I've decided to do a recurring column reviewing some of my favorite books, or perhaps just the one I'm reading at the moment. I've always wanted to belong to a book club and be able to discuss some of the great reads I've had the pleasure to peruse, but it's never happened so far. Besides, I don't think I'd do very well in a book club where I wasn't in charge (givin' some honesty here). I only want to discuss the books I like!
So if any of my readers want to help my fantasy life come true, you can read the books I suggest and comment on them. Or pretend you read them and comment. Or just comment and I'll do the pretending. I'm pretty easy to please.
I finished a book this week, one my mom gave me over a year ago to read, but I just got to beginning it this month. That is not a reflection on the book, because avid reader though I am, I've discovered that when I am in a high-stress time in my life I lose the ability to read for pleasure. Since January (I'll let you do the math and come to your own conclusions) I've gradually regained my ability to sustain interest and comprehension in a good book.
The book, "In a Heartbeat" by Leigh Anne and Sean Touhy, tells the story of the Touhys and how they adopted a very large, very talented, but very marginalized youth, raised him through college and saw him become a successful pro football player. If you've seen "The Blind Side", this is their story, but told in their own passionate language.
I really enjoyed this book. I found out I hold a lot of beliefs in common with the Touhys, though we have nothing in common when it comes to finances. We both have a passion for helping children, and Leigh Anne and I both have a stubborn spirit, even if I can never hope to equal her Southern belle fire. For instance, when the Touhys attended the Oscars the year "The Blind Side" was nominated, Leigh Anne grew impatient at the security delays while every evening purse was searched.
"Finally Leigh Anne lost it and started lecturing all of Tinseltown in a loud voice. 'Terrorists are NOT going to blow up the Oscars. Ya'll are just NOT that important. This is NOT Baghdad. That sign up there says 'Hollywood.'"
I most admired their giving philosophy, which is woven throughout the book. Even though they are wealthy, they believe that giving doesn't have to be some great act to count or that it needs to bring glory on the giver. They live by the Popcorn Theory:
"You can't help everyone. But you can try to help the hot ones who pop right up in front of your face."
It was a great book, entertaining and thought provoking. If you liked the movie, you'll enjoy getting behind the scenes. If you have a heart for kids, you'll enjoy reading a positive story like this. And no matter what your motivation to begin the book, you're guaranteed to end it wanting to go out and make a difference.