Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On my Bookshelf

Or rather, on my Kindle! LOL I've been reading, and mind you, it's not just my usual "dime store fluff"! And as you know, and as I've blogged before, I like fluff. I like reading to escape... to be entertained, to be charmed. I've long admired my friends for their reading lists. Major Titles, educational, historical, significant. I once asked my cousin Virginia "what are you reading" Her reply knocked my socks off. She was in the process of reading "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", by William L. Shirer. "Why?" I asked. "Just cause" she said. She asked me what I was reading and somewhat embarassed, I told her the name of some romantic fluff filled pocket novel that I was reading at the time! We had a good laugh. This past Christmas, when she was home, she shared that she had just completed a book about Pope John Paul II. I'm not sure why she shared this... perhaps she shared because she knew I was Catholic, and she thought I would be interested. Or, maybe she was "just saying"!

Happily, I told her about reading "Secular Sabotage in America" by Bill Donahue along with some other things I had on my Kindle. She had just gotten her Kindle, and we were gleefully discussing how awesome they are. And yes, my reading tastes have broadened quite a bit! Which brings me to the reason for this blog. Since the beginning of the New Year, I have completed two books, neither of which could be considered as romantic fluff. I am going to share my thoughts about both of these books in this blog.

The first of these two is the book titled "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson and Cindy Lambert. This book is non fiction and tells the tale of Abby Johnson's career with Planned Parenthood and subsequent conversion from being pro-choice to pro-life.

I heard about this book an a variety of blogs and from several "tweets" on Twitter. I felt called to read it. So within minutes, it was downloaded onto my Kindle. I say that I was 'called' to ready this book, and I believe that to be true... because of my faith journey, my passionate belief that Abortion is murder, I had to read this book. It was awesome. Normally, I don't just jump into a book, but I did with this one. And it grabbed hold of me and didn't let go. It didn't take more than a sentence until I was fully engaged in the book... it's so well written, that it draws you in. This book gripped my heart, and I'm sure will grip the hearts of all who read it. Abby's story is compelling and one of immense love and bravery. This book clearly shows that Abby's path was one that God set before her. It demonstrates the power of prayer and faithi. It's an awesome read, and I highly recommend it! I pray that people on "both sides of the fence" will read this book, particularly those who still believe in Choice... and in reading this book, that their hearts lead them to crossing over to the Life side of the fence.

After reading an exceptionally good book, I always seem to mourn... and am eager to find another book to read. And so I jumped in to the next book, which from all revies, seemed to be right up my alley! A book about Dogs, and Racing... who could ask for anything more? Perhaps romance? Well there is romance in this book as well. And so I dove in to "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.

Technically, this is an awesome book. It's so well written that there's no sense of "getting to know you" or "slugging your way through the first few chapters to get attached." It got me right way. The book, about a man and his dog, is told from the Dog's perspective. And what a Dog Enzo is. And despite the fact that the book hooks you from the very first sentence, I had to force my self to hang in there, to continue on... hoping and praying for redemption and a happy ending. I once attempted to read "The Guardian" by Nicholas Sparks.... my sister swore to me that I would love it. And I did, until I figured out that the dog would die, and my heart would be crushed. I never even attemped to read "Marley and Me" by John Grogan for the obvious reason: I don't do SAD! And yes, I realize that's silly and childish, but I read to escape the daily grind. I read to relax, and to enjoy. I love happy endings and books that leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

This book jerked my heart out, stomped on it a gazillion times, and then slammed it back each time leaving me hurting and bruised. I cried more when reading this book than I have any other book since I read "The Shack" but those tears were happy tears. Did I like it? I have no clue. I laughed as well, quite alot, actually. I loved the characters in this book, specially Denny and Enzo, the Man and his dog. But dammit, I didn't like the gut wrenching emotions it made me feel. Maybe it's because I have 3 dogs who are old. And that is the best thing about this book. Whether I like it or not, my dogs are going to die, sooner than later. And the book gifted me with that knowledge... as painful as it is. It has reminded me, that each day counts, and that I need to slow down and take the time, to just BE WITH THEM, one on one.. to honor them, and to love them... to cherish them and to be as devoted to them, as they have always, unfailingly, been to me. So if you love dogs, and/or racing, perhaps it's worth your time. Just have at least one box of Kleenex handy.

I'd love to hear other's thoughts on either of these books.

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