Ok, so I JUST finished this book. JUST. Perhaps I should wait a day or 2 to post a review? But I can't stop thinking about it. This book has haunted m...moreOk, so I JUST finished this book. JUST. Perhaps I should wait a day or 2 to post a review? But I can't stop thinking about it. This book has haunted me since I picked it up less than 2 weeks ago. I had to put it down for a little while last week - it was dragging me down a bit. But it's like a drug - I HAD to have more.
A lot of Ariel's story pissed me off. I couldn't understand her motives (or lack thereof), I couldn't understand the incessant use of drugs and alcohol. The detached way she moved through so much of those years abroad.
And she made me feel like a world class wimp, for although I have traveled, I have NEVER traveled like SHE traveled. (do I want to, really? I think I'm getting too old for that crap).
But it actually DID make me want to get my old Eagle Creek pack out and get going. somewhere. anywhere less stifling than here, in the boring mundane everyday of our asleep American lives.
And it made me want to meet this incredibly brave, strong, slightly insane woman. To see how she's done it, how she's made it out from under her heavy mantle of sadness and restlessness.
So, while opening this book raised my blood pressure every SINGLE time I did it, I have to say, for depth, for reaching to the very core of me and pinching me there, for making me think and think and think, and for the admiration I feel for she who wrote this most honest of memoirs, this is one of the best books I have EVER read. I recommend it to anyone who would like to take a long, hard look at their lives.
Cherie - if it weren't for you listing this on your goodreads list, I would NEVER have heard of it. So thanks ;)(less)
This book is truly incredible, and I only wish everyone in this country would read it and receive it's meaning. While certainly not winning any prizes...moreThis book is truly incredible, and I only wish everyone in this country would read it and receive it's meaning. While certainly not winning any prizes for style or literary merit, Julia Butterfly has such a wise and grounded slant on the amazing 2 years that were her life in a Redwood tree.
In many ways I felt a serious kinship with this woman, who was younger than I am now when she made the sacrifices she made, and in others I feel wholly inadequate in comparison.
She is a wonderful inspiration to anyone who feels the pull to live out each and every one of their core values with every breath...
Really a moving book and a call to action to all of us to save our little blue/green ball from complete devastation by corporate consciousness and our disconnect from nature..
I'd say read it, and tell me what you think!(less)
**Rereading, recomitting to a healthy lifestyle for both myself and my community...listening to it this time, read by all 3 of the authors. Ok, can I...more**Rereading, recomitting to a healthy lifestyle for both myself and my community...listening to it this time, read by all 3 of the authors. Ok, can I just say that I LOVE Barbara Kingsolver, that I think she's a genius, one of the strongest forces for social justice, environmental change, and plain old good in this country, and that if I could spin a tale as persuasively as she can....well, that would just be awessome!**
People are always referencing 'the book that changed their life' - this is it for me. It is SO well written, no too preachy, just informative. But Kingsolver's case is rock solid and compelling.
She has changed, permanently, the way I think about food. I finished this book over 1 week ago, and I still find myself thinking about it daily!
We already belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) but we'll rely more on our year-round farmer's market for more whole foods/veggies that are in season around here...we just don't get enough sunlight on our wooded lot to get any veggies. There is so much we can do to decrease our carbon footprint that we already thought we were minimizing! So many great ideas in here..
So..I started reading this book in August. Or maybe before. I got all the way through Italy and halfway through India, and put it down, forgetting whe...moreSo..I started reading this book in August. Or maybe before. I got all the way through Italy and halfway through India, and put it down, forgetting where I left it, and taking up with several other books in the meantime. I found it yesterday, and started over at the beginning of India - I stayed up all night finishing this book!
I remember really WANTING to like it over the summer, but I was summarily sucked-in yesterday.
The author has an incredible way with words and dialect, a self-deprecating attitude that doesn't wear the reader too thin, a view on spiritual seeking that's not so woo-woo as to scare off the masses, and the most amazing story of a year she spent healing her life. I think the world would be such a different place if we were all given large sums of money and sent off with a hug and a pat and told to go 'find ourselves,' but as that doesn't often happen in reality-world, reading about it was really transformative for me.
Her time in the Ashram resonated very strongly, especially - I could see that being me when my life is more settled, without a doubt.
But, if you like good memoirs, heartbreak, healing, humor, romance, and a really good outlook on life, give it a whirl - I was really impressed with this best seller!(less)
Bleh. After reading her "sister's" comment about how so much in the memoir isn't true, it seemed overwrought and repetitive. Why read a poorly written...moreBleh. After reading her "sister's" comment about how so much in the memoir isn't true, it seemed overwrought and repetitive. Why read a poorly written, potentially fictional memoir when there are so many other great books to read?!(less)
Some laugh-out-loud, deadpan comments stand out in an otherwise completely vanilla memoir about an ex-mennonite, her goofy mom, and her crazy ex-husba...moreSome laugh-out-loud, deadpan comments stand out in an otherwise completely vanilla memoir about an ex-mennonite, her goofy mom, and her crazy ex-husband.
