Friday, February 12, 2016

Proof of Angels

Proof of Angels: The Definitive Book on the Reality of Angels and the Surprising Role They Play in Each of Our LivesProof of Angels: The Definitive Book on the Reality of Angels and the Surprising Role They Play in Each of Our Lives by Ptolemy Tompkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book not only because it played out a little bit down the road from me but because the author wove other facets of proof of angels throughout the book. He is very well versed in his beliefs and, frankly, they mirror my own. I loved the way he describes angels as "messengers." They show up to pass something important on to those who are living. They can be seen or heard or felt or smelled. They are not a replacement for God. They are messengers.

I also liked the officer that collaborated with the author. He experienced this Angel manifestation along with three or four others, in the Spanish Fork River. What I liked about this officer is that he is not an active member of the LDS church yet grew up in the church and was very respectful of the beliefs and lifestyle. He was careful in the way he answered questions (the main author later hypothesized that he may have been seeking his own guardian angel for help in answering) and seems to be a very humble, down to earth man that, at the time of this experience, was suffering from a bout of depression. The job was getting to him. He'd seen things that had shaken him. When the call came in, he was off-duty but close to the river and went. Because of that decision, his perspective changed and he sees a much bigger picture.

I also applaud Ptolemy Tompkins in writing this book. Living in Utah, particularly in a small town, is a very unique experience. The LDS Church is strong but it is also in the community. It becomes a part of the way a person talks and acts, and words used. Tompkins nailed it.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Fates and FuriesFates and Furies by Lauren Groff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There were some things I liked but a lot that made me very uncomfortable. The biggest seller of this book is that it is the story of a marriage and the author tells it in two parts. It's wonderfully written in that way. I loved the way both parties tell their stories (in third person). I also really liked that the author did not write either character as good or bad. They are both human and both insecure yet their insecurities play out a little differently. They definitely have different childhoods.

What I didn't like about this book is more extensive. I thought it was a lot pretentious. There was a lot of reference to a lot of literature. With a Master's degree in Fine Arts - writing, I'm sure I would have been privy to the subtle ironies and metaphors. Without that degree, I missed a lot. I was glad I was reading on a Kindle so I could look up some of the stories, artists, legends, etc. But that got exhausting so I missed much of that.

Even so, I really did like the take on Antigone best. It was a different telling of Antigone on stage and the reader immediately sees the analogy of the current story. Later, the Antigone story takes on a much more interesting shade as more details emerge on the other side of the marriage.

My other beef with the book is that these two characters seem to completely lack a moral compass. Everything is solved with sex. All their problems and woes are addressed with some form of sex. And there are a lot of forms of sex. It could be said that they were loyal to one another which shows a moral compass but I am holding strong to my stance that sex is what both characters turn to when they are struggling. It was uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.

Be prepared for way more sex than literary enlightenment.