Given that Middlesex is one of my favorite novels, I couldn't wait to read another one of his books. I enjoyed this book, finding myself getting very...moreGiven that Middlesex is one of my favorite novels, I couldn't wait to read another one of his books. I enjoyed this book, finding myself getting very drawn into the characters lives. However, this was not the type of book that blew my mind or challenged my perspective on the world. It was simply a fun to read, well written novel with good characters and an interesting plot.(less)
Sue Johnson explains why attachment and past experiences shape who we are with our romantic partners today. She helps individuals understand themselve...moreSue Johnson explains why attachment and past experiences shape who we are with our romantic partners today. She helps individuals understand themselves and their partners in a new way and offers enlightening conversations to have with one another that will help strengthen intimate bonds. I would highly recommend this book to all couples who are dedicated to understanding their partner more and improving all relationships in their life. I read it out loud with my partner and it took us a long time to get through it because of how many times we stopped to have long discussions about our relationship or our past. As a therapist I intend on recommending this book to most of my couples.(less)
Yet another Sue Johnson book that completely blows me away! This book is a great read for all types, therapist or not. Her groundbreaking research on...moreYet another Sue Johnson book that completely blows me away! This book is a great read for all types, therapist or not. Her groundbreaking research on the importance of attachment and bonding helps us to understand the importance of human connection and challenges us to be more loving and nurturing in all relationships we have. I am so excited that I have another great Sue Johnson book to recommend to my clients in therapy.(less)
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about what it means to be an introvert in our society. I normally would never have picked up this...moreI really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about what it means to be an introvert in our society. I normally would never have picked up this book because I do not identify as an introvert but I am reading it with a book club.I am so glad that I did! The author does a great job of given a true and clear explanation of what it means to be introverted (far different from how most of us would define the word introvert) and actually allowed me to see how many introvert characteristics a possess. From a personal perspective it was an excellent read because it allowed me to view some of my introverted personality characteristics in a new, more positive light and encouraged me to appreciate things about myself I never really appreciated. It made me feel more comfortable with who I am. From a professional perspective it was also provided highly beneficial information that I can use with my clients in a counseling environment; helping others to identify strengths in their introversion and accept themselves for who they are. I would recommend this book to just about anyone.(less)
I very much enjoyed this book. It is not a book that I normally would have read, but after reading her other book, Tiny, Beautiful Things and being in...moreI very much enjoyed this book. It is not a book that I normally would have read, but after reading her other book, Tiny, Beautiful Things and being in awe of the way she wrote, I decided this was a must read. Her journey on the PCT was truly one of inspiration and adventure. Although she made some very terrible decisions while in the wilderness, it made for a great read! I was especially appreciative of the sheer rawness she showed as she wrote of her mother's death, and the way that she weaved in stories from her life to supplement her journey on the trail. (less)
Favorite Quotes: "That is the way it is with a wound. The wound begins to close in on itself, to protect what is hurting so much. And once it is closed...moreFavorite Quotes: "That is the way it is with a wound. The wound begins to close in on itself, to protect what is hurting so much. And once it is closed, you no longer see what is underneath, what started the pain."(less)
Favorite Quotes: "Music for me at this moment was almost so much itself a reason for being that had I been deprived too long of this or that wrenching...moreFavorite Quotes: "Music for me at this moment was almost so much itself a reason for being that had I been deprived too long of this or that wrenching harmony, or some miraculously stitched tapestry of the baroque, I would have unhesitatingly committed dangerous crimes." "There was no mistaking it- the warmth for me that radiated from her almost immediately, a vibration, one of those swift and tangible feelings of rapport that one experiences so seldom in life." "She only knew that the savor of the wine gave her an unparalleled sense of delight, a luscious and reckless and great-hearted warmth that spread down to her toes, validating all quaint and ancient maxims as to the healing properties of wine."(less)
Steinbeck intimately explores the human soul in this truly classic novel of love, guilt, and self preservation. Delving deep into raw human relationsh...moreSteinbeck intimately explores the human soul in this truly classic novel of love, guilt, and self preservation. Delving deep into raw human relationships and internal struggles, Steinbeck invites readers to explore a connection to each of his characters by delicatley and meticulously unraveling their innermost desires and emotional limitations. I believe any one person could pick up this novel and feel a deep connection to at least one of the characters. This book quickly turned into one of my favorites and I would recommend it to all.
