Thursday 20 December 2007

Quotes of the Week - 2007-12-20

Quotes of the Week:

This weeks quotes mostly come from one book:

Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by Kevin Vost
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”I Corinthians 6:19

“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”Matthew 5:48
“The Church, without any doubt whatever, approves of physical culture, if it be in proper proportion.”Pope Pius XII
"What exactly did Pope Pius XII (a most athletic pontiff who had a gymnasium installed in the Vatican) mean by proper proportion? He said that exercise remains in proper proportion when it:
  • does not lead to worship of the body;
  • strengthens and energizes the body rather than draining it;
  • provides refreshment for the spirit;
  • does not lead to spiritual sloth or crudeness;
  • provides “new excitements” for study and work; and
  • does not disturb the peace and sanctity of the home.
Physical culture, then, is a wonderful thing when it brings us closer to bodily perfection, to spiritual renewal, to vocational achievement, and to health and harmony within our homes."Kevin Vost

“But if a man uses exercise, food, and drink in moderation, he will become physically strong and his health will be improved and preserved. It is the same with the virtues of the soul — for instance, fortitude, temperance, and the other virtues.”
St. Thomas Aquinas

“There is a need to find free time in order to exercise strength and dexterity, endurance, and harmonious movement, so as to attain or guarantee that physical efficiency necessary to man’s overall equilibrium.”Pope John Paul II
“The highest merit should not be attributed to him who has the strongest and most agile muscles, but rather to him who shows the most ready ability in keeping them subject to the power of the spirit.”Pope Pius XII

“Virtue, inasmuch as it is a suitable disposition of the soul, is like health and beauty, which
are suitable dispositions of the body.”
St. Thomas Aquinas

“Every virtue or excellence puts into good condition that of which it is a virtue or excellence, and
enables it to perform its work well.”
“To achieve excellence, we first must sweat.”

“Virtue implies a perfection of power . . . Every evil is a weakness.”
St. Thomas Aquinas

“He has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.”
Ecclesiastes 3:17

“Now, there are short and simple exercises which tire the body rapidly, and so save time; and time is something of which we ought to keep strict account.”
“I confess that we all have an inborn affection for our body; I confess that we are entrusted with its guardianship. I do not maintain that the body is not to be indulged at all; but I maintain that we must not be slaves to it.”

“The workout, understand, doesn’t produce muscle growth, but merely serves to stimulate the body’s growth mechanism into motion. It is the body that produces the growth, but only if left undisturbed during a sufficient rest period.”
Mike Mentzer

“Now the principal act of fortitude is to endure.”
St. Thomas Aquinas

“We should take walks outside so that the mind can be strengthened and refreshed by being outdoors as we breathe the fresh air.”
“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we, an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 9:25-27

“Too much or too little gymnastic exercise is fatal to strength. Similarly, too much or too little meat and drink is fatal to health, whereas a suitable amount produces, increases, and sustains it.”
“Unless we first tame the enemy dwelling within us, namely, our gluttonous appetite, we have not even stood up to engage in the spiritual combat.”St. Gregory the Great

“He will have many masters who makes his body his master.”

"There is nothing so constant as change. Meet it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Learn from it.
The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It’s the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there’s no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far? Are you growing in every area of your life? Hey, it’s not enough to be growing and looking great just because you work out. That’s only a small part of your life. What about your emotions, spiritual life, family, friends, career, hobbies? Are they growing as your body does? Become a complete perso
n and not an in-shape and great-looking version of an incomplete person. There’s way more to life than just working out. Go with the flow and embrace changes in all areas of your life. The change will do you good." Robert Wolff, PH.D. Bodybuilding 101

"To strengthen the mind you must harden the muscles."
"Locked inside each of us is the person we want to be. Others might not recognize it yet, but I'm telling you, it's in there. The passion shouldn't die before we do. Even against rediculous odds, what propels you forward and seperates you from the rest? P.R.I.D.E., which stands for perseverance, Responsibility, integrity, determination, and excitement. If you have these five elements in your life, you can accomplish almost anything." Sylvester Stallone - Sly Moves p. 201

