Thursday, August 15, 2013

Proof of Heaven

By Dr. Eben Alexander III

 Dr. Eben Alexander III, renowned neurosurgeon and former Harvard professor, contracted an extremely rare case of bacterial meningitis and slipped into a coma for 7 days. This book details his illness and recovery, his family's response, and his journey into the afterlife.

After waking up with excruciating head and back pain in 2008, Alexander began to experience violent seizures and was rushed to the emergency room. His condition puzzled his colleagues as his body was unresponsive to any treatment.

During this time, Alexander delved into a frightening new existence with faces randomly appearing through muck. After an undetermined amount of time, he is guided by a beautiful blue-eyed girl into a surreal world of vibrant colors and butterflies. Alexander received the constant non-verbal message that he was loved and accepted.

My issue with this book is in the lack of evidence that the doctor's brain had completely shut down during this week of unconsciousness. A majority of the book details conversations between family members and physicians. There is a very brief statement from a fellow physician in the Appendix, but I would not consider this "Proof of Heaven".

~ Paula

Monday, August 5, 2013

Promised Land

DVD - Rated R
Universal Studios 2013
Matt Damon and John Krasinski star in this drama based on the screenplay written by the actors. Steve Butler (Matt Damon) is a high-level salesman for the powerful Global gas corporation who comes to a small town in Pennsylvania in order to convince the residents to allow fracking on their land. An environmental activist (John Krasinski) tries to sway the town against it by sharing his personal story of the destruction of his family's farm due to fracking.
The story and casting are superb; you grow to like the characters on both sides of the issue. While the anti-fracking message is loud and clear, the reasons why some choose to support it for their family's financial future is also demonstrated. The R rating comes from the frequent use of the "F" word. There is no sex or nudity, but there is a fair amount of drinking during the bar scenes.
This movie has come at a time when fracking is a hot topic and I'm certain that it will spark many debates. I would highly recommend it for high schoolers and adults.
~ Paula

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wedding Night

By Sophie Kinsella

Bestselling author Sophie Kinsella adds another charming and light-hearted book to her repertoire. Career-girl Lottie is heartbroken after her long-term boyfriend, Richard, refuses to propose. Coincidentally, ex-flame Ben contacts Lottie out-of-the-blue with a marriage proposal and the pair decide to skip the dating stage to go directly to the altar. Lottie's big sister Fliss hatches a scheme to prevent the consummation of the marriage to allow an annulment after Lottie reaches her senses.

A comedy of errors occurs as Fliss engages her travel magazine contacts to assist her in keeping the honeymooners apart while staying at the exclusive Greek hotel.

The audiobook performance is such a treat. The British actors portraying the sisters make you feel as if you are part of the whole hilarious plot. Don't miss it!

~ Paula

The Offering

By Angela Hunt

Amanda Lisandra was an only child and always dreamed of having a big family of her own. She and her husband have one daughter and are struggling financially. It seems they will never be able to afford a home of their own or more children. Mandy finds out that she can earn quite a bit by being a gestational carrier. She wants to help earn money for her family. Being pregnant was easy for her in the past. She could earn a nice sum and help a childless couple at the same time. Just at the end of her pregnancy, tragedy rocks her world. She delivers a healthy baby but in her grief she barely even looks at the baby before surrendering him to the couple who hired her. For two years she struggles to heal emotionally. Then she receives a photo of the child she bore. The resemblance to her daughter is unbelievable. Did she give away her own biological child? 

~ Dixie