Friends, the weekend is about over, and I’m just sitting down to write the Weekly Wrap-up. I’m staying up past my bedtime just for you. 🙂
I’m trying to read Evernote Essentials finally (I downloaded the ebook in October or November) – so I can make the best use of the awesome productivity tool known as Evernote. I have just scratched the surface.
I thought I was clipping some URLs from websites into Evernote for the Wrap-up, but, alas, I apparently missed a step and will have to rely on the gazillion tabs I still have open in Firefox, the flagged emails I saved in Outlook and my poor, feeble memory. (Uh-oh.)
So here is the week in review:
A few weeks ago I started reading Unbroken before I got sidetracked by some required reading. Now I’m back. When I heard about the movie, and that it was based on a Laura Hillenbrand book about Olympic miler Louie Zamperini, I thought it was going to be about his running career. Wrong. It’s mostly about his time in World War II. (I don’t want to spoil anything, but right now he and a buddy are in the middle of a 40-something-day stint in a rubber raft in the Pacific after their plane went down. And there are LOTS of sharks.)
As I was reading about WWII and the warplanes and the pilots and crew, it brought to mind a book I read last year for my monthly reading group. (Actually, I listened to the audio version during my long runs.) This wasn’t a novel I would have chosen, but I like Fannie Flagg so I gave it a whirl. The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion wasn’t at all what I expected. The all-girl part was a group of sisters who worked at their dad’s filling station in Wisconsin (“Hiya, pal!”). But after their brother went off to war, three of the four sisters became pilots – Women Airforce Service Pilots, to be exact – and that’s where it got interesting. It was fiction, but I felt that I learned a little bit about a segment of our nation’s history that I had never studied: the WASPS. I’ll let you read up on that for yourself, here.
I’m also still reading C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters for another discussion group. We meet at 6:30 a.m. every other Thursday at McDonald’s. I love these discussions! And then there are the two church-group books I’m reading. Those discussions have been great, too, and very thought provoking. Maybe I’ll talk about those two books later.
So that’s the book part. Here’s what I’ve been reading on the Internet:
- My friend Alison, whose four kids are hurtling toward adulthood, has a soft spot for babies, and perhaps an even softer spot for struggling moms. Read her story about babies on a plane.
(Sidebar: In a bit of serendipity, I “introduced” Alison to Elissa via separate emails, as they are both expats living in Scotland at the present, and after looking at Alison’s blog Elissa told me they seem to know a few of the same people. I’m so eager to see where this goes!)
- We revisit the horror horrible movie I referred to last week. (No, it’s not a slasher flick; it’s worse.) This discussion by Kristen Lamb asks, “Does Fiction Matter? Fiction, Fantasy & Social Change.”
- Mona Karel took me down memory lane, sharing a few folk songs from back in the day. Are you old enough to remember Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and some of the others who protested war, poverty and a general lack of love and compassion for our fellow human being? This was the music of my childhood in 1960s California.
- Steve Hilliard made me think about another cost of war, poverty and disease. In his post, he links to “5 low-tech innovations making a difference in the developing world,” which I shared on my church’s Facebook page because many of our members have built rocket stoves in Guatemala. The rocket stove is but one of the ingenious but achievable innovations mentioned for Third World countries.
- I follow – somewhat loosely – James Altucher, whom I find to be a strange person but who nevertheless inspires me and has interesting things to say. (Like Anne Lamott, Altucher is painfully honest.) From his “7 Things Happen to You When You Are Completely Honest”:
#7: You Become Free.
“At first we hug our boundaries in chains. We think ‘if we tell the girl we like her, she might not like me back.’ We think, ‘If I say I like this candidate, my friends might hate me.’ If I say X, everyone else might say Y. And so on. But more and more we start to feel where those boundaries are and we push them out. We push them further and further away from ourselves. Until finally they are so far away it’s as if they don’t exist at all. You don’t need money for that. Or a big house. Or a fancy degree or car. Every day, just push out those boundaries a little further. … Eventually, the boundaries are so far away we begin to feel the pleasures of true freedom.”
Push the boundaries. I’m workin’ on it.
- Altucher wrote a book called “Choose Yourself.” I understand the sentiment: He’s not telling us to be selfish but to stick up for ourselves. That’s one way of looking at it. But Thomas McGreevey challenges us to “Love With Abandon.”
I’ll choose that.
What have you been reading lately? Spill the beans!
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