Friday, December 31, 2010

writing about books

If I'm at a loss for things to write about I can always write about books. As you might know, I've been 'reading' a lot of audio books lately. I've always been drawn in by radio drama and audio books. I just think they're the neatest thing. I have found myself in Alabama for a month or so, staying with my parents while I regroup and prepare for my move to Montana; back to my roots. So I find myself with a lot of time on my hands...

I haven't written seriously about anything for awhile. I just haven't felt inspired. However, some books I've been reading are very inspiring. For instance, I rented The Confession by John Grisham to read on my drive down from Maryland. If you're a Grisham fan you may know that he also wrote The Innocent Man, which was a true story. I have not written about this book but I have wanted to.

What makes The Confession such a good book is that there is so much truth and fact in it's pages. As I read it I can tell that he drew so much of it from The Innocent Man. (By the way, I 'read' both as audio books, very well done by the narrators.) As I'm reading The Confession I also feel like Grisham has read a lot of the same books as I have recently. In The Confession the boy on death row is Black, which differs from The Innocent Man. This is not surprising because it's not the same story. BUT I've recently read two other true books written about two different Black men that were arrested. One innocent, one not. But what happens in The Confession is surprisingly similar to what happened to these two men. So The Confession is quite interesting to me personally for these reasons. I love it when books & stories connect like that. I feel like it was written just for me.

Those other two books I read are: In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau and A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger; who wrote The Perfect Storm. Both excellent books which I may have to go into later.

If you know anything about my reading habits you probably know how much I like to read true crime. But I also like a well written novel. I had to share with you my enthusiasm for the connection of these books. I hope that if you read The Confession you will be inspired to read The Innocent Man. It's quite an eye opener and quite frustrating at times. The people who work on these cases are amazing people and should be commended.

The Innocence Project worked on Ron Williamson's case in The Innocent Man and they are still fighting to exonerate more innocent people. The system is still very broken in places and there really are police officers and detectives out there who do not care about finding the truth, only about making their own convictions stick. How does an innocent man come within 4 days of being executed? People should know; judges and lawyers should do the right thing. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

my beautiful grandmother

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (New International Version, ©2010)

14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

This is my grandpa and grandma, Melvin and Gladys Johnson. Married 58 years. They are the most beautiful couple I've ever known and such an inspiration in so many ways. They were always so involved in the church but were never in-your-face about it. It was in the way they lived their lives. My grandmother died Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving, this 2010. As of today it was just a week ago. We are all still reeling from this incredible loss. She was an amazing woman. Really amazing. I can still hear her voice and keep thinking she's gonna walk into the room. I miss her so much. She has been such an important part of my life for so long I never imagined not having her around. I can only imagine how my grandfather is feeling. But at least we all have each other and we will take care of each other and God will help us through this. I love you grandma. You are an inspiration.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder 

You get your fill to eat 
But always keep that hunger 
May you never take one single breath for granted 
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed 
I hope you still feel small 
When you stand by the ocean 
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens 
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance 
I hope you dance 

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance 
Never settle for the path of least resistance 
Living might mean taking chances 
But they're worth taking 
Lovin' might be a mistake 
But it's worth making 
Don't let some hell bent heart 
Leave you bitter 
When you come close to selling out 
Give the heavens above 
More than just a passing glance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance 
I hope you dance 
(Time is a real and constant motion always) 
(Rolling us along) 
(Tell me who 
Wants to look back on their youth and wonder) 
(Where those years have gone) 

I hope you still feel small 
When you stand by the ocean 
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens 
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance 
I hope you dance