Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club
It’s no secret. I’m a bibliophile. I really love books. I also really love my book club.
So when I spotted The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday theme of ten books I’d love to read with my book club, I had to share my suggestions. Be sure to swing by their post and check out other book club suggestions too!
In my group, we have 11 members and meet once a month, with December being a holiday party in which we each wrap a book we read in the past year to giveaway. It works out nicely that each member gets to pick the book for the month they host book club. This year we also each picked a genre so we’d end up with a wide variety of kinds of books. Should be a fun year!
Since book recommendations are always something I love, in addition to my dream list, I’m sharing the titles my book club has selected for this year so far.
Historical Fiction: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Mystery: Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James
Autobiography/Memoir: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life by Sophia Loren
Nonfiction: The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Sci-fi: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin (my pick)
Classic: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
But if they ever let me choose ALL the books we read in a year…
Top 10 Books I’d Love to Read in My Book Club
1. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The story of two women – Nao, a teenage girl who feels she has nothing to live for and Ruth, a novelist living across the ocean who finds a lunchbox with a secret history inside. Now, these women’s stories are about to entwine.
2. Child Star by Shirley Temple Black
I grew up watching Shirley Temple films, so I’ve always wanted to read this book. Sadly, it’s out of print, but you can get used copies on Amazon. This is her story about becoming a rising star during the depression era.
3. The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
We’ve already read quite a few war books in my club, but none that focus so much on the women’s perspective. Almost 75,000 women were recruited to work in Manhattan Project’s secret cities on a variety of tasks that aided WWII.
4. The Never List by Koethi Zan
Sarah and Jennifer are two friends who make one bad judgement call and spend the next three years held captive by sadist men. Ten years later, when Sarah’s abductor is up for parole, she decides to confront her phobias, and faces fears she didn’t know existed beneath the surface.
5. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Phones no longer ring. The internet stops working. News reports have ended. People live indoors and stay there. One look at what’s outside and they will never be the same again.
6. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Jenna Metcalf is searching for her mom. Her mom that has been gone for over a decade. She scours what little information is left behind and partners up with both a medium and a private investigator.
7. The Wild Truth: The Untold Story of Sibling Survival by Carine McCandless
Most are familiar with the story of Chris McCandless, the boy who left home to live off the land. His story of the nomadic life was made famous as the subject of Jon Krakauer’s book, Into the Wild. Now, twenty years later, Chris’s sister, Carine, shares intimate details about her brother’s journey and their family.
8. Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim
Author Suki Kim shares her experiences of teaching English in North Korea. It’s a mysterious world where her letters are censored, yet she adores the enthusiasm of her students. A unique glimpse at a culture we rarely get to peek into.
9. See How Small by Scott Blackwood
A brutal murder leaves three girls dead in an ice cream shop. The remainder of the story follows the townspeople as they try to make sense and move on from the travesty. But it also follows the three girls, whose spirits also check in on the townspeople.
10. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The hottest new title in Young Adult novels. A chance encounter on the school roof throws Theodore – who thinks only of death – into Violet’s world, where she lives in the future – planning for life after graduation. How will these polar opposites shape one another?
Have you read any of these titles? What did you think?
What books would you pick for your book club to read?
What I’ve Been Reading About – Sex, Lies, and Murder
Hey Dudes and Dudettes,
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about my progress with the To Be Read Pile Challenge, so I thought I’d better “update my status.” You see I’ve been reading a lot about relationships lately, so I have three titles of love advice for anyone to enjoy.
And as a refresher, if you’re unfamiliar with the TBR Pile Challenge, it’s a reading contest hosted by Adam over at Roof Beam Reader. The goal is to complete in 12 months time 12 books that have been sitting on your bookshelf for a year or more. You know the ones, they linger in the ever-looming “to be read” pile. At nine months in, I’m just two books away from completing the challenge this year. Holla!
What have I recently crossed off my list?
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
Little known fact about me, or maybe it’s no secret, I love learning about sex and sexuality. I minored – and only because it wasn’t offered as a major at the time – in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I’m passionate about women’s issues and rights, and I’m thrilled to be working at a reproductive health clinic in my town. Reading about the history and science of sex research was right up my alley.
