Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WITS Book Reviews November 2013

Book Title: Echoes in the Universe: A Spiritual Memoir
Author: Leonard Goodwin
Publisher: Create Space (August 19, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1484985564
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

Many people spend a lifetime trying to reconcile their spiritual beliefs with the physical world around them. The good things in life, such as family, friends, and prosperity, are easy enough to accept; other things, however, challenge these beliefs and might even make us abandon them altogether. Leonard Goodwin understands the true, overlapping nature of the spiritual and physical worlds, and he shares his deeply personal (and often universal) experiences in Echoes in the Universe: A Spiritual Memoir.

Goodwin’s decision to write his story in poetic form was an excellent one. His finely wrought verses provide beautiful imagery to the progressive march of history, from the dark days of the Great Depression and World War II to the election of America’s first black president. His spiritual experiences, including a near-death experience after a heart attack, flow like a waterfall through the mind, flooding both the conscious and subconscious. Most importantly, though, Goodwin masterfully ties these two worlds together, illuminating for his readers not only his path, but everyone’s. Echoes in the Universe is as “must read.”

Book Title: Transitions: A Nurse’s Education about Life and Death
Author: Becki Hawkins
Publisher: Ladyhawk Publishing (October 15, 2013)
ISBN: 978-0984744503
Reviewer: Thomas Hill

Not many people see the world quite like Becki Hawkins. A retired oncology nurse and hospice chaplain, Hawkins has administered to the needs of many who have succumbed to a terminal illness. And yet, through all the emotional ups and downs that come in the professions in which she has worked, she is able to convey messages of hope and inspiration to her patients, her fellow nurses, and to the people who have been touched by the death of a loved one.

Some of these stories are available in her book, Transitions: A Nurse’s Education about Life and Death. Hawkins shares her unique perspective by animating the lives of several of her former patients. There they were, knowing that death was imminent. But, upon making peace with themselves, their families and friends, and their care providers, they offered messages of healing and unconditional love. Transitions is recommended reading for anyone who is caring for a terminally ill loved one, involved in care providing for the elderly or terminally ill, or anyone who seeks meaningful insights about living and dying.

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