I don't think it was her intention, but throughout the book the author seems to continue to "toot her own horn", and despite trying to play the victim regarding her failed marriage, seems to have an extraordinarily high opinion of herself.(less)
I really enjoyed this book - I couldn't believe the depth of the issues into which the author delved with the Dalai Lama. Sometimes I even felt a litt...moreI really enjoyed this book - I couldn't believe the depth of the issues into which the author delved with the Dalai Lama. Sometimes I even felt a little embarassed, like perhaps I shouldn't even be reading such personal accounts of such a high lama's spiritual experiences. The author was not very likable - he never really expounded on WHY he followed the Dalai Lama around the world and had so many private interviews with His Holiness - not until the last few minutes of the book do we even know very much about any of the motivations driving Chan. He seems more like a journalist and less like a spiritual seeker throughout much of the book.
Despite all that, I felt that I really gained priceless knowledge from listening to his words - the pearls of wisdom may have been a little buried in much of the prose, but they really made the book worthwhile for me.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who would like to gain experience with the Dalai Lama's spiritual themes of emptiness and intereconnectedness - I think EVERYONE would benefit from this knowledge, and our world would be in a very different situation than at present if everyone took his teachings of altruism to heart!(less)
“The meeting started, and I could barely listen for my self-mortification. I wanted the hour to end so I could ask her what it was I had done. And the...more“The meeting started, and I could barely listen for my self-mortification. I wanted the hour to end so I could ask her what it was I had done. And then, all of a sudden, it hit me - boing! This had NOTHING to do with me. I felt a wave of relief, an internal shift like I had just had a chiropractic adjustment. I realized that I had made something that had nothing to do with me into something that was all about me.
I saw that I had been doing this all my life. When I was a kid, my mom was easily annoyed, and I always figured it was me bugging her. After growing up like that, I was forever making myself the cause of other people's pain. It was self-centered and rendered me incapable of compassion for others, because I'm no good to anybody else when it's all about me. And frankly, most things have nothing to do with me. It was very adolescent, really. I got it, suddenly and profoundly.”
― Jane Lynch, Happy Accidents
Oh my God, Jane, I SO GET WHAT YOU'RE SAYING HERE!! Also, I very much appreciate the mention of the effect that Zukav's The Seat of the Soul had on her during her journey of healing and self-discovery. I need to revisit that book - it's been >10 years, and my perspective has changed significantly!
“...at the restaurant of her choice, she taught me the lesson of “proximity.” “You don’t have to throw people away,” she said. “You just have to decide how close you want them. Not every person in your life needs to be your best friend: some can be friends or just friendly acquaintances.” ― Jane Lynch, Happy Accidents
A well timed quote, for this reader, anyway.
Overall, though, unremarkable enough to not finish.(less)
Really a much more interesting examination of marriage than I was expecting! While I love her voice and many of her stories about her life with and wi...moreReally a much more interesting examination of marriage than I was expecting! While I love her voice and many of her stories about her life with and without Felipe, I find it annoying too that she is willing to prattle on so about the more mundane details of her thoughts, emotions, and everyday actions.
I also find it annoying that she will NOT just outright say that she had an affair before her first marriage ended. Not ONLY will she not say this, but then she stomps around A LOT, talking about how SHE mistrusts marriage, blah, blah, blah. And while she also never outright says that the dissolution of her first marriage is a direct result of her husband's behavior, she makes many allusions to this...yet it seems to me, a lowly reader, that she NEVER mentions any infidelity on his part - just on hers. Hmmmm....and she has to pay him alimony....
AND SHE WROTE A WHOLE BOOK (and is therefore profiting from) an entire year's worth of musings about how marriage is a bunch of hooey.
Anyway, all these annoyances aside, it made me think about marriage (the ceremony and the relationship) in ways that I really never would have otherwise. And I have to say, from one super liberal Dem raised in CT to another....it's nice to hear someone really really support gay marriage when there's really nothing in it personally for them :)(less)
Really great, unbelievably moving story, well-told, gripping. I read it in 24 hours! Also gave new meaning to the Half Broke Horses audiobook I recent...moreReally great, unbelievably moving story, well-told, gripping. I read it in 24 hours! Also gave new meaning to the Half Broke Horses audiobook I recently finished portraying Jeannette's grandmother's life.
What kept astonishing me was that both of her parents were so doggone SMART - how in the WORLD did they justify in their own heads how they were raising their children?? Crazy good.(less)