Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Time of "Your" Life

Typically, sometime around August or September, I review and recommend books that are of the spiritual, inspirational and motivational genres. Well, this next one can't wait until the summer months. It is your next best read of the year – and no better time than at the beginning of the New Year to pick up a book that you won't want to put down because its insight, candor and wisdom takes you to a new place of understanding.

While "The Time of My Life," by Cecelia Ahern, is a work of fiction, it is so utterly open and honest it feels like you're reading a true story. Miss Ahern (also the author of P.S. I Love You, which was adapted for the big screen, starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler) has a unique way of opening up her characters and revealing their most vital organs. As uncomfortable as this sounds, you will find that it is a necessary part of the process, as Lucy Silchester (the main character) comes face to face with her life - literally. I will not be ruining the end by telling you they are stitched back together, better than ever, by the time you're on the last page; with Ms. Ahern's flair and style of writing, the end is just a way of closing off. The meat of the story is what will have you hooked and wanting more. If you're a rubbernecker, the excruciatingly painful collision of Lucy's private life with her hammy open Life persona will remind you of an accident in slow motion.

The series of events that leads to her metamorphosis are detailed, humorous, and arouse empathy. Cecelia has an uncanny way of describing emotions and thought processes in a way that we can all too easily relate to, so you might find yourself squirming now and again as the bare truth of the main character, Lucy, is revealed.

To say that this book is thought provoking would be as simplistic as saying Big Ben is a clock. The brilliant psychological manipulation of her Life, used to enlighten the  deeply-entrenched-in-la-la-land Lucy, allows the reader to have a front row seat to her own personal hell and heaven.

The unbelievably real message of this piece of fiction has you invested in the idea that Life might come knocking at your door any minute, and when it doesn't, you feel like you're missing out.

If you read only one book this year...  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 – The Buck Stops Here

Confetti, cork-popping champagne-induced embraces, and hoopla of the New Year, are already a thing of the past. We've arrived at the midway point of the first month only to discover an episodic clone of the previous year. 
If this sounds somewhat somber  (and sobering) it is.

Time to take a really serious look at what's ahead for us. To evaluate what must, should, needs to be done.  

Pass the buck should only be referenced between flirtatious doe besties as they flutter their eyelashes and strut their stuff while passing the hunky buck. 

Eyes cast downward and limp-handed finger pointing is not the best method for coming to terms with or ignoring the state of the world. We are, all, small links in this gigantic chain of events that has managed to unforgivably repeat itself year after year.

We are also halfway into this decade. Is this to be the remainder of the 2000's teen years? Maybe so. The teen years are known to be hormonal, self absorbed, angst-filled tar pits of misery. Should we brace ourselves until this century reaches the somewhat more  mature mellowed twenties? Although, it's typically not until the late thirties or early forties that the sprinkle of snow atop the receding hairline brings us to the brink of maturity, and even then...

Exactly. Who says wisdom or a calm demeanor come with age? Haven't you ever witnessed an angry thirty, forty or fifty year old driver, bellicose and belligerent at being cut off in the passing lane?

This isn't an age thing. This is a passing of time, history repeating itself thing.

In what decade will the history books be rewritten to reflect enlightenment rather than war? When will we look back and say silent prayers of thanks that the world and its people have changed - become a kinder, gentler, wiser race of human beings? At what point will we know that the New Year bodes well?

If you have a bit of the gambler in you, you might wager that 2015 will do better  in the aftermath of 2014, even with the shaky start it's had. But why should we have to gamble on world peace, or on the success of the New Year? 

I'm praying that 2015 is a loving and harmonious year; a prodigy of love. A mature fifteen year old that turns his back on turbulence and terrorism and washes his hands of it. A mighty, proud, world-altering year that says there's no more passing the buck - the buck stops here.