Book Review – 'The Five Love Languages' By Dr Gary Chapman

When I first looked at the book cover I thought 'Oh wow, this looks a bit too sweet for me' but I still bought it as it came recommended by one of my clients as a good and interesting read. This is now many years ago and I have since used ideas from this book with every couple that comes to work with me.

Summary

After many years of counseling, Dr. Chapman realized that individuals had different ways in which they showed love to another person and, for whatever reason, they are usually drawn to someone showing it in a different way. He came up with five basic categories: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

More in details

This book explains the different love languages ​​(categories) in detail, how to discover your primary love language and talks about what happens through the different stages of a relationship.

Dr. Gary Chapman injects his explanations with many stories of people who attended his seminars and who, using the theory of 'The Five Love Languages', have changed the level of satisfaction in their relationship or marriage significantly.

I specifically liked his theory of the love tank and the idea that we pay with the currency of our primary love language whereby the account of the receiver might prefer another currency. He suggests also that couples play a game where one partner asks the other: 'What could I do today that would make your love tank rise?' By taking responsibility for your own needs and likes and stating what that would be you allow your partner to collect more and more ideas about how to make the most effective payments into your emotional love tank.

If you now are curious about which one your primary love language is: There is a test at the end of the book, both for him and for her.

About the author

Dr. Gary Chapman is a pastor, speaker and author. He teaches his 'Five Love Languages' and speaks about marriage, family and relationship, throughout the States and also internationally. He has written over thirty books and created five video programs.

'The Five Love Languages' was published in 1992 and since then has been translated into more than forty different languages. This book has sold over five million copies making it a perennial New York Times bestseller.

Recommendation

More than the number of books sold is the effect this has had on so many couples I've been working with. This book is simple to read for both husband and wife and has practical tips on how to make your relationship more satisfying and happy. This is basic knowledge for any couple, married or not.

To Kill a Mockingbird – A Book Review

The novel To Kill A Mockingbird revolves around a young girl named Jean Louise Finch who goes by the nicknamed "Scout". Scout experiences different events in her life that dramatically change her life. Scout and her brother Jem are being raised by their father, a lawyer named Atticus and a housekeeper named Calpumia in a small town in the south. At this point in time in the South racism and discriminations towards black was a big issue. The story begins when Scout is 6 years old, and her brother is about to enter the 5th grade. That summer Scout and her brother meet a young boy named Dill who comes from Mississippi to spend the summers there. They become fascinated with a man named "Boo" Radley, a man in his thirties who has not been seen outside of his home in years, mainly because of his suppressed upbringing. They have an impression of Mr. Radley as being this large ugly and evil man. Then comes the trial. Scout's father becomes a defense attorney for a black man, Tom Robinson, who is falsely accused of raping a white women. This has a big affect on Scout. During this trial she gets teased by friends because her father was helping this black man. Scout starts to see the racism that exist. During the trial Scout and her brother and close friend Dill witness the trial. Even though they are young they can see that Mr. Robinson is innocent. Even though Mr. Robinson's innocence was clear even in the eyes of kids, Mr. Robinson was still found guilty. Later in an attempt to escape, Mr. Robinson is shot dead. Scout is extremely disappointed at the verdict and even more at the death of Mr. Robinson and realizes the injustice that exist. Later in a cowardly attempt by the alleged rape victims father, tries to kill Scout and her brother in order to get even with her father for making him look back in court. This is when Mr. Radley makes an appearance again an stabs their attacker. Even though Mr. Radley kills a man he is not tried for murder because he was defending the Scout and her brother. Finally some justice. This gives Scout some hope that is a chance for improvement in this unjust world.

