Friday, June 21, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My inner 12 year old loved this:
“She removed my empty plate, replaced it with a bowl containing a steaming slice of spotted dick with thick yellow custard drizzled all over it. I ate it with joy.”

My inner adult appreciated this:
“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I found joy in the things that made me happy.”

This book further solidifies Neil Gaiman as my favorite author. Though much too small, I enjoy his writing so much he could have held my attention for much longer, it is a complete story full of supernatural imagery and the pathos of an adult looking back on his childhood. Mr. Gaiman's writing most easily fits the category of supernatural horror. And though horrible things do happen there's always a hint of optimism so that I never dread what's going to happen next.

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal FreedomThe Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Possibly the best spiritual self-help book I've read. Don Miguel Ruiz uses simple, direct, clear narrative to convey deeply spiritual concepts. The first agreement: “Be impeccable with your word” means not only speak plainly, say what you mean and mean what you say, but also don't use your words to tear down yourself or anyone else. The other three agreements stem from the first. The last two chapters tell how to get rid of old, negative agreements, adopt the new agreements, and create heaven on earth for yourself and those around you. I love that he talks about heaven and hell being experienced right here in this life. I've always felt heaven and hell were not remote places we go to after death but are this life, based on the choices we make. Don Miguel Ruiz gives voice to those concepts and a clear path on how to get there. Highly recommended.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Grandma who was born on this day in 1912. In 2010 she joined my Grandfather in the next life. The black and white photo is their wedding picture from 1930.