Monday, August 31, 2009

Always Looking Up

The choice for our next book club book was my choice and after seeing an interview with Michael J. Fox I have really wanted to read this book ever since. So I sent out the e-mail to our book club telling everyone that this was the book and then I bought it on itunes and started listening to it. Well to point out the negative first so I can focus on the positive the only thing that I REALLY didn't like about this book was the language that was used. As a member of the LDS church and the fact that I work for an LDS College, I often forget how the world sees different things as normal. In this case it is swearing, while he never took the Lord's name in vain in this book I lost count of all the other words he frequently used in his book... including the F word. At times i had to stop listening and focus my mind on other things to get a certain word or two out of my head. While I understand that some people consider swearing to be just part of their normal everyday vocabulary. I on the other hand think differently, so after hearing the language I pulled this book as our next book club read and have been searching for something different. However I was hooked and thought that I would continue and try and muster through the swear words. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea about Parkinson's disease so it was really interesting to hear from Michael J. Fox's own mouth (quite literally...he does the reading for the audio book.) about the constant everyday struggles he deals with. He talks a lot about stem celled research which I have to say I am not sure where I stand on this topic. I don't think I understand it. My favorite part however has to be when he talks about his family. From his voice and the essence of his stories you can tell that he really loves his family and that they mean the world to him. From how much he loves his wife to how amazing he thinks his kids are. These were some of the funniest and insightful stories I think in the book. If you don't mind the language this is a great read, it gives you a great look into the life of someone with Parkinson's disease.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This was our next book in our book club. This book was very surprising. Martial arts is something that is still very foreign to me but I have had the opportunity to get to know more about it these past 3 years and have developed a deep respect for the sport. I really liked this book and found it quite interesting. Not only the karate itself but of Funakoshi's life and devotion to karate. He helped me see karate in a whole new life and he also debunked quite a few myths that I as well as I believe a lot of people think exist in karate. I think if given an opportunity I really would have loved to study this amazing art under Funakoshi, I am actually interested in seeing if any of the schools he organized is still around and if there are any in Utah. Gichin Funakoshi is the reason why we have karate here in America as well. Because of his desire to introduce the Japanese to karate from his home country of Okinawa. It also was introduced to some American soldiers after WW2 (after years of struggles, triumphs and many other things in Japan before the war.)Funakoshi was even asked to come to America himself to give many demonstrations on a number of different air bases. he gives many wonderful examples in this book about what karate really is and the meaning of it. He uses examples from his own life as well as from his masters lives. I really enjoyed these stories as well and found the rather fascinating. If you are interested in the Asian culture at all I would highly recommend this book...even if you don't know what you feel about karate. This is a great book and really opened my eyes to what karate really is.