Friday, January 15, 2010

This I Believe

This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women is a book I finished up over the Christmas Holidays. My office manager had lent it to me thinking I might enjoy it and I have to say I did. It is a series of essays of beliefs that people from all walks of life have written and submitted. This is a radio series on NPR that was started back in the 50's and the book includes some essays of some of the original ones in the 50's too. Click here to go to Wikipedia for a full description in case you are interested in learning more or you can click here to go to NPR's website and see when it comes on the radio near you. Anyhoo this book is 271 pages with discussion questions in back for a book club. Here is the description off of Publisher's Weekly on Barnes & Noble's website:

"In the 1950s, the Edward R. Murrow-hosted radio program This I Believe prompted Americans to briefly explain their most cherished beliefs, be they religious or purely pragmatic. Since the program's 2005 renaissance as a weekly NPR segment, Allison (the host) and Gediman (the executive producer) have collected some of the best essays from This I Believe then and now. "Your personal credo" is what Allison calls it in the book's introduction, noting that today's program is distinguished from the 1950s version in soliciting submissions from ordinary Americans from all walks of life. These make up some of the book's most powerful and memorable moments, from the surgeon whose illiterate mother changed his early life with faith and a library card to the English professor whose poetry helped him process a traumatic childhood event. And in one of the book's most unusual essays, a Burmese immigrant confides that he believes in feeding monkeys on his birthday because a Buddhist monk once prophesied that if he followed this ritual, his family would prosper. There are luminaries here, too, including Gloria Steinem, Warren Christopher, Helen Keller, Isabel Allende, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Updike and (most surprisingly, considering the book's more liberal bent) Newt Gingrich. This feast of ruminations is a treat for any reader. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information."

As the description tells you this isn't just about Christian or any other one religions beliefs, although they are included. It is about all kinds of beliefs that we feel, the belief in our neighbors, people, our society, our country, etc. I am considering this book for one of my book club selections but at this time the jury is still out on whether or not I will use it this year. There is a second book of more essays that was published, This I Believe II, and hopefully I will get around to reading that one day too. Happy Reading to you and Have a great weekend!

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