Friday, January 8, 2010

Recent Reads

I had a goal to read a book every week while on winter break. I heard that the classes I have this semester will be pretty difficult and nobody gets a great grade in one of them so I figured that I wouldn't have much time to read once school begins.

The first book I read was a gift from Tiffany. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom is the story of what happened to a man who was asked to give the eulogy at his rabbi's funeral. After straying from his faith, and faith in general, Mitch feels uncomfortable with with the request. He decides that in order to respond to the request he needs to know the rabbi better. He begins regular visits with him and finds faith again. I loved this book. Thank you so much, Tiffany.
Two quick quotes from the book, "A man buried his wife. At the grave side he stood by the rabbi, tears falling down his face..
'I loved her,' he whispered.
The rabbi nodded.
'I mean...I really loved her.'
The man broke down.
'And...I almost told her once.'
The rabbi looked at me sadly.
'Nothing haunts like the things we don't say.'"

Later the rabbi talks about forgiveness.
"[That] is why our sages tell us to repent exactly one day before we die."
"But how do you know it's the day before you die?"
He raised his eyebrows. "Exactly."

It's not really a how to on developing faith, but it shows the power of faith to sustain and change.

Book number two was When Times Get Tough, by John Bytheway. I read it a while back, but I didn't remember much of what was in there. There are five topics with five scriptures that help in those situations. For some reason the tough times part stood out a little more this time. One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from President Hunter, "Please remember this one thing. If our lives and our faith are centered upon Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right."

This book is more of a how to book, with great ideas, quotations and scriptural references.

The last book I read had almost nothing to do with the first two. The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. This book is written from the point of view of a teenager with autism. It one of the most quirky (quirkiest? who knows) books I have ever read. It was both funny and heartbreaking. I am curious to learn how much of the book came from the actual teenager. Some of his phobias and other quirks were fascinating, his logic and intellect astounding and other parts terrifying (as a parent wondering what is in store.) I think the best quotation I could share from this book is the last line, "I can do anything."

I'm glad I was able to read a few books before school started, thanks to everyone who gave/lent me the books to make it possible.


Valerie said...

That is one Jon Bytheway book we don't have on CD. We have LOTS of his. And I loooove that quote from President Hunter. I've never heard of the other two books before. You've done a lot better than I have reading. I got two books for Christmas and haven't even opened them yet.

Us said...

I knew that if I didn't read over the break I wouldn't get to read at all. What books did you get? If you guys are interested in the Jon Bytheway book please feel free to ask, same with the Have a Little Faith.

Tiff :o) said...

Wow, you got a LOT of reading done!! I;m impressed. And they sound like good books too. I've hardly done any reading lately. I took a book to work to read when I don't have anything to do and I haven't opened it yet.

Valerie said...

I would love to borrow the Bytheway book later after I've read the ones I have. I can't remember if I got it from the library before or not. And if I get time maybe even the other book.

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