Life Goes on

( 9 )

Overview

From the author of Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart comes a new collection of personal essays on life, baseball, and things that matter. Part memoir and part reflection, lawyer and writer Mark J. Ehlers addresses life in all its dimensions; the passage of time and of unmet dreams, the conflicts of faith in a secular age, the redeeming quality of the human spirit, and a lifelong bond with baseball. It is for anyone who believes that life is too precious to cease thinking and learning, and recognizes that, in the ...
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Life Goes On

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More About This Book

Overview

From the author of Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart comes a new collection of personal essays on life, baseball, and things that matter. Part memoir and part reflection, lawyer and writer Mark J. Ehlers addresses life in all its dimensions; the passage of time and of unmet dreams, the conflicts of faith in a secular age, the redeeming quality of the human spirit, and a lifelong bond with baseball. It is for anyone who believes that life is too precious to cease thinking and learning, and recognizes that, in the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel, "There is no human being who does not carry a treasure in his soul: a moment of insight, a memory of love, a dream of excellence..."

"I believe human interaction is at its best when people are not afraid to reveal themselves, when we are open to civil discourse and healthy give-and-take on matters of substance. Besides, the weather has never been all that interesting to me."
--from Life Goes On

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781618635013
  • Publisher: Bookstand Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/13/2013
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 1,101,105
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2013

    Inquisitive And Exploring

    In Life Goes On, Mark Ehlers takes readers on an inspirational voyage, sharing essential life lessons through wise and deeply personal essays. “Climbing the Verrazano”, one of the collection’s early pieces, gives an account of climbing the double-decked suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City. Ehlers prefaces the tale by informing the reader of a lifelong fear of heights and builds palpable tension as he, like the Florentine explorer for whom the bridge is named, journeys into fearful and uncharted territory. When he reaches the top, however, his fear is replaced by exhilaration and wonder at the breathtaking view. Finally, conquering this Goliath causes Ehlers to take stock and consider all his unmet goals, challenging himself and the reader to do the most simple, yet also most difficult of tasks: live more fully. He acknowledges that writing is his way of creating a lasting legacy and to exist beyond his own natural life. Ehlers reminds us that we are capable of far greater things than just merely existing and encourages us to “pursue a more perfect life, one full of love, laughter, passion and joy”. In another context, this might seem like an overtly “self-help” idea, but, through the lens of Ehlers’ unique experiences, the message is uplifting without being excessive. Ehlers writes in compelling and inspirational prose; “Climbing the Verrazano” is merely one example of his skill. Truly, readers will find it is impossible to read Life Goes On without becoming motivated to take their lives into their own hands. In this way, Ehlers appeals to all readers and persuades us to help ourselves by living more fully, making Life Goes On a wonderfully irresistible read.

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  • Posted August 4, 2013

    Essays on Aspects of Life

    Life Goes On: More Essays on Life, Baseball and Things that Matter by Mark J. Ehlers is a compelling examination of life and humanity through a series of wise, provocative, and deeply personal essays written during 2011 and 2012. Fans of Ehlers’ 2011 book Eat Bananas and Follow your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball and Religion will not be disappointed by this follow-up, in which Ehlers explores even more profoundly such topics as the ephemeral nature of youth, the balance of faith and secular life, and, of course, baseball. He also touches upon many other subjects, such as the influence of J.K. Rowling on the lives of his two daughters and his relationship to them, growing up in the 1970’s at the peak of the women’s rights movement, and the growing inequality of income and its effect on the American dream, handling each with a perfect mix of deft prose and sincere reflection. In a frank and captivating continuation of his writings on the passage of time in Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart, the title essay of Ehlers’ second book confronts the universal dread of wasted life, “Have I bypassed the essence of my life, taking note only of what is immediately relevant? How much have I failed to absorb along the way?” This passage plays particularly well against the many personal memories Ehlers incorporates into the book, especially his vivid childhood recollection of watching the moon landing on television. Those familiar with his first book and of his blog, Ehlers on Everything, will certainly be drawn to another tome of Ehlers’ insightful and thought-provoking writing. His skillful tackling of the human experience from a variety of angles speaks to all readers, ensuring that his following will continue to grow as new readers encounter, and are inevitably won over by, Life Goes On.

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  • Posted August 4, 2013

    A Game with Passion.

