Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Craig Is Recommending...

One of America's most beloved writers shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times.

Survival Lessons provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to re-envision everything from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself.

As Alice Hoffman says, "In many ways I wrote Survival Lessons to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that s all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. I wrote to remind myself that despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make."

Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches all of us how to choose what matters most.

There is nothing inherently threatening about Melissa, a young evangelist hoping to write the definitive paper on intelligent design. But when she implores Andy Waite, a biology professor and a hardcore evolutionist, to direct her independent study, she becomes the catalyst for the collapsing house of cards surrounding him. As he works with Melissa, Andy finds that everything about his world is starting to add up differently. Suddenly there is the possibility of faith. But with it come responsibility and guilt the very things that Andy has sidestepped for years.

Professor Waite is nearing the moment when his life might settle down a bit: tenure is in sight, his daughters are starting to grow up, and he s slowly but surely healing from the sudden loss of his wife. His life is starting to make sense again until the scientific stance that has defined his life(and his work) is challenged by this charismatic student.

In a bravura performance, Lauren Grodstein dissects the permeable line between faith and doubt to create a fiercely intelligent story about the lies we tell ourselves, the deceptions we sustain with others, and how violated boundaries between students and teachers, believers and nonbelievers can have devastating consequences.

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