Monday, April 5

So Delicous

I have to say that I LURVES me the Hunger Game and its sequel, and I should just say that I am looking forward to the third and final book in the trilogy with a bit of crazy anticipation. For my recent birthday, my husband even got the books on CD for me so that I could have him "read" it so we could discuss it. And guess what? It's great even on CD.

The basic premise of the Hunger Games is that it's a story about 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen, who takes the place of her 12 year-old sister, Prim, to participate in the annual Hunger Games, in which two tributes (one male and one female, ages 12-18) from each of twelve "Districts" are selected every year to battle to the death. I like how on the book flap, it says, "Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love." Indeed!

This book is so well written, it's not even funny. It's harsh and gruesome in many places (mutations, tracker jacker "visions"), and yet lovely and so thought provoking in others (Rue's flowers, the song, the boy with the bread). But I was right there the whole time, seeing it and feeling was if I came to a point where I was like, "Well, yes, it's just the way life was in the District, in The Games."

I was so happy that Katniss is a strong heroine. Jason (my husband) and I were talking about the difference between her and Bella (aka: Twilight's heroine). Oh my goodness! I think Collins does an amazing job at creating a love triangle. (I should say here that we also listen to Twilight on audio book just before The Hunger Games, and I think this is where I came to the conclusions that one of the books is so amazingly well written, while the not as amazingly written. Both are very enjoyable, in very different ways, but one is definitely more complex in description and plotting).

I have so not done this review justice, but I'm so curious to hear what everyone else thought I wanted to get this posted to get the ball rolling. When I asked Jason if he was ready to listen to Catching Fire, he said, "I can't just yet." I asked why not? And he said, "I just got too involved in it and need a break." Yes, that is how I feel. But I kinda don't need a break.


As I've been re-skimming the book, here are some questions I thought of as I was re-reading...

1. Do you think Katniss fell in love with Peeta during the course of The Games, or was she just using him for survival? (I'll respond to these questions in the comment section) How about her relationship with Gale? (this might best be answered if you've already read Catching Fire)

2. Do you think Suzanne Collins is/was making a statement about reality shows and the ever numbing emotions of their audiences? How/why?

3. Who do you think represents The Capitol if we were to look at the world today? Why?

4. Who was your favorite supporting character and why?

5. Do you think you could have been a contender in The Games? Why/why not?

Thanks, Ladies, for answering these questions! And thanks for reading the book. :)

Tuesday, February 23

Where Angels Fear to Tread...

Oh, Katie! I wish it would count for me to say, "Ditto!" to your review.

So, yeah, this book was a wee bit tedious to go through, even though the whole time I read it I thought, Man, this is an AWESOME translation! As has been pointed out, it is gorgeous in description and he's very eloquent and that clearly comes across in English, but I think I use the words "wee bit" charitably because it took me forever to get through this book, as my interest often waned.

In fact, I finished the book and was like, Okay, I should really post while it's fresh in my mind, but alas! I didn't and I returned it to the library. Then, today, as everyone else's reviews popped up in my inbox, I was like, "I don't even remember how to spell the author's name!" So, I went to Amazon and lo and behold, here was this very interesting bit from the author himself (sorry for the cut & paste):

"Years ago, when I began working on my fifth novel, The Shadow of the Wind, I started toying around with the idea of creating a fictional universe that would be articulated through four interconnected stories in which we would meet some of the same characters at different times in their lives, and see them from different perspectives where many plots and subplots would tie around in knots for the reader to untie. It sounds somewhat pretentious, but my idea was to add a twist to the story and provide the reader with what I hoped would be a stimulating and playful reading experience. Since these books were, in part, about the world of literature, books, reading and language, I thought it would be interesting to use the different novels to explore those themes through different angles and to add new layers to the meaning of the stories.

"At first I thought this could be done in one book, but soon I realized it would make Shadow of the Wind a monster novel, and in many ways, destroy the structure I was trying to design for it. I realized I would have to write four different novels. They would be stand-alone stories that could be read in any order. I saw them as a Chinese box of stories with four doors of entry, a labyrinth of fictions that could be explored in many directions, entirely or in parts, and that could provide the reader with an additional layer of enjoyment and play. These novels would have a central axis, the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, set against the backdrop of a highly stylized, gothic and mysterious Barcelona. Since each novel was going to be complex and difficult to write, I decided to take one at a time and see how the experiment evolved on its own in an organic way.

