Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: Strays by Jeanne Webster

It's difficult for me to decide how to begin this review. To be honest, this is a novel but it is also something of a self-help book. As I read it I felt that many of the amazing lessons Jane was learning are ones that I learned throughout the past five to ten years of my life...they were just worded better than I could probably ever write myself.

Although much of the writing was a bit simple for my taste, this book was a quick read and as mentioned above contained many amazing lessons. It is a combination of modern culture and folklore--namely Native American folklore--and has a specifically memorable character in Max the dog.

My only real complaint with this book was that in this particular edition there were a lot of grammatical/structural errors; however I have been told that a new edition is forthcoming and surely these will be fixed.

Honestly, for anyone out there who loves animals, and/or who has questioned their purpose in life, I suggest this over any blase run of the mill self-help book out there. Because while there are plenty of lessons taught in this book, there is also a solid story behind it. 4/5 stars.

"'While it's true you have the instinct to survive and you are programmed for the finer points, you rarely tune into anything but you're immediate needs.'"

"'Maybe taking leave of your senses is the only way you will ever come to them.'"

"'You don't really ever own anything...except the moment you are experiencing now.'"

"'...you never really begin again...because you never stop...From the moment you're born you are on a path. You...just fail to see the path or recognize it when it's revealed. If you imagine life takes place only in the exciting moments, you are missing a great deal. Life happens in the quiet moments as well...Rushing to create the next exciting moment robs you of the ability to enjoy and appreciate who you are and what you have been given already.'"

"'Am I supposed to be grateful for the bad things too?'
'It's your perception that those things were bad. They all led you here, to this moment, didn't they? If any one of those things hadn't happened, you wouldn't be here now.'"

"'To feed the best in you is not a selfish act...You will be surprised how well it serves others when you serve yourself first. You cannot be at your best when your heart is timid and full of doubt.'"

"My hero is a dog."

"'In your life it will never really mater how many times you stumble and fall, but rather how many times you get back up and try again.'"

"'It is often our pride that makes us think mistakes are shameful. It is not necessary to always be right. A mistake isn't a mistake, it's a learning process. They aren't the point at which you give up; they are the point at which you try again. There is no shame in learning.'"

"...the quickest way to become nothing was to try to be something for everyone else." Pin It

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