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Book: The Power of Half

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I finished The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen sitting at the laundromat waiting for my laundry to dry.

I’m well on my way in my 52 in 52 with book #17. I really enjoyed this book because it was about one family’s choice of service. Not preachy or condescending, but just a story of how the Salwen family chose to give.

Book: The Little Prince

It may surprise some people to know that I’ve never actually finished The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery but I didn’t until this afternoon.

It surprised me, however, to discover my favorite Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote is actually NOT from The Little Prince like I always thought, but rather from Wind, Sand and Stars.   Adding that to my “To Read” list immediately.

What saves a man is to take a step.  Then another step.  It is always the same step, but you have to take it. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Book: The Art of Non-Conformity

I finally picked up my copy of Chris Guillebeau‘s The Art of Non-Conformity and I couldn’t believe I’d had this amazing book in my hands for a year now, and never even picked it up.  I’d always meant to, of course, but it never happened.

Or just maybe, the book picked me and waited for a time that I needed it’s message?  Who knows.  But I couldn’t have picked better timing to finally break it open.  I finished it in 2 days, working 2 jobs and trying to catch some sleep here and there.

I don’t keep many books, but I have the urge to make notes in the margins and keep this one for a very long time as I plan and start my own unconventional living.

52 in 52 update


Have you been following?  I add books to the original post as I finish them!

I’m excited that I’m actually on pace with 13 books in 13 weeks.  I’ve got to get to reading a lot more than I’m currently reading, because right now it’s MUCH slower than one book a week!

(image via)

Book: The Screwtape Letters

I finally knocked out a major book for my 52 in 52 and have gotten back to reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  It is the first time I’ve read the book.

I just encountered Ch 7 where Screwtape writes to Wormwood:

I had not forgotten my promise to consider whether we should make the patient an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist. All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged. Not always, of course, but at this period. Some ages are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to soothe them yet faster asleep. Other ages, of which the present is one, are unbalanced and prone to faction, and it is our business to inflame them. Any small coterie, bound together by some interest which other men dislike or ignore, tends to develop inside itself a hothouse mutual admiration, and towards the outer world, a great deal of pride and hatred which is entertained without shame because the ‘Cause’ is its sponsor and it is thought to be impersonal. Even when the little group exists originally for the Enemy’s own purposes, this remains true…

Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part.  Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely a part of the ’cause’, in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war-effort or of Pacifism.

Wow.

It amazes me that even though the world has changed so much the past 60 years, some things still remain the same.  It reads to me that all extremes, except extremism to God, are encouraged by the demons and yet the extremism for God is hard to distinguish from other types.  Just some food for thought.