"It all sounds very complicated, but it is not. At the end of the day, these are just stories that share a universe, a tone and some central themes and characters. You don’t need to care or know about any of this stuff to enjoy them. One of the fun things about this process was it allowed me to give each book a different personality. Thus, if Shadow of the Wind is the nice, good girl in the family, The Angel’s Game would be the wicked gothic stepsister. Some readers often ask me if The Angel’s Game is a prequel or a sequel. The answer is: none of these things, and all of the above. Essentially The Angel’s Game is a new book, a stand-alone story that you can fully enjoy and understand on its own. But if you have already read The Shadow of the Wind, or you decide to read it afterwards, you’ll find new meanings and connections that I hope will enhance your experience with these characters and their adventures.

"The Angel’s Game has many games inside, one of them with the reader. It is a book designed to make you step into the storytelling process and become a part of it. In other words, the wicked, gothic chick wants your blood. Beware. Maybe, without realizing, I ended up writing a monster book after all... Don’t say I didn’t warn you, courageous reader. I’ll see you on the other side". --Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n

...and I thought, "Wow! That is fascinating." My very favorite part of the book were the visits to the Cemetary of Forgotten Books, because truly books affect our lives in different ways at different times when we read them, and how fascinating is it to think of a place where ALL books dwell.

Anyway! While not my FAVORITE book, I kinda like it better after reading about how it fits together as part of a plan by the author.

Katie, thanks for giving us an opportunity to read a very different type of book. :)

angel's game

I have to say that I wasn't so engrosed in this story that I felt like I had to have this book done yesterday. I actually had this book at work and a coworker saw that I left it on a chair over night and she thought that I had left it for her...I wasn't finished, however, and so I let her finish and then I picked it up when I got it back. I wasn't that stressed about it.

Now, saying that, I have to say that I really did like the book. I thought the idea of crossing over into the dark side and not even realizing it until there was no going back is interesting. Sort of makes you want to try harder to stay on that narrow path. I really don't think David was aware of where he was the dark side. He was "healed" by the "boss", but did he know at that time that he would never age or possibly never die? I think he was brought into the bowels of hell by the promise of money and doing something "important" and by feeling obligated to someone who really wanted him to be the minion he became. It was sad his demise. He really lost everything instead of gaining all that he was promised. All those around him seemed to be dying and he just got to watch.

I loved Isabella's character. I liked her strength and the combination with her vulnerability. She seemed as real Spaniard. The women are tough but can be gentle. Christina's character was sad to me. I don't think that she was in any better situation the way her life was going. She made all the wrong decisions and if she would have been true to herself, she wouldn't have ended up under the ice in the middle of a river. Sad but true.

I loved the intrigue and the historical information about Barcelona. I love that place. I didn't know many of the places he was talking about, but some registered. It was fun to be taken back to such a long time ago. Wouldn't it be fun to go to where we just read.

I also did think it was a bit of a cruel trick bring Christina back to him at the end and as a small child. I think David did his best in thought process of saying how she would never want and that she would grow up so different, but David was really in love with Christina and this relationship that was going to be formed wouldn't be the same as the one he wanted. Paternal instead of the love of his he always thought about.

One other I was reading, I kept thinking, I need to remember this passage or the next but I never has a pencil handy. I loved the was the author described things. You could really see what he was wanting you to. Barcelona had many factories that belched black smoke and the night it was raining and the rain was dropping in sheets of ink or something like that. Great descriptions. I think the translator really did a fascinating job.

Thanks Katie.

I just got The Hunger Games...only the first one, although everyone asked me if I was sure I wanted only this one...I'm excited to start!!! Michelle

Shadow versus Angel

Yes, I know I'm late (thanks, Danielle, for posting). Even though I'm the one who recommended The Angel's Game, I didn't really enjoy it. You know how they say that you should never meet your heroes because they'll only disappoint? When I read Shadow of the Wind several years ago, I could not put it down. I loved the characters, the story, everything. It was just one of those books that grabbed me right from the beginning and didn't let go, even after I was finished with the book. I even discussed it with one of my German friends who was listening to the book on tape (OK, it was book on iPod, but...). I couldn't stop myself from recommending it to my friends. I have waited anxiously for another one of Senor Zafon's books to be translated into English, and literally jumped for joy when I heard about The Angel's Game.