    Although this thoughtful and delightful book addresses a wide array of topics, the author, Mark Ehlers, has a self-described "bond" with baseball. In fact, baseball is so important to Ehlers that he has dedicated an entire section of his book, Life Goes On: More Essays on Life, Baseball and Things that Matter, to the American pastime. The depth and enthusiasm of Ehlers' love of baseball will truly resonate with any reader who has stalwartly watched, cheered, and even prayed for their team to win the World Series. In the introduction to Life Goes On, Ehlers describes himself as a mostly "reasonable, sane, rational man." But, he counters, "all bets are off when it comes to baseball and the Cardinals, for they are essentially matters of the heart." It is this wry self-awareness and acknowledgment of the obsessive nature of the wholesome cult of baseball fandom that will appeals to baseball fans and non- fans alike. Baseball, as Ehlers elegantly contends, bears great similarity to life, and, through this, there can be a universal understanding of its pull. In "End of Winter", readers see that the season begins with spring training and the fresh hopefulness of a new beginning. Later, in "End of Summer," Ehlers begins by mentioning Hurricane Sandy, which rocked the east coast in 2012, a perfect setup for the wistful regret of an unsuccessful season and the impending dreariness of winter. Through these essays, the reader is able to isolate and consider the cyclical nature of baseball, with its birth in spring, life in summer, and inevitable death in autumn. Sometimes, there is glory, such as the Cardinals' 1967 season; the very same year when blooming regard for both baseball and a red bird turned Ehlers into a lifelong Cardinals fan. A baseball season can be full of melancholy defeats and breathless, jubilant victories; fans know this well. Ehlers uses an entire section of his book to recount tales of both the ups and the downs, and relates the sport to the greater context of life, making Life Goes On a must-read for both the most dedicated fans and those who don't stay past the seventh-inning stretch.

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  • Posted August 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ehlers Continues to Delight!!

    Life Goes On: More Essays on Life, Baseball and Things that Matter by Mark J. Ehlers is a dynamic look at life and humanity through a series of intelligent, stimulating, and often autobiographical essays written between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. His essays bring to mind the works by writers such as Emerson and Thoreau, bringing new and exciting life back into the form.

    Life Goes On and Ehlers’ 2011 book Eat Bananas and Follow your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball and Religion, hearken back to a style of writing readers seldom see these days. The essay seems to be a lost art; formerly one of the most popular in published books, essay collections have seen a decline in recent years. Ehlers’ masterful prose is perfectly complemented by the essay; however, the form, ripe for a renaissance, allows Ehlers to consider a variety of topics and illuminate life’s truths with ease.

    Whether Ehlers is discussing the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 or his daughters’ love of the Harry Potter books, his command of language and persuasive diction will leave readers anxious for more. New generations of readers will devour tomes by the aforementioned Emerson and Thoreau, or even Virginia Woolf, their appetite whetted for the essay by Ehlers. Even more effective are Ehlers’ deeply personal recollections and experiences, which often inspire the reader to live more fully and experience all that life has to offer. Finally, Ehlers’ contemplations upon current events, such as the Occupy Movement and the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona in 2011 and in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, aid the reader in processing the events and forming opinions of them.

    Life Goes On is truly an impressive collection that guides us seamlessly through an unfamiliar form until it inevitably becomes a new favorite. Readers will, undoubtedly, be left anxious for the next collection of adept and insightful essays from Mark J. Ehlers.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    What do J.K. Rowling, gun violence, and Neil Diamond have in com

    What do J.K. Rowling, gun violence, and Neil Diamond have in common? They are all dealt with masterfully by author Mark J. Ehlers in his new book, Life Goes On: Essays on Life, Baseball and Things that Matter.
    Ehlers brings wisdom, thoughtfulness, and reflection to each of the many topics tackled in Life Goes On. In “Thank You, J. K. Rowling,” Ehlers acknowledges his indebtedness to the author for playing an integral part in his daughters’ love of books, as well as for giving him a way to talk with them about important issues, such as prejudice, courage, and selflessness. The author of the Harry Potter series presented him with a tool that would play a vital role in his ability to effectively bond with his daughters.
    Meanwhile, “Lessons from Aurora: A Search for Common Ground,” reckons with the frightening fact that mass shootings have become an almost routine occurrence in the United States and the notion that a freedom many Americans cherish is at the root of the cause. Ehlers caps his already persuasive essay with a short description of each of the fallen Aurora shooting victims, allowing his readers to identify with the men, women and children who could easily have been us or a loved one.
    In a much lighter essay, “Young Child with Dreams: The Enduring Power of Music,” Ehlers reveals his admiration of Neil Diamond and his everlasting love for the music Diamond has made. With affable self-deprecation, Ehlers admits his teenage years were spent trying to appear hip and, therefore, guarded his passion for Diamond’s music as a secret, while all the while that very music helped him navigate those awkward years.
    In Life Goes On, Ehlers demonstrates not only his ability to expertly handle a variety of topics but also to skillfully match the tone of each individual subject matter with grace. This unique and rare ability is sure to make his most recent tome a favorite of readers for years to come.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    A Great Read

