Life Lessons I Took from Books, by Patricia Furstenberg

Hello, welcome to my blog, or, if you are a regular, welcome back. My friends to the south are observing Memorial Day, a time to remember and honor those who gave their lives defending the United States.

My guest, Patricia Furstenberg,  is the author of Silent Heroes , an action-packed adventure about the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. Please click on the link above to see my review.  Today, she discusses how books can teach us valuable life-lessons. I’ll let her take it from here.  

A good book can take us through a multitude of experiences and can bring us that little ray of light during troubled times, when we are dealing with a moral dilemma. A great book can also rekindle a blissful moment of pure happiness we once experienced, only to discard into a dusty corner of our minds. No book is useless from this point of view, any volume can become a true manna if read at the right time. We learn quicker from books, but books also help us clarify an experience we are currently dealing with. It can happen that a paragraph in a book is so enlightening that we see it as a life experience, allowing us to finally put into words a past even we went through, yet not fully dealt with.

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Like any life lesson from sources other than personal, those took from books cannot really be assimilated unless they overlap, at least partially, over our individual experiences. For example, it can be difficult to understand that you deserve love and that you are able to receive it if life has taught you differently. However, you do feel when you come across a wise word in a book that love might indeed suit you, so your soul becomes more prepared to accept the truth of those words.

Probably one of the most valuable lessons we learn very quickly from books is that things are rarely just white or black. Life comes in all shades and colours, no matter wat chromatic preferences we have; we cannot really categorize people, relationships, feelings, or visions.

When you feel lost, it’s almost a consolation to read Agatha Christie’s  An Autobiography and find out the trouble she faced and how she figuring out how to deal with them, so life can go on. Moreover, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice whispers that we shouldn’t be afraid if we don’t have all the answers when we need them, because it is the experience that shows us the path towards happiness. In addition, it is important not to wait for the definition of happiness to be given to us by other people because only we are the masters of our hearts.

Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo is a motivational classic read, showing us that it is never too late to make a radical change and even one single day can be extremely important in one’s life. Time is precious. From Oscar Wild’s Picture of Dorian Gray we learn that the present is probably the most important step along the winding road that life is, and that it is best to give up the past, yet never pretend that it did not happen. One way or another, each experience we go through has a meaning and a role in shaping us and thus our subsequent choices and future existence. Along the same lines J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit teaches us not to deny ourselves any experience just because it might become uncomfortable; for it each one has the capacity to become a defining moment of our existence.

Larsson’s Girl with a Dragon Tattoo delivers a message similar to the one found in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Larsson’s book shows us that anyone can become a hero, and that heroes can even be those who do not consider themselves as such; Tolkien’s trilogy tells us that sometimes even the most insignificant being can change the destiny of humanity. Any individual can play an equally important role.

Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl is a powerful life lesson through the words of a 15-year-old child. If you show imagination even in the darkest moments, this will shine a light on many qualities you never knew you possessed.

It may be that the people who have the greatest impact on our lives are not around us for a very long time. That is why is important to learn from them, about them, before they pass on. Those people, writes Mitch Albom in Tuesdays with Morrie, are the ones who help us become what we are meant to be.

For those with a love for words, Zusak’s Book Thief comes with a warning: words are valuable, don’t waste them; words are extraordinarily powerful tools. They can be used towards good or evil, so measure them carefully.

I love books for the lessons I actively learn from them and for the lessons I picked up without realizing. How not to try to do everything at once; how not to you try to change others, but to accept them as they are; how not to believe everything I’m told; how to go on an adventure, but also remember where I came from and that returning home can be even more pleasant; or how to give life purpose by helping others and how not to let those around me set their limits on what I am capable of achieving.

About Patricia:

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Patricia Furstenberg writes with passion about history that blends with fiction, about war heroes, human or canine, and she also pens humorous poetry & haiku about nature and dogs. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about mind, brain and education and the psychology behind it. She also loves coffee and she loves to travel.

Her latest book, Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for, is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery. Silent Heroes is a narrative about the value of life. Whose are the spoils-of-war? A new look at the War in Afghanistan, at the MWD, Military Working Dogs and the brave Marines fighting it, but also at the Afghans caught in it.

One of her first books, Joyful Trouble, was an Amazon Bestseller in Historical Fiction, Africa.
Her book of poems “As Good As Gold” became a #1 New Release the day it was published.