Sadly, I didn't have the same reaction to The Angel's Game as I did to Shadow of the Wind. Mr. Zafon's writing style is still very descriptive and evocative, but the story didn't draw me in. I didn't like any of the characters at all - I was mostly frustrated with the main character and just wanted him to "snap out of it!" (Imagine, if you will, the scene in Moonstruck where Cher slaps Nicolas Cage across the face and tells him to snap out of it - that's what I wanted to do).

Reading this book felt like a chore. Yes, I finished it, but only because I felt like I had to since this book was my choice. But I would read a chapter and then leave the book for days (and days) before picking it up again.

Just a side note, I recently read a book about the life of Harper Lee. There was much conjecture as to why she never wrote another book. (Not that Zafon is in the same league as Harper Lee nor is Shadow of the Wind in the same league as To Kill a Mockingbird) In a way, I'm almost glad she didn't write another book. If she had written another book as amazing as To Kill a Mockingbird, that would have been great and I would have loved to read it - but with the great expectations she would have had to live up to, could that even have been possible? An almost impossible feat. And, if she had written several books not quite as good as To Kill a Mockingbird, would that have diminished its own importance? I don't know - now I'm just rambling, but this was just a thought that went through my mind as I read Angel's Game.

For those of you who didn't like this book, please don't let it stop you from reading Shadow of the Wind. That one will be worth your time. Can't wait for The Hunger Games (yes, I've already read it, but I LOVE IT!).

Tuesday, January 19

Caught in the Angel's web

** out of ***** (lol)

I am unenthusiastic about writing a review for Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Angel’s Game. After 531 pages, I am over it. It’s not like it was unpleasant, boring, depressing or poorly written. It was merely long and a bit confusing, and the characters didn’t draw me in. The thing that kept me reading it (besides having to do so because of the book club) was the mystery behind it all. Who was this man with the angel pin? What was hiding in the damp tower house? Would David find happiness? It’s not that I really cared for David all that much. It’s just that Zafon wrapped me into the story. And maybe that’s reason enough to read a book.

Here’s what I liked and disliked:

Likes: string of supernatural running throughout; use of ‘web’ imagery; setting of early 20th century Barcelona; the mystery.

Dislikes: flat characters who don’t seem to have any internal struggle, that we know of. David Martin is a man who seems to ride along life based on an easy computation of his knowledge of what he wants to do and accepting the opportunities that come his way. It’s all external struggle. Since I am an ‘Internal Struggle’ kind of girl, I am often disappointed in characters who don’t seem to face this struggle. Or maybe, in reality, I have a hard time being empathetic to such characters. Had Martin had to have faced such a struggle, though, author Zafon would have had a lot of work on his hands, for the book itself is a web of events, plentiful characters and a convoluted mystery. I got especially confused when the author went back in time to explain past events. I kept forgetting who the main players were.

A side note: Throughout the read, I kept wondering why the book seemed so familiar. Then I realized that I had read Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind for a previous book club. I didn’t write a review for that one. Our M.O. was to go to a restaurant or prepare a meal that related to the culture of the book, then discuss the book over the meal. We went out for tapas for Shadow, and all I remember is drinking sangria and flirting with the waiter, Robert!

Tuesday, November 24

The Dark Divine

One of my roomates from BYU is getting published on Dec. 22nd!  I can't wait for her book to come out!  It is called The Dark Divine by Bree Despain and it is YA fiction, a paranormal Prodigal Son story.  The publisher bought her first book and a sequel which she is currently writing(she's also already sold the rights in a couple other languages so it is obviously hitting the right notes with those who have read it).  The Romantic Times is publishing the first 6 chapters(the first two chapters are already there in two separate posts on their blog) of the book online so you can go and check it out there and see if you want it for Christmas (I know I do!  I keep trying to get my hands on an ARC but it hasn't happened yet!).   Bree has an awesome giveaway on her blog right now too so you can try to get a hold of a copy of her book that way too.  Thanks for checking it out! 