"Sly's Top Ten Tips for Life
10. Believe it! Truly, it can be done and it will.
9. Every day - every few hours - see your vision materializing.
8. Don't discuss your dreams. Pursue Them!
7. If other people can steal your ideal, most likely they will. (not so fond of this one)
6. Don't be afraid of embarrassment while pursuing your goal. It's all part of being committed.
5. Being naive is business and in understanding human nature is a recipe for disaster.
4. Study people's success stories hard. Study their failures even harder.
3. Enthusiasm is like a wonderful disease -keep spreading it until everyone's
2. Only choose a goal that - if you had to - you'd gladly pursue for free.
In order to achieve success, you've got to follow your passion.
1. Most Important: If it's not broken, break it. That's how new discoveries are made.
That's why everything that changes life is called a breakthrough."
Sylvester Stallone - Sly Moves p.186
"Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement. He is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor - that is the only way out of a hole. This process of surrender - this movement full speed astern - is repentance" C.S. Lewis

"Discipleship means complete dedication. It demands everything - the whole heart, the whole mind, and the whole of life, including one's time, energy, and property - for the cause of love. Half-hearted Christianity is worse than no Christianity."
J. Heinrich Arnold

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Meme Booked by 3 - December

Meme Booked by 3 - December From Shelly's Bookshelf She adapted this month's questions from a reader.

1. Do you have any books you read every year/often?

Yes and no. I have books I read every year for a while, but eventually stop for the most part. The one's I reread often and most years are:
1b. Or, if you don't have the time, is there any you want to reread?
  • Too many to list. But a list of favorite books each year can be seen here.
2. Do you read holiday books? If yes, do you have any favorites?
3. Do you give books for gifts and/or like to receive them?
  • Yes, and Yes, I tend to give a number of copies of my current favorite book.
3a.If you like to receive them, do you keep a wishlist somewhere?
If you want to play join in the fun, I wont tag anyone specifically.

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Catholic Carnival 150

The Carnival is up at 'The Third Way' this week's is called 'Hope, Love, Joy and Peace!' It is packed full of great posts.

Check out the Catholic Carnival submission form complete with screenshots in this post: Submission form.

Or join the Google group to be made aware of call for submissions and when new Carnivals are up and where they are up.

The Catholic Carnival FAQ.

Sunday 9 December 2007

In Conversation With God Volume #5: Ordinary Time: Weeks 24-34 by: Francis Fernandez Carvajal

In Conversation With God
Volume #5: Ordinary Time: Weeks 24-34
By: Francis Fernandez
ISBN 0906138248
Scepter Press
7 Volume Set
ISBN 0906138191

When I started writing the reviews of this series last year, I did not think it would be that hard to write separate reviews on each book in the series. I think the books are awesome and would benefit any Christian in their spiritual life. The volumes that deal with special feasts or Easter & Christmas were easy to write about. But the volumes covering ordinary time are much harder to write about, so see my write-up below about the series as a whole, or check out some of the specific reviews linked below. And God bless.

Scepter Press
in North America has just reprinted them again last fall.

About the Complete Series:

The complete series is worth the money, time and effort. This is an amazing Catholic meditation and daily reflection series. The seven volumes have daily readings for each day of the church year, as well as volumes 6 & 7 being special Feast Days. The readings draw heavily upon the writings of Josemaria Escriva the founder of Opus Dei, Pope John Paul II, and the daily readings from the common liturgy for that day. The Sundays have three sets of readings, depending on whether we are in year A, B, or C in the church readings. These devotions are all about 6 pages long and divided into 3 sections. They can all be read as a complete section, or part in the morning, midday and evening as they each have three sections. I find that with every day there is so much meat in these devotions that I am already planning on reading them again next year.

This series was originally published in Spanish and was completed in January 1991; the English translation was completed in 1993. It has been immensely popular since they first started coming out in1988. They are published around the world, and have helped thousands of readers in enriching their spiritual lives.

There is a complete subject, and biblical reference index in volume 7; unfortunately the earlier volumes' indexes only go as far as that volume #. The indexes are subject and reference quoted by church Fathers, Popes and Saints. These books will draw anyone deeper into a faith and a life of action based upon that faith.

