Archive for May, 2008

Burnt Toast and other Philosophies of Life by Teri Hatcher

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I am not a Desperate Housewives fan however the close of the TV season prompted me to pull this book off the library shelves.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed reading this book.  Teri has a way of validating the day to day experiences faced daily by many women, especially those raising children in the here and now.  The book cuts through the drama of Susan Mayer’s psyche to reveal the fact that Teri Hatcher’s success developed in spite of a less than perfect personal life.  Teri attributes her professional accomplishments to her ability to overcome a sense of low self-esteem and accept the help of others when the situation deems it necessary. 

Burnt Toast is a quirky fun title that readers will understand after reading the first few pages of the book.  I recommend the book highly for Desperate Housewives fans as the the author’s story of self-discovery also holds backstage glimpses of actors lives and production of the TV show. 

A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Enlightening most accurately describes this book on which Oprah Winfrey based an entire groundbreaking web event. Eloquently written, Eckhart Tolle describes, in a nondenominational way, what he believes is the path to true happiness and oneness with God. According to the author, evil works through illusion, and the stage for this illusion is our minds. Eckhart Tolle explains how our egos and past pain cloud the truth, creating pain and suffering. The author describes how our egos cause us to complain, talk about others, hold resentments, objectify people, purchase excessive material goods, and even start wars, for the sole purpose of strengthening our illusionary sense of self. Eckhart Tolle explains that these egoic tendencies cause pain and suffering throughout the world. The purpose of this book is to bring about a shift from an ego-based consciousness to an awakened state of consciousness. The title of the book was inspired by the Bible passage that describes “a new heaven and a new earth.” Eckhart Tolle states, “a new heaven is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and a new earth is its reflection in the physical realm.”
This book was very interesting to read and really made you “think” or actually “not think,” meaning it made you realize how important it is to feel with your soul, rather than incessantly think with your mind. This book will help the reader see how the ego and past pain negatively work in their life, and how living in the present can break the cycle of pain and create a more loving world. Although I occaisionally came across something questionable, if read with an open mind, this book easily concides with loving religious beliefs. Most importantly, one discovers that the greatest gift is the natural beauty around you now… that’s why it’s called “the present!”

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

The author of this work is a Computer Science professor from Carnegie Mellon University who has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  His passion for life is evident as he opens the door to his psyche through the pages of this book in preparation for his “last lecture.?

“What makes me unique??  He shares, “Cancer doesn’t make me unique.?  There is no use arguing that.  More than 37,000 Americans a year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer alone.  I thought hard about how I defined myself:  as a teacher, a computer scientist, a husband, a father, a son, a friend, a brother, a mentor to my students.  Those were all roles a valued.  But did any of those roles really set me apart??  In preparing for his lecture, Professor Pausch pondered, “What do I alone, truly have to offer?? 

The author views his uniqueness stemming from the specifics of all the dreams that define his forty-six years of life.  Randy Pausch developed his impassioned lecture  hoping that it might help others find a path to fulfilling their own dreams. The author shares both childhood memories as well as defining moments of adulthood.  The photographs sprinkled through the book are heart warming and the selections reveal what matters to this special individual.

I was deeply moved while reading Randy’s life experience.  This appears to be due in part to the many fascinating individuals Randy has encountered throughout his life adventure.  He does not share wisdom of Hollywood celebrities, Heads of State, or CEOs, but rather chronicles how determination, openess to others and commitment to dreams can set one apart and create a full life.

The Last Lecture held my attention even though I had seen Randy Paunch’s Last Lecture on YouTube and viewed him and his devoted wife, Jai, on television during an episode of 20/20.    I found personal inspiration in reading this man’s written words.  I think you may too.