Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: August Book Club






The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music


By Steve Lopez


286 pages



My book club this month read this book because it's this year's choice for the One Book, One Community Program. It's a really neat program that gives the community of East Lansing and the students of Michigan State University to read the same book then get together in different settings and discuss it. There's a week of events scheduled to begin August 30th with an evening with Steve Lopez and other seminars, showings of the movie, and workshops throughout the rest of the week. But enough about that; on to the book and what we thought of it!


The Soloist is Steve Lopez, a columnist for the LA Times who, while out looking for a story, came across a man in one of the tunnels of LA playing his heart out on an old violin with only two strings. Seeing that there's was obviously some musical ability in this man, he struck up a conversation with him. Steve discovered that his name was Nathaniel Ayers, he grew up in Cleveland where he learned to play the upright bass then was granted a scholarship to Julliard. During his time at Julliard, Nathaniel began doing odd things, acting out of the norm, yelling at others, randomly taking off his clothes, etc. and it was discovered (after he failed out) that he had schizophrenia. After years of forced treatment, drugs with terrible side effects, and his family not knowing what they could do for him, he ended up in the streets of LA, homeless and pushing around a shopping cart with his prized possessions.


When Steve gets to know Nathaniel, he realizes how much he wants to help him to get better so he begins to try to send him to LAMP (Los Angeles Men's Project), set him up with an apartment and psychiatric help, give him instruments and music that people have donated, and try to get him off the streets. Unfortunately, Steve doesn't quite seem to understand the disease and needed to learn the hard way that Nathaniel's progress wasn't going to be immediate or easy. But, throughout their time together, Steve was able to learn from Nathaniel, just as Nathaniel was able to learn from Steve, and their friendship grew into something very special.


I had really mixed feelings when reading this book. Sometimes I was really touched and liked how Steve was helping Nathaniel, but sometimes I really disliked Steve because I felt like he was kind of using Nathaniel for next week's column or that he was helping him not because he wanted to, but because he felt obligated to since he had made Nathaniel somewhat famous. Steve just pushed and pushed for Nathaniel to do certain things, even leading to tricking him into things and I just wanted to yell "Let him be! He doesn't WANT to!" at him. I guess since I wasn't there and in that situation, then I can sit here all I want and say that we can't make people conform to what we (as society) deem as "normal" but I'm sure that Steve Lopez had good intentions.


One thing that a lot of people at book club said was that this book made them want to go out and help! Get involved! etc. And while I can definitely understand that, I just kept asking myself, Could I go up to some homeless stranger and be their friend? Could I dedicate myself to helping someone who was homeless with mental disabilities? I just don't know. The thought kind of frightens me because I just don't think that I would feel comfortable doing that. I mean, I have no training or experience with people with mental diseases and you really never know what they are going to do or how they are going to react to things. I do think that volunteering and doing something to help your community is a really rewarding thing to do, but I don't think that helping the homeless or mentally ill is up my alley. When I start volunteering again, I think that something at the library or at a school would be something I would be more comfortable doing.

Anyway, Steve Lopez will be coming to East Lansing on August 30th to give a lecture. I'm definitely going to try to make it out there for it because I think that it would be interesting to hear what he has to say about his experiences and what his opinions are about the movie version of the book (which I haven't seen but heard is not very good and very Hollywood-ized). I wonder if seeing him speak in person will affect the way that I feel about the book?

For right now, I give it 7.5 out of 10 stars. I wasn't as inspired as I thought I would be.

Have you read this or seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Do you volunteer on a regular basis? What do you do and what inspired you to do so?