The author, Mary Roach, is quite possibly the queen of nonfiction exposition on risque topics. Her other books dive into the worlds of human cadavers, the digestive track, and what happens when we die. For Bonk, the woman volunteered herself and her husband to be lab rats for sex research on orgasms. That’s dedication.
In Bonk, not only will you learn about the doctors and scientists behind the “G-spot,” the infamous Kinsey “attic sessions,” or just how artificial insemination happens in a pig, but so much more!
Alright, let’s tame things down a bit. For all you Downton Abbey diehards and regency era wannabees, I suggest you give Daisy Goodwin’s The American Heiress a try. My book club read this one and it was well enjoyed.
Cora Cash is an American debutante. She is wealthy, beautiful, and definitely high society. Her mother, opinionated at her core, has high plans of wedding her daughter to an English Duke, which would grant Cora the one thing she doesn’t have…a title.
It won’t surprise readers to learn that Cora is soon wed in the novel, however can Cora’s marriage last when she comes from a different world than her husband? So many unknowns!
Escape on a whirlwind love affair in Europe, walk the halls of the great English mansions, and go galloping with the finest – or are they – members of society.
By and far one of my favorite reads this year! I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner! After all, the film adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock is tied for first place (with North by Northwest) as my favorite film of his.
Be very aware, young lovers, when falling head over heels into this tale. A young woman of unfortunate circumstance believes her luck has turned around when she meets and marries millionaire, Maxim De Winter, owner of the luscious estate, Manderley. But all is not well inside these walls. The great rooms of the house, the garden with its roses, and the forgotten cottage down by the beach – they are all haunted by Rebecca – the first Mrs. De Winter.
A shocking truth brings the honeymoon to a miserable end in this chilling story by Daphne Du Maurier. I can’t tell you what happens, just read it for yourself!
What have you been reading? Are you participating in the TBR Pile Challenge? How’s it going? Got any recommendations for me?
Redhot Women: We Met Them on Twitter
We’re Baaaaack! Marcia Richards and I are serving up another REDHOT edition of:
Today, we’re introducing you to two women from the Twitterverse who we think exemplify what it means to be REDHOT!
Marcia’s guest will show you how to feng shui your home! Don’t miss it! Go say hello!
And my guest, I admit, I actually found through YouTube and then twitter
stalked found her! She’s the owner of the only beauty salon and bookshop, Beauty and the Book, plus the founder and Queen of the WORLD’S largest book club!
Introducing Kathy Patrick
JW: You own the only Beauty Salon and Bookshop in the country. What has it meant to work everyday at the two things you love most? And how did your shop come about?
KP: Everyday I wake up at the crack of dawn as I can’t wait to do what I love to do, make people feel better about themselves, BEAUTY, and talk about great reads, BOOKS, thus my shop is Beauty and the Book. These two are the best marriage ever and for me it makes my life always a celebration of big love! I don’t go to work, I go to play and get paid for it! Do the thing you love and you’ll never work another day in your life but then you will never work harder. Your work will just seem like play, at least it does for me. If I was rich, I would do what I do for free. Unfortunately, I have bills just like everybody else so I have to charge.
My shop, Beauty and the Book, came about because I lost my job as a book publisher’s representative. Due to the influx of large box stores coming in to my four state territory, the independent bookstores that I called on began to close in droves. Since I was the last one hired, I was the first one fired, as my boss put it downsized. So it was my sister who suggested to me to go back to doing hair. That’s how I put myself through college. When I told her I would be bored just doing hair, she said, “Do the book thing too!” Beauty and the Book was born! It’s all in the first chapter of my book, When Life Hands You a Lemon, forget Lemonade, Make Margaritas. My book is called “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life” and is the first book you are to read when you become an Official Pulpwood Queen Book Club member!
You also lead the world’s LARGEST book club! Tell us about the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys passion for literacy and dialogue.
