Scratch Book #2 Off The List

I have finally finished The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner! It was a great book, despite the month that it took me to finish it. That was simply laziness on my part. My appetite for adventure has been enlivened! I guess I sort of let it rest with all of the traveling that I’ve had to do since September, but it’s awake now. I remember how much that I want to visit Bali, Thailand, and Ireland. I have added a few places, since reading this book, to my list: Switzerland, Iceland, India, and Bhutan. I will visit Great Britain this summer, though I don’t think I will be visiting Slough. Also, I don’t believe that I will ever be visiting Moldova for any reason. Not that I ever wanted to, but after reading the chapter about Moldova, fresh produce is not really a good enough reason to visit that sad place.

Eric came to some interesting conclusions about happiness throughout his travels. He pretty much sums it up like this:

“Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”

I think that he is right, for the most part, and this book was a great reminder of what really matters, what really makes a group of people happy. Trust and gratitude are definitely essentials when it comes to being happy. I think kindness should be thrown into the mix too.

One of my favorite things that I learned from this book was mai pen lai. It’s this idea that is used in Thailand and it means “never-mind”. Like, oh well, can’t do anything about so let’s all, happily, get on with our lives! I need to work on having more of a mai pen lai attitude when I get hung up on things that I cannot change.

Anyway, this book is definitely a great read. Eric Weiner has a great sense of humor and made me laugh out loud several times. One particular instance was when he was talking about the Bhutanese and their obsessions with, ahem, the male appendage.

So, I am on to my next book on the reading list. As I mentioned before, I am not going in the order they are listed. I think I will re-start the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. That is it for today. Have a great Friday!

On To Book #2

I finally finished Why We Can’t Wait by MLK, Jr.  It was such a great book and I highly recommend that every American..heck, everyone read this amazing history book.  I already held Martin Luther King, Jr. in high regard, and this book just reaffirmed why I respect him so much. Here is a bit of the review that I posted to my Goodreads:

I think that every American should read this book. MLK, Jr. was an amazing man who was in love with God and who had a heart for people. He had an amazing understanding of what Jesus Christ would do and, I believe, was a great example of what a Christian should be. As I re-read “Letters From a Birmingham Jail”, I was reminded how loving and forgiving of a man he was, even to the people who despised him the most. He had a vision of a world where everyone was treated equally, no matter what the color of their skin, and nonviolence was how he was going to reach that goal. The last words of the book, “Nonviolence, the answer to the Negroes’ need, may become the answer to the most desperate need of all humanity.”, made me realize just how big his vision was. In the second chapter, he refers to nonviolence as “The Sword that Heals”. I think this is a great allusion to the nonviolent actions that were used to heal years of segregation and the awful things that took place in the South against black people. This is a great history book and should be read in every high school!

I know The Republic is supposed to be my next book, but I decided to skip around. I just don’t feel like my brain is up to the task yet. So I have decided to start on number 15 of my 2011 Reading List, The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. I must say that so far this book is very humorous. Chapter one made me laugh out loud about 5 times already.

You know what I have been forgetting lately? My Japanese words! Today’s words are abiru (ah-bee-ru) which means to take a bath or shower, or to bask in sunlight, (Note that the Japanese “R” is pronounced differently then the English “R”. )and the other word of the day is the Japanese word for abhor, which is nikumu (nee-koo-moo).