Thursday, November 5

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

So now it's been awhile since I read the book but I loved it!  I went to the library and got all of the Shannon Hale books I could get my hands on.  They were all very fun reads.  My sister had been recommending her books to me for awhile and I am glad I took her up on it.

Princess Academy is not sappy or sweet.  It's about a tough, smart,and small girl, Miri, who grows up in the unappreciated mining town of Mt Eskel.  They are the only ones who mine Linder, the best stone for building  I imagine a granite or Marble like stone).  Physical strength( for girls or boys) is highly valued in their community and everyone goes to work in the mines after they reach a certain age.  Except Miri.  Her father will not let her work in the mines.  She struggles with self-esteem issues and shame because she feels worthless to her family and community since she is not working in the mines.  Then one day a messenger comes from the capital city saying that the next princess will be chosen from the girls at Mt Eskel and all girls between the ages of 12 and 18 are taken from their families to attend the Princess Academy to learn how to be a Princess.  This has serious consequences for each of the families as they struggle to mine enough Linder to trade fr food for their families and need each family member to work.  The palace sends guards who threaten the town into letting their girls go.  The experience at Princess Academy is not what they expected as they are put in fierce competition with each other and shut off from their families.  Miri discovers her worth and the worth of her whole community through the Princess Academy.  This is not your typical Princess story and it is wonderful! I highly recommend it for ages 8 and up up up! (though an 8 year old may need it read to them)

Thursday, October 22

Little Bee and a bit about P&P&Z

Little Bee - Synopsis from the front flap... by Chris Cleave

"We don't want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in this book. It is a truly SPECIAL STORY and we don't want to spoil it. NEVERTHELSS, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say: "THIS IS THE STORY OF TWO WOMEN. Their lives collide on fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there...

"Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds."

Little Bee - My take on the story... My sister gave me this book and told me that I had to read it. As it is well written, the story grabs you and not having all the information, sort of pulls you along. You are anxious to know why the characters are where they are and why they made the decisions they made. As the information is revealed you begin to ask yourself...What would I have done? How would I have handled the situation?

There is a statement that Sarah, one of the two women, makes. She says, "Little Bee had changed me, Lawrence. I can't look at her without thinking how shallow my life is." Interestingly they both took life changing steps and Little Bee felt just as insignificant. Upon self reflection, I have often thought that my struggles seemed so insignificant in my little life compared to some. I know that in reality, we all matter, but do you wonder sometimes if someone matters more than you? That your prayers aren't as important as others and that could be why you never seem to have those answers? Just a passing thought!!! Probably not one to dwell on, but rather, one to build from. We can then think, what can I do to make this world a better place? How can one little person help? I think, just day by day, doing one more thing better than we did yesterday, choosing differently, less selfishly and with real intent. Hopefully we won't have to make the decisions these people had to make.

I really liked this book but I don't want to give anything away. If you have a chance to read it, I would love to discuss more. Until then, a recommended read!

Now for those of you that are interested...I also read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and some other bloke. The book was P&P but made even more intense by the introduction of zombies. Apparently, this is the way the book was to originally have been published, but the original editors felt that there was too much violence and "reality." In fact, there was more risque verbage and high use of double entendre throughout. A funny and fascinating twist. Up next...Sense and Sensiblitiy and Seamonsters. I can hardly wait!!!

Monday, October 19

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I’ll admit it; I bought the book almost for the title alone – the Potato Peel Pie Society? Sounded fascinating. And it didn’t disappoint.

The entire book is written as a collection of letters between the main character, author Juliet Ashton, and several other characters including: her publisher, her best friend and several different citizens of Guernsey. Guernsey is an island in the English Channel that was occupied by the Germans during World War II. I never knew that the Germans occupied territory so close to England.

I wasn’t quite sure how I would enjoy reading a book that was written solely as a series of letters, but as it turned out I really enjoyed it. It was a great way to write the book in first person for several different characters. At first it was difficult keeping the characters straight with the different letters going back and forth, but that can happen in any book, right? I felt like I got to know several characters on a quite close basis – and I really liked the characters – I became invested in their lives. I was sad to leave them at the end. There was also a lot of history embedded in these letters, and I found that fascinating.