    The “American Dream” is a cornerstone of the philosophy of the United States born out of the belief that all men are created equal and have rights that cannot be denied. The economic climate of the last few years, however, has greatly challenged that ideal. In Life Goes On: More Essays on Life, Baseball and Things that Matter, author Mark J. Ehlers skillfully negotiates, among other themes, the complex reality of the “American Dream” through a series of intellectually stimulating and skillfully written essays. Ehlers first touches upon the “American Dream” during “Marty and Gertrude: An American Story,” an inspiring account of Ehlers’ in-laws. In a particularly moving passage, a parentless ten-year-old Gertrude realizes she is in charge of her life and from that moment on this child of the Great Depression disavows self-pity. This and similar philosophies helped guide many young people of that era and helped them overcome adversity to reap the wonderful possibilities at the heart of the “American Dream”. Later, however, readers encounter a much bleaker view in “Howling at the Moon and the Lost American Dream”. Here, Ehlers succinctly negotiates the complications at the heart of the Occupy movement while still acknowledging the very real and legitimate frustrations behind it. In a bleak passage, Ehlers juxtaposes the America of the New Deal, with a government bent on helping its people, and the America of today, in which many people feel their government has forgotten them. Despite the feelings of inequity, the America of today fulfills many aspects of the “American Dream”, including melting pot successes and growing marriage equality, among others. Life Goes On deals expertly with the contradictions present where the “American Dream” of today is concerned; readers will find the relevance of this topic and Ehlers’ wise words irresistible.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    THE VOICE OF SAGACITY In Life Goes On: Essays on Life, Basebal


    THE VOICE OF SAGACITY

    In Life Goes On: Essays on Life, Baseball and Things that Matter, author Mark J. Ehlers, who readers will remember from his first collection, Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart, tackles a wide variety of topics with skill and wisdom, from his life-long connection to the St. Louis Cardinals and longing for summer days on the baseball fields of his youth to the enduring condition of the human spirit.
    Throughout both of his books, Ehlers writes openly and respectfully about many topics, most notably concerning personal life experiences, political controversies, and his love of baseball. He also addresses uniquely and sensitively issues surrounding matters of faith, which he acknowledges is often a source of struggle and conflict for him. For example, in “Searching for God in Pennsylvania”, Ehlers admits, “For much of my adult life, I have struggled with religion and faith. What do I believe? How deeply do I believe it? How committed am I to one set of theological beliefs and living truths?” The author is the son of a Lutheran minister, a self- described - “rational human being who eagerly accepts and actively participates in the modern world.” He embraces the advancements and knowledge of science and rejects rigid dogmas, religious fundamentalism, and the notion that any one religion lays claim to an absolute or exclusive truth. But still, he admits, “there remains the quest for the divine, the search for a transcendent power that I cannot see or prove, but which I know in my heart is present”. He has no trouble reckoning what most people see as the opposing positions of faith and reason, showing that his rationale is as balanced and capable as his writing.
    In an essay entitled, “Interfaith Reflections: a Note to My Daughters,” Ehlers writes a touching and very personal letter to his two daughters, both of whom were the offspring of an interfaith marriage and who were raised in the Jewish tradition. Ehlers contends that precisely what one believes about God and religion, or how one chooses to express their faith, is less important than acknowledging the need to “consider and contemplate the mystery that is faith and creation, and to strive for deeper knowledge and understanding of God’s relationship to humankind.” For the author, that his daughters may find meaning and purpose in their lives and may someday find “an internal peace with God” is more important than a specific belief system. He quotes from such sources as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Anne Frank, among others, in expressing his view that God exists within each person and encourages people to treat all creation with “respect and love”. “When we ignore the suffering of others,” he writes, “we ignore God.”
    It would be a mistake to conclude that the importance of faith to Ehlers and its prominence in his works could alienate nonreligious readers, on the contrary, his wise prose allows them to gain a greater understanding of the true nature of faith. He distills faith to its purest form, and, without the cloudiness of a specific religious doctrine, even a reader who doesn’t necessarily believe in God can understand and appreciate the importance of it. As a result, Life Goes On is sure to appeal to, and encourage greater understanding between, religious and nonreligious readers alike.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    This book is a fun, engaging, and thoughtful collection of essay

    This book is a fun, engaging, and thoughtful collection of essays that provide insight and perspective on many aspects of life, history, theology, and the ultimate philosopher's stone, baseball. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an open mind, a compassionate heart, and a love of learning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    ¿Life Goes On¿ is the book that everyone wishes they could write

    “Life Goes On” is the book that everyone wishes they could write about life. Mark Ehlers possesses both an easy straightforward writing style and an uncommon insight into the passages, joys and angst of our lives -- personal, political, philosophical and, inevitably, of baseball. The flow of these essays into each other reveal that all these categories are indeed related. Read together or separately, the essays radiate a common theme of humanity and inspiration certain to make you laugh, cry and reflect. It is an experience not to be missed.

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