Monday, July 21, 2014

G379 To Hold the Sun

Title of the book:  To Hold the Sun

Author:  Chas Watkins

Publisher: Ingram Press

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN: 9781489507648

Summary:

When the author realized his children were leaving home to begin their journeys through life, he wrote this delightful and engaging story for them. It outlines the experiences of a young, poor, and disillusioned reporter who is enticed to do a series of articles about Paul, an unconventional philosopher and motivational speaker. In lieu of payment, he gets to travel to and dive on Roatan, arguably one of the most beautiful, pristine islands in the Caribbean. Through a series of meetings, the reporter gets to know Paul's innermost philosophies. He learns an alternate way of living from a man who strives to perfect handstands on a dock and practices the art of happiness.

The author developed the book as a guide to help his children live their lives in a way that would allow them to enjoy the journey. Drawing on wildly diverse disciplines including stoicism, neuroscience, skepticism, behavioral economics, and spirituality; the reader is taken on a journey that exposes the author's philosophy of life. He demonstrates that happiness is indeed a choice.

All places detailed on Roatan exist and are more beautiful than described. Color Photos (if supported) are by kind permission of Shawn Jackson

Other Works:

So far this is the author's first book

Background:
(From iReadbook Tours)

Chas Watkins was born and raised in England and is a naturalized Australian. His children are all American, which he finds very confusing. He moved to Roatan nine years ago. He has an unused degree in electronics from Hull University in England and has somehow managed to work for many fine and good companies without being fired.

After the raging madness of the dotcom world in California, he moved to Roatan to settle with his family. Chas currently pretends to work as a Realtor and Radio DJ. He reads an awful lot, watches the sunrise and sunset every day and consumes way too much coffee. He runs on the beach in the mornings, practices handstands, and lives happily on Roatan with his cat Gary and the children who have not yet deserted him. Even on his best day he is nothing like his character Paul, but strives to be so. 

Occasionally he "likes to dance as if no one is watching" which is ironic as his dancing makes people stare. If you are really unlucky, you may meet him, and whatever you do, don't offer him a drink as he is a very rude and uninteresting person.

Connect with Chas here: http://www.toholdthesun.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToHoldTheSun
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToHoldTheSun

Theme:

"Everything we have discussed has been known for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. It's just that now we have the science to understand it all." (1)

Problems addressed:

I would guess that how to be self fulfilled is addressed, as well as ways of being happy and meditating. There is also pervasiveness of manipulation and how it influences people, which has really impressed me.

Summary of content:

A reporter that happens to disillusioned and one that has his career hanging by a thread, decides to interview an unconventional philosopher named Paul who seems to have a goal of perfecting handstands in the sand. Along the way, he learns fascinating things about himself as well as about life.

Thesis:

"It was never just about the goal. Sure, he would celebrate this victory, but it was just a part of the journey for him. His life was all about enjoying each day, and this was just a result of living those days the way he wanted to live them." (146)

Main points:

The book is divided into ten chapters:
*An assignment
*The dock
*Conditioning
*The inner voice
*Practice
*Focus
*Incrementally
*Field Trip
*Fundamentals
*The Final handstand

Why its interesting and informative:

The book gives a lot of interesting solutions to different problems, such as a way to remove embarrassment from memories as well as followups and how to improve self and why one needs to improve. What I found the most fascinating is how stores work on manipulating people to get things they don't need. It's scary how well calculated it all is.

Supports thesis:

I would guess that yes, the book does focus on the thesis, or at least what I think is the thesis. Paul is very secretive about his history thus the reader never learns who he is or how he comes to be there. Instead, he wants the reader to focus more on the lessons and their impact instead of him.

Addressing Issues:

What are some effective ways to improve self that involve science and acknowledgement that things will take time and practice to be perfect? The book talks about these ideas and more as well as possible science behind these ideas.

Comparing ideas in book vs larger ideas:

For those that are looking for a book that encourages questioning instead of accepting things in blind faith, then this is the right book to get. I would imagine that after reading the book, I doubt many people will look at the world or themselves the same way again.

Agree/Disagree:

I do agree with a lot that the author has mentioned, and the book will be re-read. I haven't tried out many of these, and when I'll get some free time, I'll re-read it once more. The author also doesn't ask one to have blind faith, but instead asks the reader to try these out before saying no, and there are no guarantees either.

Sources:

The only source that was used was Paul, and even then not much is told about him in the book, and whenever the reporter does try to figure out his past, Paul always deflects it.

Conclusion:

Although its a short book, I would recommend for it to be read when one has a lot of free time so the lessons can really sink in. Overall, a book that is destined to change lives and perceptions on how and why things are the way they are.

Where to buy the book:


Book Tour Schedule

This tour is fully booked

July 21 -  Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
July 21 -  Deal Sharing Aunt - review
July 22 -  Rockin' Book Reviews - review / interview
July 22 -  ACReads - review
July 23 -  Katie's Clean Book Collection - book spotlight
July 23 -  Tales of the Marvelous - review / giveaway
July 24 -  Brooke Blogs - review / giveaway
July 25 -  Heart of a Philanthropist - interview / giveaway
July 25 -  Being Tilly's Mummy - book spotlight
July 28 -  Pinky's Favorite Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
July 28 -  Savings in Seconds - review
July 29 -  Being Tilly's Mummy - review / giveaway
July 29 -  Back Porchervations - review
July 30 -  Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
July 30 -  Like a Bump on a Blog - review 
July 31-   Posting for Now - review
July 31 -  One Frugal Girl - review 
Aug 1 -    I'd Rather Be at the Beach - review / giveaway


5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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