Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Club... And Then Some!

Life is a verb: 37 days to wake up, be mindful, and live intentionally
Patti Digh

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

Digh’s book, Life is a Verb, is arranged around her six-point guide to life that includes intensity, inclusion, integrity, intimacy, intuition, and intention.

The following is an accurate “product description” for this book: “Within these pages—enhanced by original artwork and wide, inviting margins ready to be written in—Digh identifies six core practices to jump-start a meaningful life: Say Yes, Trust Yourself, Slow Down, Be Generous, Speak Up, and Love More. Within this framework she supplies 37 edgy, funny, and literary life stories, each followed by a “do it now” 10-minute exercise as well as a practice to try for 37 days—and perhaps the rest of your life” (

Of the book, Sarah Morgan of Stewartsville, NJ, said: “The writing exercises are excellent, bite-sized, and spur you to much deeper consideration of the topics. And the writing itself is funny, real, down-to-earth and extremely moving. I've bought one copy and will buy several more as gifts.” Morgan has put her finger on an important aspect of this book: It is either a gift-wrapped present (because of the fancy presentation and original artwork that makes the book stunning) to yourself or it can be a brilliant choice (because of the vibrant colors, various fonts, poetry, and artistic designs) as a gift for someone else. This is one of the best conceived, imaginatively produced, creatively expressed, and sensitively presented books I have ever read.

Artybeth from Colorado writes in her brief review of the book, “The writing is wonderful and I've seen so many things I've not seen before. Her insights and observations immediately put one in tune with their inner creative self and there [is] much food for thought. It has a beautiful layout and visuals including wonderful quotes trailing along the pages.”

Digh’s writing is outstanding, the quotations she adds are delightful, the artwork is sensational, her examples are captivating, and her “Action” boxes and “Movement” suggestions are practical and useful. Overall, your senses will be assuaged, your feelings will be soothed, and any harsh or violent thoughts you have will be calmed as you read — really absorb — this wonderful creation.

Married to Africa: A Love Story
by G. Pascal Zachary

Married to Africa: A Love Story is a fascinating story about contrasting cultures. It is the zoo located in Accra, Ghana, where Zachary meets Chizo Okon, and this book is about their warm and humorous story. I found the in-law introductions by both partners captivating and truly priceless. Zachary depicts life in Africa—the spiritual fervor of some Africans, the mysterious power of juju, and the rewards of eating bushmeat and other African dishes (from the front book jacket). What it was like being white in a black society offered information and insights just as how Chizo experienced being very black in San Francisco. The vignettes are both wacky and wonderful, such as when police mistook Chizo for a black male robbing Zachary’s house, surrounded the house, and saw her come to the door which a large knife in her hand—not out of self-protection or malice, but because she was using the knife in the kitchen. Driving without a licence, charming a stern Jewish mother-in-law, and managing requests from poor relatives in Africa are among other delightful vignettes. If you enjoy love stories, cultural comparisons and differences, and are looking for a witty well-told tale, this book will suit your reading interests just fine.


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