Books edited by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:
Year of Faith Treasury: The Sacrament of Confession 
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Faith
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Fortitude 

In Conversation with God:

In Conversation with God eBooks:
Volume 1 Part 1 Advent 
Volume 1 Part 2 Christmas and Epiphany
Volume 2 Part 1 Lent and Holy Week
Volume 2 Part 2 Eastertide
Volume 3 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-6
Volume 3 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 7-12
Volume 4 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 13-18
Volume 4 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 19-23
Volume 5 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 24-28
Volume 5 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 29-34
Volume 6 Part 1 Special Feasts January-March
Volume 6 Part 2 Special Feasts April-June
Volume 7 Part 1 Special Feats July -September
Volume 7 Part 2 Special Feats October -December

Books by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:

Saturday 1 December 2007

Some New Stuff Some Old

It's been a while since I have posted. Life is crazy busy. I will get back to reviewing some books soon. Promise. I have not actually finished a book for pleasure since August, only school books. Between being in College, and being in University some volunteer work and all the other aspects of life, I just do not seem to have much time on my hands for reading and writing for leisure.

However with that said. I am part way into some books I would like to give plus to the books or authors before Christmas shopping , some new books not yet completed,
and some standby favorites. So in no particular order:
Dr. Kevin Vost
Memorize the Faith:
And Almost Everything Else
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781933184173

I wish I had finished this book before I began my certification courses this fall. I know from what I have learned already that it would prove invaluable. Dr. Vost teaches us a number of tried and true techniques and tricks for memorizing the Catholic faith, but these are tools we can apply to any area of our life.

Dr. Kevin Vost

Fit for Eternal Life
Sophia Institute Press

ISBN 9781933184319

This one is not available until later in December. However since corresponding with Dr. Vost and starting his other book, this one has been on my wish list since I first heard of it. For years now one of my personal goal's had been a striving to find a balance between body, mind and spirit. To be working on developing all three. This book looks like it is a tool geared at that balance.
Kathy Shaidle
God Rides a Yamaha

ISBN 1896836240

This is a truly an amazing little book, well worth every penny, many times over. I have read it a number of times, not, and lent it to numerous friends who have all loved it. I now keep two copies of this book, my personal reading copy and a lending
copy. Kathy's blog is worth checking out also.
Kathy Shaidle
Lobotomy Magnificant
Oberon Press

ISBN 0778010716

A great collection of poetry to make you think. This book was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry. This book like all of Shaidle's is a great book. I wish she would publish some more books, either of poetry or prose.

Jim Manney (Editor)

The Best Catholic Writing 2007
Loyola Press

ISBN 9780829426113

This is the 4th installment in this series. It is a great way to discover some Catholic authors or read some stuff from some of the authors you already know. This year was no disappointment in that fashion. Ron Hansen's entry from A Stay Against Confusion is a little baffling since it was published in 2001. But it is still a great collection.
A.R. Horvath
Fidelis Suzeteo
ISBN 9780979127618

I have just started this book but it looks like an excellent alternative to the Harry Potter books. It cam to me highly recommended and so I pass on the recommendation and will be reviewing it early in the new year. What I have read so far has left me wanting to read more. It looks like the beginning or a great series.

S. William Shaw

The Santa Mysteries
Lulu Press

Shaw writes like a master even though he only has two books published. Both are great, and this one would be fun to read with the family over the holidays. I can not recommend Shaw;s books enough for you and your family, they are just great fun.
S. William Shaw
Sherman Oak and the Magic Potato
Lulu Press

ISBN 9781430322207

I absolutely loved this book, it was a fun packed adventure that I cannot wait to share with my children when they are older. This book will be a hit for any child on your Christmas shopping list.

Well those of some of my suggestions for books for Christmas shopping either for those on your list, or for yourself.

Friday 16 November 2007

Career Focus Canada by: Lamarre & McClughan

Career Focus Canada:
A Personal Job Search Guide
4th Edition

Helene Martucci Lamarre & Karen McClughan

Pearson Prentice Hall

ISBN 9780132279918

This is a book that can be a great tool if you are approaching graduation, looking for summer jobs or looking to improve your skills and chances for that co-op job you really want. This new fourth edition that has just been released is geared specifically with the Canadian job market in mind. With a Canadian price tag of nearly $50 you might be asking why you would shell out the big bucks. This book has a number of tools that will make it worth the money and if you get that job you want, the investment will be more than worth your time and money.

This edition has a number of key tools to help you learn and apply what you learn. 'My Focus' is a key section at the end of each chapter on learning to Market Yourself. It also has a companion website at that has a lot of supplemental resources. There are quizzes to test your knowledge, and a collection of web-links and a PowerPoint presentation to help you learn the material from each chapter. It also has a number of supplemental exercises in pdf format to complement the book. There are also plenty of samples and examples in the book for each lesson, resumes, cover letters, networking letters and more.

