Sunday, April 11, 2010

God Never Blinks by Regina Brett

Jim would have turned 61 today. And, I can't tell you how much it means to me that so many of you gave books to libraries in his memory. There will be books in Jim's memory in Alaska, England, Ireland, Florida, Utah, Texas, and small towns all over the country, especially Ohio, and, of course, in the Glendale Library System, where I work. So many of you gave money to my library that I've been able to order books Jim would have appreciated - books on baseball, thrillers, history, biographies, and physics. I ordered four books by Life that should be beautiful, on subjects such as Benjamin Franklin, and American history.

But, I wanted to tell you about one I discovered that was so special that I used some of the money to buy copies for every library in our system, in Jim's memory. It's a book that helped me get through the last two months. I read a few essays, then put it down. But, it means so much to me. Regina Brett's God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours was the book I needed. And, Tuesday is release date for the book.

Before I tell you about the book, let me tell you about Regina Brett. Brett was born in Ravenna, Ohio in 1956. Ravenna is in Portage County, neighboring Mahoning County, where I was born in 1957. Regina Brett and I were at Kent State Unviversity at the same time. I never knew her, and she quit school when she became pregnant, but it seems so odd that someone with that similar beginning has written a book that means so much to me.

When I turned fifty, Jim threw a surprise party I will never forget, bringing in my family without tellng me, and secretly working with my staff. When Regina Brett turned fifty, she wrote a newspaper column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer about fifty lessons life had taught her. Her lessons came from her life as a single parent, working on her problems with her relationship with God, battling cancer, and her difficult childhood as one of eleven children. The column went viral, appearing in church bulletins, newsletters, and small-town newspapers. That popular column became the book, God Never Blinks, with Brett's soul-searching essays.

If you haven't read the book, Brett's lessons sound like platitudes. There are titles such as, "Life isn't fair, but it's still good." That one hit my heart. How about "Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does." There's the lesson, "All that truly matters in the end is that you loved." And, perhaps, Brett's most important message is, "No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up for life." These stories are honest, and heartfelt. They touched me, moved me, and made me cry at times. I haven't argued with God about Jim's death. I didn't need Harold Kushner's When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

I needed the lessons of Regina Brett's God Never Blinks. For Jim's birthday, I wanted to share this book with you. And, it may be an important book to share with others who are going through hard times. Life goes on. It was my mother who said, "Life will be different. It will never be the same. It can be just as good, but it will be different." These are two wise women from Ohio, my mother, and Regina Brett, with lessons to help people keep on living.

Regina Brett's website is www.reginabrett.com

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours by Regina Brett. Grand Central Publishing, ©2010. ISBN 9780446556521 (hardcover), 241p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - My review copy was an ARC I picked up at our Main Library, where it had been sent for librarians to preview.

32 comments:

Kay said...

Lesa, what a touching post. I'm so glad you shared it with us. God Never Blinks sounds like a wonderful book that I shall seek out. Take care today! Hugs!

Lesa said...

God Never Blinks is a wonderful book, Kay. I think it has something for anyone going through some rough times in life. Thank you for the hugs!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What an inspiring post! And the perfect book for your library system to spread the comfort that you've taken from it. I think I could use a couple of copies (for us and for some friends). Thanks for letting me know about it.

Elizabeth

Lesa said...

That's exactly how I felt about this book, Elizabeth. I wanted to share it with people. That's why I bought multiple copies.

Molly said...

Beautiful post - and a timely recommendation. Thanks so much for sharing, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Molly. That's a book I really wanted to share.

Mary said...

Lesa, thank you so much for telling us about the book. I'm adding it to my buy list. Sounds like the perfect book to buy when you might not need it but will be glad it's on the shelf when you do.
Keeping you in my thougts.

Lesa said...

If you're a reader, Mary, like we are, it would be a good book to have on the shelf. Sometimes nothing else will seem readable. It's a good book to have on hand.

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa - Thank you for another fine recommendation!!
and here's a hug!
Kaye

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kaye. Thank you for the hug! And, is that a new picture of you and Harley reading together? I like it!

Ingrid King said...

What a beautiful post, Lesa. You are an inspiration to us all. This sounds like a wonderful book. I'm keeping you in my thoughts today as you remember Jim on what would have been his birthday.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Ingrid. And, Jim would appreciate what I'm planning to do today - watched Sports Reporters, and later this morning, off to a bookstore and a late breakfast.

bermudaonion said...