I have always had my nose stuck in a book so when the local book club invited me to come join their book club when I opened my shop, I jumped at the chance. You can imagine my surprise and embarrassment when after blurting out how happy I was to be FINALLY in a book club, the hostess pulled me out into the galley of her plantation home. “I’m sorry, but we didn’t invite you to join our book club but to be a guest.” This is not in my book but I wish I had put it in there as that is exactly why I started The Pulpwood Queens of East Texas Book Club “where tiaras are mandatory and reading good books is the rule!” Our book club would be inclusive not exclusive and anybody could be in our book club. Who makes up those silly rules anyhoo! So six complete strangers joined me and everybody else has been joining us ever since. We aren’t your mama’s book club and our book club is not homework.
We aren’t your mama’s book club!
If it isn’t fun, well, quite frankly Jess, I’m just not doing it! I challenge all my now 550 world wide book clubs to take on a literacy mission. For me it’s The Dolly Parton Imagination Library Project which helps children get reading ready for school. Dolly makes reading fun as each child in my county from birth to kindergarten gets a FREE book to read and enjoy. We want everybody to understand and be on the same page that reading is the best entertainment in the world and the side benefits are if you become a real reader, school just makes more sense. Reading is as important to a child as water, food, shelter and a loving home. Pull a child onto your lap and read to them. Tell me that isn’t the best way to show love to your child.
The Pulpwood Queens, like yourself, are full of extraordinary, confident, intelligent, and talented women! You ladies know how to have fun and live life large. Tell us a secret! (We know you have them!) 😉
The Pulpwood Queens are the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world as I crown girls Queen, they lead their own book club their own way. I give them ownership but I do ask, no wait, command as their queen to read the books I select. I am also on a mission to not only make them read, but I select books from oftentimes first time, first book authors. I also love to help those authors whose books change lives like Sam Bracken and Echo Garrett’s book “My Orange Duffel Bag”. Echo sent me the book and I was blown away. Another charity of choice is their not for profit, www.myorangeduffelbag.com as this helps teens make the right choices. It’s quite a story and one that makes the world a better place.
My secret is to make reading fun! So, I told them a story!
With your video chats for Beauty and the Book, you’ve interviewed and come to know many authors in such fantastic ways! You’ve gone vintage clothes shopping with Karen Abbott, you’ve had Lisa See cook dinner for you, and you’ve gone real estate hunting with Fannie Flagg! What author are you still wishing to meet, and what activity would you want to do together?
Today my answer is Dolly Parton as her new book released “Dream More” and she is a literacy promoting hero! And if I could just spend the day with her singing perhaps, I love to sing harmony, alto, and talk to her about an adult literacy idea I have involving music. She is my inspiration, in fact, I wrote all about her in my book too! I’d also love to meet former President Bill Clinton because after reading his books, he’s as big a reader as I am. Or Tom Wolfe, love everything that man writes, perhaps, Barbara Kingsolver. You’ve heard the term, “So many books, too little time”. I feel the same way about authors. I want to meet them all!!!
As a hairdresser, I’m sure you stay up on the latest trends, but you also focus on inner beauty with your clients. Tell us your best beauty advice! And ok, share a guilty pleasure beauty buy too!
My beauty secret is common sense, good skin care and a healthy lifestyle. But if you have to invest in one thing, invest in a smile! The hardest thing for some people to invest in, but a smile will get you more than anything money could buy. I work on zero budget. I have found that being kind, loving people and being gracious when people tell you a flat out no will get you more places than expensive anything. But don’t take no for a final answer, offer something else and if they say no, offer something else. Pretty soon, they will say yes or at least think about your passion! The secret to the fountain of youth is finding your passion. It keeps you alive, vibrant, and ready for anything. I just refuse to give up. I’ll get there eventually or die trying! My guilty pleasure is dreaming beyond your wildest dreams.
If you have to invest in one thing, invest in a smile!
“Life is not made up of atoms, but stories!” by Muriel Rukheyser
The Red Tent: A Review of the Retelling of Dinah’s Story
How’s everyone doing on their To Be Read Pile Challenge? Whether you officially participated in Roof Beam Reader’s challenge or are just picking away at your own pile of books by the nightstand, tell me how you’re doing? What books are you currently reading and what is left to complete by the end of the year?
I just finished reading two more books on my list, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and now The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. What’s left?
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave is next up!
- and I have to finish Geek Love by Katherine Dunn – which I stopped halfway through…
The Red Tent
Anita Diamant’s book, The Red Tent, is beautiful and one I wish I’d read a long time ago.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s society.
