THE ULTIMATE GIFT by Jim Stovall – Book Review

The Ultimate Gift

By Jim Stovall

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When I bought this book, I was shocked to find it’s size to be inversely proportional to the acclaim it possessed. To be frank, I’ve never even heard about Jim Stovall. And hence, the book came to be a surprise to me. Nonetheless, I am sure I will never be able to praise the book enough for any amount of it seems ever too low.

Many spiritual books have been written to influence readers and illuminate a path to tread a gleeful life like ‘A Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma, ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, etc. but neither has done even a jot of what ‘The Ultimate Gift’ did nor did they get even nearer to where it got. This book is one of its kind and is a must read for anyone. This is a book, I’m sure will accompany me in all my future endeavors as a supporting spiritual hand comforting my shoulder.

The story is narrated by an 80 aged lawyer named Hamilton who’s closest friend Red Stevens of same age dies, bequeathing his property to his family excepting his nephew James Stevens. And to James, he gives a peculiar gift that is far more valuable than all his property put together. That gift is a collection of CDs of Red Stevens addressing James teaching him the lessons of life that Red had learnt which made him achieve what he desired. These CDs have 12 lessons of life that James is intended to learn in a period of one year. These lessons range from work to love and money to friendship. They covers all aspects of life and mesmerize the reader by making his life simpler, zestful and zealous. I say this because it really transformed me and also those who read it on my suggestion and courteous enough to get back to me on it!

Unlike other books, where the lessons are pedantic and verbose and are told by a monk or a boy on pilgrimage to Egypt (yes, I am referring to The Alchemist), this story’s lessons are given by a rich, successful businessman Red Stevens (who wouldn’t want to be rich and successful?). More to it, the narration is very terse and the story, fast paced that would keep the reader interested throughout spellbound. Finally, ‘The Ultimate Gift’ is a key to anyone’s success, a path provider to live a full life and is a beautiful book to read. I bow in respect to this book and its author Jim Stovall.

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Mysterious Mornings – New Beginnings!!

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Beautiful morning.
Sun light scintillating.
Slate swiped clear:
Off with past’s many a fear!

A new beginning,
Light of hope glittering.
On the still and calm waters:
New hope, now my mind caters!

Egg shell breaking,
Out comes a new duckling:
Out of the restraining shell,
Stocked with a magical spell!

Morning rays strike,
Comforting – even and alike.
Though same old dreams:
Hope renewed, streams!!

Mysterious rays of morning sun,
Fresh energy on the run.
Mysterious sense of fervor:
New day – New armor!!

Oh friend, you better hark!
Fiend of the night so dark,
Evanescent with not a mark,
Beautiful mornings – New beginnings

Book review – uncle tom’s cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe

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The story begins in mid nineteenth century with two men negotiating a sale. The merchandise subject to sale was two black slaves.
The first chapter of the book itself sufficiently elicits how powerfully and insightfully persuasive Uncle Tom’s Cabin is. In fact, this book is the most read and remembered of book of America. It also has been credited to be one of the main reasons for outbreak of American civil war. Such was its impact.

Harriet Beecher Stowe had done a massive job in the book threading the story through the rivets of beautifully portrayed characters. Stowe acquaints the reader to various families (black and white), horrifying yet realistic scenarios, injustice, indulgence, ignorance, denigration, scornful moral turpitude, torture, beliefs, disbeliefs and importantly, thoughts and feeling of the starkly persecuted blacks of the time.

The book was released in the year 1853 when USA was getting crippled under the convulsions of slavery and released it was with unimaginable success. It stood out to be the second most sold book of nineteenth century while the Holy Bible was first (sales of bible were partially a result of Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s usage of it in the story many a time as the only source of solace for the troubled blacks). Such was its influence on the society that President Lincoln has been surprised by its denouements and met Beecher Stowe for discussions on the topic.

Tom, the main character is an obedient yet spiritually and religiously adamant slave who is traded off from one family to other and again to an other. While in the first two, the masters have been very affable and amiable, the last was a fiend, a devilishly wicked man (like most other white masters when they treated the black slaves.) This cruel masters torture in the end becomes the reason for wearing off of the life in Tom turning the book into a tragedy. In between this splendid story, the reader is introduced to many characters that seem so real that the story hovers in the mind even after the book is finished.

Any story is definitely incomplete without good narration and Stowe’s narration is hair raising. With an awe-inspiring story and a mind blowingly involving narration of it, even after 170 years of its release, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a beautiful read. No other book I feel, would leave the reader so acquiesced and satisfied.

Just as the facts show, this book of Stowe is one that survived undeterred through a century and a half years and is not going to reduce its readership and impact in a few hundreds of years. With all certitude, an enormously massive work.