I can’t remember how the people in Guernsey first made contact with Julia – I think a member of the Potato Peel Pie Society found her address in a used book and contacted her asking for more information about… a book, I think? But after that initial contact, it was amazing to watch the friendships blossom through simple letters.

Although the book was set in immediate post-war England, and several of the characters had their own “damaged” stories to share, I found the book to be warm and comforting (and educational), like sitting by a fire wrapped in a blanket… cozy. I read the book rather quickly, but loved every minute of it. I highly recommend it to all.

Thursday, October 15

Take two: 'The Shack' and 'Columbine'

I read two very different books in the past weeks, and both are excellent in their own way. I'll start with The Shack since it's freshest in my mind.
Author Wm. Paul Young tells the story of a man hurting from the loss of his youngest daughter from a violent murder. One day, God writes the man — Mack — a note inviting him to a shack in the Oregon wilderness. There, Mack enters in conversations with "human" representations of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
That being said, this is not a book I would have chosen to read. My friend Patti recommended it to me (rather, she matter-of-factly placed it in my hands) one day this week after I spent part of the afternoon crying in her living room. I was grieving the loss of a relationship and the love it offered; this loss swiftly opened the floodgates to reveal the pain I'd hidden from the lack of love in my childhood, the lack of self love, the fear I have of sharing my true self with others. I've cried a lot in these last two weeks.
What makes The Shack excellent has nothing to do with what I normally admire in books. Is the story well-written? It's so-so. Are the characters real to me? They're pretty cookie-cutter. Is the dialogue peppy? Not really. Is it laced with evangelical themes? You betcha. Nevertheless, I've got about a dozen blue Post-It notes to mark the places that address what I've been facing on a deep, emotional level recently: feeling lost, unloved, confused.
First off, author Young portrays the Trinity in an accessible, lovable way. In this book, God is "played" by a large black woman named Papa. Jesus wears jeans and work boots, and he jokes about his looks being influenced by his Jewish heritage. Apart from their looks, it's what they have to say that makes this book worthwhile to me. The conversations touch on self worth, relationships (a lot about relationships), forgiveness, guilt and shame, religion and emotion.
Early on, Mack admits to Jesus that he feels "so lost."
Jesus replied: "I know, Mack. But it's not true. I am with you and I'm not lost. I'm sorry it feels that way, but hear me clearly; you are not lost." For me, reading those words gave me relief.
At another point, Mack expresses his fear about what might happen: "Well, I am afraid of looking like an idiot. I am afraid that you are making fun of me ... I imagine that ..."
"Exactly," Jesus interrupted. "You imagine. Such a powerful ability, the imagination! That power alone makes you to like us. But without wisdom, imagination is a cruel taskmaster." Jesus goes on to talk about living in the present, and how God does not accompany us into our fears about the future. How often have I worried about what might happen? All too often.
"Papa" on guilt: "'s not about feeling guilty. Guilt'll never help you find freedom in me. The best it can do is make you try harder to conform to some ethic on the outside. I'm about the inside." This speaks to me about choosing actions based on what you believe to be right for you, not on what others think.
Finally, a conversation about emotions provides this: "[Emotions] are neither bad nor good; they just exist. Here is something that will help you sort this out in your mind, Mackenzie. Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions. Most emotions are responses to perceptions — what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your paradigms, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms — what you believe.... The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly."
This last one was especially important to me. I've recently come to realize one of my beliefs — one of my paradigms — is "I am not good enough." This distorts my perception of reality, and hence my emotional response. It probably has been playing a part in why my recent breakup has been so painful. The good news is I have been working to change that paradigm to "I am priceless, and I am loved." This book — along with some close friends — gives me faith that this is the case. I trust that I, too, will begin to see more clearly when this new belief becomes more of a reality than the old one.
So, should you run out and read The Shack? Not without a box of Kleenex.

I didn't mean to go on so much about The Shack but I do want to mention Dave Cullen's Columbine. A reporter who covered the story of the high school massacre, Cullen has spent years collecting information, police and FBI reports, interviews, and — most fascinating of all — the killers' own journals and recordings of their plans. I had a hard time putting this book down. Cullen clearly and concisely explains the massive amounts of information, so you don't get bogged down. The first part of the book walks the reader through that April afternoon in Colorado. The remaining pages attempt to answer Why. To learn more about Columbine, click here.