I’m a big fan of historical fiction. I think writing it is a labor of love for the author. You’re depicting someone’s life, trying to sound like them, make them whole – and all that takes great patience. Imagine trying to know a character who lived in the time before Christ.
“I was drawn to retell the biblical story of Dinah in large part because of her silence. In Genesis 34, Dinah’s experience is described and characterized by the men in her family, who treat her as a rape victim, which in that historical setting meant that she was irredeemably ruined and degraded. Because she does not say a word (and because of the extraordinary loving actions taken by her accused assailant), I found it easy to imagine an alternative telling to the story, in which Dinah is not a passive victim but a young woman who makes choices and acts on her own initiative. Not only did I find it easy, I found it necessary.”
-Anita Diamant (September, 2007)
Growing up a Catholic School girl, our role models in the church were quiet, benevolent women who spent their days soothing others and baking bread. Of course I think women who exemplify these behaviors are necessary to the humanity of our people, but it cannot be the whole story.
My childhood Bible – the cool one with the pictures in it – told the story of Dinah as a rape victim, an event which led to her humiliation and degradation within the community. The story goes on to say that her brothers avenged their sister by ransacking and killing almost an entire town. What Diamant did was give voice to Dinah, and an alternative thought process to the events which happened.
In Diamant’s version, Dinah falls in love with a man, is married even, to this man who is a noble and of great fortune. It behooves Jacob’s family to separate with their daughter in this advantageous outcome, but it is Dinah’s brothers who fear power greater than their own and convince their father to ask for grotesquely large dowry payments and obscene actions of obedience . Still not satisfied, the brothers unleash a silent killing spree through the village, leaving Dinah widowed, alone, and in mourning.
That’s really nothing new for Dinah’s brothers, think “Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and you’ll recall the cruelties they also inflicted on their brother, Joseph. Although he gets a lot more written about him in the Bible. And subsequently a Broadway Musical, which I saw when I was younger, starring Donny Osmond.
It took Diamant 4 years to write The Red Tent. Much of her research was on living conditions, types of foods, etc. that would have grown, thereby creating a realistic world for Dinah and her mothers to live in. Much of women’s history is lost from that time period because it was never written down. A woman’s worth was portrayed in the bread she baked, the clothing she wore, and the children she gave birth to.
Over the years, The Red Tent has become a book of controversy. With religious groups on both sides of the spectrum, its readers range from thinking it sacrilegious to a spectacular teaching tool. The subjects in the book contain historically accurate depictions of plural marriage, religious beliefs, midwifery, famine, social class, genealogy, and gender divides.
I highly recommend this book. If it’s not in your To Read Pile, add it! It’s been described as a luminous read by more than one critic, and I think that’s a fitting depiction as the book does shed light on one woman’s story and what might have been. This is a fantastic book for book clubs or to share with your female friends. My own book club spent much time discussing the various advancements in medicine, cooking, etc. we’re thankful for after reading about the daily lives of biblical women. We contemplated what worked and didn’t work in the marriages of these characters, and what it meant to have a woman from the Bible who was portrayed as strong and intelligent.
Since many of you are writers yourselves, I found this clip of the author sharing her best tips for writers too!
What do you think? Have you read The Red Tent? What did it mean to you to hear Dinah’s story told in such a different way? Have any other books had a profound impact on you?
And what’s left in that TBR Pile of yours? Inquiring minds are always looking for more titles! 😉
Night Fall: A Shocking Tale of Terrorism
What do conspiracy theories, eyewitness accounts, and well-developed reoccurring characters all have in common? For those of you who read my blog often, you’re probably thinking this is another post about Dan Brown, which is a good guess, but actually this time I want to talk about the book Night Fall.
Night Fall, by Nelson Demille, is a fictional mystery novel centered around the events of the plane crash of Flight TWA 800 off the coast of New York. The plane crash did occur on July 17, 1996. The facts of the event were detected by over 200 eyewitness accounts, as well as CIA animated simulations, and Airline experts on how the crash occurred. The problem surrounding this news media frenzy is that the CIA generated module for how the plane crashed (declared technical malfunction due to an exploding gas tank) varied greatly from what 200 eyewitnesses saw (a streaming light coming up from the water, such as that of a missile). Therein, we have our conflict. There are at least six different theories regarding what happened to Flight TWA 800 ranging from a covered up friendly fire drill training gone wrong to explosive gas bubbles. As a reader, you’ll follow along all six options as Detective John Corey unearths them.
