I have come back to the present.
After taking a two-day hiatus from being present in the lives of my family, I finished listening to the last five minutes of my book club book "Unbroken" on "audible" as I pulled into the driveway of my friend's house for book club last night.
And now I'm ready to be a mother once again.
But although I had my phone glued to my ear as it spilled out unthinkable stories for a few days, I do think it was pretty motherly of me to listen while doing laundry, sorting pictures, watching a volleyball game (I was still totally paying attention, Elle), making dinner, driving carpools, listening to piano lessons, etc. I mean, I did have to drive back and forth from the school seven times yesterday for one reason or another, so it was nice to have my phone to keep me company...feeding awe-inspiring tales into my ear.
Audible is amazing (that's the first time I've used it).
But even more amazing than being able to listen to a book while multitasking and even being able to speed up the reading voice up to three times normal speed when you are really in a hurry, listening to a book like "Unbroken" will change your life.
Seriously, I think everyone should read (or listen to) that book.
I love that it is a true story.
I love that it taught me more about history in the most vivid, tangible detail.
I love how it described pre-wartime Germany during the Olympics.
I love how it talked about running. And that it went into some background of the lead-up to the famous "four-minute mile." I heard a lesson on that long ago and think about often ever since.
I love that it is a story of survival and the resilience of the human body...especially when that mind encased within that body finds God and the beauty of forgiveness.
The part about Billy Graham made me cry.
I love to think of all the research and effort that went into the minute details.
I had to stop every so often and catch my kids up on what was happening...the bird infested with lice the guy tried to eat. Sharks lurking under a castaway lifeboat. Life as a prisoner of war. The story of finding faith amidst trial. Their eyes became as big as saucers at some parts.
It is a beautiful book.
(Ordering info. and lots of reviews here.)
I really liked the last book we read too:
Another story that sucks you in and helps you feel life in a way you would never experience otherwise while tucked safely of the normalcy of the every day.
In the beginning it had me all worked up that a labor and delivery story could take over 100 pages to spin out while the characters sat around wringing their hands. I wished I could reach through those pages and slap some sense into those despondent characters. And I always have a tough time with unsaid "I love you"'s. But man alive that initial frustration wove itself into quite a story (with a few parts I could have done without). I loved that it took place in Ethiopia and New York City...places Dave and I have had the chance to visit and could relate to the beauty of the author's explanation of their vast differences. I loved the characters. I loved that I had a real book in my hands I could dog-ear and underline to my heart's content.
I had to cram for that one too. I proclaimed FHE a read-a-thon one night and other nights I sat mesmerized by the story from a faraway land populated with heartbreaking and heroic characters as children crawled over my lap and under my legs.
The "dessert" of a good book to me is getting to discuss it with my book club...women who I love and who not only always read the book but who are always game to discuss it's intricacies in minute details until late into the night. (And who forgive me that I do not always get the reading in.)
(Ordering info. and tons of reviews on that one are here.)
Yes, there's nothing quite like getting a good book under your belt.