Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of the Year Reading

It looks as if I read a great deal over the past month, but actually I finished three books that I had started earlier this year (in the fall), and read two complete books this month.  So this is a rather abbreviated review of all the books, since there are five of them!

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg has been a top seller this year.  I enjoyed it very much.  It is not really a self-help book as one might think from the title, although one could use the information for themselves to work on either breaking or developing specific habits.  What I found most fascinating was how companies are able to focus on consumers patterns/habits and shape new habits so that consumers want their products.  Examples that come to mind from the book are Proctor and Gamble, Starbucks and Target.  I also was very interested in the study of AA and how it has worked over the years to help people achieve sobriety.  The book also shared examples of how individuals have been able to identify and change behaviors for themselves. Very interesting reading.  The book is very readable and fun to read.

Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani has been a much talked about book this year. It is the story of the author and how when she was close to death, experienced a near-death-experience and  was healed of her cancer.  The author's point is that she had the power to heal herself.  I wasn't very taken with the whole thing, although certainly some of what she wrote is helpful in that it is important to love yourself, find your Higher Power, etc.

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra was written in 2009.  I was just recently (in the past two months) introduced to meditations on Abundance by Deepak Chopra and want to learn and read more of his work.  This is the first book by him that I have read.  I found it quite thought-provoking.  I underlined much in this book.  What I especially found interesting were the parts where he highlighted the similarities between Buddha and Jesus.  Very interesting.  I will be reading more of his works.  I love the awareness and thinking that his words inspire in me.  

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Meruullo was one of my book group picks.  It was odd to be reading this right after I had just begun meditating...This is a novel about a successful, happy family man, whose parents died and he and his sister needed to go to across the country to South Dakota to take care of their parent's estate.  However, when Otto goes to pick up his sister, she said she was not going, but would like for Otto to take her friend out there with him.  The friend turned out to be a rather well-known guru, who had speaking engagements along the way on their journey.  It turned out that the experience allowed Otto to view his life through someone else's eyes and it was mind-opening.  This is a fun book to read.  Parts of it were laugh-out-loud funny. 

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman was recommended by my daughter-in-law and I loved. it.  The story was good, and the writing was even better.  Many things about this writing struck me.  The story is a story from the Holocaust-of a couple who had married and were separated during the war.  Josef and his family were able to leave Prague before the Nazi invasion, but his brand-new wife, Lenka, remained with her family to await Josef's arrival in the United States, when he would send for them.  Lenka ended up in a concentration camp, believing that Josef had died.  Almost sixty years later, they meet accidentally.

"Every person has an image or a memory that they hold secret.  One that they unwrap. like a piece of hidden candy, at night.  Pass through there and you will fall into the valley of dreams."

"Her ghost will finally be at home now.  Because that's what happens when we eventually return to the ones we loved but left behind. To the ones we never forgot.  We slide into them like two perfect hands.  We fall into them like two cotton-filled clouds."

Just a great story of love never forgotten.

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