My friend, Krista, recommended The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Bryan Mealer helps William Kamkwamba, write the true story of his life in a VERY poor village in Africa. When his family can no longer afford to send him to school, he goes to the local library with only a few shelves of books and learns all he can about electricity, physics, circuits, etc. This is the story of how he changed the world....at least his little corner of it. The story is inspiring. It had a few too many details about the actual physics behind his work for me, but some of you (my husband) might love that about it. Krista's husband is a high school physics teacher, so the lingo in here might be standard talk around the dinner table in her house.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde was a book club selection. It's a classic that I highly recommend reading....great for a discussion. It is dark but thought provoking as it explores sin and selfishness taken to the extreme. Basically Dorian Gray makes a bargain that he will remain young and handsome while a painting of him bears the age and illness of his poor moral choices.
Another book club selection that I forgot to write about, Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting is a quick and worthwhile read. The Tuck family finds a spring which grants them eternal life. In the end, this is not such a gift as they are no longer part of the circle of life and ultimately are not really able to LIVE in society. I actually appreciated this book more after our discussion.
I must admit, when Relationships a Mess Worth Making was selected for a women's study, I would not have been excited EXCEPT that Barbara Coleman recommended it. She has amazing taste. I mean, how can a book on "relationships" not be fluffy. It's not. It's good. REAL good. Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp, Ted Tripp's (wrote Shepherding a Child's Heart) brother, give great advice...BIBLICAL advice that gives great insight into how we relate and why we do what we do and what we can do about what we do to do it better. ;o)
In The Blessing, Gary Smalley and John Trent masterfully tie Christian values to modern psychology. The attributes of "meaningful touch, spoken message, expressing high value, special future and active commitment" are all part of giving a blessing. The book helps us to see that how we were raised has an ABSOLUTE influence on how we are today, without blame-shifting the responsibility on our family. This book both helps you give a blessing to your children as well as giving practical advice for how to cope if you were not given a blessing in your own childhood. We did this one as a ladies study, and I found it very insightful.
Randy Paush, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, gives The Last Lecture of his career after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has three small children and a wife of 7 years. This book is filled with antidotes from his childhood and lessons he's learned while achieving his childhood dreams. This book is humorous and inspirational. A worthwhile read.