Quotes "And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which by inspection can destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost." "I believe there are techniques in the human mind whereby, in its dark deep, problems are examined, rejected or accepted. How often one goes to sleep troubled and full of pain, not knowing what causes the travail, and in the morning a whole new direction and clearness is there, maybe the result of the black reasoning. And again there are mornings when ecstacy bubbles in the blood, and the stomach and chest are tight and electric with joy, and nothing in the thoughts to justify it or cause it." "We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is." "Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the universe loves nothing so much as to change things which are and to make new things like them. For everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be."(less)
A not so typical love story about a young Brazilian woman who leaves home looking for something more in life and love and ends up finding it in some o...moreA not so typical love story about a young Brazilian woman who leaves home looking for something more in life and love and ends up finding it in some of the best and worst places. This is a great story of self discovery and of the exploration of desire and true love.
Favorite quotes: "Everyone knows how to love, because we are all born with that gift. Some people have a natural talent for it, but the majority of us have to re-learn, to remember how to love, and everyone, without exception, needs to burn on the bonfire of past emotions, to relive certain joys and griefs, certain ups and downs, until they can see the connecting thread that exists behind each new encounter; because there is a connecting thread."
"Certain things cannot be shared. Nor can be we afraid of the oceans into which we plunge of our own free will; fear cramps everyone's style. Man goes through hell in order to understand this. Love one another, but let's not try to posess one another."(less)
This is a must read for everyone. Particularly for those that feel they are at a crossroads in life. After spending the hour or two it takes to read t...moreThis is a must read for everyone. Particularly for those that feel they are at a crossroads in life. After spending the hour or two it takes to read this book, one will walk away with a greater sense of meaning in life and a overwheliming desire to follow their dreams despite any potential threats. The most important lesson I learned from this book is that we all have a dream that once seemed possible but eventually fear of failure and easier paths clouded their importance. We all teach children that anything is possible and no matter the hurdles, one should follow their dreams, but very few adults live their own lives that way. This book will make you want to.
In each book I read that I own, I make a fold at the bottom of every page that contained a concept or a quote that moved me. Let's just say that I marked more pages than not while reading this book!
If I must choose my favorite quotes: "What's the world's greatest lie?" The boy asked, completely surprised. "It's this, that at a cetain point in our lives, we loose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie."
"...for her, everyday was the same, and when each day is the same as the next, it's becuase people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives everyday the sun rises."
"The boy reached through to the Soul of the World, and saw that is was part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles."
"No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally, he doesn't know it." (less)
This is the story of Samson Greene, a man who wakes up in a hospital, thousands of miles from home, after being found disoriented and alone in the des...moreThis is the story of Samson Greene, a man who wakes up in a hospital, thousands of miles from home, after being found disoriented and alone in the desert. Initally Samson cannot remember his own name, and as memories slowly creep into his consciousness, he gets hit with the cruel reality that he has lost the past 24 years of his life due to a benign brain tumor in his temporal lobe. Samson's last memory is taken from a 12 year old's perspective and he suddenly finds himself being thrown into an adult life that he knows nothing about. After trying to reconnect with the person that he can only assume he once was, Samson concludes that the vast emptiness of his past is never going to be filled with truth, and new memories are all he has hope to attain. Nicole Krauss's beautiful and poetic writing style pokes it's head out occassionaly in this novel but fails to live up to the standards of her other novel, The History of Love. Still a worthwhile, interesting story that invites readers to explore how ultimately we'd be nothing without the memory of our past.
Favorite quotes: "It had always been the two fo them; he was old and she was gone. As if she had taught him everything in the wrold, to know it by sight and by name, and then to know it with your eyes closed so that when something is gone, it can be recongnized by the shape of its absence. So that you can continue to posess the lost, because absence is the only constant thing. Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been." (Samson upon rediscovering his mother's death.)
"Maybe he had loved her too much, feeling he was unable to get her close enough; that so long as she remained a separate person, he could get to know her only so well. And because the core of her would always remain elusive, threatening to slip away, he'd switched course and faded away to protect himself from the loss, his voice breaking up, over and out, like a pilot's adrift in space." (Samson contemplating his lost love for his wife.)
"A couple with years of conversation between them so that now a single word stood in for vast themes, and small noises were sufficient to communicate subtleties of mood, and after all the talking they could lapse again into the mutual silence that was the foundation of their life together, at ease, the only sound being the clink of silverware against the plates."(less)