Book Reviews

As A Man Thinketh -James Allen

I finished this book yesterday as well. It is a short book but powerful. Reading the title does not do it justice. I read this book because it was recommended.

Allen’s book title comes from the Bible, As a man thinketh, so he is Proverbs 23:7. Throughout the book, he has many lines taken from the Bible. I found this inspiring and it gave it more credibility then speaking straight from himself

This was originally published in 1903. I love old books. We miss out when we dismiss the old. There is so much to learn in the world.

To sum this book up is simple, you are a direct result of your thoughts. We are accountable for our actions even the actions that are not tangible like our thoughts.

Here are some small quotes–

  • Outer conditions will always be found harmoniously related to his inner state.
  • Circumstance does not make a man, it reveals him to himself.
  • Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but unwilling to improve themselves, therefore they remain bound.
  • A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly…shape his circumstances.
  • The body is the servant of the mind.
  • Thoughts of malice, envy, disappointment, despondency, rid the body of its health and grace.
  • He who has conquered fear and doubt has conquered failure.
  • He who would accomplish little must sacrafice little, he who would acheive much must sacrafice much, he who would attain highly must sacrafice greatly.
  • The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stir. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
  • He ceases to fuss, and fume, and worry, and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.
  • Say unto your heart “Peace be still.”

I had wow moments while reading this book. It is a book I will read again. There is much truth to this concept because of what the Bible teaches us. Do not be anxious about ANYTHING. Fear not! Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

This is not new. It is basic godly principles spelled out in a mere 64 pages. All about thought and its impact upon our lives. The Bible talks about how all we see will pass away. But the invisible things those will remain, love, peace, souls, hearts, thoughts. We choose what we will think about. I know I will be more cautious with my thoughts.

 

The Joy Luck Club -Amy Tan

I finished this book yesterday. I really enjoyed it. These four women started a club where they met and played in China while they were poor. Then coming to America they remained friends and it followed their children lives.

There was a lot of the culture differences. I have never read a book about different cultures before. I found it rewarding and insightful. It gave me a new light about the world around me and discovery about what I had never thought to think about.

It was easy to follow and also hard. It skips and jumps around from family to family; child to child. The timeline jumps around as well. This makes it difficult to keep track of who is who. Fortunately, I did not mind.

I read this book in my spare time. It was clearly written. There were parts that make you laugh. Parts that make you think. Parts that help you cherish your life. It was rewarding to read.

Charlotte’s Web  -E.B. White

I love E.B. White, I read Stuart Little about 2 years ago during bedtime and it was delightful. I was looking forward to reading Charlotte’s Web with my oldest, Bean.

We did something different this time around, and we loved it. I went to the library and borrowed the audio CD and also checked out a hard copy of the book. We put the disc in the player and Bean read along with the reader on the CD while we were in the car.

E.B. White was the reader and that was the cherry on top. His voice is nice to listen to and since he was the author it gave the whole book a certain charisma about it.

The book was cute and I recommend it to all little boys and girls. There is something for everyone in it. There were times even I laughed out loud. It has morals throughout the book and of course the biggest theme was friendship and loyalty.

Books are often different then the movies but I have seen many different takes on Charlotte’s Web and none were so different you couldn’t recognize it. (The same is not true for Stuart Little.)

Reading is important for children and while I do read to them at night, I like to maximize my time when I am doing mundane things like driving. Feel free to copy me, your kids will enjoy like mine do.

Happy Page Turning!

Catcher In The Rye  – JD Salinger

I forgot I had already read this book when I started it. I finished Chapter One and knew I had read it before. I continued to read thinking I did not finish it the first time. I came to the end and knew the ending. I had my first “moment”.

My reaction to it is almost nostalgic. I see my 16 year old self in Holden. He intrigues me and makes me curious about what he will say or do next. Holden is the type of person who is ‘impaled by the beauty’ around him, it is never lost to him. He is deep thinker, influenced by everything around him while staying true to himself.

I love classics because the places are completely different than the same location today. This book takes place in New York, and that society has changed drastically over the last 60 years. For example, 3 times Holden is able to go to a bar and get served alcohol. It is a rarity to not be carded today, specifically, in a big city.

What is memorable and I enjoy most is the artistic use of language. Holden is grouped with other teenage boys but also set apart from them; because of the language he uses. I love finding this type of gem in a book. Holden curses a lot, usually it is creatively descriptive; that is not talking about. I am impressed with the sayings that make Holden, Holden; it gives him a authenticity that I admire.

I am not changed in a deep way, I am to old. It is written for younger audiences.  Salinger may have tried to bring awareness about relationships, there was a encounter that points to the indecency of a teacher/friend but nothing out of control and nothing graphic. Holden leaves suddenly and later comments ‘Maybe he just likes to pat dudes heads’. I can not say with certainty that is what Salinger was doing. But we know that predators of children are usually people you know, like, and confide in. This teacher fits that description and it is weird what he did.

If you are sensitive to language I do not recommend it. Salinger/Holden take the Lord’s name in vain with the GD word excessively, and uses other colorful words that are not polite. Read with that in mind, we all need to be cautious to what we put in our minds.

If you have read Catcher in the Rye, want to read it, or have some insights be sure to comment!

 

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