Purpose

Review: The Buddha in the Attic


The Buddha in the Attic
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was chosen for the Book Club Read this month. (http://www.bountifulbookclub.blogspot.com/) I don’t often attend, but usually try to read the book, if it’s available through the Pioneer Library, my main resource for my books. (http://pioneerutah.lib.overdrive.com/B9A44FC8-1126-4EBC-AB38-7E0F204B5EB2/10/50/en/Default.htm) I was pleasantly surprised to find this one available, and it was a quick read. Although, I would not classify it as easy. In fact it was rather heavy.

The story was told from the mindset of the Japanese Mail Order Brides / Picture Brides (kind of reminded me of the Borg on some levels) taking place just prior to Pearl Harbor being bombed. They told of what promises and hopes they had in mind, and their realities, and shattered dreams, they tell of their treatments, and always being on the outside and then move into the suspicion, going into hiding, and then the disappearing.

Overall it was very interesting, really opened my understanding much more. Despite it being a short read, and with the risk of redundancy, it was very heavy and heartbreaking. Nonetheless, it’s a read I recommend just once.

(Actually finished 20 January 2014)

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Categories: Book Reviews, Family, Humanity, Life, Literature, Purpose, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: The Book Thief


The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what I had expected when starting to read this book. I honestly didn’t know what it was about, just that it was a popular read and that they made a movie out of it. I was hoping it would be decent, as I often don’t enjoy ‘popular’ books. I have to say I was very pleased with this great read. Another surprise was that it was another telling of the horrors during World Ward II & occupied Germany.

I enjoyed the fact that it was told in a narrative manner from the point of Death, as he jumps all over Europe, collecting souls. Follow the story of a young refugee Leisel, the curious and kind hearted young girl, who simply loves books, her only way to obtain them, was to steal them. Her other great love in life, were the people closest around her.

For whatever reason the past year I have found that I have accidentally picked up a handful of World War II books. I obviously love Historical Fiction and find it very rewarding to continually learn more about us as a people, the good and the very bad, and finding the humanity in the horrid situations.

I really enjoyed the different style of the storytelling. I thought it was well written, flowed well and well worth the read. I highly recommend it. However, towards the end, and points in-between, make sure to have a box of tissues.

Now I can watch the movie… Yes, I’m sure, it’s not as good as the book – it never is.

(Actually finished 9 February 2014

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Review: Way to Be!: 9 Rules For Living the Good Life


Way to Be!: 9 Rules For Living the Good Life
Way to Be!: 9 Rules For Living the Good Life by Gordon B. Hinckley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely loved the Way To Be!, just as much as I adore President Gordon B. Hinckley! It was wonderful to read this book again, to hear his voice and feel he pure love that exuberates from him. How I’ve missed this great man. I’ve read this book a few times and will read again. Always new applicable points and views! I highly recommend for anyone of any background, faith, religion, etc. Just basic and profound views and points, of being a good person – just because you should try to be a good person.

My uncle wrote on his coffin, “Do good because doing good is good to do. Not because of threats or promises of Heaven or Hell.” I love that. I think that this book helps mostly guide on simply BEing a good person!

President Hickley stated in the book, “Rise above mediocrity, above indifference. Become involved and speak with a strong voice of that which is right. ”

I originally took fantastic notes while making my journey through this book. But looking back. I feel like I highlighted the whole book! 😐

Nonetheless, the 9 Be’s we should all remember are as follows:

9 Be’s:
Be Grateful
Be Smart
Be Involved
Be Clean
Be True
Be Positive
Be Humble
Be Still
Be Prayerful

Finished the book 1 October 2013.
I highly recommend this book to all, over and over again! Enjoy and BE an amazing contribution!

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Categories: Beauty of the World, Book Reviews, Career, Cause, Education, Family, Health & Nutrition, Humanity, Life, Literature, Passion, Purpose, Relationships, Service, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BLESSINGS ABOUND with UTA!!!!


BLESSINGS ABOUND!!! 

Last week… Sorry this was accidentally saved as a draft…

I lost my UTA Transit Pass this morning after taking a different connection than usual to try out. I got confused was at the wrong stop (wrong side of the street) and missed the bus to work. I ended up walking four miles because that was faster than waiting for the next bus. (It never caught up to me.) During my walk my pass must have fallen out and was lost. However, my nice brisk walk was rejuvenating and quite enjoyable!

