Most often when I pick up a book, I have no agenda; I just want to read for pure enjoyment. Without realizing it, though, I usually take away a message when reading a book that changes my view of life, family, and friends – and even people I’ve never met!
Two of my most recent reads are good examples.
When I started reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, I had little knowledge of the restaurant industry – other than eating in them regularly. The book gave me an insider’s look at what goes on in the kitchen and behind the scenes of many restaurants. It completely changed my perspective. For me, the book was about a lot more than just cooking. It was about career choices and the decisions that we make along the way. This book highlighted the winding path that Bourdain took to become the TV star and celebrity that he is today. The book was even more intriguing knowing he wrote and published it before he became famous. Now in its second printing, this memoir has received considerably more attention and readership that he never would have found during his first printing without his TV show.
Devouring books as always, I also just finished reading Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. The story revolves around a number of individuals who all come together to locate and search for the name of a missing German U Boat from WWII. While this may not sound enticing to some of you on the surface (pun intended), it has a much deeper (I just can’t help myself) exploration of the challenges that we encounter in our lives and how we deal with them. This story evolved in the 1990′s and deals with the issues of many explorers and the issues that they face. This book helps you to understand why sane men pursue exploration and the fears that they must face along the way. Along the way, we discover through them that our own lives have repeated parallels even though very few of us embark upon such daring exploits. Many of us must come to grips with the death of our friends, marriages that went awry, and the effects of alcohol and how it destroys lives of people we care about. It also gives great insight into the passion that drives men to challenge themselves in a risky adventure.
To put it simply, there is not a book that I have read that does not lead me to new questions and deeper insights. What about you? What have you read that makes you stop and think about things from a new perspective? I look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions.