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books that uplift

Book Club choices presentation

Meegan Toro

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of books that uplift

Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch Albom October Sky
by Homer Hickam drama (a play!)
227 pages (sort of) non-fiction
192 pages memoir
428 pages Produced in 1898 in France;
Written about a real man
and the events of his life
beginnining in 1640 ... a comedy?
or a tragedy? mitch albom reunites
with his college mentor,
morrie schwartz, and from
a dying old man he learns
how to live. full of quotable lines! life in the 1950's:
a coal mining town,
the guys - the girls -
and, rockets! competition being the younger brother Do your parents understand you? (Do you understand them?) Russia vs. the U.S. of A. pursuing math and science
taking on challenges best friends; the good ol' days a sports writer a college professor divorce - distance -
disappointment Lou Gherig's disease
(ALS) mentor,
"coach" good bye to a dear friend;
hello to a meaningful life ... intelligence,
wit, words love, loyalty, life and death -pride
-perceptions P O E T R Y ! 3 sides of a love triangle! a smart & beautiful girl ... a gorgeous but dumb boy ... an intelligent but ugly man ... daring-do
-death ... What does it take to make a rocket?

--What does it take to make a dream
come true? Which is most important? -love or pride?
-beauty or truth? -cleverness or happiness? What
really matters
in life? Book Club #2 books that uplift! which book do you choose? Cyrano-
My nose! ... You pug, you know, you button-head,
Know that I glory in this nose of mine,
For a great nose indicates a great man--
Genial, courteous, intellectual,
Virile, courageous--as I am--and such
As you--poor wretch--will never dare to be
Even in imagination. For that face--
That blank, inglorious concavity
Which my right hand finds--
[He strikes him.]
The Meddlar-
Cyrano- ... on top of you,
Is as devoid of pride, of poetry,
Of soul, of picturesqueness, of contour,
Of character, of NOSE in short--as that
[Takes hime by the shoulders and turns him around,
suiting the action to the word]
Which at teh end of that limp spine of your
My left foot--

(Postand 34)

"I know you think this is just about dying," he said, but it's like I keep telling you. When you learn how to die, you learn how to live."
Morrie talked about his most fearful moments, when he felt his chest locked in heaving surges or when he wasn't sure where his next breath would come from. These were horrifying times, he said, and his first emotions were horror, fear, anxiety. But once he recognized those emotions, their texture, their moisture, the shiver down the back, the quick flash of heat that crosses your brain--then he was able to say, "Okay. This is fear. Step away from it. Step away."
I thought about how often this was needed in everyday life. How we feel lonely, sometimes to the point of tears, but we don't let those tears come because we are not supposed to cry. Or how we feel a surge of love for a partner but we don't say anything because we're frozen with the fear of what those words might do to the relationship.
Morrie's approach was exactly the opposite. Turn on the faucet. Wash yourself with the emotion. It won't hurt you. It will only help. If you let fear inside, if you pull it on like a familiar shirt, then you can say to yourself, "All right, it's just fear, I don't have to let it control me. I see it for what it is" (Albom 104-5).
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