Written to cover a lot of topics in a brief space, the book is designed to be a tool used quickly and easily. It is not overloaded with too many examples, or too much theory. It presents information in each section and builds upon the knowledge from the previous chapters in a natural way. The book starts with sections on self-assessment and promotion, then moves on to the marking strategies and techniques. Then the major focus is on resumés, references and business communications. Finally, the book has a chapters dedicated to prepping for interviews, what to do and how to interview and what to do after the interview. It has tips and hints on all aspects of interviewing from what to wear to how to answer key questions.

Lamarre and McClughan write in a very fluid and accessible way. They present the information in a clear and concise manner. That, combined with the multitude of examples and brevity of the book, makes it a tool that packs a lot of punch into about a hundred and fifty pages. All in all it is a book that will help you no matter where you are in your career search - now as a student or even later when you are established and looking to transition jobs.

(First Published in Imprint as 'Imprint's Reading 2007-11-16.)

Sunday 28 October 2007

Playing with Multi-OS's

I took a friends (Keith Little) advice about playing with more Unix/Linux deployments. Last week I installed Ubuntu7, Fedora7, and SUSE Desktop on both my home and school computers. Tomorrow at school SUSE Server, and Fedora Core6, then both of them at home next week. I like the 'tour' utility in the SUSE one. All 3 work well in VMWare on my Vista machine at home and on XP at School.

I also have 2003 Server, 2K Server, 2K, XP Corporate, WInME, 98, 95, 3.11 Dam Small Linus and Dos 6 all running under Virtual PC. See this earlier note
Unleashing the Inner Geek about why I am playing with so many OS's.

The fun part about using VMWare and Virtual PC is that you do not have to reboot to switch which operating system you are working in, and with 4Gigs ram, and a terabyte of hard drive space, there is lots of room for 8-16Gig Virtual Hard drives.

I will admit to Tim A. That Mac OSX is not as bad as I thought. I doubt I will ever become converted, but I am getting better at using it, and am looking for an ISO of the OSX Server to play with also.

Alan, a friend has been a long time Linux\Unix user longer than I have know him. I'd be surprised if he doesn't release his own version some day. And Tim F writes a fair bit on his blog about Ubuntu so when I was offered a live disk of it today I grabbed it. And Davenport is just as geeky as me, if not more so so I will tag him in this not also, and see what he has to say about my new found inner geek. (Really just reemerging from the days back at Queen's. Running multiple versions of AutoCad, compressed so they would fit on a 20meg HD and not conflict and using a stacker card and software to double the hard drive size.)

Articles in this Series:

Mac VS PC an It Guys Perspective
Inner Geek - Updated June 2011
Inner Geek - Updated December 2011

Friday 26 October 2007

Microsoft Windows Vista Guide by: Jason W. Eckert

Microsoft Windows Vista Guide
Jason W. Eckert

Thompson Course Technology

ISBN 1418837571

There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft Windows Vista on campus and among my friends at this school and from other schools. Most of it is in the negative. People have tried it, hate it, and switch back to XP or Linux\Unix. Or they bought a new computer at Futureshop or Bestbuy and got stuck with Vista and they hate it. I myself have been running it on one of my machines since March and, to be honest, I have had few problems.

When I became aware of a book about Vista written by a University of Waterloo Grad, I wanted to check it out. This book or booklet is a great introduction to Vista. Jason W. Eckert writes in a very fluid and easily accessible manner. Unlike a lot of technical manuals I have read, this one is a pleasure to read. Eckert writes with a great passion for his subject and a desire to instill knowledge in others. In his introduction he is unbiased in his appreciation for both Mac- and Microsoft-based systems. He is a technophile who uses his skills as a wordsmith to draw the reader into the subject.

This book will take a user through a number of steps in installing, setting up and configuring Windows Vista. There are sections on how Vista is different from XP, the steps to install Vista, how to navigate the new interface, customizing Vista and how to maintain and troubleshoot problems with this new operating system. As Eckert states in the introduction to the book, Vista is here to stay, and most new technologies for years to come will be based upon this engine. Therefore, I state it is far better to at least learn how to use this new operating system from a master like Eckert, than to be frustrated by it when you must use it eventually.

