Monday, April 30, 2012

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

“The imagination is vaster than we can imagine. We just need to learn how to listen." “Imagine” by New York Times best-selling author, Jonah Lehrer (“How We Decide”), is an exploration into the world of imagination and creativity through the areas of artistic inspiration, brain function, mental illness, and amphetamines.

Many artists, writers, and musicians from the early Greek through present day, have suffered from bi-polar disease or depression, which can generate feelings of melancholy triggering intense concentration and creativity. Artists and musicians are not the only ones to take advantage of creativity as a tool for productivity. The leaders of 3M and Pixar inspire creativity in their workforce through physical building arrangement, collaboration with those outside of the company, and group dynamics.

Lehrer encourages the reader to look at the world from a different vantage point. Think like a child. Talk to someone new. Travel.

Although this book is very thought-provoking, Lehrer sometimes jumps from topic to topic without providing a smooth transition. While I would not call this a casual read, the science of creativity is explored and those interested in the topic of imagination and inspiration will be intrigued.

~ Paula

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Basketful of Broken Dishes

A Basketful of Broken Dishes: a true story
By Naomi Mullet Stutzman

The author, Naomi Stutzman tells the story of her parents, Simon and Sue Mullet, a couple from Geauga County, who leave their Amish way of life early in their marriage. Naomi is their youngest child and the only child in the family not born Amish.

Even from a young age, Simon struggled with following the strict Amish rules. Simon and Sue marry, both having joined the church making their vows to keep the Ordnung, but Simon continues to question everything. He joins the military, which is forbidden and Sue is now stuck between the Bishops and her husband. Who was she to obey?

Together they set their family free from the bondage of “religion” although their freedom brings a heavy price - the Bann – shunning. Naomi relates how her mother loved unconditionally and lived courageously looking forward to her divine inheritance and how it was hidden in her earthly inheritance, a basketful of broken dishes.