Category Inspirational

Being Mortal

Product DetailsBeing Mortal(Unabridged)
by Atul Gawande
Macmillan Audio
Retail Price $14.95
Amazon Price: $14.95

Book Description: 

In Being Mortal, best-selling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: How medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

Review

Wow.  This book was enlightening.  I have aging parents and have a deep interest in the topic of elder care.  I want to make sure my parents are comfortable in their old age.  I want to repay them for all they have done me as their child by making sure they die with the greatest amount of dignity possible.  This audiobook was quite an eye opener for me about what really goes on in nursing facilities and other long term care facilities and how modern medicine sometimes fail those who need it most.  The author doesn’t spend time pointing fingers, he just lays out the truth for us to see, ponder, and then apply what we can to our own lives.  His words are honest, but sometimes hard to bear, but they spur us on to help give quality of life to those we love who are aging or suffering from terminal illness, helping them to end their stories on their own terms.   While I wouldn’t say this book is uplifting, I did find it comforting as it inspired me to do right by my parents.

~Reviewed by Pat C.

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    Zen Pencils

    Zen Pencils
    By Gaving Aung Than
    Andrews McMeel
    Retail Price $14.99
    Amazon Price: $12.78

    Book Description: 

    Zen Pencils is an exciting and unique new comic form that takes inspirational and famous quotations and adapts them into graphic stories. From icons like Confucius, Marie Curie, and Henry David Thoreau, to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge, to contemporary notables like Ira Glass, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Neil Gaiman—their words are turned into sometimes heartwarming, sometimes sobering stories by cartoonist Gavin Aung Than. Be inspired, motivated, educated, and laugh as you read famous words as never before!

    Gavin Aung Than, an Australian graphic designer turned cartoonist, started the weekly Zen Pencils blog in February 2012. He describes his motivation for launching Zen Pencils: “I was working in the boring corporate graphic design industry for eight years before finally quitting at the end of 2011 to pursue my passion for illustration and cartooning. At my old job, when my boss wasn’t looking, I would waste time reading Wikipedia pages, mainly biographies about people whose lives were a lot more interesting than mine. Their stories and quotes eventually inspired me to leave my job to focus on what I really wanted to do. The idea of taking these inspiring quotes, combining them with my love of drawing and sharing them with others led to the creation of Zen Pencils.”

    Review

    This book by Gaving Aung Than was nothing short of inspirational….and genius!  He takes our favorite quotes and brings them to life with his graphic art and packaged it all in an easy to handle volume.  This was such a clever idea and it is very well done.  He did a fantastic job in picking the quotes he illustrates and presents us with timeless truths to visualize and ponder.  I was very impressed.

    Reviewed by J.Rose

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      Rare Bird

      Rare Bird
      By Anna Whiston-Donaldson
      Convergent
      Retail Price $22.99
      Amazon Price: $17.97


      Book Description: 

      On the other side of heartbreak, a story of hope rises.
       
      On an ordinary September day, twelve-year-old Jack is swept away in a freak neighborhood flood. His parents and younger sister are left to wrestle with the awful questions: How could God let this happen? And, Can we ever be happy again? They each fall into the abyss of grief in different ways. And in the days and months to come, they each find their faltering way toward peace.

      In Rare Bird, Anna Whiston-Donaldson unfolds a mother’s story of loss that leads, in time, to enduring hope. “Anna’s storytelling,” says Glennon Doyle Melton, “is raw and real and intense and funny.”

      With this unforgettable account of a family’s love and longing, Anna will draw you deeper into a divine goodness that keeps us—beyond all earthly circumstances—safe.

      This is a book about facing impossible circumstances and wanting to turn back the clock. It is about the flicker of hope in realizing that in times of heartbreak, God is closer than your own skin. It is about discovering that you’re braver than you think.

      Review

      This book was an odd mix of inspiration and sadness.  As the author shares the story of the loss of her son,  I found myself grieving with her, almost heartbroken myself, then inspired by the way she handled the death and grew emotionally ans spiritually through her time of grief.  As the author lays her heart bare for all to see, we can find hope and healing in all she has experienced as we relate it to our own life. The book evokes raw emotion, both good and bad and will have you turning to God for understanding and comfort yourself.

      ~Reviewed by Tricia C.

