There's something very liberating and courageous about someone who is not afraid to admit their shortcomings, their fears, their resentments towards o...moreThere's something very liberating and courageous about someone who is not afraid to admit their shortcomings, their fears, their resentments towards others and themselves - exposing the dark side of themselves to the light for all the world to see. And in admitting and owning up to their vulnerable, pitiful Self, there is healing. On part of both the speaker and the listener.
By telling our stories of how we hurt, love, grow, falter, rejoice, break down, mess up, clean up, own up, blame, judge, learns, forgives and is forgiven, helps and is helped, fumbles through darkness, reaches moments of peace, we piece ourselves and each other together little by little. We get a little closer to understanding ourselves and each other a d how to survive and thrive in the midst of the flutter and fluctuation called Life: back and forth, up and down, darkness and light.
I have the deepest respect for Anne Lamott, as an imperfect perfect human being and as a writer. Anne Lamotts storytelling is one of humor and of personal revelation, and as such it is an interesting journey to embark on. (less)
Have you ever read a book that you find so great and fascinating and important that you want to buy a massive amount of copies and give them to your l...moreHave you ever read a book that you find so great and fascinating and important that you want to buy a massive amount of copies and give them to your loved ones and pretty much every single person you meet?
It’s not that what it said was new to me, it was the way it said it. Simply, yet so beautifully.
The messages of this books are like a gem, wrapped up in this wonderful story about a boy and his adventures and discoveries along the way, that makes this book one I (maybe naively) think everyone can enjoy and take from what they want and need.
And if people don’t enjoy this book, it is properly because they are in a place, where they haven’t discovered for themselves the messages of this book to be true. And so it isn’t, for them. (Yet).
But it was indeed true for me. I found the book both enjoyable as a story, important in it’s messages, well-written with the power of this simple language reflecting the simple, yet sometimes hard to grasp truths in life, and filled with layers and metaphors that make me see these truths from many angles and many layers, that makes this book the gift that keeps giving.
I definitely recommend everyone giving ‘the alchemist’ a read. It’s rather short, so if you don’t find in it something of immense value as I did, then no harm done.
And if you do, it just might give you something invaluable as it did me. A treasure and a means of penetration to the Sould of the World.
I'm not sure why I didn't like this book as much as the other Eckhart Tolle books I've read. It might be because I read it in Danish and so felt a bit...moreI'm not sure why I didn't like this book as much as the other Eckhart Tolle books I've read. It might be because I read it in Danish and so felt a bit disconnected to his voice and the flow just wasn't the same, or it could also be that this book just wasn't as good of course.
Either way, this book summed up some of the main thoughts and served as a good little reminder. It was an enjoyable read, making me more aware and focused on some issues to work on or connect with more in my daily humdrum life.
I still feel the power of Tolles words brings me one step closer to the power of Now.(less)
I found myself having to stop several times and just really think about what was being said and how that...moreThis book really got me meditating about life.
I found myself having to stop several times and just really think about what was being said and how that was reflected in or meaningful in relation to my life.
I was moved by this book and felt it was a window that opened my eyes to existence.
And so the book actually lived up to the rather promising title. Not all, but some dimensions of my life was revealed to me, through my own inspection, a curiosity nourished by this book and the questions and perspectives it took on life, that brought me one step closer to some of my own.
This book is about cancer. About teenagers (and kids) that have cancer. About the struggle of fatal illness and what follows in its wake; about the surv...moreThis book is about cancer. About teenagers (and kids) that have cancer. About the struggle of fatal illness and what follows in its wake; about the survivors, the non-survivors and of the people left behind: the parents, the lovers, the friends, the community. So yes, it is a sad book (but it also a beautiful and hopeful book, i will get to that part later. First the sad part). A book that made my stomach twist and turn, and my heart feel very heavy; my eyes threatening to drown me in a sea of tears, if I let go, and which made me want to scream and kick and vent about the unfairness of it all - people who are loved should not be lost (!); people who are charming,sweet and adorable should not die, but LIVE on being charming, sweet and adorable (!) if not for eternity, then at least for a LONG TIME, or as a minimum, longER time. Strong, healthy people should not have to face disabeledness, pain and shrivel up - stripped of their dignity (!). Because what we often want is to look at the glory of life, of healty, happy people and pretend this is all there is to it. that bad things only happen to bad people.
- and still, all of the aforementioned bad things happened in this book. Happens (in spite of John Greens opening disclaimer that this book is a work of fiction, not based on reality, he managed to write a book that I am sure many people who have faced these issues, would acknowledge is very much a part of rality). Because those things are a part of life, and this world we live in. And as much as we might hate to admit it, seemingly bad things happen everyday to good people. The world is not a wish-granting factory, afterall. Human lives constitute many realities we do not wish to face, unless we are forced too. Realities, some people do not have a choice, but to face, however little they might want to, because it happens to be their life or the life of a loved one.
(now to the hopefull part ) But this is also a funny book. A beautiful book. A book about love, friendship, family, young love, about being vital, strong, and happy, even if you are afloat a sinking ship. It is a book about the beauty amidst all the sadness, the laughter amongst the tears, the little lights in the dark, the thing that keeps us moving, fighting, loving and makes all the losses we have to face, worth the while and the heartbreak. Why we would let our hearts get broken into a million pieces, why we love life even if it seems unfair, and how our anger fades into acceptance, that love can thrive even in the midst of loss, disability and pain. That darnkess makes the light shine brighter, seeing it much more clearly, than we ever could on a sunny days. Life is composed of joys and sorrows. "Without pain, there can be no joy" might not be such bullshit afterall, but holds at least some truthfullness to it. We love and we lose. We live and we die. We laugh and we cry. We fear, we resent, we get angry - and we accept.