English: by me UTA bus

English: by me UTA bus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My transit pass is a perk from being a Salt Lake County Bicycle Ambassador. I called reported that one missing and they are sending me a new one. This pass has been a tremendous blessing! I also had no idea I was even getting one for being an Ambassador, until it was handed to me! I was super excited! And so grateful for it daily!!!

In the meantime, I had no cash on me, and evidently also left my debit card at home from paying the bills the other day!  So, my Co worker Kristal, was sweet enough to loan me $6.00 so that I could get home. Thank you!

Then when I went to get on the first bus (Park City Connect – which Rocks!) I asked the driver how much the fare was. He looked at me strange and I have a sympathetic look and said my pass was lost this morning. He looked at me and said “Sweetheart, keep your money and enjoy your ride.” Boy was I excited and grateful!!! Then, on my connection I go to pay in the next one asked again how much it is. He asked why was I asking. I again said that I lost it this morning during my commute. He also said to keep my money that he recognized me, and there was no reason to waste my money when he knew I had a pass. Wow!! So grateful!!! Thank you UTA!! And thank you Heavenly Father for blessing me with kind Bus Drivers!! 🙂 🙂

Salt Lake Bike Party

Salt Lake Bike Party (Photo credit: Der Blaue Reiter)

See, I really should ride the bus more often (as long as I can make the 470/903 Connections anyway, otherwise I hate the world when I drive. Not to mention, it was GREAT study time, and honestly my original plan to study while on transit. Too bad, I need my car to go to the gym during lunch! Maybe I’ll start leaving it at work overnight… maybe, that makes me nervous.

Normally during good weather,  I bicycle 18 miles each way to work from Bountiful to the mouth of Parley’s Canyon (I’m a wimp and need to get over the cold). Some days I cheat and take the UTA Trax up the steep hill to the University of Utah, then continue riding down Foothill Blvd to my office. I also use UTA when I’ve ridden too far and I’m exhausted – they’ll always take me home! 🙂 It’s a fantastic ride and makes my day go by so much better! I feel better, I have more energy and my brain works better.  Not to mention I get in my daily work out and my commute! For me Bicycle Commuting is the way to go! Not to mention I help make a difference at not being one of the vehicles creating more fumes for our valley that holds them in so well. I’m a huge advocate for Bicycle Commuting and love being part of the Bicycle Ambassador Program. Key highlights of our program is to create awareness about Cycling, and definitely promote Bike Safety and knowledge of laws and resources available. One of our main goals with our education program is to help people get over the fear of cycling to work. We help educated on gear, techniques, routes, you name it! We will even ride with you on your first practice run for your commute. It such a highlight for me and I will talk to anyone that’s interested.There is a lot more that we do, but that’s the basic gist of it. If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to reach out to me.

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Review: If I Stay


If I Stay
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, this was definitely a book that makes you ponder your own life and feelings.

I enjoyed that most of it was back story, I feel that the plot of Mia’s decision moved well, with her reliving her life through memories. It makes me wonder how many of us really have that same decision, do I take the easy road and move onto the next life? Or fight for a little more life? A little bit more love? More trials, tribulations, and joys that make it all worth it.

I feel that the author was very talented in telling the story, but could use work on her dialog. The length was just about right. Anymore, would have felt that it dragged, which it didn’t. She kept a fairly decent pace and rhythm. Overall very interesting read. Heartbreaking and triumphant story.

Finished 18 November 2013

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Review: Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story


Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story
Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick

Dame Daphne

Dame Daphne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I saw this book recommended from my library, and needing a new biography to read, I jumped on it. Being the Granddaughter of an Elephant Trainer and having a great love for the wonderful gentle (in my experience) giants, I was ecstatic to read this! Perhaps I thought this book would be more like the stories I have heard all my life of my Grandfather & his Elephant friends, and the additional memories of my Father working with him and my own memories. Or perhaps I thought it might be similar to Water for Elephants, which I also loved. Perhaps I thought I’d hear more of the stories that I heard from my former in-laws of their lives in Africa (Angola, Congo & Botswana) before coming to America as refugees….

