Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reading and writing on the word purpose. As an undergraduate I think the word had the worst impact any word could ever have on my life. It scared me, it confused me and I think it sparked those reactions because of the message it conveyed. People made it sound like it was a definite end, a point you must find or else your life would become meaningless. While there is some truth in that I fear the real message of purpose has been lost; discovering purpose means discovering yourself. A friend of mine is organising a youth conference on purpose back home in Nigeria and she’s asked me to write on the topic, this is what I have written.
Definition: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
I first read this book in University in an English course. It’s about a Baptist family who leave Georgia in the US to be missionaries in the Belgian Congo. The book is narrated by the family’s mother Orleanna at the beginning of each of the books seven sections. After, each of her four daughters narrate their experiences. Especially, her daughter Leah. The family’s Dad is a crazy Baptist Preacher who will not leave the Congo despite his families extreme difficulties there. The family is forever changed by their experiences as missionaries. This book is life changing. So, interesting and exceptionally written as all of Barbara Kingsolver’s books are. It is even on Oprah’s booklist!
I read this book in University with Dr. McNamara. It is a book about a group of soldiers during the Vietnam War. Some make it home and some soldiers don’t. They carry with them their individual burdens and the burdens they take on in Vietnam. They carried their burdens home with them and if they survived, through out their lives. “They carried the malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, each other. If they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb.”
I honestly hated studying Thomas Hardy’s poetry. He was a depressed guy with a horrible outlook on society, mankind, God, and himself. But he did write a great book when he wrote Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The book is about Tess’ fall, so to speak. She is a peasant girl who falls in love with Angel, the vicor’s sun. Angel holds Tess to a high ideal. He expects her to be the perfect loving wife he wants her to be. When he finds out Tess is not so perfect, that she was raped, he breaks the betrothal off. Tess must deal with the loss of love and make a new life for herself despite Angel’s blindness.
Not so much poetry as an epic, this epic chronicles John Milton’s interpretation of the creation of the world and the universe; the fall of Satan and his demons who oppose God and are cast into Hell; the fall of man, God’s best creation, with help from Satan; and how the world works after man has fallen due to eating the fruit from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The lines of poetry are beautiful and eloquent throughout the story. Even though Paradise Lost is long at times, and difficult to read if you don’t read poetry well, it is an amazing story. I learned a lot about my own religion, Christianity, through Paradise Lost, since much of what Milton wrote was based on the Bible and other religious Catholic books. But I’m not Catholic though.
This book is brutal and awful at times. I think it opened my eyes to how terrible some people can truly be when I read it in second year university. The book compares Dorothy who is a fat, frumpy, and a proofreader with a lurid imagination; with Justine who is smart, slim, and “compulsively” sexual. Justine is a freelance journalist who interviews Dorothy about her past “involvement with a cheesy cult leader.” The book is eye opening, especially the sexual abuse and rape Dorothy received as a girl, and the awful destructive relationship Justine finds herself in with a man who could easily kill her. This is not a nice book but it will make you think twice about how screwed up certain people truly are.
I think Faking It by Jennifer Cruisie is my favourite chick literature book I have ever read. I can’t say why so much. It is only that the characters are so vivid and appealing. Matilda runs the Goodnight Gallery of Art, she inherited it from her father when he died. She has a secret in her past that she is willing to steal back to keep. She runs into Davy, on her first attempt to burgle a secret painting back.
Davy is an ex con man who was ripped off three million dollars by his financial manager who turned the money over to Davy’s ex Clea. Davy will do anything to get his money back. Davy and Matilda join forces to stop “Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, an exasperated hitman, a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the realization they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be,” or love. It’s a good one I promise. You will fall in love with the Goodnight family and Davy.
As you can see, this is a well worn and loved book. It’s a fantastic twentieth- century mystery. Rachel Verinder inherits a fabulous yellow diamond. Outside her house are Hindu priests who have waited centuries to reclaim their talisman looted from the ancient and Holy city of Somnauth. Someone steals Rachel’s diamond. No one is what they seem and nothing can be taken for granted in this story.”Witnesses, suspects, and detectives take up the story in turn.” The Moonstone is suspenseful and fascinating with a surprise ending no one would guess. This book made me look into more mystery books and the ending is unpredictable. I loved it.
This is an extremely old story written poetically in old English. I think I have read it too many times to count. But you can read the book retold in prose if you wish. Sir Gawain is challenged in King Author’s court, to chop of the Green Knight’s head. If he can’t do it, then the Green Knight will have the chance to chop off Sir Gawain’s head. Sir Gawain fails so he journeys to find a way he can save his own neck. He comes across a Lord and his Lady in their castle, where he breaks from his journey. He is encouraged three times by the Lady to sleep with her, even though she is married and through her, Gawain discovers a way to save his head from the Green Knight, or so he thinks.
Madeline L’engle is a young adult writer I grew up reading. I received this book as a present when I was ten-years-old. It’s about sixteen-year-old Vickie who gets to go with her friend Adam’s Aunt Serena on a trip to Antartica for a birthday present. Not to mention, Vickie’s friend/crush Adam will be working at one of the research stations in Antartica. Vickie discovers many of the people on the trip are not what they seem and her trip turns into an adventure both thrilling and dangerous. I reread this book so many times when I was young. I wanted to be like Vickie and travel. Also, I loved the poetry in the book. It’s superb.
Not a reading book. But a handy book to have as a writer. Once you’re out of English classes you can forget a whole lot of terms you learned to describe in a poem or book. Or, when writing an essay and you need to define what “alliterative” means, it’s all in here. This is probably on the internet now, but it was useful in my English degree and I still use it to this day.
Thanks for reading. Also, many thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for this weeks list challenge.
Note: I’m sorry this is longer then 175 words but this is as concise as I can get this particular story. Enjoy!
One day, Tina and Trisha were smoking and breaking sunflowers in an elderly lady’s flowerbeds across from their high school. Kayla witnessed the carnage and felt bad she hadn’t intervened. She knocked on the old woman’s door:
“I’m sorry,” Kayla said. “I should’ve stopped those girls from destroying your sunflowers. I was afraid.”
The woman named Janice smiled, “I have lived here fifty-years and each year, students break my sunflowers. It’s okay. How old are you, dear?”
“Eighteen, in my last semester of high school. I’m going to Brown in the Winter.” Kayla said proudly. Janice smiled and invited Kayla in for coffee.
Tina and Trisha were back in Janice’s flower beds the following day. With their cigarettes, they started a fire. Trisha pushed Kayla into the burning sunflowers as Kayla shouted at them to stop.
A cold blast of water put the fire out. Kayla saw Tina and Trisha running away from the flowerbeds soaked. A hot guy smiled at Kayla.
” You stood up to those girls,” the hot guy said. “Gran Janice said you were too afraid before. Her and I were having coffee and saw those girls setting a fire and pushing you in. I came to help. Gran said you’re someone I should know.”
“Devon right?” Kayla said eyeing Janice’s hot grandson. He smiled, pulled Kayla to her feet, and held her hand in his.