Eat Bananas And Follow Your Heart

Eat Bananas And Follow Your Heart

4.9 11
by Mark J. Ehlers
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From his inspirational and thought-provoking blog "Ehlers on Everything" comes a collection of interesting and touching essays on life, politics, baseball and religion by Mark J. Ehlers. "Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball and Religion" is a book for anyone who believes that life is too short to remain uninvolved, time too

Overview

From his inspirational and thought-provoking blog "Ehlers on Everything" comes a collection of interesting and touching essays on life, politics, baseball and religion by Mark J. Ehlers. "Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball and Religion" is a book for anyone who believes that life is too short to remain uninvolved, time too precious to cease learning, thinking, caring, and laughing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589099135
Publisher:
Bookstand Publishing
Publication date:
06/03/2011
Pages:
362
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
SAM01 More than 1 year ago
Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball, and Religion by Mark J. Ehlers is an exemplary collection of essays filled with wit and wisdom. Ehlers is an expert at perceiving the humanity and humor in everyday life. Through each essay, Ehlers brings readers a spectacular account of a life not only well-lived, but filled with remarkable people. Readers are immediately captivated with a tribute to Ehlers's Uncle Ted, whom he never knew, a U.S. Airman in World War II, who was lost when his plane was shot down over Vienna in 1945. This vignette on unfulfilled dreams is a moving tribute to his uncle, and is especially poignant for anyone who has ever had to put aside or leave dreams unrealized. Ehlers's writing moves readers and forces them to examine their lives to see what they can do better. The titular essay, Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart, is an especially resonant and profound imaginary commencement address to the Class of 2010. In the essay, Ehlers dispenses wisdom on a variety of subjects, including such sage advice as “Eat Bananas,” for they are good for the heart, nerves, kidneys, and bones, to the more serious and introspective, “Follow your heart, but don't completely ignore your head. Pursue your dreams, but fulfill your obligations. Understand the importance of real income, but do not devalue your psychic income-the level of satisfaction derived from a job.” Divided into four sections, the essays and reflections are interesting and thought provoking, covering a wide variety of critical issues. Ehlers is a master at presenting views from all sides, yet not afraid to offer his own wisdom, experiences, and beliefs. He shares a rich set of experiences encountered throughout his diverse past as the child of a minister and a schoolteacher and brilliant career as a lawyer. A vibrant and powerful collection of essays, Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart is certain to become a treasured part of every reader's library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Booklover031 More than 1 year ago
A vibrant and powerful collection of essays, Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball, and Religion examines everyday life with wit and wisdom. Author Mark J. Ehlers is an expert in perceiving the humor in day-to-day life and, in each essay, brings readers a spectacular account of a life well-lived and filled with unforgettable moments. Sharing his advice and wisdom on a variety of subjects, from the fragility of life and the universal bonds of baseball to politics and the diversity of religious experience, Ehlers's acerbic wit engages readers from the first to the last page. In the very first essay in the collection, on his Uncle Ted, a World War II airman lost when his plane was shot down over Vienna towards the end of the war, Ehlers reflects on what might have been. He invokes Langston Hughes's Dreams and the wise counsel of Abraham Joshua Heschel to implore readers to follow their dreams and respect life’s inherent fragility. He echoes this in the titular essay Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart, an imaginary commencement address to the Class of 2010, which wittingly explains the nutritional value of bananas and then delivers more serious advice, to oppose smugness, not be afraid of uncertainty, stay engaged, laugh and show kindness to others. “If you touch the lives of others, if you make the world a better place, even a little; if you inspire a young child or make a difference in someone’s life, then you will have succeeded.” Ehlers's reflections on politics are particularly astute, as he presents views from all sides of an issue but does not shirk from offering his own wisdom and experiences. From lamenting the loss of civility in modern political discourse to addressing the tragedy of foreign conflicts and the burdens of leadership, Ehlers remains fair while providing a balanced look at the current state of American politics. His essays on religion are equally nuanced, recognizing the complexity of American religious life and the many faces of religious expression. Finally, his insights on baseball offer an intelligent and touching glimpse into this often metaphorical dimension of American life. Full of inspiring and valuable wisdom, Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart is an exemplary collection of essays that deserves a space on every reader's bookshelf.
Mhartman More than 1 year ago
Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball, and Religion by Mark J. Ehlers is a powerful collection of essays on the human experience. With his acerbic wit and wisdom, Ehlers examines everyday life and succeeds in finding the humanity and humor that is so often ignored in the daily grind that defines the lives of most Americans. Ehlers captivates readers with reflections on his life that teach us to live without regrets and to be forgiving of past mistakes. In describing his personal feelings on turning 50, Ehlers writes that “I now recognize and feel, gradually, incrementally, the burdens of aging . . . I know now that life is not forever. Mortality awaits me and, for the first time in my life, I am truly aware of its dimensions.” Other essays address such diverse topics as a touching conversation with a Pittsburgh cab driver, memories of his grandfather, and the burdens of lost opportunities. Ehlers's reflections on politics are both thoughtful and challenging. He is respectful of opposing views but does not shirk from offering his own wisdom and experiences. He laments the loss of civility in modern politics, remembers the life and times of former Kennedy speechwriter Ted Sorenson, and analyzes the power and limits of empathy in the films of Steven Spielberg. On whatever topic he covers, Ehlers remains fair and provides a balanced perspective on American politics. His wish for civility is brief, but clear: “With all of the problems confronting the United States and the world today, will there be a time when liberals and conservatives, Tea Partiers and Coffee Drinkers, talk, listen, and work together to find common ground? For the future of our country, I hope that day comes soon.” A spectacular and powerful collection of essays, Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball, and Religion is a must-read for anyone who is looking for answers, and will, inevitably, leave readers anxious to read Ehlers’ second release, Life Goes On.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fabulous collection of essays by a writer with a knack for perceiving the humanity, humor, and passion of everyday life. He writes in simple but elegant prose and brings out the essence of whatever topic he addresses. From delightful vignettes about baseball, fatherhood, theological ambiguity, the decline of political discourse, and life's many demands, there is something for everyone in these pages. Highly recommended.
MG90 More than 1 year ago
This is a book that is wise and witty - a conversation on many subjects. There were moments of enlightenment, the A-Ha moment when you think "This is a better way to understand this". ...Gertrude G.
bwbatlarge More than 1 year ago
Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball, and Religion by Mark J. Ehlers is a powerful exploration of what makes us human, filled with wit, wisdom, and aphorisms that rival those of Emerson or Thoreau. Among his essays are a personal reflection on "The Meaning of Fifty" when he "sensed for the first time that certain of my dreams may forever be deferred, that time is a gift, its limits felt with the passing of each year," bipartisanship, the recession, Afghanistan, Obama, faith and religion. The essay "Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart," an imaginary commencement essay to the Class of 2010, is a particularly profound selection from Ehlers, fusing the wisdom that he has garnered throughout life, from the amusing "Eat Bananas," which are high in potassium and B6 and good for your heart, nerves, kidneys, and bones to the more serious, "Follow your heart, but don't completely ignore your head. Pursue your dreams, but fulfill your obligations. Understand the importance of real income, but do not devalue your psychic income-the level of satisfaction derived from a job." Ehlers resonates as the voice of reason in politics and in life, providing readers with his collective wisdom in a sincere manner. His book is incredibly quotable and will inevitably gather readers as both fans of his and of his blog, Ehlers on Everything, where he continues to provide online readers with his insight on everything in new entries that include a Mother's Day tribute, thoughts on Israel, and the enduring power of music. Ehlers's essays are intelligent, carefully constructed, uplifting, thought-provoking, and reflective. His deeply meaningful words will move readers to reflect on their lives, pursue their dreams, keep learning, and if nothing else, they won't forget the bananas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After following shrieking pundits all week for political commentary and attention to life's issues, sometimes it's just nice to sit down with an essay that's thoughtful and balanced. Mark Ehlers writes such essays on topics ranging from politics and biographies to culture and religion and especially baseball. It's baseball that provides most of the life lessons, and you don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate them. The pieces on ethics, government, and ideology all have a point of view, but they are nuanced, contemplative, and restrained. There's enough diversity in the topics to maintain your attention, and, while assertions of fact are documented with quotes and references, it's easy to read and convenient to pick up whenever you have a moment to take in a thought or two. Each essay says its piece and lets you wonder about the next one. I don't agree with all of it, but when I disagree, I feel as though there's a reasoned discussion out there to have. That's a change from watching the same topics debated so rudely everywhere else.
johnoflewes More than 1 year ago
Essay by essay, author Mark Ehlers brings us to a wonderful review of life lived in and through the remarkable persons on whom he's chosen to focus. They come from a wide spectrum, involved in a variety of critical issues. The author has the gift of presenting views from all sides yet not shrinking from offering his own wisdom and beliefs. Much of his vision is rooted and drawn from his wellspring of faith, but with it the joy of hearing and reflecting on the rich diversity of opinions he encounters as a writer and one who has and is experiencing a successful career in law. A former Federal Prosecutor whose cases have been the stuff films are made of, but also a brilliant writer whose book would be a gift beyond words for any recepient in any profession. The highest possible compliment that could be paid in my particular calling is; "THESE WORDS WILL PREACH!!!" john Steinbruck, Pastor, retired
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great essays on life, baseball, politics and religion. Ehlers has sharp insight and wit. He covers different topics equally well with his fresh, readable style. You will come away from this book chuckling and feeling uplifted. Read it.