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        Dying to Be Me

         

        Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing

        Dying to Be Me
        by Anita Moorjani
        Hay House
        Retail Price $15.00
        Amazon Price: $12.33

         

         

        Book Description:

        In this truly inspirational memoir, Anita Moorjani relates how, after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body began shutting down—overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realized her inherent worth…. and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was released from the hospital within weeks—without a trace of cancer in her body! Within these pages, Anita recounts stories of her childhood in Hong Kong, her challenge to establish her career and find true love, as well as how she eventually ended up in that hospital bed where she defied all medical knowledge. As part of a traditional Hindu family residing in a largely Chinese and British society, Anita had been pushed and pulled by cultural and religious customs since she was a little girl. After years of struggling to forge her own path while trying to meet everyone else’s expectations, she had the realization, as a result of her epiphany on the other side, that she had the power to heal herself . . . and that there are miracles in the Universe that she’d never even imagined. In Dying to Be Me, Anita freely shares all she has learned about illness, healing, fear, “being love,” and the true magnificence of each and every human being! This is a book that definitely makes the case that we are spiritual beings having a human experience . . . and that we are all One!

         

        Review

        The story of this author’s life is truly inspirational. I myself have overcome cancer and going through that experience really changes you. In this book Anita not only recounts her life story, but the lasting affects that cancer had on her life…the good, the bad, and the ugly. As she shares her life’s journey, she will inspire you to look at your own life with fresh eyes and help you to find meaning and substance in your own life. This book gives the reader hope for the future as well as helping you find contentment in the life we currently lead.

        ~Reviewed by Elaine W.

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          Sacred Success

          Sacred Success
          by Barbara Stanny
          BenBella
          Retail Price $24.95
          Amazon Price: $18.04

          Book Description: 

          Barbara Stanny, the leading expert on women and money, has helped women take control of their finances for two decades—and she knows there is much more to success than how much you earn. In her work with powerful, successful women over the last 20 years, bestselling author and financial educator Stanny has found that most women’s problems with money have little to do with money itself, but rather with their fear of, or ambivalence toward, power. Instead of pushing women to pursue financial success in the traditional fashion, Sacred Success seeks to redefine power from a feminine perspective.

          More than a financial guide, Sacred Success is a primer on power for women—a tutorial for taking charge of your life by taking charge of your finances, and not only growing your money but creating a deeper, richer, and more meaningful life. Best described as “A Course in Miracles meets the Wall Street Journal,” Sacred Success gives you a proven process that uniquely blends the practical, psychological, and spiritual work of wealth.

          You can be financially successful without sacrificing your soul or compromising your values. You can create wealth and exercise power by staying true to your authentic self and personal mission.

          Review

          Most book that I have read on how women can become successful have focused on how to make money, how to climb to the top of the corporate ladder, and how to be a leader in your field.  This is how these books define success.  In this book author Barbara Stanny paints quite a different picture of success and then give us the tools to help us achieve the success we are looking for in our individual lives.  She reminds us that success is not all about money and power for power’s sake.  It is about knowing what is important to us and giving our all to achieve it and then paying it forward to inspire others.  This book is full of sage advice on personal growth and how to avoid pit falls along your journey as you stay true to yourself and become the woman you desire to be.

          ~Reviewed by Monica P.

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            Finding Zoe

            Finding Zoe
            by Brandi Rarus and Marlee Matlin
            BenBella
            Retail Price $22.00
            Amazon Price: $17.14

            Book Description

            At just a few months old, Zoe was gradually losing her hearing. Her adoptive parents loved her—yet agonized—feeling they couldn’t handle raising a Deaf child. Would Zoe go back into the welfare system and spend her childhood hoping to find parents willing to adopt her? Or, would she be the long-sought answer to a mother’s prayers?

            Brandi Rarus was just 6 when spinal meningitis took away her hearing. Because she spoke well and easily adjusted to lip reading, she was mainstreamed in school and socialized primarily in the hearing community. Brandi was a popular, happy teen, but being fully part of every conversation was an ongoing struggle. She felt caught between two worlds—the Deaf and the hearing.

            In college, Brandi embraced Deaf Culture along with the joys of complete and effortless communication with her peers. Brandi went on to become Miss Deaf America in 1988 and served as a spokesperson for her community. It was during her tenure as Miss Deaf America that Brandi met Tim, a leader of the Gallaudet Uprising in support of selecting the university’s first Deaf president. The two went on to marry and had three hearing boys—the first non-deaf children born in Tim’s family in 125 years.

