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Friday, June 18, 2010

Guest Blog: Laurie Gray

For this week's Chick Chat, I have a guest blog from author Laurie Gray about why she loves to read.

Laurie Gray is the founder of Socratic Parenting, LLC. An experienced trial attorney and teacher, Laurie served on the faculty of the National Symposium on Child Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama in 2009 and 2010. She is the author of the young adult novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/May 2010). Learn more about Laurie at www.SocraticParenting.com.

Here's a bit about her novel, Summer Sanctuary:

Matthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Instead, he befriends Dinah, a homeless teenager seeking refuge at the library. Although from very different backgrounds, Matthew and Dinah come to realize that they have a great deal in common--their love for music, and for cans of olives and potato chips found in a supermarket dumpster that are just past the sell-by date . . . and maybe even for each other. Matthew struggles with his feelings for his own family as he helps Dinah avoid Child Welfare. And in the process, Dinah helps him discover that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a very big difference.

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I love books that make me think. Not books that tell me WHAT to think, but books that really engage my mind and plant little ideas that take root in my own thoughts, intertwining with my experience and growing into wondrous imaginings. There’s really nothing more useless than a mind full of someone else’s thoughts! A good book leaves me with questions that I have to think about and answer for myself.

I like movies, too, but watching movies feels more passive. When I watch a movie, the sounds surround me and the images are projected before me. When I read a book, the voices and pictures come from within me. That’s why I always like to read the book before I see the movie, preferably before I even see a preview of the movie or hear about who the actors will be because once those images are engraved in my mind, that’s what I see when I read the book.

I recently read Anthem by Ayn Rand, a short novel about a young man who lives in the future after the world as we know it is destroyed. It’s a very primitive society with no technology and such extensive thought control that people no longer understand the concept of individuality. They go so far as to remove the word “I” from the English language completely! The young man meets a young woman. They’re not even allowed to speak to each other. They don’t understand the idea of love, but they end up running off together and discovering what it means for two individuals have a genuine relationship. It really made me think. Can you imagine living in a world where you had no personal choices or freedom? Working together is important, but I don’t think I can really love or value anybody else until I accept and love myself.

What do you think? Would you rather read a book or watch a movie? What book have you read recently that really made you think?

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Thank you for the wonderful guest blog, Laurie!

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