By Rosie Moore

There is nothing like reading a good book on a rainy, muggy summer day, which we’ve been having a lot of lately. For the history buffs you must not miss Ken Follett’s book, “Winter of the World.” I say history buffs because this tome is a historical novel 940 pages long, you need two hands to hold it, at least I did. It is book two of the Century Trilogy. “Fall of Giants” was the first book and I don’t think the third book has been written yet. I could be wrong, I’ll have to check that out.

“Winter of the World” picks up right where the first book left off. Five interrelated families– American, German, Russian, English and Welsh enter a time of social, political and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich through the Spanish Civil War and the great drama of World War 1, to the explosions of American and Soviet atomic bombs and the beginning of the long Cold War.

There have been thousands of books written concerning this period in our history and I have read quite a few of them. All of them were articulate in describing the horror, the blood and smoke of battles, the experiences of people losing their homes, their loved ones, and their lives. However, Mr. Follett takes you one step further. He takes you into the lives of these five interrelated families and you are living their lives with them. It is a long journey but worth the time that is spent in reading this book. Amidst the historical parts there are moments of flirtation, love stories and not so happy marriages.

Another book that I really enjoyed is “Kitchen Table Wisdom” by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. I mentioned this book in a recent column and wanted to include it today because of its healing power. I want to share one paragraph that I hope will bring peace of mind and settle the uneasiness of someone’s day:

“Accidents and natural disasters often cause people to feel that life is fragile. In my experience (the author writes), life can change abruptly and end without warning, but life is not fragile. There is a difference between impermanence and fragility. Even on the physiological level, the body is an intricate design of checks and balances. Anyone who has witnessed the recovery from such massive and invasive interventions as bone marrow transplant or open heart surgery comes away with a sense of deep respect, if not awe, for the ability of the body to survive. This is true in age as it is in youth. There is a tenacity toward life which is present at the intracellular level which even the most sophisticated of medical interventions would not succeed. The drive to live is strong even in the tiniest human beings. The tenacity of life endures in all of us, undiminished, until the moment of our death.”

If neither of these books appeals to you, peruse one that will keep you entertained. There is nothing like a good book to read!

Thought for the day: Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things. Henry Ward Beecher

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