That John Green managed to take on the task of writing about this difficult part of life, and both manage to drown his readers in despair, and lift them out of it - opening their eyes, to the realities of life that we fear to look at, and showing us, that it can be looked at, that it must if we are to grasp life in all of it's manyfacetted ways, the ups and the downs, and how it's all tied together in a beautiful, heartbreaking, complicated mess - for that he has my deepest respect and gratitude. And a slight dose of envy - if only I could ever write something as true and as good as this. Instead I am one of John Greens many appreciative readers, deeply thankful that he wrote such an important book, on such a difficult theme, in such a magnificent way.
This book was EVERYTHING and more. It has left my brain stunned at it's utter genious, which is why this review probably wont be very co...moreOH. MY. GOD.
This book was EVERYTHING and more. It has left my brain stunned at it's utter genious, which is why this review probably wont be very coherent, but who am I kidding? there is no way I could caption this brilliance that is this book anyway.
So I wont say much I will just say this:
From the very first pages I was encaptured by this book - loving the writing, and intrigued by the story. And as the story moved along, spinning pieces together, I just fell in love with it. Madly. Deeply.
THE CHARACTERS Felt real to me. They werent flawless, they made mistakes, had regrets, and they grew . I could very much relate to them, and both Lucy and Daniel had my respect and support. I felt I was loving, learning and agonising right along side with them.
THE ROMANCE Well-built, realistic and not overly romantised. Lucy and Daniel hasnt met or hooked up in every life, and there are a lot of conflicted feelings involved. But it still swept me off my feet.
THE PLOT/STORY Very well-crafted. I found Daniels perceptions about reincarnation, life and death very inspirering and resonant, and again the whole world and the people in it - BEN!! :) Joaquim :( - just all rang true for me, reeling me in. On this note I'll just mention the ending which has been a frustration to many. This book has a very open ending, leaving you thinking there will/should be a sequel. And I think that's how Ann Brashares originally planned it. Whether it is going to happen, still seems to be up in the air, from what I can gather from google. Something about approval from the publishers play into it, it seems. So it's not a lack of will. As much as I wish there was a guarantee of a sequel, the open ending, didnt ruin the experience for me. Couldn't. It was too good. I wouldnt have missed out on this book for the world. And I dont think any of you guys should let it discourage you either. Just know that all strings wont be ties up in the end, and you will be left begging for more, and that if we are lucky, our wish might be granted! I sure hope so, 'cause I am addicted, to this story, these characters and this world Ann Brashares has build. GIMME MORE!
THE WRITING Wonderful. Made me feel, see and hear everything that was going on inside and outside the characters and this world and made it all very relatable. I kept hearing Adele's 'Dont you remember' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkM6Uq... over and over in my head while reading this, the lyrics are like scarily on point, and it's such an emotional song, that just really embodies how I imagine Daniel is feeling. I dont think I'll ever be able to listen to that song without thinking of this book. Which I dont mind, at all :)
This is an extremely well-written book, in which Humes manages to show us the humans behind...moreThis book broke my heart. Over and over
This is an extremely well-written book, in which Humes manages to show us the humans behind the label 'criminal'. He shows us the inside and the backdrop of their lives, how they rationalise, think, what they want and how they feel, and how they are (and have been) treated by caregivers, society and the system, and finally how the many chance factors that play into how their fate is decided in court. The books aim isnt to relieve the youngsters of the responsibility of their actions, but more to debate the whole way the system works and to pose the central question: 'okay, so we have young people committing crime... now what do we do about it ?' Do we dare take the chance on rehabilitation or do we pursue justice, a (false) sense of security and punishment for the actions comitted? What responsibility does society have for it's citizens, all of them, and the chances it provides them? The book manages to show us all the different ways these questions can be anwsered, and all the different angles that weigh in on how they are anwsered, making it clear, that this is not an easy topic, for anybody involved. Leaving you to ponder for yourself, where you stand on the matters. The book shows us how different people in the system, judges, probation officers, attorneys, politicians, a nun and several others think on the matter, based on their experiences. It shows us their frustrations with the system, the hopes they have and the reasons for the actions they take, that sometimes from the outside can seem incomprehensible.
this is an important book because it is a book where many voices, we usually dont get a chance to listen to, is heard. this is a book, where you are shown how they feel, and you can't help feel with them. This is a book that leaves you with the feeling that something is not right and that something must be done. The what is up to you to decide.
The only critique I have of this book is that it can sometimes be hard to follow all of the different people playing a part in this book, and that maybe it could have been benefitted from some overarching structure (if there was one, I didnt get it. The chapters seemed not to have any particular order, but be somewhat randomly put together), or at least an explanation of why it was put together the way it was. Also, here and there, there is a little too much 'lawtalk' and beaurocratic formality and institutional history pasages, that I dont think are entirely necessary, and could just as easily be handled (as it also is) to only the most important and central aspects and facts and making them part of the different stories/cases, and leaving out the longer 'fact monolouges'. That would also make the book less entrenched in the american system only, making it more universal, since I think the problems and debates are important to any one society, because we all most decide how we deal with crime offenders, especially the young ones, who has so much life left in them. The facts of the system are important, but even so it is the cases and the voices of these people that is the books strongest point and the most compelling read, and the facts would be better told if in direct relevance to the cases at hand. A small matter (that can be handled by skimming over it, if it doesnt have your interest), that does not take away from the book being both important and so so wellcrafted . I have much respect for what Edward Humes did here, both as a researcher and as a writer. (less)