Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What I've been reading 2

I've been continuing to read some good books that are a mix of entertainment and inspiration (they are not mutually exclusive).  I find reading not only a good way to relax but also a way to be a part of things that I would not ordinarily be able to experience, or in many cases with Science fiction etc. would be impossible to be a part of.  The first book is

Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage by Kay Bratt.

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Silent Tears

Kay Bratt has done an excellent job of sharing how difficult it is to go to another country that is so different from our own and then to learn to feel comfortable not just with the country but with the people and their sometimes inexplicable ways.  I have lived in an Asian country (Thailand) and recognized many of the the experiences that she relates.  I have even visited an orphanage in Thailand where I ran across conditions similar to what she describes here.  My experience was not with young children but with the older children around ages 6-12 that she mentions a little in the book.  Her main experience is with the younger ones.  Trying to learn to suspend our own Western judgment and best practice to try and accept and work with the traditions of the country are hard.  Just like she pointed out in her book I found the orphanage staff ready to judge us poorly as we were indeed tempted to do with them.  The children really are the ones that are easy to love and care about.  There were times in this book when I found myself near tears as I read her experiences and her love of the children and it reminded me of experiences that were close to my heart in Thailand.  I recommend this book for anyone who either already knows how to love children who needs a course on how to love them (that should cover about everybody). 

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

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Orson Scott Card never seems to rest on his laurels and he has come out with the first book of a new series.  Now in his case he may say it is projected to be three books but you never know with him.  Some series go onward for many books and some haven't ended yet.  At any rate this is an enjoyable book that is written for the YA audience that is about Rigg, This appears to be a fantasy series with promises of science fiction.  If you read it you will see what I mean.  Rigg grows up trapping in the woods.  But after his father disappears he has to use the skills he has been taught that take him on a fine adventure and tells him who he really is and what their planet really is.  Enjoyable!

Road to Heaven by Coke Newell

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This is another book about a young man serving a mission.  This young man comes from a background of a nature lover who was on the verge of being a hippie.  His girlfriend turns out to be a Mormon who is trying to run away from what she experiences as pressure in her family and the church to be good.  Consequently his first impressions of the church are negative.  Things change though as he seeks for answers beyond what religion and mysticism were able to provide him.  Of course he finds the answers in the gospel and that leads him surprisingly to serve a mission.  It is very enjoyable to see the young man change as he seeks truth and then his surprise at where he finds it.  This book is inspiring and surprisingly honest in a positive way. 

Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card created the short story and then the novel called Ender's Game.  That led off on a series of books which I enjoyed a lot many years ago.  In more recent years he has returned to that story and created a companion novel called Ender's Shadow.  This book is in that line of sequels.  As in some of his books this has political intrigue and human trickery as well as human kindness and love among the characters of Ender's Game.  This is a series of his that I had gotten behind on and am trying to catch up. 

I love to read and find good stories that help me see things a little different.  I think it is a good thing to be able to "live" other lives so you can see the value in your life and determine the importance of the values you live by.  Seeing through fictional character's eyes or real people's experiences give us experience of a sort that we would not have without reading.  (I would have said "without books" there but now that I have a Kindle, I am learning not all reading is done with books.) 

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