Sunday, June 21

The Gospel According to Larry

I was disappointed reading this book for the second time. My memory of it was much better. This time it seemed cliched and "Larry" was just soooo full of himself. He was a typical teenager though so I cut him some slack. I did think the book brought up lots of interesting things to discuss still- the power of the media, consumerism, materialism (I definitely need to cut down on some possessions). Then there's the whole anti-popularity kind of thing... My brother-in-law (he's 16) likes to dress differently from other kids at school and be his own trend; the problem is that he makes it look cool so other kids start copying him. Can you be original and successful and not lose your originality? I also thought it was funny how excited Larry was about all the vendors who sold goods at cost at Larryfest. Talk about awesome free advertising! LOL!
I also loved the way Beth called him out on all of "his" brilliant ideas after she found out he was Larry. All of his work was really hers!

Saturday, May 16


I’d read Janet Tashjian's Gospel According to Larry
weeks ago and needed a reminder about Larry, so I went to his blog .

The reminder came. I didn’t love Larry/Josh (I will later refer to him as just “Larry”). He didn’t feel real to me. His preachings sounded good on the surface, but I didn’t see any truths revealed further down. It seemed as if the author were piecing together a young adult novel out of Chinese fortune cookies or other snippets of wisdom, hoping that the audience was not discerning enough to see through her ploy.

Other “ploys” the author used that I actually liked were some of the hints Larry gave his readers, specifically the personal items he photographed and placed on the blog for identification. I also liked the idea in general, Larry’s having a secret persona in order to disseminate his ideas. It’s a little Shakespearean (Rosalind in As You Like It, for example). There was also the teen-age drama playing in the background, Larry hoping to get the girl. But I think the author would have had more success had she focused on her characters and their relationship more than the gimmicks.

Monday, May 11

The Gospel According to Larry

I LOVED this book! I loved the story, the author's style, and the message (or at least, what I got out of it)! First, the story. I am trying to teach my students that they can change the world! I think some of them are getting it. [It was one of my Korean students that introduced me to, "Pay It Forward" after one of my "you are the future" speeches.] I loved how the "Larry" site took on a life of its own and the change effect snowballed. Second, the author's style. I found out right away that I needed to READ the footnotes. (I rarely do.) I also loved the way the beginning "Note to the Reader" and "Epilogue" make the story seem real. Third, the message. Simplifying life . . . getting away from materialism and self-centeredness is a message for our time.
But, another reason I loved the book is that it raises a lot of questions and made me think. At the end of my copy of the book is a "Reader's Guide" with 12 discussion questions. The first asked what my 75 items would be. That is a question I want to answer (I just don't have time tonight). Question 8 was about "media frenzy" and reminded me of our discussion a while back of "Welcome to the World Baby Girl." Question 12 asked what I (and my friends) would want to change. My answer has to include the reality check, "one star fish at a time." And then there were questions about Josh. Why does he do it? Why doesn't he close the site down? What if he had told Beth how he felt early on? Would he have created the site?
I am looking forward to reading your reviews! I know I have barely scratched the surface on this one. :)

Saturday, April 18

A Beyond Late Comment About Wednesday Wars.

I finally found a copy of Wednesday Wars. I loved it! I loved it for all of the same reasons that you all did. I too laughed out loud. My husband read, it for that very reason. He wanted to know what was so funny. It was fun to read your reviews, and remember all of the great moments once more.
Thanks for choosing such a great story!

Really Late Post for "The Alchemist"

I really liked this book. I was interested in some of the comments that you all made in your reviews. My thought is, that having grown up in the church, many of the author's insights, seemed like common knowledge, or common sense to me. I've been spending a lot of time with my nonmember neighbor, and I'm realizing how much I take my upbringing for granted. I can see why this book would be life altering for people.

I was inspired by the authors introduction. In following our dreams, or finding our own legend, he says that we have 4 obstacles;
1. We're told that it's impossible.
2. Love.
3. Fear of defeat.
4. Fear of realizing our dream.

I can see how those obstacles have played out in my own life, and kept me from pursuing activities and interests that could have been very fulfilling for me.

It was a good pick. Thanks!