Kate Bowler was a theology professor who was married to her high school sweetheart, and after a long wait, finally had a baby boy when she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. This memoir is about how she, her family, and those she came in contact with, dealt with this news, and how she lives in the face of death. Her area of research is the prosperity gospel, a largely American phenomenon that brought us televangelists, and teaches that if you have faith enough, everything will be good for you, and she talks a lot about this in light of what happened. It doesn’t have a tragic ending; the author is still living with cancer, and it is warm, funny, thoughtful, and gives helpful tips on how to relate to people who are suffering. The author reads the audiobook herself, and has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to, though the accent isn’t my favourite.
Lisa Genova Is the writer of Still Alice, the heartbreaking story about dementia which was made into a successful movie which I’m sure many have seen. In Every Note Played, she tackles Motor Neuron Disease or ALS. Richard is a successful classical pianist who has divorced his wife of many years and lives for his music in a cool apartment with his Steinway piano. He is a selfish man, music is his life and his divorce and estrangement from his daughter Grace is due to putting his career above his family. The cost of this estrangement becomes apparent when he is diagnosed with ALS. Who is going to support him through this horrible illness and his emotional journey as he is quickly robbed of the ability to do the thing that he loves? Richard finds his new girlfriends are not there for him and it is left to his ex-wife Karina to step into the role of carer after hearing the news from friends. Karina was also a very talented pianist who gave up her dream to have their daughter Grace and support Richard in his career. Her dissatisfaction and Richard’s infidelities left Karina very angry. The fact that she steps into this role gives us one of the main topics of this story; forgiveness. Lisa Genova also uses her neurological background and research to illustrate how ALS progresses and the devastating effects it has on the person with the disease as well as family and friends.
I’m not usually a fan of this kind of fiction but it isn’t a sentimental story, it is quite practical in the the way it is told and there are unresolved issues till the end.
This is chick lit with an educational purpose. A single mother, Jess, and her ten year old son travel to France to spend time with his father. Jess and Adam split up ten years ago, but her mother, who is ill, is keen for her grandson to connect with his father. Her mother’s illness weighs heavily on Jess, and this trip is significant for a number of reasons. The French countryside is lovely, the characters attractive and the interactions pleasantly predictable. The education is related to a particular disease, but the moral is not unusual for this sort of book; live life to the full. I must have seen this highly recommended somewhere, to have put it on my list, and it certainly wasn’t horrid, but I need a bit more to be really moved by a book. For fans of Me Before You, which doesn’t mean that someone dies!
This is such a fun book. Not only because it features a bare-chested, young man in a kilt (enough with the Scottish stuff you say), but because it teaches you some good yoga poses in a very light hearted manner.
Finlay Wilson took up yoga to rebuild his strength after a serious accident. His story is at the beginning of the book and explains a little of his journey.
He went on to become a yoga teacher and from there made the Kilted Yoga video which has gone viral. In this book Finlay introduces you to the fundamentals of yoga through four progressive sequences to help you develop your practice. It is easy to follow and the beautiful Scottish scenery is an added bonus although one should be very wary of ticks if practicing yoga in the heather, in a kilt!