Patricia’s writing is filled with “creativity and vivid imagery” and she knows how to “capture the reader’s imagination.”
Her words penned in her children’s books “truly make the world a happier and more beautiful place!”

Patricia Furstenberg came to writing though reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. As a winner of the Write Your Own Christie Competition, the Judges “were impressed by her thorough investigation and admired the strength of her narrative; they were impressed by her style”. The judges thought Patricia’s writing style is “well structured, with a great sense of tension and suspense”, “confident and intriguing”. The Judges were Mathew Prichard, David Brawn from Harper Collins UK and Daniel Mallory from Harper Collins US.

An avid reader, Patricia Furstenberg enjoys historical fiction, especially the Late Middle Ages, and war stories that are a blend of facts, folklore, mystery and include a dog or two. She also loves contemporary fiction, especially mystery and crime, classical poetry and haiku. Some of her favorite authors include, without being limited to, Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Elizabeth Kostova, Dan Brown, Ionel Teodoreanu, Camil Petrescu.

‘I love to explore the human imagination. I am a tourist of history, a permanent guest in the labyrinth of books, a student in the world of art.’

Patricia blogs extensively and has articles & interviews published by Huffington Post UK, Biz Community, Books by Women.

Connect with Patricia and purchase a book: 

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Pintrest / Follow Blog on Email / Linked in / LovelyBooksDE / Goodreads / BookBub  / Amazon.com / Amazon.UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Fear The Rapids.

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If you find yourself swimming against the rapids, remember that resilience is not built by floating down a placid stream. However, keep a sharp eye out for a safe place to come ashore, for it is in rest that we find rejuvenation.

Six-Word Sunday

 

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Today Sandra left home for college.

Six-Word Story

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John answers the call of nature!

Swept towards Eternity

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Swiftly swept – no say have we; For time’s torrent waits not for thee. Youth flows post-haste – Looks will flee. The soul remains for eternity.

Love is all – the rest’s fool’s gold. Guard thy tongue and don’t let it scold. Warm thy heart’s core – Don’t grow cold. For Heaven awaits with joys untold.

Today is a Good Day!

Today is good, today I got up with the moon still smiling down, as it prepared to hand the sky over to the sun.  The characters were exactly as I’d left them, frozen in place for almost twenty-four hours. The relief on their faces was evident while they stretched muscles and loosened stiff joints. Yes, I allow them to stretch before we resume.

“Much better than yesterday,” Danne Stromgren, the main actor, declares. “You must have knocked out all of that dirt Mister Sandman stuffed between your ears.”

My finger traces an earlobe before I can stop it, checking for sand, just in case. I smile at the star of the show, he’s prone to fits of man-diva.  I can’t blame him on this one, however. This time the griping is justified. Yesterday was a scrambled dog’s breakfast. Here’s a brief replay of what happened.

Time warp to yesterday . . .

Computer on, coffee on the immediate left, within easy grasp, oxygenating greenery to the right, fingers at the ready . . . now type!

abcdebbacon! . . . Hungry! No . . . try again. abc! . . . Hey, is that a cobweb on the corner of the kitchen ceiling?

Sip coffee, ouch! Hot! Sniff oxygenating plant, better! Brain is giving me a dial tone only. Try some research . . . that’s it, type in ‘wild west, turn of the century’ . . . no, stop fingers!

Ooh, soo ugly, yet fascinating! Wingspan of up to six feet? Hmmm . . . take a lot of batter to coat those. Grab some cereal would ya and get back to work! No, Cheerios won’t cut it, left over chicken in fridge. Yum, now I’m good. Whoa! The clock is running down. Kids will be up soon. 

Dannne . . . whoops, Danne said, “You . . .” Aggh!!  “You . . .” YMCA! It’s fun to stay at the YMCA! Just go with it for a moment, that’s right, tap those fingers on the kitchen table you call a writer’s nook. 

“Dad, what’s for breakfast? I’m hungry!”

(sigh) Return oxygenating plant to windowsill . . . drink up cold coffee . . . close down portal to the nineteenth century Klondike . . . no saving required.

“Here you go.”

“Ewww! What’s that?”

“My white flag.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starve the Beast

I wrote a poem that brings out some of own experiences with anxiety. Though it may not work for everyone, I’m often able to stop some of the anxious/ negative thoughts from developing into by switching to thoughts of gratitude. (I have nothing against tigers)

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