Monday, February 22, 2016

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

            Set in 1950s New York, The Chosen is a tale about two Jewish boys and the friendship that develops between them. While both Jews, the backgrounds they come out of are drastically different. Danny Saunders is a Hassidic Jew of the most pious sect, and Reuven Malter is the son of a Zionist father. As the story unwinds it immerses the reader in the lives of these boys, and the troubles they navigate.
             This book was one of the few I have read this year that injected me completely into its world. And that is somewhat surprising considering there is really not any action to speak of but Potok writes with such passion and energy that every page seems to come to life. While he does write with beautifully descriptive language the book has an incredibly realistic sense, especially in Danny and Reuven’s relationship. The book also provides intriguing and perhaps different views to historical events such as World War Two, the holocaust, and the creation of the state of Israel. And while the narrative is set in the past the truths about family, friendship, and life are just a relevant today as ever.

            So if you have not yet read Chaim Potok’s The Chosen I highly recommend it, regardless of your age or religion you are almost certain to have a good time.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Relationship Advice!

"It's a beautiful moment when somebody wakes up to this reality, 
when they realize God created them so that other people
 could enjoy them, not just endure them."

There are two kinds of people in the world: People-persons and not-people-persons. Or maybe a better illustration is introvert vs. extrovert. If you're anything like me developing deep relationships doesn't come naturally and it takes a lot of work. Sometimes honestly it's easier to just drop off the public scene and become a recluse. I mean come on, who wouldn't want to live up in the mountains in a cabin next to a lake, with no one around, writing your long dreamed of novel, no people, some good coffee, maybe a dog, but no people! If that sounds like something you'd be totally into you HAVE TO check out Don Miller's book, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy. It has changed the way I think about relationships and I'm sure it will change you too!

This was the first book I have read by Don Miller, but I'm sure it won't be the last. While reading it, I felt as though the feelings he recorded were pulled straight from my head. While a self-help book, it is almost more of an autobiography. There are no assignments, no tasks, just an author revealing his inner thoughts and feelings. It is this vulnerability that I think gives this book its unique tone. It is filled with sound bite clips that make great nuggets of thought as well as paragraphs analyzing specific thought patterns and how the author beat his own weaknesses. It is filled with personal anecdotes that will make you laugh and make you think. With many other resources, He makes available on his website Don Miller will start you off on a journey toward true relationships that will change the way you think, work, and interact. I highly recommend reading this book. I bought it on kindle and it works great, but I would recommend getting the hard copy version. (I will probably buy the hard copy version even though I've already read it.) This will make it easier for you to annotate, highlight, and mark it up! I guarantee you will want to!