National Geographic News Coverage on the Crash Simulation Theory:
The protagonist, John Corey, is a former New York Policeman, recently transferred to the FBI co-branch of detectives for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force. His wife is Kate Mayfield, an FBI agent and former lawyer. He couldn’t be more of a ticking time-bomb and she’s all about the books. Now, Kate was one of the interviewers for the eyewitnesses of the accident, and every year, on that mournful day, Kate pays her respect to the families who lost loved ones on that plane. A few choice words about the theories surrounding this particular plane crash, and her maverick of a husband is now sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.
This book will shock you. It’s both a gripping tale, and a surreal look at the possibilities and inaccuracies that lie within our government’s anti-terrorist actions. I will admit, when my book club first picked this title out and we all asked “what’s it about?” The one word answer “terrorism” didn’t exactly get us all jumping up and down. But I would absolutely recommend this book.
First, the writing is impeccable. Night Fall is the third book Demille uses Detective John Corey in, though the books do not read in a sequential order, he’s certainly found a niche his readers like in Corey’s snarky backhanded compliments and repetition for getting into trouble for all the right reasons. If you were ever in a situation where you needed a good detective, you’d want John Corey on your side. He has a knack of making you like and dislike all the characters he runs into, which in my opinion makes them all very real. Demille writes in a style that is fast paced and first person, so you learn along with his character.
His book is based on the drastic theories, news coverage, and eyewitness reports of what occurred on Flight TWA 800 that caused the death of 230 passengers and crew members. It makes the suspense of this novel all the more gripping, because though you’re reading a work of fiction, this book is widely researched and makes no clear accusations of what really happened, yet challenges the original government ruling of the accidental exploding gas tank. Demille has a history of leaving the endings of his novels unclear or open for interpretation, and Night Fall is no exception. I will say, if you’re someone who likes to skip ahead and read the ending of a book before you get there, DON’T. You do not want to read ahead in this book, and you will understand where he goes with the book as you go through, so don’t ruin it by cheating!
Ultimately, what I love about a book is whether it fosters discussion, and Night Fall does this. With a topic such as government cover-ups and terrorism, it’s difficult not to have an opinion. But it’s not a one-sided argument. There is no clear right or wrong answer that any persons involved in this investigation could have provided, at least in my opinion. It may be simple to look back and say, they should have done this, but we are also all on a heightened awareness and sensitivity regarding terrorism now. Where can we possibly draw the line of what the public needs to know and what is necessary to keep private for internal operations?
A Conspiracy Theory: What Really Happened
15 Years Later: The Mysteries of Flight TWA 800
Have any of you read Night Fall? Do you remember the crash of Flight TWA 800? What’s your opinion on what really happened on July 17, 1996? How does the discussion about terrorism differ from then to now? What changes do you see?
Coincidence? I Think Not.
For the past five months, I’ve participated in my first ever book club. I had gone to the occasional book discussion at the library if I was interested, but I’d never been in an actual group that I committed to seeing everyone in it at least once a month. I couldn’t be happier I did. I’ve mentioned my totally awesome and insightful book club members before, but let me regale you with their praise once more. Collectively, the group is made up of teachers ranging from elementary to college level, nurses, sales managers, and counselors. I am their token young person. I joined up when a coworker of mine invited me knowing I had been an English Major and loved to read. The first night I met the group I couldn’t believe how welcoming they were and how they opened up the discussion to ask me my opinion on things. I love how each member has their own unique way of relating to the book. Myself and one other member love researching the history behind the book, why did that author have to write this story, what’s the author’s background, what is the public saying about the story. Other members have notebooks that they jot down questions about specific scenes where they want to know the thought process behind the character. And others come to chat and bounce ideas off of our discussions.
Get to the point, Witkins, you startin’ up a talk show or what?!
So, over the past five months, one member had repeatedly brought up the same book title at every other book’s discussion. Because we heard it so often, we agreed to read it.
