Monday, September 28, 2009

Going Rogue: An American Life

According to our friends at C4P, the title of Sarah Palin's memoirs has been released. Going Rogue: An American Life, the former governor's first work, has also been rescheduled for publication. Originally set for next spring, the date has now been pushed up to November 17.

PS: Be sure to join the discussion below for Eat Cake.

Skye's Choice for October

The 5000 Year Leap
by W. Cleon Skousen (1913-2006)

I have personally not yet read this book. Dad and Jason have recently read it and both had good things to say about it's content. A new edition of The 5000 Year Leap has just been released with a forward by Glenn Beck and is available at major bookstores along with Deseret Book. And, if for no other reason, I am sure this will be a great book because one of my professors ridiculed it in class. He claimed Cleon Skousen's works were all "gobbledy-gook" and they were only written to "make money". Oh yeah, and he also said President Obama has never proposed strict firearm legislation and that we should clone mastodons (woolly mammoths) and extinct birds.
Like other prominent LDS authors (Hugh Nibley, Bruce R. McConkie, etc.), W. Cleon Skousen is a figure of controversy. Here are some interesting facts about him (taken from the preface of Gospel Diamond Dust):
  1. He was a national authority on child development and wrote one of America's most widely read books on raising boys.
  2. He was an FBI official who specialized in studying subversion and wrote a national best seller on the subject. He also wrote a national best seller on the secret combinations which threaten the Constitution and the survival of freedom in America.
  3. He was a university professor who was a specialist on the Bible and other Christian writings, and who taught a thousand students per week. He penned several college texts which constituted a careful analysis of ancient scriptural literature.
  4. He was the editorial director of a national law and order magazine. He wrote a feature article each month that was read by 15,000 chiefs of police across the throughout.
  5. He was a chief of police of a major city and reorganized a scandalized police department. This effort eventually won the praise of Time Magazine, which called the result a "model department."
  6. He was a world traveler who conducted tours to every continent on the globe, spoke in every state of the Union, and gave lectures in 45 foreign countries.
  7. He was a lawyer and a member of the bar in the District of Columbia and was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He specialized in a study of the United States Constitution.
  8. He proposed a bill called HR-23 when he was a chairman of a national committee. This bill would have repealed the Federal income taxes and prohibited the government from competing with private enterprise.
  9. He was the president of a national foundation that conducts conferences and educational programs throughout the country to train Americans in the fundamental genius of the nation's original success formula. He demonstrated that nearly every aggravating problem facing America could be solved by returning to the Founding Fathers' original formula for happiness, peace, and prosperity.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September Discussion

By Shiloh:

Well, I know I am a couple of days late in getting this out, but the discussion for "Eat Cake" by Jeanne Ray is officially open! I didn't want to give too much away when I assigned it, but now that everyone has read it I'll tell you more of my thoughts.

One of the things I like best about it is that it is believable. You feel that there really could be a family out there like that. I appreciate that the author is able to write believeable characters in an entertaining story that doesn't get too bogged down. Sometimes it seems to me that books that have realisitc characters end up being dramatic and depressing with "real life" situations. Here nobody is a standout, there is no "hero" as we usually think of them, they are all just "normal" people with very believable quirks that normal people have.

My favorite characters are actually the grandparents. Every time one of them enters a scene there is always a reaction. Most of the time they seemed to be the comic relief, but they could pull off the serious moments occasionally, too. Of course coming from the family that we do I totally could not understand Camille and how her parents let her get away with that attitude. I just wanted to yell at her mom and say "Why do you put up with that?!" Sam was the only character that was really hazy for me. He didn't seem to have much of a personality at all after the first day of losing his job, but then I suppose the book was more about Ruth and her midlife crisis and not his.

I will bring up a point that was brought to my attention by more than one sister, Ruth reminds us of Mom. The obvious similarities are that both are middle-aged housewives with some children gone and some still at home though pretty much grown. Both stress out and can't sleep at odd hours of the morning and so work on "projects". Both worry incessantly about their families and I am sure there are more, but I want to leave something for you guys to add.

Truly, the thing I like best about this book is that it is just good entertainment. I am able to sit back and enjoy the story without having to remember ten million characters and subplots or try to analyze every person's moves and motives. Not to say I don't enjoy those stories as well, because I do, but every now and then we all just need an escape. I do love the fact that her escape is baking because, although I don't do homemade cakes very often, I do love to cook and try new recipes when I get stressed. Well, that and read a good book!What did you think?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TEAM June Review: The Slight Edge

by Skye
Sorry I have been so behind on posting on blogs. The last few weeks have been insanely chaotic.
Anyway, the TEAM book choice for June was The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. First I exhort all of you read this book! It's not just another self help book, but rather a tool to help you process and put into action the knowledge you acquire from self help books.
With easy language, it's very enjoyable to read and you don't have to spend any time rereading and deciphering paragraphs. Olson tells the blunt truth: being successful is easy. So why aren't more people successful? Because while it's easy to be successful, it's also easy not to be. And, unfortunately, we live in a world that's all about taking the easy path. For instance, Olson tells us we can transform our way of thinking by simply substituting 15 minutes of reading our fictional novel for 15 minutes of Jim Rohn, Dale Carnegie, or John C. Maxwell. Easy to do? Of course. Easy not to do? Of course. It's like eating a cheeseburger, it won't kill you to eat one today or tomorrow or the next day. But eating a cheeseburger a day for years will eventually kill you.
Some great quotes I enjoy:
"You won't suffer, or fail or blow it-today. Something is easy not to do when it won't bankrupt you, destroy your career, ruin your relationships or wreck your health-today. What's more, not doing it is usually more comfortable than doing it would be."
When it comes to critics: "...others are going to be yanking on you, sitting on you, naysaying and doomsaying on you, and doing their level best to pull you back down. Why? Because if you succeed, you'll make them look as scared and desperate as they're afraid they really are...They'd rather not hear about the vision you have, because it reminds them of the one they've lost."
The Slight Edge is not just for those who are economically or career savvy. Whether your goal is weight loss, better health (or running a dam marathon), improved relationships, starting a business, or just being more professional in your own, this book is for you! Everyone should read this book!
PS Coming soon the July TEAM selection A Thomas Jefferson Education.