Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book Review: Heart with Joy

Last month, I read Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman; it is a young adult book that tells the story of a young boy, Julian, who is dealing with the aftermath of his parents separation. While the subject matter is a bit heavy at times, it was definitely a lighter read for me since it is a young adult book. It was a nice break from the heavier novels I read earlier in the month of September! I haven't read a young adult book in years - I actually can not remember the last time I read a young adult book, actually!

In Heart with Joy, we meet Julian. For an unexplained reason, his mom has moved to Florida, indefinitely. Julian stays behind and lives with his father who is practically a stranger to him. Without the buffer of his mom, Julian is forced to get to know his father better. His father begins to train for a marathon, so Julian supports him by riding his bike while his father runs and cooking delicious meals for him each evening. Julian definitely has a passion and a talent for cooking, which is encouraged by his father and an elderly neighbor that Julian gets to know by helping her with chores around her house.

The message of the book (for me) is to discover what fills your heart with joy. This might be a hobby, like bird watching which his neighbor is passionate about, or a potential career, such as becoming a chef.

It's a simple message, but something that many of us might need to be reminded of. I think it's easy to fall into habits or patterns and to stop thinking about or pursuing our passions in life. I know I have been guilty of that at certain points of my life, but something usually happens that reminds me that life is short and is meant to be enjoyed.

What fills your heart with joy? Do you think you do a good job of pursuing whatever it is that fills your heart with joy? Some things that fill my heart with joy are spending time around my nephews, playing the piano, knitting a gift for a friend, and running. For the most part, I do a good job of finding time for these passions.

PS: I fly out for Vancouver, BC this am! The lights will be off around here until I return next week. Have a great rest of the week, everyone!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".


Emily Jane said...

I'm so excited for you!!

This sounds a lovely little book. What fills my heart with joy is a beautiful summers day, or being in the house alone and cranking up amazing music and dancing around in the kitchen :)

ShutUpandRun said...

What a great post and a great reminder. I really need to think about what fills me up instead of just going through the motions and doing what I think I "should" do.

Jess said...

Have a great trip and good luck with the run!! I know you will do great! Can't wait to hear all about it when you return!

Amber said...

Blogging. Laughing over a glass of wine with friends. Cuddling with Eric. Having dinner with my family. Running. Yoga. Writing. All these things fill my heart with joy.


Marlys said...

There are so many things that fill my heart with joy that I would need a blog of my own to reveal them! Suffice it to say that spending time with my family is at the top, and also enjoying the beautiful sights of nature that God has given us - especially the lake! Have a great trip and we'll be waiting to hear all about your run!

Unknown said...

Family brings me joy. Obviously, nature is very important to me as well. And cooking for people.

Sounds like a book that would help a young person feel good about himself/herself. We need more stories like this in our world.

Have a GREAT time. I am so proud of you!!!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

WHat fills my heart with joy is: running outside, listening to music and dancing around the house to it, drinking vino with friends and laughing a lot. I think I do a lot of the things I truly love in my spare time, but not so much during the work hrs. I'd like to change that, but I'll just have to wait and see what opportunities I create for myself.

Kyla Roma said...

Have an amazing trip, I can't wait to hear all about it!!

My joy today was building flower arrangements while dancing to 50s soul music all afternoon :) Perfect.

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

Just wanted to stop in a say hi to all those bloggers going to the meet up tomorrow :) Looking forward to meeting everyone!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Entertaining (dinner parties)and cooking or baking for friends and family fills my heart with joy :-)