            Brandi was incredibly grateful to have her three wonderful sons, but couldn’t shake the feeling something was missing. She didn’t know that Zoe, a six-month-old Deaf baby girl caught in the foster care system, was desperately in need of a family unafraid of her different needs. Brandi found the answer to her prayers when fate brought her new adopted daughter into her life.

            Set against the backdrop of Deaf America, Finding Zoe is an uplifting story of hope, adoption, and everyday miracles.

            Review

             

            This is an inspirational story of love and determination to make a difference. It was not only very interesting, but very enlightening.  It sheds light not only on deaf culture, but teen pregnancy and adoption as well.   I learned a lot about deaf culture that I never knew before and about adoption and the foster care system.  It was a heartwarming, feel-good read, spurring you on to make a difference in your own sphere of influence.

            ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

             

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              Jumping into the Parade

              Jumping into the Parade
              by Tim Brown
              BenBella
              Retail Price $19.95
              Amazon Price: $15.16

              Book Description

              After overcoming a difficult childhood in a dysfunctional family rife with drugs and alcohol, he became a millionaire by age 30 and had a beautiful wife and young son, a deep commitment to the community, and a big house where he could entertain friends and clients. But all was not as it appeared. Behind closed doors, Tim’s life was like a cracking windshield, splintering further day by day, on the verge of shattering.

              One November night while on an important business trip, he found himself at a New York hotel contemplating ending his life. He spotted a place on the roof where he could end the pain. In his early 40s, his marriage was struggling, his businesses were collapsing, and his health was hanging in the balance. He was being pushed to the edge, forced to face the darkness and shame of his past.

              But from that darkness, Tim found the strength to reshape and rebuild his life. His faith gave him the courage to “jump into the parade,” a phrase his former father-in-law coined to mean truly living, taking chances, and being who you really want to be—not who others expect you to be. Jumping into the Parade is his honest and candid memoir, detailing how personal struggles and flaws led him to reframe and embrace his life on his own terms. Tim’s raw and humbling story will inspire you to find the meaning in your life, wherever you are on your journey.

              Jumping into the Parade is a memoir that illuminates why embracing the edges, owning the traumatic events that shape us, and facing the stress that life can throw our way allow us to transcend our circumstances and live authentic lives in alignment with our own values—not the values others believe we should hold. Tim’s raw and humbling story provides inspiration, thought-provoking insight, and, most important, hope. Hope for those who, like Tim, want to overcome their personal struggles and flaws to reframe and embrace life on their own terms.

              Review

              This book was not only thought-provoking but truly inspiring.   Author Tim Brown shares his life with us, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Not just for interesting reading, but in hopes that his struggles, failures, and successes will help us build the life we always wanted.  While his past was very dysfunctional, he seemingly overcame it, becoming successful in personal life and business.  Yet, never fully dealing with that past caught up with him and seeped into his life, killing his joy.  In this book he tells us how he overcame that past and went on to rebuild a life based on his present and future, not his past.  Brown is a fantastic storyteller and I became very involved in his story.  And he had plenty of life lessons and take-away value.  This is an inspiring and life-changing read.

              ~Reviewed by Dave H.

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                Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude

                 

                Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and GratitudeSunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude
                By Kim Weiss
                HCI
                Retail Price $10.95
                Amazon Price: $9.86

                Book Description: 

                The same vista.  Never the same sun. Much like life, the stage changes even when our vantage point doesn’t.  And so it is with the rising and setting sun, no two are ever the same. Every picture tells another color, shape and shadow story . . . whatever unfolds each day reveals the diversity and beauty of life. Birds, insects, reptiles, trees, sandy shores—all thrive under the majesty of the sun.Weiss offers all of this as a show of gratitude, a tribute to the awe of each new day. Sunrise Sunset is replete with glorious photographs of different days and different suns captured from the very same vantage point, the very same terrace.

                Complementing her photographs are meditations, passages, poetry, reflections and contemplations from some of the bestknown and loved inspirational leaders of our time: Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, M.J. Rose, Arielle Ford, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., Richard Bandler, Lisa McCourt, Betsey Chasse and many more.

