Showing posts from May, 2013

The Book that Changed My Life

If it's true we are what we eat, the same must be said about what we read. Few things are as meaningful as a good book. As a source of influence, entertainment, instruction, and inspiration, books have no equal. It shouldn't surprise, then, that some go on to break our hearts and, yes, even change our lives. 

Though my own selection might strike others as obscure, these books mean enough to me that I'm willing to risk a little reproof. One influential read came recommended by a health nut, a book about nutrition, The Sunfood Diet Success System by David Wolfe, a vegan. This was back when I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and drank scotch from the cask. It was a horrid book, poorly written, and self-published back when the term 'indie writer' was synonymous with 'conspiracy theorist'. Wolfe gave the dreaded term 'purple prose' a whole new meaning (the entire book was printed in a purple font color). But his testimony and anecdotes convinced me to gi…

The Question of God; C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life, by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.

For over half a century, the work of these two pioneers has influenced millions. Yet their ideologies were diametrically opposed. Freud assumed the Judeo-Christian God didn't exist. He based his entire life's work on the premise that the supernatural was at best untenable; until Lewis' conversion, he too held that belief. Then he became a Christian. This changed his worldview. He embraced God's love, meaning, hope, ideas and values Freud, incidentally, regarded as delusional.

The Prologue opens with their funerals – a couple of quotes from attendees, snippets and summaries from their obituaries, and a brief montage of their accomplishments. A tasty appetizer to prime the palate for the entrĂ©e to come.
The lives of these two intellectual icons overlapped in both space and time: Freud lived “not far from Oxford” where, and while, Lewis was a young professor, and the two were separated only by a generation; Lewis' body was buried just 24 years after Freud's was cre…

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations (1992)

I have an aversion to driving in the rain. Reduced visibility, lightning, the risk of hydroplaning – these things make me nervous. But years ago, I braved a Texas summer thunderstorm despite these obstacles. I was on a quest for a book of idioms, and being on a quest romanticizes life's challenges, emboldens the adventurer. At least that's what I told myself.

The rain smacked my windshield like pellets. Lightning flared like a heliarc. But I drove on. I finally pulled into the unpaved parking lot of my local library, shut off the engine, and listened to the terrific kettle drum solo on the roof of my Taurus. I wondered whether I should wait for the concert to end before sprinting the sixty yards from my car to the main entrance. Sensing the onset of a migraine, I bolted.

The rain struck my umbrella like a fusillade as I splashed along the sidewalk.Beside me, the heavy traffic eased forward, headlights blazing, creating the appearance of a funeral procession.

If my dash to the doo…