Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Bag Full of B*a*g Book Notes

If you're like me you generally read stuff based on your friends and family recommendations. I haven't posted B*a*g Book Notes in a while, so I want to cover 3 great books I've read in recent months. I frame my experience with books in the terms of Modern B*a*g Ladies lingo and philosophies. You can't go wrong with these jewels.

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody provided a lesson in how fear colors people's worlds. When I say "color" I mean literally colors their world a definite black and a definite white.

Anne Moody's autobiography describes her awareness and acknowledgment of the fear that surrounded her in a very matter of fact way. In many ways, she shreds fear with her anger towards it. She took her baggage and turned into B*a*g (believe act go) in a defiante way, maybe the only way in her circumstance.
I have no doubt that the only way to have survived the depth of prejudice in Mississippi was to have faith in God, together as a community which easily came together within the four walls of their sanctuaries, but not so easily out in the open. They were encased in the thick murkiness of fear. The ultimate legacy of abuse. I'm amazed anybody could have broken free. I recommend reading this book, so you can travel into a world of understanding, compassion and empathy. You will be inspired to take a stand for your beliefs, that you were born to express and defend.

The Help by Kathyrn Stockett is a novel that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. As with Coming of Age in Mississippi, it was a book sent to me by my sister-in-law, Carmen, who also gave me a three page list of book recommendations. SWEET!

This book sits in Mississippi as well and during the same era, which made for in interesting comparison between fact and fiction. Nothing is made from nothing. Kathyrn Stockett grew up in Mississippi and drew from her experiences to write this novel.

The story covers, as with any good story, the full range of spreading joy, shredding joy, shredding fear, spreading fear, having fun and not having fun. It stretches suspense throughout the whole story and in many different settings. I never wanted to put this book down and had me telling the story to friends and family.

Kathyrn Stockett has guts and grace all at the same time. I love that combination in a writer. By the way, anytime you tell your own story from a place of honestly and sincerity you can't go wrong.

Now for my latest read. Searching for Angela Shelton by Angela Shelton. First I watched the documentary and read the book within 2 days of watching the documentary.
Finding Angela Shelton is a memoir of courage, survival and faith. It is the journey of a young woman who discovers herself in the stories of other women who share her same name and coincidentally share experiences of violence and abuse that plagued her own childhood. Through her physical journey across the country she is thrust into her own emotional journey. She embraces each woman she meets, is strengthened by their connections, confronts the father that molested her, and ultimately finds faith, divine purpose, and wholeness.
All I can say is that you need to go to Angela Shelton's website and soak it in. This lady is real as it gets. She's funny, smart and somebody you can relate to. You know there are certain times in your life that you instantly know you are a loyal supporter. I'm there and will sing her praises and everything she stands for. What I wish for you is that you find those few things in your life that you are certain about, that touches the core of you.

Angela gets the cart before the horse, which thrusts her into having faith. This is a common thread with another amazing women I adore and know. Her name is Terry Grahl, Founder of Enchanted Makeovers, a nonprofit that transforms shelters into places of peace and possibility for women and children. Hey, it's an inclusive sisterhood and everyone is welcome. Let's guide each other with joy. And you know what they say about joy. It can not coexist with violence. It's like Angela says, "Just live a joyful life." It's that simple, really! Seek it out.
Growing up I did not read, but it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. Traveling the world from my bed, easy chair and bench, waiting for my son to finish hockey practice, is a gift. I find my soul on these trips. AH, its heavenly.

1 comment:

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

Thanks for the ideas...I've been in need of a substantive, healing read!