Friday, January 15, 2010
I am your constant companion. I
am your greatest asset or heaviest
burden. I will push you up to success
or down to disappointment. I am at
your command. Half the things you
do might just as well be turned over
to me, for I can do them quickly,
correctly, and profitably. I am easily
managed; just be firm with me.
Those who are great, I have made
great. Those who are failures, I have
made failures. I am not a machine,
though I work with the precision of
a machine and the intelligence of a
person. You can run me for profit,
or you can run me for ruin.
Show me how you want it done.
Educate me. Train me. Lead me.
Reward me. And I will then do it
automatically. I am your servant.
Who am I? I am a habit
Aristotle said “Excellence is not an act…it’s
a habit.” If you make good habits, good
habits will make you. This wisdom
has been around since ancient
times...Try creating a good habit-you will be amazed at the results!
(This blog was an excerpt from the book "The Essence of Leadership")
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Two Truths and a Lie has you hooked in the first couple of pages with some amazing insight into Dair...a woman for whom lying has become something of a habit, if not a compulsion. She witnesses a horrific incident which ends up having an effect on her, her husband and their entire circle of friends and family. Secrets and lies abound and leave you hungry to find out more about everyone this tragedy affects.
This was a unique book. I couldn't put it down. Murder, mystery, addiction, reincarnation, acting and animal communication are just some of the many elements involved in this story. In simplest terms, it can be described as a mystery, but it's also so much more.
Set in Cincinnati, Ohio, the book explores our relationships with and how we communicate with other people as well as with animals. In fact, animals play a huge role in helping to solve the primary mystery of the story: the murder of one of the best friends of the protagonist, Dair Canard. If Dair could just overcome her addiction to alcohol, all the answers would be clear for her to see. And then there's her addiction to lying, which is getting her into deeper trouble. As Dair fights to overcome her addictions, she reconnects with her family and with an ability she had long buried. She finds out that one of her biggest lies actually contained a truth that even she was unaware of. I don't want to give too much away, but the reader should know that the author takes us on some pretty wild plot twists, but not too worry. Ms. Kittle skilfully brings in all back to reality in the end.
I am not much of a mystery/thriller fan, but this book was very engaging. It is worth reading and would make a great book for a plane ride or beach reading. Plus, it is available at amazon.com for only $ 5.75, so it is a bargain as well!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Week of December28-January 3
Run 2.35 miles (Treadmill)
I did not use any walk breaks for this run
Run 3 miles (Treadmill)
Elliptical 45 minutes
I am still using the Galloway method. I usually use a 6:1 run/walk ratio and it is still working out pretty well, but I did experiment with other ratios this week as I was adjusting to tread mill running again. I had to run twice on the treadmill this week due to snow and cold, but at least my long run was outside must say that I HATE the treadmill and this cold icy weather is really messing with my running mojo..........no problems or injuries to report.
Friday, January 08, 2010
The title "The Cider House Rules" refers to a list of rules that were posted in the cider house that migrant workers were expected to follow. It is an interesting title considering the fact that these rules were routinely broken. This concept is a major theme of this book and the truth of this story. The novel is a master class in the study of compromise and consequence. It challenges, under sometimes a very harsh and hot spotlight, some of the most profound concepts - Love is Truth and Honesty (is it?), Good and Evil are clearly distinguishable (are they?) and how, sometimes, the greatest sins are not the choices we make, but rather the ones we shy away from. As always, Irving’s grasp of characters, events and a deep understanding of who we are as people is amazing. He peels back and exposes the prejudices, hopes and fears that we have wrapped around ourselves.
You can't evaluate "The Cider House Rules" on the basis of the plot: to say that the book is about an orphan who grows up in an orphanage run by an abortionist, meets a young couple (there for an abortion), leaves with them, and falls in love with the woman, is to miss about 90 percent of what makes the book special. I am a huge John Irving fan, his novels are so incredibly character-driven. As you read the books, you get the sense that he is so attuned to the people who populate his world that he could write novels centered on any of them.
However, it must be noted that a central topic in the book is the issue of abortion. It amazes me how Irving can broach topics like adoption, abortion, love, faithfulness with such empathy and balance. This is the only discussion I've ever encountered of abortion, pro or con that zeroed in on the issue and then explored both sides of it in such an enlightening manner. It doesn't matter whether you're liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between. Irving will make you think about the issue of abortion, and give you a chance to question and refine some of your own views, while at the same time read a very engaging story that provokes and entertains from beginning to end. Although abortion is a major theme in this novel, it's not what the book is about. Irving also weaves many other issues into The Cider House Rules: adoption, friendship, family, and most importantly, love, especially the importance of love to a child.
Yes, they made a movie with the same name, and yes, the movie was remarkably true to the book. Yet the movie contained only about 1% of the plot and the depth of the novel. Irving tells so many different stories here, but these stories are not about Homer Wells or Dr. Larch or any of the other characters he depicts. If we look deeply enough, we realize that the real story here is actually our own. If you don't like Irving, you won't like this one, either. But if you've never sampled his work, this is as good a place to start as any. It's not endearing, but it was never meant to be. It's a heartfelt statement not only about the way the world is, but how it should be.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
I joined the team "50 books in 2010" this week and officially made reading 50 books in 2010 one of my long term goals this year. The first book I read was The Spark by Chris Downie (huge surprise I chose this one, I know)
I have belonged to sparkpeople for a long time and have been active on the site for well over a year. I have lost 50 lbs, and recently had the honor of becoming a sparkpeople motivator. Therefore, I shouldn't need to read this book. After all, all the information you need is on the website right?
Everyone here should read this book!
I wish the book had been available when I joined because there is so much information on the sparkpeople website it takes a while to figure it all out (one of my friends refers to it as a "very busy" looking website). The Spark manages to put all the information about sparkpeople into an informative and engaging book. Reading the book I learned so much about the philosophy behind sparkpople. The book has a great deal of information regarding motivation and why the spark program works. Also, I learned a lot about the founder of sparkpeople Chris Downie. As a sparkfriend noted in his blog, the book is a little light on fitness information, but fitness information is prevelant both on the spark people website and elsewhere so I was not too bothered by its absence.
I recommend every one read the book, "The Spark". It gives you overview of the entire spark program which crisscrosses all aspects of your life. The Spark is so much more than just a weight loss program, and Sparkpeople truly has changed my life. The book is awesome, as is Chris Downie! Can you imagine investing over $5M of your own money to help others? Thank you Sparkguy for everything you have done for each one of us!
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