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
The Celestine Prophecy discovers the story of a Peruvian manuscript that is said to highlight nine insights that all humans will come to understand in consecutive order. It takes the reader along the spiritual journey of John, a man with no direction at the beginning of his story. The first insight is the noticing of coincidences. It is believed that human beings will start to realize the uncanny timing of occurrences in their lives, be it the people they meet, the information they need to learn, or the path they should travel. After that, the insights build upon one another with emphasis on energy connections and self awareness.
Now, a story isn’t a good story without conflict. This tale, being a spiritual one, has conflict when the church authorities begin hunting down the existing manuscript and confiscating any copies that may be in circuit. They are determined to teach that the manuscript defies the one true God and the Church’s teachings.
So begins our Indiana Jones-style adventure story, following John as he learns and experiences the nine insights.
Some Background Information:
I didn’t particularly think The Celestine Prophecy was well written. It was difficult to get through and there was simply “no fluff” in the dialogue. It is written out very matter of fact: John asks himself questions, John meets who he needs to meet, asks what he needs to, travels on.
However, I did like the story. There’s something to be said about noticing coincidences, and you may call it whatever you want. I believe there is a spiritual aspect to our lives. How else can we explain that innate feeling we get when the phone rings and you know who’s on the other line, or when you have a dream that something bad is going to happen and a loved one dies? What sets us apart as humans is the ability to see and read and feel each other. But like everything else, it’s a learned skill. We have to be open to getting to know someone. In that sense, I think the Celestine Prophecy has a lot to offer.
But check this out! When Redfield first attempted to publish the tale, he refused all offers because it would be additional 12-18 months of editing before publication. Umm, isn’t that the standard?
He believed the story needed to be published now (which was in 1993), and “driven by intuition to seek [a publishing consultant from New York] he decided to self-publish the book.” He met his wife, Salle Merrill, right after publication and the two of them basically drove around the midwest/southern part of the country handing out copies of his book out of their car trunk. Word of mouth spread, and the book was picked up by Warner Books and published a hardcover edition in March 1994. Now what I’m wondering is is this a prime example of social media hard at work creating the dream of a New York Times Bestseller (which Prophecy was for 3 years)? Or is this just fodder for one man’s quest to revolutionize religion?
I did a little hunting on the local library catalogs and only 1 out of about 6 housed the book in non-fiction. In truth, it is published as fiction. There wasn’t a real “John” who backpacked around Peru and met up with renegade priests who taught him how to grow corn using his mind’s energy and who made his way to Machu Picchu to assist finding the ninth insight.
The book has nonetheless skyrocketed in sales, and become so popular, Redfield has written three other books, The Tenth Insight, The Secret of Shambhala, and The Twelfth Insight. He now puts out newsletters and has written programs to help people propel forward in their own spiritual journeys.
Reading the reviews on Goodreads, the points range from one star to five. You’ll see the recently relocated person give it two thumbs up for reminding them to take life into their own hands and make the changes they want to see, while others write angry reviews that the book is nothing more than psychobabble and a waste of time. I’m going to stay somewhere in the middle on this. I said before, it’s not well written, I wouldn’t recommend it for its eloquent language, but if taken for what is, a parable about how life could be, perhaps should be, with more thought to how we communicate with each other and how our own “control dramas” impact our learning, then I think it is a worthwhile read.
The author, James Redfield, did lead an interesting life that I think demonstrates why he would have a need to write this book. Redfield grew up in a Methodist community-rich environment. He did question elements of the faith and went on to study many Eastern philosophies like Taoism and Zen, while studying Sociology at Auburn University.
For 15 years he worked as a counselor for abused teens, and used methods of human potential and psychic phenomena to assist his patients. When he left, it was to write full time and found that while writing The Celestine Prophecy, he himself underwent the kinds of phenomena described in the book that helped him put it all together. He was given learning tools and met people who helped teach him the exact spiritual insight he was trying to write about.
Your turn! What do you think of The Celestine Prophecy? Have you read it? What insight would you most want the whole human race to realize? Have you had any coincidences in your life lately?
Note: I purposely didn’t include the full nine insights, so as not to spoil the book for anyone wanting to read it, but you may view the insights on Redfield’s site here.