Two books in two days

Beautiful Boy, David Sheff,

Serve God, Save the Planet

Once in awhile I hit overload. Too much information comes in, and I need time to process it! And yet…to go without reading is like a day without breathing. Impossible. So I spent the last two days reading a couple of mildly interesting books that required little interaction on my part.

The first is Beautiful Boy by David Sheff. This is his website. What a powerful story! David Sheff tells about the life of his son, Nic, and his journey into and through drug addiction. Unlike similar memoirs I’ve read in the past, the author managed to portray Nic as the beautiful, loving, incredibly smart child that he was, as well as a sense of place to their life. This background of vivid writing helped me feel the rollercoaster ride as Nic picked himself up from relapse after relapse. I don’t have any addicts close to me (that I know of…one thing I learned from this book is that you truly don’t know whether that statement is true), but Beautiful Boy helped me build empathy for those who do. Like so many others, I have often been guilty of simplifying an addiction down to “Why don’t they just stop drinking/using/smoking.” Not any more. David Sheff opened my eyes to an alternate reality, and he made me care about his family. Well done.

The second book I read was Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth. Dr. Sleeth and his family embarked on a journey to reduce their ecological footprint and use the money savings to support relief efforts overseas and here at home. None of the ideas in this book were radically new, but Dr. Sleeth combined them with real life examples that reminded me that each of these ideas is quite doable. Did you know that if we all just replaced 5 lightbulbs with fluorescent or LED lightbulbs we could take 21 coal factories offline? Small, achievable goals are the focus of this short, fun read. Perhaps especially useful is the daily, weekly and yearly goal checklist in the back of the book. I didn’t think this book affected me a whole lot, but David keeps telling me I’m talking about it every ten minutes, and I did find myself wondering whether I shouldn’t go to Whole Foods EVERY day, but maybe should plan ahead? I’m kind of joking (and kind of not). David and I are trying to think through our stewardship of energy and resources, and this book was a helpful addition to that process.

That’s all for today…I’m taking a day for laundry, cooking something fun and watching David build a computer with his friend Matt.

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.