August 21, 2010

Starting a fresh book, with all that delicious anticipation, is a treat. Finishing a book and feeling sorry that it’s ended is relatively rare and an even greater pleasure. I believe the success of a story is in its emotional connection to the reader. I’ve connected with two stories this summer (so far) and felt privileged to have experienced them. My hope is that you will feel touched in the same way if you read them.

From my Paperbacks for Summer list (see entry on July 11, 2010) I read Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  Like many, I often ponder the prevalence of homelessness and struggle to imagine the best way out for those who seek to leave that way of life. Same Kind of Different as Me takes the reader to this world – it is the true story of one man’s path from poverty to the riches of friendship and family. It is also the story of a very wealthy man’s own personal enlightenment through his involvement with one homeless man in particular.  There is so much more to the tale as the men’s relationship is fostered by the strength and love of a special woman. Have your tissues close at hand! A strong religious element flows through the story which may be important to some readers or distract others. I appreciated its role in the account but focused more on the relationships in the story.  This is a book I know I’ll reflect upon often and recommend for a long time.

The second book, from Summer is Here At last – Your Recommendations (posted on July 4, 2010) was Open: An Autobiography by Andre Aggasi.  I was loaned the book by a friend with whom I play tennis and whose reading choices I respect and, though it did appeal, it was mostly her enthusiasm that prompted me to pick it up and get reading. I’m so glad I did – what a riveting tale!  It certainly fits the “un-put-down-able” category, causing me to shirk many duties this week and to suffer the effects of late nights in order to get to its final pages.  Whether you are a tennis fan or not, this well-written personal story of physical and mental dedication, personal anguish, loyalty, and love, will capture your attention. A bookish aside from Andre’s final words in the acknowledgements:  “I was late in discovering the magic of books. Of all my many mistakes that I want my children to avoid, I put that one near the top of the list.”

What books have you connected with this summer?


3 Responses to “Connecting”

  1. Carla Gilley Says:

    You might also like the memoir Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.
    Her challenging childhood is explored revealing her incredible resiliency. She also illuminates homelessness in a way I’ve never read before.

  2. Susan Says:

    Great recommendation Carla! I did indeed enjoy the Glass Castle and appreciated the author’s straight forward story – no feeling sorry for herself, just stating it how it was. An incredible story and insight into a remarkable way of life.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Love this!

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