(Discussion of main themes in To Kill A Mockingbird)

There are many different themes present in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The first theme which I will discuss is "Prejudice". The whole story revolved around the prejudice views of this Southern community. The whole reason why the trial was going on was because of people views towards blacks in the south. Since the alleged rape victim's father has such a prejudice view towards black, he is embarrassed that his daughter was actually flirting with a black man. To combat this he falsely accuses the innocent Robinson of rape. If it wasn't for the prejudice view which existed in the south the accusation would had never been brought against Mr. Robinson. These prejudice views in the south created a double standard of justice. With all the negative points that can be found in the story in respect to prejudice, there was a bright spot when it came to the prejudice issue. This "ray of light" came in the form of Scout's father Atticus. Atticus represented hope. Hope that good people still exist. Even in a society filled with hate. Atticus represented the hope that one day things can change

The "Prejudice" theme also ties in well with the title of the book "To Kill A Mocking Bird." In Chapter 10, Scout and Jem Finch get air rifles for Christmas. Scouts father tells her and her brother that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because mockingbirds are harmless creatures who do nothing but sing for our enjoyment. In the story To Kill a Mockingbird Robinson is clearly the "Mocking Bird". He is a good man who has never harmed anyone and is figuratively and literally shot by society because of prejudice. The jurors sentence him to death not because he did anything wrong but because of prejudice. He is then later shot for trying to escape this unjust ruling. Mr. Robinson just like a mockingbird is shot for no reason at all.

The second theme which I will discuss is "coming of age". The "Coming of age" theme basically entails a character who evolves to a new level of self awareness through his or her experiences in life. This is clearly the case with Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. An example of Scout's "coming of age" can be seen when she meets her friend Dill. Dill comes from a broken home and lives somewhere beyond Alabama. Scout who comes from a good home is awaken to the different quality of life that exist and is able to come to a conclusion that life exist beyond the world she knows. Through these experiences she grows more tolerant of others, learning how to "climb into another person's skin and walk around in it." On her first day of school she finds that just like with Dill there are both social and poor classes in society, some are respectable and others not. She also learns that her father is an extra-ordinary man, fighting for a Negro's rights in court. During the trial of Tom Robinson Scout learns about equality and inequality and finally about racial prejudice. By the final chapters of the novel, Scout goes to another "coming of age experience." She learns that good people can still suffer injustice. She realizes this when she see's Tom Robinson suffer injustice even though they did nothing to deserve it. She discover that the courts does not always result in justice. In the end after all of Scout's experiences and discoveries we get the sense that she will not follow the prejudice views which her society upholds. In the end Scout had matured and grown more as a kid, than many adults will do in there lifetime.

The third and final theme which I will discuss is "Justice". In the story To Kill a Mockingbird I feel, the author, Ms. Lee portrays true justice as being best seen through the eyes of the innocent. In the story Scout and her brother, being the innocent, can clearly see the injustice being done to Mr. Robinson. In contrary to Scout and her brother other people in society more specifically the older people in the town, the people who have lived through different experiences, become blinded when it comes to true justice. Or maybe they are not blinded but just choose to ignore it. This is clearly seen when they sentence an innocent man to death. This ignorance of justice can be blamed on the prejudice views which are present and eventually instilled in society in the south. So I feel that Harper Lee is connecting justice with innocence to a certain extent. In my opinion Harper Lee portrays justice as being easily detected. The reason I say this is even the young justice. The problem is society can instill beliefs that can act as a veil and blind the people from justice. The only way to uncover this veil is through people like Atticus who can pass his morality and nobility to the young and the "blinded"

(Would I recommend this book?)

I would definitely recommend people to read the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I found it to be an interesting and powerful book. I feel the book does a great job in portraying the extreme prejudice that existed in the south at that time. I feel this book makes a powerful statement on how justice can be altered through racism. I also think that the themes found in the book are themes which can still be found in our current society and that makes it the more interesting. You can even make a case that prejudice still has an effect in our legal system today. So if you are looking for a powerful book of "coming of age" and the battle for justice I would highly recommend To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Book Review: You Have to Stop This

WARNING: This review contains spoilers. It’s written for busy parents who want to know what their child is reading–but don’t have time to read the book for themselves. Now for the review…

In this fifth (and supposedly final) book of the Secret series, a class trip to the local natural history museum turns dangerous when Cass accidentally breaks a finger off a mummy.

As punishment, Cass and her friends Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji are sent to work for the mummy exhibit’s curator-only to be blamed when the mummy disappears.

As Cass and her friends race to clear their names and discover the Secret, they run into the evil Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L-who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the Secret before the kids do.

The Good Stuff

Pseudonymous Bosch did it again! You Have to Stop This is a funny, suspenseful story for kids that’s hard to put down.

