**spoiler alert** This is a very dark story. I had forgotten how dark Neil Gaiman's stories are, despite his good intentions. This is a story about de...more**spoiler alert** This is a very dark story. I had forgotten how dark Neil Gaiman's stories are, despite his good intentions. This is a story about death. It begins with a funereal and death is a recurring theme throughout the story.
This story reminds me of his short story "The Troll Bridge" in that it involves a man who has a dangerous magical encounter as a child and returns to that same place of magic repeatedly as he grows up.
There are three main passages that stay with me.
"You don't pass or fail at being a person, dear." p175
That seems like a good life lesson to me.
"How can you be happy in this world? You have a hole in your heart. You have a gateway inside you to lands beyond the world you know. They will call you, as you grow. There can never be a time when you forget them, when you are not, in you heart, questing after something you cannot have, something you cannot even properly imagine, the lack of which will spoil you sleep and your day and your life, until you close your eyes for the final time, until your loved ones give you poison and sell you to anatomy, and even then you will die with a hole inside you, and you will wail and curse at a life ill-lived." p139
That seems like a description of being an artist, which the narrator grows up to be.
The third passage is when he and Lettie enter the ocean and come out again. It's a couple of pages so I won't quote it. But it says something that I really believe. It describes a theory of reality that there is a unity underlying the cosmos. Our narrator wants to join that unity but Lettie warns him that if he does join it he will lose his self, and it's much more fun to separate from the unity and play in the world of illusion.
It seems to me that Buddhism advocates dissolving into the ocean. Sacrificing the ego for cosmic unity. But I prefer Lettie's choice of having an ego and playing with the world of illusion. (less)
A rare non-Discworld book by Pratchett. A young boy named Mau, is the only survivor when his village is washed away by a Tsunami. Until he finds Daphn...moreA rare non-Discworld book by Pratchett. A young boy named Mau, is the only survivor when his village is washed away by a Tsunami. Until he finds Daphne, a British girl washed ashore by the storm. Together they struggle to survive and rebuild a sense of community.[return][return]In the beginning Mau's story reminded me of "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell (1961). But as more survivors gather on the island it began to resemble "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding (1954). Luckily it doesn't go that badly. Sir Pratchett takes the whole story in a new and surprising direction with a happy ending (a little too happy in some ways). [return][return]I class this book as fantasy only because it takes place in an alternate reality from ours; but it is not a magical reality. Some people might classify it as alternate history science fiction.(less)
I was amazed that this woman actually makes a living giving advice. Her advice is contradictory and just plain bad. I do not recommend this book. I st...moreI was amazed that this woman actually makes a living giving advice. Her advice is contradictory and just plain bad. I do not recommend this book. I started to write down all the things I didn't like about this book but there was just too much.(less)
I got this free from my diabetes supply company. It seems to be something that companies can have printed with their information on the cover as promo...moreI got this free from my diabetes supply company. It seems to be something that companies can have printed with their information on the cover as promotional material. [return][return]It's a nice simple cookbook by a Registered, Licensed Dietitian (MS, RD/LD)(less)
I found this book very helpful and informative within it's limited focus.[return] [return]The system in this book reminds me of how friends of mine di...moreI found this book very helpful and informative within it's limited focus.[return] [return]The system in this book reminds me of how friends of mine discipline their children which I much admire. It is simple and easy to implement: recognize, choose consequence, enact, and disengage. The book has chapters for dealing with other adults who don't support your methods, and using the system on college age and adult children. Actually you can use this system on anyone, it is a system based on behaving respectfully and withdrawing support from disrespectful people.[return][return]There are a few minor problems I have with the book. They spend too much time criticizing "progressive parenting" and "the media". I would rather they just explained their method. The only problem I have with their method is that I'm susceptible to the "just give me another chance" and "guilt" arguments from children, which must be resisted. Also they point out that children do this to feel powerful, and I sympathize with children feeling powerless. I'm in favor of empowering children. But they make a good argument children are better off in life if they are taught how to behave properly. [return][return]I wish they spent more time on not "rubbing it in". Discipline is about the consequences of actions, not punishment. Lording your power over your children makes discipline into a power struggle and takes away any good that might have resulted. That only comes up once, in the last chapter. And I wish they spent more time discussing positive ways to help children find significance and a sense of belonging within the family, but that is probably outside the scope of this text. [return][return]I give it 4 out of 5 stars for good practical advice clearly explained. 1 star off for spending too much time criticizing the competition.(less)
Dudley won't go to sleep until his father tells him what's under the bed, and what's under the rug under the bed, and what's under that. With delightf...moreDudley won't go to sleep until his father tells him what's under the bed, and what's under the rug under the bed, and what's under that. With delightful watercolor illustrations.[return][return]This was one of my childhood favorites. Much better than "Goodnight Moon".(less)