- The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
- Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
- The Jew Store by Stella Suberman
- Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan
- The Other Guy by Cary Attwell
- A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
- Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson by William B. Van Valin II MD
- My Drowning by Jim Grimsley
- The Watch by Moonbeam McQueen
- Jesus Is Sending You This Message by Jim Grimsley
- Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
- Joe by Larry Brown
- Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
- The Key Is Love by Marie Osmond
- Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
- Life After Joe by Harper Fox
- Clear Water by Amy Lane
- The Boy Who Came In From The Cold by B. G. Thomas
- Caught Running by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
- Denial: My 25 Years Without A Soul by Jonathan Rauch
- Driftwood by Harper Fox
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Brothers of the Wild North Sea by Harper Fox
- A Midwinter Prince by Harper Fox
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
- I Wrote This For You by pleasefindthis
- The Catcher In The Rye by Jeff Marsden
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Fire Birds by Shane Gregory
- When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde
In my opinion, no matter what the final cause of Michael’s death, there can be no doubt that Michael Jackson died of a broken heart, of deep and lasting pain, and that the principal twin causes of that pain were a broken relationship with his own father and the fact that innumerable people believed he was a predator who preyed on unsuspecting children.
- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Honoring The Child Spirit
I just finished reading Anne Lamott’s book titled Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. It was beautiful. Anne has a unique way of understanding and elaborating on religious doubt. I could see myself in many of the pages, including the prayer in the following excerpt.
My belief is that when you’re telling the truth, you’re close to God. If you say to God, “I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don’t like You at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You,” that might be the most honest thing you’ve ever said. If you told me you had said to God, “It is all hopeless, and I don’t have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand,” it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real-really real. It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table.
I like the idea of being completely honest with God. I tend to completely shut Him/Her out of the equation when I am feeling low spiritually. This has actually been the case for quite some time now. I also completely identify with the idea of recoiling from most people who believe in God. Even so, I still pray. Often in the manner Anne descibes. Short and to the point.
If You are up there, please help this person get better.
If You exist, thanks for my home, my partner, my comfort.
Wow. You really outdid Yourself with these beautiful flowers. I’m in awe!
I’m never sure if anyone is actually listening, but I do it anyway. Since reading this book, I intend to do it more, and in a much more honest manner. If God exists, He/She already knows my thoughts, so there is no point trying to conceal them.
Anne sums up her book and my feelings perfectly with a quote from Matisse:
I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.
Special thanks to We Are Fambly for bringing this book to my attention.
One of my favorite bloggers recently published an ebook. I just devoured it, and you should too.
From the description on Amazon:
It’s Memphis in the 1970′s, it’s sweltering outside, and eleven-year-old Angel is trying to maneuver her increasingly messy childhood. She’s at the mercy of the adults in her world–a mother who’s on the hunt for a rich new husband, a cruel nun named Sister Claudia and a stream of potential step-parents.
There’s also her crazy father, Ray. He’s a dangerous man and an awful parent, but Angel holds out hope that one day, he’ll change. It’s a hope that grows stronger when he hints of buying her a incredible gift–one that could transform her entire life.
Weaving together threads of deception, dysfunction and childhood resilience, “The Watch” is a coming-of-age story you’ll never forget.
Books I read or finished reading this year:
- A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel
- Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Transparent by Don Lemon
- The Michael Jackson Tapes by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
- The King of Clayfield by Shane Gregory
- It Ain’t All About The Cookin’ by Paula Deen
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Older Man, Younger Man by Joseph Dispenza
- Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel by Bob Smith
- Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories by Patrick Merla
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- All That I See: The King of Clayfield Book Two by Shane Gregory
- True You by Janet Jackson
- Sidecar by Amy Lane
- The Fall by Ryan Quinn
- The Absolutist by John Boyne
- Featuring Michael Jackson by Joseph Vogel
- Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
- Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
- Unconditional Love (Seven Days Series) by Andrew Grey
- The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family by Dan Savage
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Society’s Child by Janis Ian
- Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
- Boys by G. A. Hauser
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
- Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless
- Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
- The Convert by Oliver Broudy
- My Life and Other Unfinished Business by Dolly Parton
- Dream More by Dolly Parton
- Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
- Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
- Comfort and Joy by Jim Grimsley
- Winter Birds by Jim Grimsley
- Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley
I just finished The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I believe this book has the power to change the world. As the author states, “This is part of the evolution of the mind. This is the future of humanity.”
The book gives four simple-to-understand (but not so easy to implement) agreements that we can make with ourselves to drastically improve our lives.
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Through his music, dance, and fashion, Michael Jackson created a mystique that was unique to him and recognized as such throughout the world. For five decades he mesmerized audiences—and for twenty-five of those years Michael Bush was there as Jackson’s designer, stylist, and friend, accompanying the King of Pop on his journey to becoming the King of Style.
While paying homage to the original Billie Jean, Beat It, and Thriller looks that put Jackson on the fashion map, The King of Style also traces their evolution over several decades. Jackson’s penchant for the military silhouette is explored in detail, along with the trade secrets behind the sequined glove and the fencing uniform that he, Michael Bush, and Dennis Tompkins reinvented to make stage magic. It was Bush who dressed Jackson for the final time, before he was buried. Dozens of garments were left unfinished by his shocking death.
The legacy of Michael Jackson lives on. An artist like none other, he transformed everything he touched—from the fabric of his clothes to his legions of fans around the world.
Book description from Amazon.