This book was a fun, light and incredibly entertaining read. I haven't watched the movie, although I have heard a lot about it. Forrest's character waThis book was a fun, light and incredibly entertaining read. I haven't watched the movie, although I have heard a lot about it. Forrest's character was entirely lovable and served as a slap on the wrist for those of us who dare to underestimate the mentally challenged. I liked the simplicity of Forrest's character, especially as he went through life always trying to do the right thing, even though it would often land him in a great deal of trouble. His astonishing adventures which obviously made a jab at a quite a few important characters and events in American history, but especially his NASA space mission, friendship with a male orangutan named Sue and capture by a tribe of cannibals in New Guinea were particularly amusing. I couldn't help but burst into peals of laughter each time he said "I need to pee" in the most inappropriate situations. The simplicity of his character, evident in his lack of interest in money, and his eventual success in the shrimp industry left me with a goofy grin on my face by the end of the book even though he, sadly, wasn't very lucky in love....more
"Wow!" That's all I was able to say once I was done with this book. Although a simple and straightforward parable that many could claim is based on co"Wow!" That's all I was able to say once I was done with this book. Although a simple and straightforward parable that many could claim is based on common sense, I couldn't help but be 'wowed' by the simple lessons contained in this tale. The parable follows the adventures of four characters trapped in a maze. Two of these are mice named "Sniff" and "Scurry" and the other two are "Little People" who have the complex thought processes, beliefs and emotions of humans.
These four characters represent the different parts of the mind and its thought processes, in order to illustrate the different ways we can react to change in our lives. While "Sniff", with his simpler thought processes, is able to monitor events and sniff out change so that he is prepared once change occurs and his cheese is moved, "Scurry" (with similar simplicity in the way his mind works) is the more action-orientated part of our minds that immediately scurries into action and doesn't waste time in moving on when the cheese is moved.
However, "Hem" with his complex human-like thought processes refuses to move ahead but remains uselessly standing around complaining with an unwavering sense of entitlement about his cheese being moved, refusing to go out into the maze in search of new cheese but staying put and waiting for his old (and possibly mouldy) cheese to be placed back in its original place. His friend "Haw" sticks around complaining with him about their poor lot in life, until he realises the futility of their actions and that there is a possibility that new and even better cheese may be found if he could laugh at his own foolishness, overcome his fears and venture forth into the big, bad maze out there in the hope of securing new cheese for himself. The parable ends with Haw catching up to Sniff and Scurry who have found a huge pile of cheese and gorging himself on the cheese, while wondering if his friend Hem was able to overcome his foolish obstinacy and fears and ventured out into the maze or if he had remained hemmed in by his fears, grew weak with hunger and eventually died.
Of the many useful lessons contained in the story, these are a few that will always stay with me:
-You shouldn't take yourself too seriously. You are only able to initiate positive change when you can acknowledge and laugh at your own foolishness. -When you change your old and dysfunctional beliefs, you can finally change your behaviour for the better. -It is easy to fall into a depression and feel sorry for yourself when you're standing still and doing nothing. But, once you're on the move and are actively seeking solutions to your problems by throwing yourself back into the maze, you feel a sense of accomplishment. -It is often a fear of failure that holds us back in life and prevents us from seeing the potential positivity in change. -Going out into the maze again to look for cheese may be a long and difficult journey; we may feel disheartened and discouraged, but the important thing is learning the lessons that are taught to us along the way and noting them down for future reference so that even if we find our new cheese, we hold our lessons close to us in constant preparation for future change and moved cheese.
A word of caution, however. The parable does not take into account the aspect of the divine, fate, or luck, as some would choose to call it. After reading this book, I immediately set out to let go of old cheese and move on to new cheese, but, as unlikely and impossible as it seemed to all those around me, my old cheese came back to me at a completely unexpected time and in an entirely unexpected way. Just when I'd lost hope of regaining my moved cheese, and was reeling from the shock of having it removed from right under my nose, 'voila!' and it magically reappeared through a fateful phone call I received just yesterday. However, the lesson has not been wasted on me and I will make sure to tie the laces of my trainers together and hang them around my neck (in the manner of Sniff and Scurry), in constant preparation for change....more
This book was... different. It's not that I haven't read books like this before but just that this had a mystical tone to it that came across as a litThis book was... different. It's not that I haven't read books like this before but just that this had a mystical tone to it that came across as a little contrived, so I didn't buy it. All that talk of the island and the fellow mistresses, the snakes in the sea and the character's poor-little-me attitude got to me after a while. I wish I could've been over with this book a long time ago, but had to return it a few months back when I was almost done with it. I don't like leaving things hanging, so decided to borrow it again and finish it. I certainly don't plan on ever reading it again (or recommending it to anyone, for that matter) but I do think I'd watch the movie if I ever got the opportunity, just so that I could witness Aishwarya Rai's sterling performance (or so I've heard). I'm sure the movie will be more entertaining. The only good points in the novel were the accounts of the problems faced by each of the store's customers, whose lives she'd helped change. The description of the spices and their qualities was just unbearable....more
Gemma Jericho is an overworked emergency room doctor and single parent who has built a wall of ice around her heart after a marriage and a lost love mGemma Jericho is an overworked emergency room doctor and single parent who has built a wall of ice around her heart after a marriage and a lost love many years earlier. When Gemma's widowed mother, Sophia Maria, receives word that she's inherited a Tuscan villa she insists that Gemma and her granddaughter, Livvie, return with her to the place of her birth to collect her inheritance.
Once in Tuscany, they happen to meet the artist and wealthy businessman, Ben Raphael, and his daughter, Muffie, only to find that Ben has bought the villa from the lawyer in charge of the estate who has run off with the money, and a battle ensues for the property to be handed over to the rightful heiress and, in the process, Ben and Gemmma happen to fall head over heels in love with each other. This was a light read with great descriptions of Italy, its people and local cuisine. However, the descriptions tended to get tedious at times and there were parts when I felt the novel dragged unnecessarily. I'm not sure if this book has been made into a movie, but the storyline was familiar.
I feel that Gemma's character could have been a little less pathetic, because after a while, it got annoying to read about her clumsiness as a natural state of being when she was a fine-honed speed machine in the ER. It would've helped if she didn't mope around and refuse to go shopping all the time, instead choosing to sit in her hotel room and think about the past and worry about the future, without attempting to enjoy the present. I also found it hard to believe that she would just pull a dress off a rack without trying it on, only to realise too late that it doesn't suit her. For a doctor, she behaved awfully immaturely. And why on earth couldn't she just go and get herself a pair of contact lenses? If there was one character I truly enjoyed, it was the rich and eccentric widow Maggie. She made the book worth reading to the end....more