all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Summer Book Reviews...

After a heavy day
I am keeping it light here
giving a few reviews of some of the books
I read this summer
for lighter reading... 
"The House at Riverton"
by Kate Morton
I thoroughly enjoy her books
for a time of escape into the past 
these are the books to read
intricately woven story lines
interesting characters
and hidden truths
the perfect escape
these books find a permanent home on my book shelf
I just have to get my hands on 
"The Distant Hours"


The Wisdom Club pick for the summer was...
"Mutant Messages from Down Under"
by Marlo Morgan
This book causes quite a stir when it came out back in 1991 and the question of it's authenticity was raised.
I am not here to say whether it is fiction or non fiction
what I want to tell you is what I got out of this book.
Right away in the authors note to the reader at the beginning she writes...
"My suggestion is that you taste the message, savour what is right for you and spit out the rest; after all, that is the law of the universe." pg xv
So that is exactly what I did, I looked for my message and found it.
This is a story about an American woman in Australia who ends up on a 4 month walk about with an Aboriginal Tribe in the Out Back. The people call themselves "The Real People" and invite her to take part in their way of life so that she can learn from them and take their message back to the

"I was found acceptable and worthy of learning the knowledge of the true relation ship of humans to the world we live in, the world beyond, the dimension from which we came, and the dimension where we shall all return. I was going to be exposed to the understanding of my won beingness." pg 45

I enjoyed this easy read right away,
then somewhere in the middle I felt I was reading a child's fairy tale and then towards the end she grabbed me back into the story.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes:

"They showed me how vital it is to accept, be truthful, and love myself so I could do the same with others" pg 64

"In stead of living the truth, Mutants allow circumstances and conditions to bury universal law under the mixture of convenience, materialism and insecurity." pg 77

"All humans are Spirits only visiting this world. All spirits are forever beings. All encounters with other people are experiences and all experiences are forever connections. Real People close the circle of each experience. We do not leave ends frayed as Mutants do. If you walk away with bad feelings in your heart for another person and that circle is not closed, it will be repeated later in your life. You will not suffer once but over and over until you learn. It is good to observe, to learn, and become wiser from what has happened. it is good to give thanks, as you say, to bless it, and walk away in peace." pg 93

"...the only true influence you have on anyone else is by your won life, how you act, what you do." pg 105

"If I simply lived the principles that appeared to be truth for me, I would touch the loves of those I was destined to touch. The doors would be opened. After all "it" was not my message I was merely the messenger." pg 117

I enjoyed this book, Not one of my top choices, but I am glad I read it, and I think I have a space for it on my shelf : )
My favourite read of the summer...

"A Thousand Sisters"
by Lisa J Shannon

Back in 2005  Lisa Shannon was watching an episode on Oprah that changed her life. The shows topic was about the women in Congo, the worse place on earth to be a woman.
the show stayed with her and before she knew it she was organizing a run to raise money for sponsorship becoming the founder of Run for Congo Women.
But that was not enough for her.
She decided to go to the Congo herself and interview the women and children of this war and this book is her story.
This book touched such a personal place inside me, a place where those I love, from Colombia, live.

Like Ana Maria

I met Ana Maria for the first time almost 5 years ago...a shy quiet beautiful little girl. her mother was one of our first women whom we helped to open her own shop out of her house.
When I was back at the centre this spring Ana Maria was one of my constant companions in the "studio".
Now a beautiful  young a diamond in the rough. She holds something precious deep with in her and I wonder if she will ever have the chance  to bring that inner beauty out to the world.
received this one back from Ana...
the most precious gift of all
a hand written note that said:

"You cannot imagine how much I miss you.
The truth is I do miss you and remember you every day.
The few moments that we spent together I realized that you are a super special person. I would like you to stay here forever. The necklace you gave me
I will keep as a treasure and the photo too,
they are a symbol of love
I love and miss you very much.
I will never forget you. I will always have you in my heart."
I have no quotes to share from this book as there was just too much to share
too much that mirrored my own heart.
How that no matter how you primp up a poverty stricken country you can not hide the unmistakably mark of generations of poverty.
How most times then not when wanting to share the passion of  your heart for this place, on the other side of the globe, how you want to reach out and make a difference, the person who you are sharing with glazes over and seems miles away from the conversation.
How the the stories work their way into your heart, how the faces, how the pleading looks in their eyes cause you to never be able to look away again....
and the smiles, the endless smiles in the mist of the misery...
This book is one I highly recommend
to anyone who has the courage to look.
A home on my shelf it finds and a place in my heart.

"A Thousand Sisters"
My Journey in to the worst place on earth to be a Woman
by Lisa J. Shannon
Thank you Lisa
I stand with you

Love and Light


  1. Thanks for stopping by today Cat. I'll definitely be on the lookout for A Thousand Sisters and the Kate Morton books, they sound great. love,

  2. Thanks for sharing the beautiful and wise lessons from the books that you have been reading...I loved each one of these quotes/lines from the book. I have heard of Congo and other places where lives of women are very difficult...even in our own country...although not of the worst kind like Congo but gender discrimination and inhuman practice is still there...We live in a patriarchal culture here. Our mothers had a tough life compared to us. But in our villages and small towns, even today, woman work like slaves in the house and are not allowed to go out.
    Thanks for discussing this topic.
    have a nice day !

  3. Dear Cat, thank you for all of this information, you have a home in many hearts, mine too! Going away to the coast for a few days, speak soon :~)XXXX

  4. That A Thousand Sisters sounds like a book I should read xx

    (PS Luvly Cat, wanna link this up to the bookclub linky? Would be great to share this interesting bunch of reads with my bookclubbers)

  5. OK, that's it. I'm getting A Thousand Sisters right now! My favorite kind of read, MEMOIRS. Ever since I read The Poisonwood Bible years ago, I think about the Congo. I will think about Ana and Jorge and you when I turn a page. Thanks for turning me onto this one. xx
    BTW, please note I am not a minus sign any longer! Ha!

  6. I loved all those quotes. They hit home deeply. Sounds like you have had some wonderful reading. I still think you would love the book Half the Sky. Really and truly. I sent you an email last night. I am thinking and praying for you. xoxo

  7. i love your book reviews! i should look into reading A Thousand Sisters...if only i had more time during the school year! maybe over Christmas break. it looks like a book that would really move me.

  8. Oh Cat what a lovely post
    I'll be sure to read A Thousand Sisters
    I saw Hysteria at the movies last night and laughed and laughed and laughed - it reminded me of bits from The Birth House which you also recommended to me via your blog
    Love and Light Cat - forever in my heart
    From one to another xxx

  9. What a beautiful hand-written note that tugged at my heart. Hand-written itself is rare these days. What a precious gift to you.
    I love the book reviews, as I am a reader of everything out there- thanks for sharing the memorable quotes too.
    I'm going to have to add some of those to my own stock-pile of books.


Your voice is welcome here, your connection appreciated. Love and Light