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...

Monday, June 11, 2012

What I've Been Reading #18

Library of Congress: Washington DC
I enjoy reading many kinds of books and in this group I unusually have read two non fiction books along with another that often feels like it isn't fiction.  A range from a book for a middle schooler to books about life that surely will appeal to adults that want to find more about what life is all about.  This is a good group of books that I would recommend to anyone.  Read and live!

Heaven is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson

Maybe the most incredible book I have read this year is how I would describe the story of Stephanie Nielson and her husband crashing in the small plane they were in along with his flight instructor.  Both of them were burned over large portions of their body (He 50% and she 80%) and the fight back to surviving and then living a normal life is truly incredible.  She does a good job of delving into the feelings she had and almost giving up several times.  She tells what seems to be small portions of multiple NDE (Near Death Experiences) and other spiritual experiences that ultimately lead to her pushing forward to really doing all she could to aid her body in the healing process.  The culmination of the book is something not surprising after you get to know her, but something nevertheless miraculous considering all that she has been through.
One of the best things about this book is how open she is in sharing her memories and feelings.  The writing style she uses brings you in and helps you feel like you are right there.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ever felt like they couldn't do another things or anyone who has wondered how others might overcome huge obstacles that appear as miracles to the rest of the human race.

Stephanie Nielson writes an ongoing blog that you may be interested to look at which can can go to by clicking here. 

I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

Emma is in middle school, she lives with her mother has red hair and she is much taller than all the girls and most of the boys and doesn't want to play on the basketball team, and doesn't know who her dad is.  To top it all off she has the last name of Freke.  So it is hard for her to feel a part of things.  She is immature socially and is shy and just doesn't seem to fit in. She is so different from her mother and relatives that it is no surprise when her friend convinces her she must be adopted.  When she does approach her mother with that question she does end up getting much more information about herself than she had before including who her Dad is.  Before she knows it she is at a family reunion by herself with a bunch of Frekes.  There she learns that just because she looks a lot like the family doesn't mean she fits in entirely.  From this experience she learns that she is more like her mother than she thought and now she begins to  grow and learn about herself and how her choices can help shape who she becomes. 
This is a good book for middle school students who often feel out of place out of time and like they are adopted. 

Life Rocks! How Firm is Your Foundation by John Bytheway

John Bytheway is well known in the LDS community for his talks and books for teenagers.  His books explain in ways that all can understand how important religion is in everyday life.  He explains deep and important things in ways that get us to laugh at ourselves rather than be overwhelmed and trod underfoot by life.  In this book he describes five foundational "rocks" in life: My Identity, My Savior, My Standards, My Purpose, and My Neighbor.  As usual he does so in an upbeat manner with lots of fun and lots of learning going on.  This is a good quick read for the teens it is true, but it is also enjoyable for adults as well.  After all our foundational rocks are all the same.

The Road to Grace (The Walk) by Richard Paul Evans

Richard Paul Evans continues his series starring Alan Christoffersen.  His life fell apart and now he is walking across the country in an attempt to find himself.  In this book both his past and present come together to teach him why he is taking this walk.  He isn't clear on how he expects this walk to help but he wants to continue despite the difficulties and being mugged in an earlier book.  Here part of his past comes to haunt him and he finds himself learning that people are more important than the offenses that they can cause.  When he gets to know people-even bad people-he finds that it is harder to hold grudges and as he lets go of his grudges he begins to see freedom at the end of the tunnel and the end of his walk.  The 1000 miles or so that are covered in this walk don't go by easily as he has some difficulties but everytime the difficulties, when he pushes through, leads to some important lesson. 
I really enjoyed this book.  I have to admit that in addition to seeing the main character growing I find it enjoyable as he describes the scenery and the little towns along the way with the variety of odd things that people have built and done which become the local legends along the way.  An easy and enjoyable read.   

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown

 The largest book in the world is in Szinpetri Hungary.  It is entitled 'Our Fragile Natural Heritage'
It was written/made by Bela Varga, his wife and 25 volunteers.  It is 13.71 x 12.36 ft and weighs 3.124 pounds and is 346 pages long. 
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