Angels by Billy Graham How can you go wrong reading a book by Billy Graham? I was prompted to read this book after a late night discussion at our family reunion last fall between one of my great aunts and her brother, my great uncle. I have never seen so heated a debate between the two as they discussed angels. I had to go out and do a little research for myself. Let's just say I now know which one was right that night! Not that I would ever say anything to the one who was wrong. This was my first study on angels and I found it inspiring and reassuring. My copy of this book is completely marked up with underling, stars, and exclamation points. Truly a sign of a good book!
A Higher Call by Adam Makos. "An incredible true story of combat and chivalry in the war-torn skies of World War II." I would consider myself a novice history buff with a fascination with WWII. And yet this book gave me a view point of the war that I had never seen before, that of a German fighter pilot. The story begins with civil liberties slowly being taken away. And like watching a horror film where the blond haired girl (they are always blond for some reason) walks out of the cabin late at night by herself to inspect a strange noise, you want to yell "STOP! Don't you see what's coming??? Don't you know where this is heading?" Likewise in this book you watch a society fall prey and a few men cause mayhem and the lives of millions. And this is just the first couple of chapters. There are so many nuggets of German pilot chivalry (and American) I want to share with you but more important is the realization of the difficult situations that pilots on both sides of the war were put into. There choices were not easy but the ones highlighted in this book acted with honor.
In addition to the main chivalrous event in this book was the glimpse into my grandfather's war years. He was stationed at Kimbolton in England just as Charlie Brown (the main American pilot in the book) and likewise was in the 379th Bomb Group and 525th Squadron. For this reason he was chosen to autograph the lithographs made in honor of the heroic event memorialized in this book. Through the book I was able to see things he saw (like waiting for your turn to take off and watching the skies as so many planes took off at once that some of them crashed into each other bursting into flames.) and get a taste of daily war life. The fear, courage, honor, skill, humanness, and grief all become real.
Friendship for Grown-Ups by Lisa Whelchel. I have watched Good Morning America a grand total of 2 times in my career as a stay at home mom but one of those times included an interview with Lisa Whelchel who was promoting this, at the time, newly released book. What she said got my attention, "I've always operated under the mistaken notion that the more perfect I was, the more people would like me and want to connect with me. So I kept a slick, glossy finish on my layer of protection. What I learned was, ultimately, my very shininess acted like Teflon and prevented any kind of lasting bond." Ouch, I had no idea that Lisa Whelchel had been stalking me! Oh, wait. Never mind she was talking about herself.
This book made me realize I SUCK as a friend. I look at trying to be perfect as helpful and encouraging to my friends. It is not. I also realized that I am TERRIBLE at keeping up with my friends. Last week I read this book and realized I NEVER call my friends because I know how busy they are and I don't want to disturb them. Two days ago I found out that while I was reading about being a terrible friend, one of my best friends was having one of the worst weeks in her life (on top of an already horrific year no less) and was in the hospital. Note to self, call friends more! All I can say is that after reading this book I have a heart of repentance.
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. I found the research presented in this book fascinating! I initially picked it out to read from a parenting standpoint. In reality it's also for teachers, administrators, and anyone who cares about extreme poverty as the book does center around the roughest sect of inner city kids. It's amazing that the schools deemed worse in the US are not neglected as we assume. But rather many have had millions upon millions invested in them through government programs that fail to make a dent lack of successful adults coming out of these schools (government programs that don't work, who knew?). There are also tidbits about why kids from wealthy and middle income families sometimes don't succeed. Tough covers case studies, sociology, and neuroscience in hopes of finding the answer to the age old question of curing poverty. You'll just have to read the book to find out his conclusions and to make your own.
The Inside Tract by Gerald E. Mullin, M.D. and Kathie Madonna Swift, M.S., R.D., L.D.N. This one was read for continuing education hours with a little disappointment. Although it was marketed in an education catalogue for R.D.'s it's really more of a book for the novice. I could see it being useful for a dietitian that specializes in another area who is looking to expand into the GI/allergies/feed sensitivity scene. Still I was able to take away many statistics and interesting facts that will find their way into my counseling sessions and seminars. There was also a section on herbs and GI disorders that will be a great reference in the future as I usually just recommend essential oils and just a few herbal teas. In fact I think my next cont. ed might be an herbal study. It will be a good fit for my practice I think.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This classic really doesn't need a recap from me!