn't hit us, or break the furniture, and on a good day, might order a straight Coke without ice if he wants something strong!


Karalee said...

Hurrah! I've been waiting for you to recommend some summer reading. I saw Randy Pausch on Oprah, but didn't know that he wrote a book. I'm going to the store! The only thing I've read since school got out is "Junie B. First Grader!" with Grace. Anything has to be better than that...although that Junie B. is a pretty quirky little thing...and she has a best friend named "that Grace" so of course we're in the middle of reading the whole series : )

KJ said...

just found my fathers day gift for B. Thanks! I'm a bad wife.