Favorite quotes: "Global business is not just a way to make money; it is a way to remake the interaction between companies and marketplaces." "Myself o...moreFavorite quotes: "Global business is not just a way to make money; it is a way to remake the interaction between companies and marketplaces." "Myself of today will triumph over myself of yesterday." "No matter what you do, if you do it well and with passion, you will achieve success and happiness." "The only way workers will fully pursue experiments is if they feel assured that they will not be punished for an unsuccessful outcome." "The key is not to take a defensive stance and build a wall around your business, but to reach out and make positive connections that create a better experience for all involved." "Vendors on the more rigid platform conform to the template. This is efficient, to be sure. It saves money and time. But is it fun? Is it entertaining? Does it inspire the customer to spend time browsing? Not really." "A great goal can generate unprecedented speed." "Action is what speeds improvement." "Take the intuition you have and investigate it in terms of hard numbers. How many people pass by your bus stop? What are the sales of nearby stores? How many people visit bookstores at the next bus stop? What are their profits? What are the rents in your neighborhood? What are the bookstore personnel costs like? Gather all this and other figures and begin to calculate the profits your bookstore might generate." "Intuition is a great asset to business. But it comes to its highest purpose only when coupled with metrics. Measurement takes dreams and moves them toward reality." "We need to realize that even when we leave our office, our roles as leaders remain intact."(less)
It is rare that any of us find a friendship at a young age that lasts a lifetime let alone finding a friend at any age and having that friendship last...moreIt is rare that any of us find a friendship at a young age that lasts a lifetime let alone finding a friend at any age and having that friendship last a lifetime. The friendship that Pearl and Willow shared hit me deep in my core and I am so happy that I got to experience their stories by reading this book. Whether it was love for China, love for each other or love for their faith... This book showed what true love is all about - the characters truly "had known he fullness of love, which was absolute in height and depth." Many of the characters, even though they experienced much hardship, really did feel love on a different level then most people feel. It goes to show - you don't have to be rich or from some elite demographic to experience life's true beauty. In fact, if any of the characters in the book were rich a a young age, you wonder if they would have had such an amazing story to tell.
Isn't it also so true that we learn something new from each person we meet each day? I loved what Willow said about Hsu Chih-mo after passed, "The most important lesson he taught me was that there was no one singular perspective on things or emotions in the universe-no one way of comprehending the truth." I thought this was such an important quote in this book because there were so many people who were so stuck in believing in their own individual truths at times, but when they truly evolved was when they embraced others truths and let go of their own to learn and become things they never thought possible. For example - if Willow's papa had never joined Absalom in helping with his church and becoming a Christian/Buddhist he would have continued to live a peasant lifestyle and wouldn't have fulfilled his true destiny. I think it is so important to be open to life and things its trying to teach us on a daily basis. How can one learn when being rigid in ones thoughts and beliefs?
There were so many things that happened in this book that made me believe that almost anyone can overcome any obstacle - whether through hard work or through spiritual means. And honestly, it did give me a renewed belief in my faith. I loved the part in the book where the "dead" trees that had been used to build the new church blossomed inside the church - "the green miracle" ha! "With the breeze from the window, the leaves swayed like dancers' sleeves across the room."
I loved so much about this book that it's hard to summarize m thoughts without writing novel myself. I really enjoyed the poetry that was added within the pages as well - this was my favorite poem from the book-
I lived by the Yangtze River near it's source, While you reside farther down its course. You and I drink water from the same stream, I haven't seen you though daily of you I dream.
When will this river water cease to run? When shall I not love you, the way I do? I only wish our two hearts would beat as one, And you wouldn't disappoint me in my love for you. (less)
I can't believe an eighteen-year-old wrote this book. I thought the book had really good info about survival if you don't have a lot of money. I parti...moreI can't believe an eighteen-year-old wrote this book. I thought the book had really good info about survival if you don't have a lot of money. I particularly liked the last ten pages, though. "If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living." I also love the points about TV being a stalking horse and that you should hold on to the good and let go of the bad. And I loved the last page - "I aim to be a good person because it makes me happy; it makes people around me happy ; it makes society work better; and it helps to create the type of society in which I want to live. I am going to die anyway and I want to have lived with honor, grace, happiness, and kind deeds. Ask yourself what you aim to be and what you should be doing. Are you living the life you ought to be living? If yes, then good luck to you. If not, then start taking control of your life. It can be done. It should be done. Do it. You don't have forever."(less)
The final line by the narrator of The Book Thief definitely sums it up - "I am haunted by humans." This book is a good reminder that, as humans, we al...moreThe final line by the narrator of The Book Thief definitely sums it up - "I am haunted by humans." This book is a good reminder that, as humans, we all definitely have flaws in our judgement and in the time this book was written about - the human race was definitely going through a challenging time and having flawed judgement. It reminds us that we must not judge each other so harshly... that we must love each other for our differences... that we must not follow others without educating ourselves... that we must stand up for what's right... that we must remember that diversity is okay - we all don't have to be carbon copies of each other. Remember - that's what Hitler wanted!
This is not like most books about the Holocaust... it's from the perspective of a little girl who's considered a German, but whose mother is a communist (who were also segregated against in Germany at the time), whose foster father is a "jew lover" and who's best friend is a jew hiding in her foster parents basement. The narrator is "death" and describes how horrifying that time in our history was for the people living in Germany and the surrounding areas. I liked how it described the fact that the jews weren't the only people starving, struggling and being killed during that time. The German people also suffered quite a bit.
Great characters, great writing... a little long for my taste, but worth it. (less)