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Book and Movie Recommendations

by Clarity Magazine
Fall 2012 No Comment

Clarity Magazine recommends the following books and movies:

BOOKS

Thirteen Things that Don’t Make Sense
by Michael Brooks

In this fascinating book the author explores thirteen stubborn mysteries that have stumped top scientists for decades and, in some cases, for centuries. He explores such questions as: why scientists cannot account for the 90 percent of the universe known as dark matter; whether we may have already been contacted by alien life but don’t know it, yet; and why we are routinely deceived by the placebo effect.

Brooks argues persuasively that the things we don’t yet understand may be the key to what we are about to discover.

The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth, first published in 1961, is an ingenious fantasy that centers around Milo, a bored, lonely ten-year-old who lives in a San Francisco apartment block all by himself, and one day unexpectedly finds a mysterious, magical toy tollbooth sitting in his room. The tollbooth transports Milo to a land called the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he acquires two faithful companions and sets forth on a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason from dire captivity, and sees many peculiar sights along the way.

Full of puns and unexpected adventures, the book will appeal to anyone with an appreciation for language, irony, or Alice in Wonderland-style adventure. Suitable for children ages 8 and up.

The World’s Religions
by Huston Smith

The World’s Religions is a revised and updated edition of The Religions of Man, by Huston Smith, the foremost authority and teacher of world religions.

With an emphasis on the inner dimension of these religions, the book explores the teachings of the world’s predominant faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the native traditions of Australia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Smith convincingly shows the unique appeal and gifts of each of these traditions.

The recipient of twelve honorary degrees, Smith’s other books include his bestselling Why Religion Matters, and his autobiography, Tales of Wonder.

Whatever the Odds: The Incredible Story Behind DLF
by K.P. Singh with Ramesh Menon and Raman Swamy

This book tells the fascinating story of self-made Indian billionaire, K.P. Singh, who grew up in a small village in the rural backwaters of Uttar Pradesh and went on to become the entrepreneur who transformed the small town of Gurgaon into an international business hub and pacesetter for the urban development for the rest of the country.

K.P. Singh is chairman of DLF Ltd, and a trustee and member of the governing boards of several educational and philanthropic institutions. In 2010 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the president of India, in recognition of his high order of distinguished service to the nation of India.

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas Friedman

In this best-selling book, award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman provides a timely and illuminating update on globalization, its successes and discontents. With his unique ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at beginning of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals — and how governments and societies can adapt.

Left to Tell – Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
by Immaculee Ilibagiza

Left to Tell is the miraculous story of how Immaculee Ilibagiza survived the 1994 Rwanda genocide that engulfed her idyllic world. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a three-month killing spree that claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans. For 91 days, Immaculee and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them.

During those hours of terror, Immaculee discovered the power of prayer and forged a profound and lasting relationship with God. She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional love and was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers.

The story of this remarkable young woman’s triumphant journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.

Supernature: Natural History of the Supernatural
by Lyall Watson

In his most popular book, Supernature, Lyall Watson challenges scientific orthodoxy by thinking outside the box of conventional science. He identifies a host of happenings, “between nature and the supernatural,” which he describes as Supernature. These include phenomena such as the scientific facts behind astrology; the mysterious properties of Egypt’s pyramids; ESP, psychokinesis, telepathy, “eyeless sight”; how the mind can physically influence the body; and much, much more.

A South African botanist, zoologist, biologist, anthropologist, ethnologist, and author of many new age books, Lyall Watson described himself as a “scientific nomad” who believed conventional science was simply inadequate to explain much of human experience. He passed away in 2008.

Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White

First published in 1952, Charlotte’s Web has become one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, enjoyed by adults as well as children. It is the story of a little farm girl named Fern who loved a pig named Wilbur and Wilbur’s friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. Wilbur is desolate when he discovers that he is destined for the smokehouse until, Charlotte, with the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, decides to help Wilbur and save him from being Christmas dinner.

In year 2000, Publishers Weekly listed the book as the best-selling children’s paperback of all time. (See below for the movie based on this book).

MOVIES

Gandhi, 1982
The winner of eight Academy Awards, this awe-inspiring movie is based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the diminutive lawyer who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century, paving the way for Indian independence. Gandhi has since become an international symbol of nonviolence and understanding. With sensitivity and insight, the film brilliantly underscores the difference one person can make.

Available: DVD; Rated PG

Lost Horizon, 1937
In this Frank Capra classic, based on the 1933 James Hilton novel, plane-crash survivors are led through the Himalayas to Shangri-La, a village without hate or crime where no one ages. One of the survivors, Robert Conway (Ronald Colman) is chosen to succeed Shangri-La’s High Lama, but his brother convinces him to leave on an ill-fated trek. Conway ends up in England with amnesia, but later regains his memory and embarks on a journey to find his lost Shangri-La.

Swami Kriyananda has said that seeing “Lost Horizon” helped to inspire his interest in starting a cooperative community.

Available: DVD; Not Rated

Like Stars on Earth, 2007
This charming Indian movie tells the story of 8-year-old, Ishaan Awasthi, a chronic day dreamer, who is thought to be lazy and a troublemaker. His parents, frustrated that Ishaan keeps getting into trouble, send him away to a boarding school in hopes that he’ll become more disciplined. Ishaan’s life changes completely when an unconventional new art teacher decides to try and help his imaginative young student discover his true identity.

Originally in Hindi, this movie is beautifully dubbed in English for American audiences. A Disney release in the United States.

Available: DVD; Rated PG

The Young Victoria, 2009
This 2009 British-American film dramatizes the turbulent early years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with her husband, Prince Albert. Dominated by her possessive mother, a young Victoria comes of age, a queen and no one’s puppet as she navigates the many court intrigues of those who want to control her for their own ends. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning the 2010 Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

Available: DVD; Rated PG

E.T. –The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
Steven Spielberg’s 1982 movie tells the heartwarming story of 10-year-old Elliot and a stranded alien he names E.T. They soon learn to communicate, and develop a special relationship in which E.T learns about life on earth and Elliot learns about the true meaning of friendship. E.T. wants to go home, but if Elliot helps him, he’ll lose a friend. Released by Universal Pictures, E.T. ranks as the greatest science fiction film ever made.

Available: DVD; Rated PG

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, 2009
This made-for-cable-movie is the inspiring story of Dr. Ben Carson, a leader in the field of medicine, whose innovative ideas have helped save many lives. Growing up in a single parent home, he overcame poverty, racial prejudice and, with the help of his mother, learned to have faith in himself.

Today Dr. Carson is a full professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for over a quarter of a century. In May, 2008, he became the first recipient of a professorship dedicated in his name.

Available: DVD; Not Rated

Rembrandt, 1936
Charles Laughton delivers a memorable performance as famed artist Rembrandt Van Rijn and brilliantly captures the essence of this passionate 17th-century genius. Beginning with Rembrandt at the height of his powers in 1642, the film is a powerful exploration of his creativity and self-determination. Rembrandt is portrayed as an indomitable spirit who triumphs over adversity and mediocrity to leave behind a legacy of artistic achievement.

Available: DVD; Not Rated

Charlotte’s Web, 2006
This 2006 feature film is based on E. B. White’s beloved children’s book of the same name. (See book description above)

Available: DVD; Rated G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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