Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Book Nook

"Any way, because we are readers, we don't have to wait for some communications executive to decide what we should think about next--and how we should think about it.  We can fill our heads with anything from aardvarks to zucchinis--at any time of night or day."--Kurt Vonnegut

We all confess to being book addicts at our house.  The one rule that applies is No Reading at the Table When Everyone Is Present.  But reading at all other times is fair game.

We read together.

We read apart.

We read until we fall asleep.

A few of us have even been known to snatch a few words at stoplights (shhhhh, don't tell).  

And part of the fun of reading is discussing and sharing a book with someone else.

So here are a few Good Reads.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

We love all books by Eleanor Estes, because she happens to have remembered perfectly what it is to be a child with the delightful innocence of fresh perspectives.  But The Hundred Dresses also captures the potential of children to be cruel to those who are different.  Estes draws a thoughtful picture through the conscience of one little girl who can imagine what it must feel like to be alone and ridiculed.  

And in the end we learned the beauty of a mind that speaks a different language.  This is a wonderful story to read aloud and discuss with your children.

My Brother's Keeper by Michelle Beachy

Along the same theme is the touching true story of a boy's love for his little brother who was born with a disability.  Told from the viewpoint of Andrew, the older brother, we learn much of how a family works together in times of need and how love is big enough to stretch to fit any situation.  It's hard to read this tender story with dry eyes.

Healing the Hardware of the Soul by Daniel Amen

In the past few years, I've particularly enjoyed reading books on the brain and how it works...or doesn't.  Dr. Amen is a Christian psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist.  His staunch belief in God makes his approach to brain function very refreshing to me.  Dr. Amen uses a brain imaging technique called SPECT to picture brain function and then to tailor individual programs to fit particular needs.  

Did you know that over time our brains change by what we feed into them?  This is both a frightening and an encouraging thought.

"When the brain is healthy, we are compassionate, thoughtful, loving, relaxed, and goal directed, and when the brain is sick or damaged we are unfeeling, impulsive, angry, tense, and unfocused, and it is very hard for our soul and our relationship with God to be at peace."

Dr. Amen tells about a group of scientists who, in 1997, seemed to have discovered a "God module" in the brain.  "The scientists located a circuit of nerves in the temporal lobes that became electrically active when the patients thought about God.  The scientists said that initial results suggested that the phenomenon of religious belief could be 'hard-wired' into the brain."

Doesn't it make sense, said Dr. Amen, that the God Who made us would have created inside us a place especially designed for communicating with Him?

In all of my reading about the brain, I find that thought the most lovely of all.

The brain is the violin and the soul is the violinist.  They both need to work together to make beautiful music. --Father Charles Ava

1 comment:

Anna said...

what a beautiful post. I love the photos of each person reading..... and loving a good book. Thank you for sharing your favorites.