To my surprise this was uniquely not like any of what I had expected.  Dame Daphne is definitely an interesting person, who

David Sheldrick

David Sheldrick

has lived an extraordinary life and I feel made a greater impact on the world than she realizes, let alone Kenya, and the rest of the African continent and it’s largest population. While there were something’s she shared in her life, decisions and actions that I personally don’t agree with she is still a stellar woman. Who undoubtedly ADORED her second husband David, who helped build her ultimate legacy as well as his.

In the reading of the book, I felt that at many times it dragged on and on. That Dame Daphne obviously prefers the company of animals to humans, and that the relationships with them, how brief some may have been were much more significant than those of anyone outside of David and her two daughters. That being said the stories of the animals, which are the basis of this writing, seemed never to end and went into considerably too much detail, which made me want to skip a lot, although I never did. But then it felt like a chore to persevere through the book rather than go along for the ride.

English: Baby elephants in "The David She...

English: Baby elephants in “The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust”, Nairobi, Kenya. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has, between 1987 and 2009, successfully hand-reared over 85 newborn and very young elephant orphans through its Nairobi Nursery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This being said, there were many wonderful parts of her story that ultimately teach us lessons and leave us yearning to make a difference in the world around us. To follow our hearts, our passions and find our greater purpose here on Earth. Sadly most of the greatest parts of this book were in the last few pages. However, I’m sure that without reading the entire epilogue that they would have not been as dramatic or left such a deep impression. I feel that reading this book has left an impression on my heart that will stick. A further love of the African Wildlife, and fascination of Africa, more rooted desire to visit there someday and find my own way to serve there and here at home.

Avril Jenson

Avril Jenson

Dame Daphne Shledrick

Dame Daphne Shledrick – http://http://youtu.be/dqvDHx0vJrI

Passages that really stuck out were about Elephants and their amazing memory. A few of my most vivid memories are those with the Elephants, myself, my Grandfather & my Father. I’d always heard this my whole life… Until I was a teenager I didn’t fully comprehend. I remember going to The Hogle Zoo with my family, where my family had worked. My father was a boy/teenager when he’d worked at the zoo with his father. But I remember the elephants come running and seemingly so excited to see my father. Normally the elephants would ignore the tourists unless they were giving them food. But all my father had to do was walk up to the fence, say softly “There’s our girl. Hey Toka.” She immediately turned and ran to my father trying to reach him over the ‘moat’ around her pen. She seemed to be smiley and giddy as a child, mimicking my fathers similar reaction. My father hadn’t been there in years, and had been a boy. But I knew then Toka, Toni and Hydori all remembered my father, and associated the love and joy that my Grandfather (Avril Jenson) gave to them for all those years with my father as well. As you can imagine the times of going to the zoo with my Grandfather were even greater, with similar but more intense reactions of love and excitement for my Grandpa, who simply loved and adored these amazing creatures.

Dame Daphne relates a similar experience when one of her elephants joyously runs to enthusiastically greet a former caretaker from 30 years in the past. Her closing statement of the book Is that she has learned her lives greatest lessons from the elephants, wherein which no matter the wrong that had been done to them they had such a high resolve to forgive the trespasses against them, without the ability to ever forget. What a strong lesson in that simple statement! We as humans have the ability for things to slip from our minds, to actually forget many things after a great or small wrong as besought us, yet forgiveness is such a huge thing for us to obtain or give, and we can let it go, we can forget it ever happened and go on with life! Imagine never being able to ever to simply forget, but having to consciously forgive and take the higher road, to give others the chance to grow, learn and become better individuals, even though they might never do so.

She also elaborated on things such as a conviction that Elephants must be able to communicate telepathically. This, I find simply fascinating! I’m anxious to follow the studies through the rest of my life to see what we are able to figure out about their higher level and ability to communicate. In addition she also made reference to the fact that the animal kingdom seems to function at a higher level of understanding, in a much older and adjusted world. As if they have been given blessings and understandings than any of us humans could ever comprehend. Thinking on this, I believe she is right. We already know that God has only given us so much knowledge in this life so far, because of our cardinal selves, and the fact that we haven’t been able to raise ourselves high enough yet for further enlightenment. What a cool time that will be!

Despite the sometimes long and drawn out seasons of this book, I still highly recommend.

If you are interested in learning more about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and how you can be involved go to their website to learn more: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org You can also follow them on Facebook, & YouTube.

david-sheldrick-wildlife_152012217521.jpg_article_singleimage

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