There are a few key attributes of this book that make it a great tool for learning how to use Vista. First, Eckert's writing is so readily accessible and understandable. Second he makes extensive comparisons between Vista and XP, at many points in the book, showing us the differences and the similarities. Third is a comprehensive list of key terms, and definitions. Finally there is a set of review questions and hands-on projects at the end of the chapter. These projects will take you through a step-by-step processing of applying what was read about throughout the book.

This book is a great little guide if you already have Vista and want to go deeper with what it can do for you, or if you are thinking about switching over to Vista, it will reveal to you the many differences between XP and Vista. But if you are looking to go even deeper than that, Eckert has a full-length book coming out next year of which this is just the first chapter. This book is written as a tool to help you get going and learning the basics of Vista.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-10-26)

Sunday 14 October 2007

MOS Microsoft Office Specialist

Recently I had the opportunity to write my MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification exams. In preparing for them I used a number of different text books by different publishers. I wrote my certification exams for Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The three publishers I used for the course work were, Microsoft Press which produces the official MOAC (Microsoft Official Academic Course's), The Illustrated Series by Thompson Learning, and CCI Learning Solutions Inc. Each had strengths and each had weaknesses. All three publishers produced approved books to write the certification exams. My favorite was the Illustrated Series it's features and tools made it easiest to study at my own pace and quickly work through the programs. I took the programs at two different college, triOS College and Laurel College, again there were strengths and weaknesses to both schools methods. Over the next few weeks I plan on reviewing some of my books used, and highlighting both their strengths and weaknesses in each system of training. The books I am going to review are as follows:
  1. Microsoft Office Word 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - Jennifer A. Duffy
  2. Microsoft Excel 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - Reding & Wermers
  3. Microsoft Access 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - Lisa Friedrichsen
  4. Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - David W. Beskeen
  5. Microsoft Outlook 2002 - CCI Learning Solutions
  6. Microsoft Office System 2003 Edition - Microsoft Official Academic Course
These may be a little drier than my reviews of fiction, Christian or specifically Catholic books. But this is what I am spending most of my time currently reading and working on in school. You can read more about my geek training in this post 'Unleashing the Inner Geek'!

(Note: some of you may be familiar with the MOUS Microsoft Office User Specialist it has been replaced with the MOS as of February 2007.)

Articles in this Series:

Unleashing the Inner Geek
MOS Microsoft Office Specialist
Playing with Multi-OS's
Inner Geek - Validated
Inner Geek - On My Way
Inner Geek - Validated February 2008
Inner Geek - Validated September 2008
The Changing face of BRAM
Inner Geek - Updated February 2009
Windows 7 Beta Review
Inner Geek - Updated April 2009

Inner Geek - Updated July 2009

Monday 8 October 2007

Catholic Carnival 140 - Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanks Giving. This is my third time hosting the carnival and I had such big plans for it. Unfortunately school, and life have taken their toll in the past few weeks (my wife's best friend passed away, and we scanned the pictures and made the powerpoint presentations for the the funeral home and service. School is taking upwards of 6 hours a day work outside the 4 hours a day in class and 2 hours a day labtime.) Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa, so this weeks Carnival will be short and sweet with not much commentary.

Christine the Soccer Mom at Domestic Vocation has a post called 'Homeschooling, Pudding, and Apologetics' she states about it: in this post, I discuss homeschooling apologetics and apologetics for the Faith and how they are related.

Kevin at HMS Blog writes a reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday 10/7, focusing on their application to the pro-life cause. In his post 'FAITH, LOVE, AND HUMAN LIFE'.

er at Deep Furrows we have a post 'What is Catholic sensibility?' Fred states Catholic sensibility is not conceptual but sensible.

Heidi at Streams of Mercy writes about a convert reflects on the hymn "Amazing Grace" ... and why Catholics can sing this "Protestant" hymn with gusto! (Well, with as much gusto as Catholics muster when they sing in public...) :-) In her post 'Amazing Grace" ... Is It Really?'

In the post 'Make a Gingerbread House! An Advent Tradition' Heidi at Mommy Monsters Inc. writes about a fun Advent family activity (especially appropriate for St. Nicholas' feast day!

Next in CatholicLand! SWP reflects on his vigil with the 40 Days for Life. in 'Thirst for Righteousness'.

Then onto a visit at Catholic Fire with a post 'BOOK
REVIEW: THE HARRY POTTER ALTERNATIVE' My review of FIDELIS' - the first book in a series of seven, written by A.R. Horvath. Similar in nature to the writings of C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkein, Fidelis bears a Christian theme, includes Scripture passages, and is rich in Christian symbolism. It is a fictitious fantasy and, in many ways, it reminds me of Lord of the Rings.

