Educated PDF Summary

Educated PDF SummaryA Memoir

What if you were born in a family with radical religious beliefs?

And what if you didn’t have a birth certificate until the age of 9 and were not allowed to go to school until 17 (and even then)?

Could you earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge?

This book reads as if a barely believable novel.

And yet – it is a memoir.

Educated by Tara Westover.

Who Should Read “Educated PDF Summary”? And Why?

This book should be a treat for anyone who likes to read amazing memoirs, such as Jeanette Wallis’ The Glass Castle, or the recently summarized Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan.

It will be even more interesting to those who’d like to understand the ways of life of a Mormon survivalist family.

Finally, it should prove a thought-provoking read for anyone who is interested in the power and necessity of knowledge and education.

Tara Westover Biography

Tara WestoverTara Westover is an American writer.

Born in rural Idaho, into a Mormon survivalist family, she spent her childhood wholly isolated from the outside world.

Since her father didn’t believe in schools (or hospitals), Westover didn’t have a chance to visit one until she was in her late teens. Even so, she managed to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge.

Educated, her first book, tells this story.

Find out more at


Being a Child in a Mormon Family

Tara Westover was born in a small Idaho farming town, the youngest of the seven children of Gene and Faye Westover (actually Val and Laree), Mormon survivalists with, well, let’s just (for lack of a better, inoffensive adjective) distinctive personalities.

For starters, Tara was born at home, and she was not issued a birth certificate; in fact, until she was 9, she might have just as well not been born, and nobody would have noticed.

In addition, Gene firmly believed that schools are just a way for the socialist government to brainwash individuals into obedient slaves of the system, which is why neither Tara nor her six siblings ever had a proper chance to experience education.

He didn’t believe in hospitals either, meaning even Tara’s concussions or burns were treated with herbs and home medicines.

He did believe in a Mormon God, though, and this God (like, unfortunately – and for some reason – most of the Gods) didn’t seem to be that fond of women. Their place was in the house, which is where Faye was all of the time.

Tara’s grandmother wanted a proper education for her youngest granddaughter, and, one day, when she was 7, she offered her a chance to escape to Arizona and go to school.

Tara stayed: not that surprisingly, even today she has fond memories of her family and her childhood.

Tyler’s Decision and the Effect on Tara

Three years later, Tara’s mindset suddenly changed.

It happened when her brother Tyler, the Westover’s third son, announced, soon after his 18th birthday, that he wanted to go to college.

Gene, of course, objected.

Both because Tyler’s older brothers Tony and Shawn were not that much around the house anymore, and because, well, school teaches you nothing about how to support a wife and quite a few kids.

And, also, because – well, the Illuminati and the Communists would want you to go to school.

However, Tyler persisted, and this inspired Tara – 10 at the time – to spend some more time reading, mostly the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.

Opening Herself to the World

Soon after Tyler, Tara’s older sister Audrey also left the house; and the only ones who stayed there were Luke, Richard, and her.

Due to the lack of helping hands, Gene had to move away from farming and Tara had to help him. So, already at 11, she was scraping old cars for parts.

However, she felt that she could do better, so one day, she posted a flyer at the local post office, offering her services as a babysitter.

This opened her to the world.

One of her clients, Mary, offered Tara an opportunity to visit a dance school; Tara enjoyed it, but Gene soon forbade it, believing dancing was immodest.

And you thought the premise of Footloose was wacky!

However, the dancing lessons led to voice lessons, and these were something even her father could find nothing wrong with.

Especially since they helped Tara wow the congregation at the local church on Sundays; she even got a part in a play at the local Worm Creek Opera House!

It’s the End of the World… as We Know It

As far as her father was concerned, Tara’s 13th birth should have been her last.

Not because she did something that drove him mad, but because it happened sometime during September 1999, and January 31st, 1999, should have been the last day for everybody on this planet.

Once again: he was not merely a Mormon, but also a Mormon Survivalist.

And as Hobbes feared nothing is worse than people who think they have had a revelation: no argument would convince them in the opposite.

Case in point: even when the end of the world didn’t come with the year 2000, Gene didn’t change his beliefs.

However, they were visibly shaken, so the family left Idaho for Arizona to visit Tara’s grandmother.

