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What I’m reading…

…just in case you’re interested.

Sometimes people ask me what books I’m reading.  (By people I mean two friends at church and Carol who cuts my hair.) So I thought I’d take a post and tell you about two books I’ve just finished reading.

I’ve taken a detour from my usual memoirs. (There’s just something about a true story that I love.) But, I really enjoyed these two New York Times Bestsellers below.

The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

This is about a man, who feeling like a failure, goes back in time and finds himself in the presence of some famous people who were in very unique and difficult situations.  David, the main character, meets Lincoln, Anne Frank, Columbus, King Solomon, Joshua Chamberlain (from Gettysburg), Truman, and the angel, Gabriel. Each one gives him a nugget of wisdom – seven decisions that he must make to help him achieve success once he returns to the present.

The seven decisions are:

#1 The buck stops here

#2 I will seek wisdom.

#3 I am a person of action.

#4 I have a decided heart.

#5  Today I will choose to be happy.

#6  I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.

#7 I will persist without exception.

This book definitely has a Christian bent and it gives inspiration to someone in a trying situation and encouragement to someone who simply wants to be a better person. My favorite passage is:

I possess the greatest power ever bestowed upon mankind, the power of choice. Today, I choose to persist without exception. No longer will I live in a dimension of distraction, my focus blown hither and yon like a leaf on a blustery day. I know the outcome I desire. I hold fast to my dreams. I stay the course. I do not quit….In Jeremiah, my Creator declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to proper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” From this day forward, I will claim a faith in the certainty of my future.

Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This story is told completely from a dog’s perspective. It has humor, conflict, and sadness. I don’t want to give too much away, but you’ll like it if you are a dog lover. Stein got the idea for the book when he learned that Mongolians have a belief that when dogs die, they come back as people.

I don’t really embrace the idea that dogs come back as humans, but if they did, my dog, Snickers is going to need to take care of that orange stain in my carpet that he is responsible for.  Apparently the stick of butter he swiped from the kitchen counter did not come out as smoothly as it went down.

I am not a NASCAR fan, but the racing analogies were good and they do have some application to life.  My favorite lines are: No race has ever been won in the first turn…but plenty of races have been lost there.          and           …the race is long–to finish first, first you must finish.

Here’s another little detail you might be interested in. Stein wrote a version of Racing in the Rain for Young Readers (the 8-12 crowd). Somehow this is the book I got from the library. I didn’t even notice it until I finished the book and read his acknowledgement to Harpers Children’s Books. I am guessing the adult version is really good too, but I liked this one…a lot.

If you are interested in other books I’ve read, visit the Books Worth Reading page.    What are you reading? Leave a comment and tell me what it is and why you like it.

Here’s a heads up on my next post. I’m participating in a bloghop next week.  A bloghop is just what it sounds like.  People hop from one blog to another.  These bloggers are all writers. We are all making a post that includes pictures of our characters in the stories we are writing.  When you visit my blog, you won’t have to hop to the other blogs (unless you want to). I just wanted you to know the entire blog will look very different on Monday.  I will go back to normal the following week (normal is such a subjective term).  I hope you’ll visit!

P.S. I’m behind on recipes. I am trying out a few slow-cooker ones and I’ll post them soon. They’re from the food network and they look yummy.

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