Tag Archives: Humour

Book Review: “The Spiral Garden” by author Anne Hines

Description from Goodreads:
Moses never saw the Promised Land. King David didn’t get to build the Temple. Jesus preached an unpopular message and died on the cross. Reverend Ruth Broggan thinks God has something to answer for. Unsatisfied with traditional teachings, Broggan takes a radical approach to finding the meaning of life.

My Review:
The Spiral GardenThe Spiral Garden

by Anne Hines

The rating of this book will depend on the perspective of the reader. Spiritual perspective. Open minded perspective. Humourous perspective. Faith tradition perspective. Family life perspective. Realizing that all of these perspectives follow us, and impact the way we live, and the way we review, I believe they are particularly important when reading and reviewing this book.

The book is comprised of letters, diary entries, log books, formal announcements, journal entries, and phone messages. The dates on all of these are concentrated between 2003 – 2005, and are not sequential. If jumping through the years, locations, and characters, is not your style, you may want to pass on “The Spiral Garden”.

The main character is Ruth Broggan, a Minister of the Unified Church, and takes place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ruth is divorced, has two children, two best friends, and an unusual perspective of faith. This faith perspective has developed in Ruth over her years as a cleric. Ruth is fired from a church in Markham, Ontario for preaching outside of the church’s teachings, and tries to settle into her new location, while still speaking and preaching a message that conflicts with the church.

Ruth’s struggle is our struggle – why are we here? what comes after? and why does the world suffer pain and tragedy? Ruth has asked God to speak to her, with answers to these questions, and locks herself into the manse in order to wait in silence for God’s reply.

What ensues outside the manse is a growing following of Ruth, culminating in half a million people heading to downtown Toronto, to wait for Ruth to come out of the manse, and celebrate a Church Feast of The Winter Solstice.

Ruth’s take on life is serious, funny, thoughtful, prayerful, witty, and very engaging for the reader. I found that the author, Anne Hines, skillfully pulls the reader into Ruth’s life, and at times I found myself so identifying with Ruth, her writings felt like my own. This is the type of book that I will pick up again, and again, reading only pages here and there – the ones that made me cry, and the ones that made me laugh out loud!

If you want to be entertained, and learn something at the same time, this book is for you. If you are open minded about religion, this book is for you. However, if you are easily offended by slights against any faith tradition, and especially your own, then this book would not be for you.

I was given this book free from a second hand bookstore, but after reading it, I would definitely pay full price!

All in all, I would recommend this book for its humour and for its life lessons.

Take a look for “The Spiral Garden”, and Enjoy!!



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Help!!!! I’ve Fallen Into Book Blogs, And I Can’t Get Out!!

My Smiley!!

I signed on with Facebook against my better judgement. I was not going to get into a situation where everyone could “see” me!! Ok, maybe I was a little dramatic…… Although Facebook was a wonderful way I connected with long distance relatives, and friends I had lost touch with many years ago, I was not interested in playing any of the Games, building a Following of 800 Friends who I vaguely, or did not know, or signing up with many well-meaning charities. During the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – my country!! – Facebook was a fabulous tool for building cross-country enthusiasm, real team building, and national pride. But once that excitement gradually diminished, my interest in Facebook dwindled. I am still using Facebook, but primarily for family and friend contact, sharing photos, and the occasional You-Tube video clip!

Then…. I’m not sure how this happened, and to be honest, I’m not positive there was any connection to Facebook – but I ‘feel’ like there was!! I discovered the “She Writes” blog! Like most people, I’m sure I have a great writer inside my brain – just waiting for the right opportunity……!!

Content for awhile with exploring “She Writes”, (which is a great Blog!), I eventually found my way to a blog actually called: “Book Blogs”! hhmmm…… That sounded very interesting!! I started exploring and soon enough – I signed up! Just as a home base for spending hours of time reading other peoples’ blogs………!! It was AMAZING!! I was in my kind of heaven! Everywhere I looked someone was talking about books, writing about books, blogging about books, and more! PLUS…… There were so many pictures of books: in living rooms, in libraries, on shelves, on tables, in someone’s hand, on a night table, or even on the floor!! I LOVED IT ALL!!!

So, I started to become a Follower: Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs through Facebook, (a good attribute of Facebook), RSS Feeds, and my personal favourite – via email subscription. And I tried to keep up with all the blogs I was connected to: read the emails, the home pages, the book reviews, and whatever else I could read!

Well, you may guess where this going! One day, I came out of my book daze, saw what I was attempting to do, and yelled STOP!! I could not believe it had happened! I was overwhelmed by books, and I needed air!! I was also shocked – how could this happen? I love books. I love reading. I’m a social person, I like connecting with “Blog People”!! What was my problem? My problem was that I was caught in a spider web of Book Blogs, one blog connected to two blogs, with four blogs, with 8 blogs, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on…..

So I stopped. I cancelled out of the Book Blogs’ site. Wiped out all my data. Retreated from all the Groups I had joined, (I had joined how many groups??). And finally completely cancelled out of my Book Blogs’ Blog. An innocent participant in this situation, I also cancelled out of “She Writes”.

Whew! I felt like I had lost 10 pounds! Wait! Maybe I really did lose 10 pounds!

So, a couple of weeks pass…… maybe, just maybe, I could run my own blog!! My own book blog!! Maybe it would help the old brain skills….. Use that cognitive functioning we hear so much about. Then, once I set up my own blog, I will need to get back to Book Blogs and She Writes – I certainly could not go forth alone!

So once again, there I was, totally involved in my Book Blog, in signing up for Groups, taking part in discussions, deciding I would be thrilled to do book reviews, changing my header picture again and again….. and so on and so on….

BUT! I did limit my groups, got a handle on email, and settled in to do some serious book reading.

Until I wanted to look something up on my blog………..

And while I was there, I may as well flip over to see what is happening in my Groups. Look at all the fascinating comments… must read that one…. Click. Into another’s blog: “Oh look at this!” Another Blog I have never previously noticed, better stop in for a visit… Oh, look! another dapper looking blog button! Let me just click that, and see where it leads me…. Have I been here before? No, I don’t think so, but maybe if I just read one more review. Oh, I must share some of this as a post on my blog! How is that done? If I go back two blogs ago, click on that pink square…….. and so on, and so on, and they’ll tell two people, and so on, and so on……


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