Your mom and Regina Brett certainly do sound like two wise women. I have a neighbor who needs this book, so I was really glad to see your review.

I hope today's not to difficult for you, Lesa - I'll be thinking of you.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kathy. They are two wise women. Always important to have wise women, like my mom, in your life. I hope your neighbor appreciates it.

Thank you. I'll do fine today. A friend is coming over, and then I'm going away later.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I couldn’t help it. I just had to give you this award:

http://therapsheet.blogspot.com/2010/04/
you-are-sunshine-of-my-life.html

Keep up the good work.

-- Jeff

Lesa said...

Jeff! That is such an honor to receive the You Are Sunshine of My Life Award from you and The Rapsheet. Knowing you read all kinds of blogs, it makes me feel good that you think my blog is worth that award. Thank you.

getitright360 said...

Would just like to add a comment regarding jim here, i apologise but i couldnt find a more suitable place.

I only knew him via an online game named ogame but he was by far the nicest guy i came across whilst playing the game. I am very sorry for your loss, i spent hours chatting with him, usually about what was happening at the coffee shop :-)

a great guy, who will be missed greatly from all corners of the world

RIP mate

Jen Forbus said...

Lesa, I've been watching Regina post about this book on Twitter for a little while now and it's been one I intend to pick up myself. It sounded like a great motivator, but I'm so happy it is a book that has provided you comfort through a difficult time. Isn't it amazing how books can do that for us? They serve so many roles in our lives. What would we do without them?

Lesa said...

Getitright360,

No need for apology. This is a perfect spot to talk about Jim, and I appreciate it.

It always makes me feel good when one of his online friends takes time to stop in and drop a note. Thank you for commenting, and telling me how much you enjoyed chatting with him. Then, I know he's missed, online, and at the coffee shop.

Thank you for the note, and your memories.

Lesa said...

You're right, Jen. Motivation, inspiration, just pleasure. I have no idea what we'd do without books, and the roles they can play for us. This one meant a great deal to me.

Anonymous said...

Jim you mad Old Hippie was always a pleasure to play with you Sucks that you died.

Well I wish you Good luck on the rebuild brother.

and Ogame will not be the same without you

Pax for life

Lesa said...

Anonymous,

Love your spirit! That's truly in the spirit of Ogame. Thanks.

Pax for life!

le0pard13 said...

Wonderful, personal post, Lesa. Thank you very much for this.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Michael. What a nice comment. I appreciate it.

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful book to honor Jim's memory. I get the Sunday Plain Dealer every week and look forward to Regina Brett's column. I will have to buy a copy of this book. I believe she'll be at a few local booksignings and I hope that I can attend one. She's a wonderful inspiring columnist and writer.

Lesa said...

Bonnie,

I think it's the perfect book to honor Jim's memory. My sister bought a couple copies; I think my mother is buying a couple. I bought three for the library. If it becomes a bestseller, it's thanks to my family. (smile) I hope you do get to meet her at a booksigning.

Anonymous said...

The book has quickly become of my favorites!! I found this video of Regina recently, and it too is inspiring. Share it with your friends and family: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A7pNRSECNk

Lesa said...

Thanks for sending the video link. My family members are buying copies of the book to give to others.

vernie espanola said...

thanks for a wonderful and insightful book review, I am planning to buy this book but I wanted to research it to the net first before buying. Since I live in a Third World country. Books can be a luxury for most Filipinos so I am making every bit of my money count of buy quality books to enrich my life

Lesa said...

Vernie,

I don't think you'll be disappointed in this book, even though it will take precious money. So many people I know are buying this for gifts. My mother even bought it to give to someone to put in a hospice library. God Never Blinks is a beautiful book.

Sandie said...

I also very much enjoyed the book and came across your review. I just wanted to add that the book is available in audio form. For anyone that travels lots or likes to relax and listen to someone tell a story... the audio book is perfect! We have it in our library system, I hope you can add it to yours.
take care.... Sandie

Lesa said...

Sandie,

Thanks for adding the information about the audio book. I know there are a number of people who travel or prefer that format. So, it's nice to pass on the info. Thanks!