Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Micah Bournes - Who Broke Africa?

My latest read has been a book called Pursuing Justice. It was written by a Bend local, which makes me happy (Bend pride!). This book started speaking to me when I read the title. Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things. I liked the sound of that.

It has been a great read so far, but there was one thing that really stood out to me. In-between the chapters are "interlude" segments. These are small poems, messages, or illustrations that support the theme of the book. 

Who Broke Africa. It was so beautiful on paper I had could't resist looking it up and finding a video of the author performing live. Please watch. 

"Now, look, I'm not saying we're better off than Africa,
but maybe it's presumptuous to assume we are."
-Micah Bournes

With Love, 

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Books

In my mind, books are held at a very large value. I respect them, they are to be treated in an almost reverent manner. They are my constant companions, and one of the few things I own that I actually take a great amount of pride in. I would never hesitate to say that the people I've come across during my lifetime are the biggest factor of shaping me into who I am. I also wouldn't hesitate to say that the books I've read come at a very close second.

There are people who have inspired my journey, and gently pushed me to pursue a life that made a difference in other peoples lives (thank you Mommy), but a book was the tool used to make up my mind on where I wanted to go. Granted, it was a book about a person, but the words on the page, written about someone I admire, changed me into who I am. That book enabled me to set my life goals, and to read about someone who I could look up to.

All that being said, it will not be practical for me to take my personal library with me to Minnesota. Having to live in a confined space (such as a dorm room), makes an avid believer of paper and ink realize the reasonable functionality of a Kindle (as much as I hate to admit it).

Even so, I have been mentally compiling a small list of books that I will be taking with me. I don't care if I can get the ebook version, it's not the same thing. Not when you've felt every page between your fingers, you've scanned every letter of every chapter, and you know where the big red stain on page 132 came from (ketchup and books don't mix). These books are my friends, they are my supporters, they make me think, laugh, cry, and inspire me to be me. I draw courage simply by looking at their covers, holding them in my hands is therapeutic. 

If I can help it, these books will never leave my retinue. 

Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit 
The biography of Audrey Hepburn, written by her son Sean Ferrer. The subtitle of this book is perfect, I don't think there was ever a more "elegant spirit" then Audrey Hepburn. I read this book in one day. Granted, that's not hard, there were a lot of pictures and it's not super long, but I got it from the library and proceeded to read for the next 5 hours. I didn't want to put it down. This woman inspires me in so many ways, and you can feel the love her son had for her in the words he wrote. I have since read many other books and articles on Audrey Hepburn, and not one has contradicted the character Sean wrote his Mother to be. You know that question, "if you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be?" My answer is Audrey Hepburn. 

Chasing Chaos: My Decade in and out of Humanitarian Aid
This is the memoir (which has probably become one of my favorite genres of all time) of Jessica Alexander. As the title of the book states, she is in and out of the humanitarian aid scene for 10 years and this book highlights the hardships and struggles, as well as the bright and meaningful moments that kept her moving forward. I loved this book because of how real Jessica's struggle was. She laid it out for the reader. Humanitarian aid isn't all rainbows and saving babies. It sucks. It hurts. It doesn't just push you to your breaking point, it pushes you beyond that and then expects you to stand up again and keep going. I love this woman. I adore her story. She's like a Mom telling a small child to "sit on your butt" in the chair. I know you want to stand, spread your arms and pretend you're flying, but let's get real, that's going to hurt like hell when you eventually fall. 

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnrable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. 
If you're into the whole TED Talk scene, you may be familiar with the name Brene Brown. She wrote Daring Greatly, and I don't think I have ever underlined more passages in a book then in this one. The core of what she's saying can be summed up in this quote, "Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnrability, this is daring greatly." With this she challenges you to change society, by changing your attitude. 

To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One Story
I need to read this book again. It's so adorably perfect that I feel like I should read it at least once a year. Written by Casey Scieszka and illustrated by Steven Weinberg, the couple tells the story of how they met, fell in love, and went on a wild adventure. Their story is fascinating and Steven's illustrations are some of the cutest I've seen. If you just went by the pictures you would probably assume it was a children's book. Adventure, romance, cute illustrations, what more could you ask for?

Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time
Okay, so I actually almost forgot to add this book to the list, because it has been a little while since I've read it, BUT I can't believe I almost forgot to add this book to this list. The thing is, there has never been a book that I've read that's made me think, "YES! THIS IS WHAT IS ON MY HEART!" This book did. It pretty much sums up the concept of "love first, ask questions later." Following the story of Jeremy Courtney (the author) and his family as they give up everything to live in Iraq and help children in need of medical attention. This book blew my mind.

I'm sure I'll come up with a couple more "can't live withouts" before I leave. (Maybe I am Malala, which I just bought but haven't read yet?)  This pretty much sums it up. These and a couple of my favorite fiction books, such as my Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, and Ted DekKer collections.

"One must always be careful of books 
and what is inside them, for words 
have the power to change us." 
-Cassandra Clare
With Love,