                This is the ultimate gift book for saying ‘thank you’, sharing a blessing or offering an oasis for spiritual awakening. From sunrise to sunset, this will be a perennial bestseller.

                Review

                This was an enjoyable book that helped me to focus on the good things in life.  We all have so much to be thankful for, yet we often get bogged down in the negative that we overlook the positive.  The author uses some stunning photography and thought provoking reflections to remind us that everyday brings things to be grateful for.  I loved the way she used the imagery of sunrises and sunsets to get her point across.  Kudos!

                ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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                  Soul Choices

                  Soul Choices
                  By Kathryn Andreis
                  Ozark Mountain Publishing
                  Retail Price $16.50
                  Amazon Price: $12.34

                  Book Description: 

                  The first book to teach the top 6 methods of self-awareness.Reading this book will bring you face to face with your true self and help you discover parts of yourself never before encountered. Full of unconventional ideas, thought-provoking questions and engaging activities, this book will propel everyone, regardless of age or religion, to examine their life’s mission in a new light.A guidebook, resource manual and workbook all in one! Soul Choices: Six Paths to Find Your Life Purpose shows how to successfully use six different methods of self-awareness to understand yourself and your life mission. More than 130 thought provoking questions, exercises and tasks will lead you to uncover your strengths and weaknesses. This is the first time these 6 intuitive sciences have been brought together in one book. Andries shows how to synthesize the information from the six methods into a cohesive message that pertains to your life mission. Best of all, Soul Choices teaches you how to do it on your own, or how to get in contact with people and resources that can help you. You will learn how to:

                  • Use your influences to create a joyful and purposeful life
                  • Discover the story in your eyes and hands
                  • Understand and improve family relationships
                  • Determine the significance of your birth date
                  • Link your past lives and current circumstances
                  • Master lessons and challenges
                  • Find a satisfying career

                   

                  Review

                  Soul Choices: Six Paths to Find Your Life Purpose by Kathryn Andries (Published 2013) is a beautiful book that introduces us to six methods to help us discover our life purpose. The six methods we are introduced to are: Past Lives, Astrology, Numerology, Rayid Iris, Palmistry, and finally Family and Birth order.

                  We are then shown how these six methods can be combined together to help us find our life purpose. I had never heard of the Rayid Iris method and found it to be very interesting and look forward to learning more about it. Rayid Iris is basically looking at our eyes to find out more about ourselves. I like the exercises at the end of each chapter which showed us how each method represents us. I also enjoyed the exercises that integrated all the aspects together in order to help us find our life purpose.

                  I really enjoyed this book and think it is a good introduction to the six methods mentioned above. I also thought the cover of the book was very beautiful and fitting for this book. I would recommend this book to those who want a very brief introduction to the methods and also those who want to learn how to bring all of the methods together to find their purpose.

                  I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Ozark Mountain Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of the book.

                  ~Reviewed by  Book L.

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                    The OPA! way

                     

                    The OPA! WayProduct Details
                    By Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon
                    BenBella Books
                    Retail Price $24.95
                    Amazon Price: $18.60

                    Book Description: 

                    In chasing “the good life,” many of us sacrifice our relationships, our health, and our sanity, but at the end of the day, we still find ourselves with lives and work that bring us little fulfillment. It’s not about the pursuit of happiness, as happiness is superficial and fleeting. It’s about meaning, which helps us know that our lives and work matter. As meaning emerges as the next hot topic in personal and organizational transformation, it also helps us realize our full potential, regardless of our circumstances.

                    Inspired by the wisdom of ancient Greek philosophy and traditional village values, and backed by years of research, The OPA! Way provides a breakthrough approach and practical tools for finding joy and meaning in everyday life and work. Bestselling authors Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon demystify the subject of meaning by sharing insights, stories, and three core lessons to guide you on your odyssey to meaning:

                    Connect meaningfully with Others

                    Engage with deeper Purpose

                    Embrace life with Attitude

                    Stop looking for happiness, and start looking for meaning. Create the meaningful life you want, The OPA! Way.

                    Review

                    Within a context of love and acceptance, the author’s present thought provoking issues for self-examination. This book offers insights to change your view of the world. Though it is not advertised as a Christian book per se, it follows the biblical examples of loving your neighbor as yourself, positive thinking , and seeking purpose and meaning for your life.  The book is
                    soul-enriching, though-provoking, and a call to action.  Inspirational!

                    ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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