14 comments:

  1. Here’s a list of tools you will need to start: Jewelers’ pandora jewellery wire cutters - If you can only afford one pair, get memory wire shears. pandora charms These are designed to make clean cuts on tough memory wire, so can also be used for pandora charms uk softer wires. Chain-nose pliers sometimes called cheap pandora charms needle-nose pliers – Very versatile for picking up and grasping small items, pandora charms sale bending eye pins, closing jumps rings, even closing crimp beads. discount pandora charms Round-nose pliers – Used for creating loops on beaded head and eye pins. Can also be used for winding your own jump rings and as the second pliers you’cheap pandora ll need for closing jump rings. Optional pliers – Wire-looping pliers which have several graduated circumferences to allow you to form perfectly uniform jump rings and loops in place of the pandora discount uk round-nose pliers mentioned above. Crimping pliers which have little notches to allow you to both flatten a crimp bead and then bend it to form a rounded finished look instead of the flat crimp you pandora uk get using the chain-nose pliers. As for materials, I recommend some assortment packs of beads in coordinating colors, some decorative metal spacers, seed beads in both silver and gold These can serve as spacers and beautifully set off pandora sale your other beads., tube-shaped crimp beads Buy the best you can find – these are what hold it all together!, head and eye pins. Other than that, let your choice of project be your guide. You might want some silver or pewter charms.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The amphibian fair chaplet as thomas sabo the name suggests thomas sabo charms gives the apparition of chaplet abeyant about your thomas sabo charm sale close but in absoluteness cheap thomas sabo charms it the chaplet are captivated discount thomas sabo charms by gold or thomas sabo charm clearance ablaze constructed cord. As thomas sabo charms australia because chaplet a thomas sabo charm club amphibian chaplet can be affiliated calm thomas sabo clearance sale with cilia it can be thomas sabo australia calmly accustomed any actualization with the admonition thomas sabo jewellery of altered colors and sizes of chaplet by bond and matching. Aberrant can be done either with cilia or with wire

    ReplyDelete
  3. Links london has a brace of Links of London Watchescharacteristic eye apparent the beauty, Links of London Bracelets uka acute accurate to the development trend of prevalence; she is abandon surfing on the beginning of the popular. The spirit of the company's architecture is “open, harmonious, and excellent” she isLinks of London Sale active with aplomb lifestyle.Respect for the naturalBuy Links of London Bracelets, anxious for freedom. Even in the apple of able concrete, is aswellBuy Links of London Sweetie Bracelets anxiously active his own airy world. Perhaps, their active amplitude is limited, Links of London Braceletsbut the spirit is unlimited.Over the years Cheap links of london Company hasLinks of London Sweetie Bracelets done added than just the adornment design, but rather to Links of London Watch Charmauthorize a ability of high-grade fashion. Persist in application the real-life acquaintance to deductive life.Links of London Necklaces Taste the appearance in simple. Each Links of London Earrings adornment comes Buy Links of London Necklacesanatomy abounding afflatus of source. Each Links of London artefact has a story. Added often, we accept that our accomplished is a plan of art not a commodity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bridal Jewelry - For the Radiant Bride

    Finding the perfect dress you have always dreamed about is one of the most fun and important tasks a bride will endeavor. Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry is becoming more popular with celebrities and brides alike. If swarovski crystals are too much for the bridal look you desire - try simple white or ivory pearls. The second item to consider when thinking about your bridal jewelry is the theme or colors you will be including in your ceremony and reception.
    If you are having, for instance a beach wedding or a beach themed wedding Pandora Jewelry, you may want to check out several different bridal jewelry accessory options. If snow flakes really are not your idea of the perfect bridal jewelry, try visualizing clear swarovski crystals that sparkle and shine in the light. Nature is always a great place to begin looking for bridal jewelry ideas and the fall season is not one to let you down. Whether you are a "nature bug" or not Pandora uk, you cannot deny the gorgeous beauty of fall.
    If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some color to you accessories this is the time to do it. The beautiful golds Pandora Sale, browns Pandora Bracelets, reds and yellows are just perfect applications for your bridal jewelry.Whether you choose your bridal jewelry by the theme of your wedding, the formality Pandora Charms, the colors or the season Pandora Beads, you will wed -your ideas for inspiration are limitless.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Many of the Online Jobs and Online Earning System in internet online Business, but here is a best and legit online earning systems with life time opportunity.
    www.jobzcorner.com

    ReplyDelete