In a call to 'Help Get Bella into Theaters' Musings from a Catholic Bookstore puts out a call for some grass roots action.

"The Right Way to Die" from the blog just another day of Catholic
pondering writes that after a recent family funeral, Sarah finds herself reflecting on death, and in the process shares the anecdote of Grandma Georgia's peaceful dying.

At Play the Dad? No, be the Dad! we have a post 'Call me "The Great White Hunter"!' Matthew states about this post that it is something a little different this experiment.

We Belong to the Lord has a post 'Golden Compass Points the Way
to Hell'!

'The Far Green Country' is a post over at Ho Kai Paulos. Using some of Tolkien's words from the end of The Lord of the Rings, I talk about two perspectives on death - that of the person moving on and that of those left behind. We forget, so easily, that the journey doesn't end just because we lose sight of someone ahead of us.

Next at The Robinson Go Blog we have 'Reflections on Jeremiah' The Word of God still answers the questions of today.

Jay at Living Catholicism in a post 'How St. Therese' Family Helped Shape Her Unique Spirituality of "The Little Way"!' Explores the role of the family in developing a child's spirituality by looking at the story of St. Therese, the Little Flower.

Jay also has a submission for the Catholic Carnival from Deo Omnis Gloria called 'Ask Your Guardian Angel to Help You Against the Fallen Angels'. We all have a Guardian Angel for a reason! And they can help us defend ourselves from the attacks that demons (who are real) fire against us. Just some thoughts on how our Guardian Angels can help.

Then over at A Catholic Mom climbing the Pillars our final entry is 'The Nightmare of Television.....when is enough, enough'.

A late entry from A Third Way has an entry 'Have you called your Mother today?' Melissa shares her Rosary story and why you may want to find your beads and give Our Lady a call.

Finally while preparing this post I have been
reflection on thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, a bueatiful wife, a lovely 1 year old daughter, a son due in January. While preparing this book I have rewatched the film Molokai and I wrote a review of it a while ago. It is an amazing film about the life and death of Father Damien the Leper. It will inspire and challange. 'Molokai: The Story of Father Damien.'

So with that I bid you all a blessed and happy 'Canadian' thanksgiving!

(Most of the photo's are from my collection of church photographs. I tried posting the Carnival a half hour early and have had 5 items to add. That Will teach me for being a keener.)

Saturday 29 September 2007

Twisted by: Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson
Viking Press
ISBN 9780670061013

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of 5 novels and 3 picture books. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards and many recommendations. Each of her books that I have
read has been excellent and this one is no exception. The dust jacket states "Everybody told me to be a man … Nobody told me how." Anderson captures the essence of the journey from a boy to a man.

Tyler Miller had been caught defacing school property, and now he is a hero to some, and an outcast to others, and is trying to find his way in the world. He has done community service all summer at the school, and worked for a landscaping company.

Now he must return to school and face the students and teachers who know what he did and the punishment he received for it. The school year begins badly; at a party he is knocked into a tray of glasses and cuts the feet of the Alpha female of the school, who happens to be the women of his dreams, Bethany Milbury.

Tyler is forced to take Bethany a cake as an apology for the accident. They become friends, and seem to be sort of dating. Then Bethany gets trashed at a party, and Tyler does the right thing. Yet Tyler broke his curfew from the court and that is just the beginning of some serious problems in his life. Unfortunately someone takes advantage of Bethany while she is drunk and most people think it is Tyler because of his reputation.

Most people think he did it. The cops keep coming by. He is attacked in school and out of school. He struggles with what to do, how to be a man. Can he learn how to be a man; can he take control of his life that seems completely out of control?

This book does an amazing job of capturing the angst of growing up, of finding your place in the world. It shows clearly the transition from boy to man, and then end of high school and moving on to the rest of life.

Anderson, as a woman, surprised me with he ability to write about becoming a man; her insight and clarity are awesome. This book should become a classic. Much like her earlier novel Speak I believe this book should be on the reading list for every high school or university Children's Literature course.

The book leaves you wanting more. The reader will want to know what happens next. Where is Tyler in a year, 3, 5 or 10? These questions will haunt you after you finish the book.

Anderson's blog is Mad Woman in the Forest.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-09-28 as 'Short Titles With Varied Depths.')
For my review of Speak click here.