Saturday, December 6, 2014

#59 Empty Shelf Challenge 11 [101 in 1001]

BookFront Porch Tales.

Author: Philip Gulley

Info: Copyright 1997 Multnoma Books

Where acquired: Checked out of public library.

Why:  Was browsing the library and saw the title.  My fondness for short stories drew me in.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags):  # # #  1/2

What it's about:  Gulley is a Quaker minister in Indiana.  He shares stories about life in his tight-knit community.  He mixes the practical with small doses of the spiritual.

Favorite Quotes

"The problem today is that too many folks know a lot about a thing or two, but not enough folks know a little about a lot of things.  If you don't believe that, just try to find a doctor who'll mend your feet and your nose in the same visit."  p. 26

"That's the kick about life.  We think we have it figured out, but then we wade in and discover otherwise.  Kind of like Gamer Pyle used to say, 'Surprise, surprise, surprise!'  All in all, that is a good thing.  For when our future is sure and certain, when all the corners are tucking in nice and neat, there is no need for faith." - pp. 84-85

"I have another cousin who has a doctorate.  He lives in Chicago and does research for a university.  He goes to South America a lot, but I'm not sure why.  Truthfully, I don't think he's a real doctor because when I asked him to play golf he didn't know how." p. 105

"I've formed a few insights into what constitutes the good life.  The first is this:  Never ask people how they're doing unless you really want to know.  The second is this:  Find a vocation that uses your God-given gifts, or you'll be a miserable wretch of a human being....There are a lot of things that can't be corrected.  Squandering your life in a job that shrivels your soul is one of them." - p. 129

What I Liked:
  • The small town stories reminded me of the tales in Jan Karon's Mitford books.
  • I like that the stories taught honest life lessons without out being too preachy.  Nothing against preachy, but too much of it comes off as forced and fake to the reader.
  • When I only had a short time to read, it was great to be able to read a story in just a few minutes.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Sometimes the author sounded more bitter and cynical than the sarcastic, snarky humor I'm used to.
To sum up:  My main takeaway from this book:  Small town life is not dead as long as I keep the small town attitude in my heart.

Want to join the challenge?  Click the empty shelf photo on the right to learn more.  It's not too late!

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