This book is part mystery… part “coming of age” – but the main theme that runs through the entire series is friendship. It’s rewarding for the reader to see Cass and Max-Ernest start off as loners and end up as close friends who trust and need each other.

Violence

As with the other books in the Secret series, any “violence” is of the mild sort.

For example:

– The Lord Pharaoh’s ghost tries to replace the mummy’s missing finger by cutting off Dr. L’s finger to put in its place. (This is “told” – not “shown.”)

– Cass and her friends are grabbed by Lord Pharaoh’s henchmen. Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji are tossed outside, but Cass is locked into a canopic jar – a container which was historically used by Egyptians for storing the organs of the dead.

– When rescuing Cass, Yo-Yoji tackles Lord Pharaoh and pins him to the floor.

Magic, Sorcery and Spirituality

You Have to Stop This contains many references to ancient Egypt and its gods-Thoth, in particular.

For example…

– The Book of Thoth is said to contain all the spells in the universe.

– Cass has the Ring of Thoth in her possession-and it contains magical powers. When placed on the finger of the mummy, the Secret would be revealed.

– If the Lord Pharaoh learns the Secret first, he will become immortal and all-powerful. He would no longer be just a ghost. He would be able to claim any body he desires as his own and walk the earth like a living god.

– When Cass places the Ring of Thoth on the mummy’s finger, she has some kind of out-of-body type of experience where she’s flying over the Nile River.

Sexual Content

None.

Drugs and Alcohol

None.

Foul Language

None.

Other Negative Stuff

As with the other Secret books, Cass and Max-Ernest have to do a considerable amount of lying to their parents in order to have their adventures. And that’s not all…

Pseudonymous Bosch mentions a “private part” that supposedly fell of the King Tut mummy. (You might have fun explaining that one to your child!)

Also, a waitress in the casino and some of the dancers in Lord Pharaoh’s magic show are described as “nearly naked” and “scantily clad.”

My Two Cents

You Have to Stop This really is a fun read for kids. The characters are likeable… the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns… and the illustrations are whimsical. Plus, the “extras” thrown in by the ever-intrusive narrator add to the book’s appeal.

Overall, You Have to Stop This is an entertaining, kid-friendly book. It’s totally appropriate for the recommended age group – ages 9 and up.

The Kindle 2 – The Hottest Gift This Holiday Season

The electronic eBook reader, like the Amazon Kindle 2, is one of the hottest gift ideas for this holiday season. Maybe people are starting to realize the implications of owning an eBook reader- No more hard-back books cluttering up your house, cheaper best-seller prices, and environmentally friendly. Here are some specific features of the Kindle that have made it among the top sellers for digital eBook readers this season.

E-Ink Screen: The screen is unlike a computer screen. Amazon calls this technology the E-Ink screen. You’d be right to wonder if the screen would hurt your eyes after staring at it for hours on end, like a computer screen. But the E-Ink technology reads more like paper and text is easily re-sizable.

Book Storage: The Kindle 2 can store up to 1,500 books on the device. Is this enough, though? The new “Nook” eBook reader from Barnes and Noble stores the same, however you can add a memory card to increase the disk space for more books. The consumer will be the decider if that is a factor or not. (If you read 1 book a day: 1,500 books/ 365 days= over 4 years of reading material!)

Whispernet Technology: The Kindle’s “Whispernet” is the wireless ability of the eBook reader. It will connect to available wireless networks (providing there’s no security encryption) so you can download books and other publications in minimal time.

What if no wireless is available? You can use the 3G mobile network to download books, magazines, newspapers, etc…

Global Use of the Kindle 2: The Kindle can be used internationally in over 100 countries according to Amazon. This is good news for travellers who go overseas from the US, or from residents of other countries. The Barnes and Noble “Nook” has yet to provide international service- It still works while abroad, just you can’t download any books! So residents abroad from the US are out of luck with the Nook.

The Book Pricing War: Book prices are much cheaper when you download an eBook. Where a normal new-release of a Best Seller will be $20 an up, an eBook version is $9.99 most of the time at Amazon. Publishing companies are becoming hot under the collar with this new development, but there’s probably no way around it.

The eBook reader will only get more and more popular as people begin to see the benefits, personally and environmentally, of having one.