On the way to there, their van spun off the road and crashed into a field. Everyone survived, but Tara was badly hurt, even losing her consciousness for a while.

That mattered not one bit to Gene: it was still God’s and Nature’s job to cure Tara; and not doctors’.

Fortunately, even though Tara’s neck frequently locked up on her, eventually, she got out of it safe and sound.

However, untreated head injuries such as these may have contributed to the very unstable condition of Tara’s brother Shawn, who continually abused her and her sisters.

Prone to violence and as fanatic as his father, he once violently attacked Tara, waking her up from her sleep and dragging her by her hair from the bed.

The reason?

Tara had started wearing makeup and spending time with a guy named Charles.

Apparently, that is not appropriate for a 15-year-old girl.

Gene’s reaction?

A little short of “way to go, son!”

College, Finally

Encouraged by her brother Tyler, at 16, Tara finally decided to take the ACT Test (in case you don’t know, another standardized test for college admission in the US, similar to the SAT).

And she failed it, scoring 22 out of the 27 points she needed to get into Brigham Young University (BYU), a Utah-based university entirely owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the Mormons.

Considering the fact that she barely knew math, it wasn’t such a bad score; however, it was in relation to her dreams.

After her mother helped her figure out algebra and stuff, Tara retook the ACT.


Time to go to BYU!

Well, not exactly, said Gene. Apparently, God had told him personally that Tara would greatly displease Him if she went to college.

However, three days before her 17th birthday, she did, driven to BYU by her encouraging mother, Faye.

And there – she experienced shock after shock.

For example, her roommate Shannon wore pants that had the word “Juicy” on them; and Mary dared to shop on the Sabbath!

Oh, the blasphemy, the horror!

And the classes somehow seemed even scarier!

Tara took English, American history, Western civilization, religion, and music. As you might guess, she didn’t have that many problems with the latter two, but, to her, Western civilization was probably what Einstein’s theories are to you and me.

She barely understood the words in it.

A quick example: once, she stood up in her class before everyone only to ask her professor to explain to her what the word “Holocaust” meant.

The Education of Tara Westover

But Tara didn’t want to back down. She studied hard and, after the initial problems, eventually aced almost all of her exams.

The only exception was Western civilization.

Now, if you are like most people, you would probably interpret this along the lines of “OK, that’s probably not something for me.”

However, in the case of Tara, this basically meant the exact opposite: “I don’t know enough about this; maybe I should try and change that.”

And in time, she did.

And even though she had come to college to study music, she kept signing up for classes related to history and politics.

Her professors noticed her enthusiasm, and one of them referred her to a study-abroad program at the University of Cambridge.

Tara applied and, soon enough, she headed to King’s College, Cambridge, to study a course under Jonathan Steinberg.

Up to just a while ago, she didn’t even know the word “Holocaust,” and now Steinberg, a Holocaust-expert, was grading her words and ideas.

And he had only nice things to say about them, telling her that her final essay was one of the best he had ever seen in his long career. Because of this, he promised her to help her with her graduate application.

And that’s how Tara managed to win the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, only the third person to do so from BYU.

A student at the prestigious Trinity College, she became a celebrity back in Idaho, revered by almost everyone who had known her.

Everyone but her father Gene and her brother Shawn that is.

Family Troubles

Everything was going well after Tara returned to England, this time as a graduate student.

So, well, in fact, that Tara started feeling as if a new person, one who was allowed to drink coffee and wine, and even tell stories of her fabulously strange upbringing.

However, back at home, things were as curious and as dark as ever.

First, Gene suffered an accident which almost killed him and left him with severe burns all over his body; however, he refused medical help once again and, somehow, stayed alive.

Then, Tara received a letter from her sister Audrey, telling her that she was planning to confront her parents about the abuse from Shawn.

Tara stood by her side and came back home to testify in her favor.

However, Gene and Faye were left unconvinced by the claims of the sisters, even though Shawn had explicitly threatened them to kill them.

He repeated the threat by phone even after ceremoniously hugging Tara during the discussions with their parents.

Simply put, he was all but beyond treatment. As was Tara and Audrey’s father, who, as she learned during her psychology classes, suffered from a severe case of bipolar disorder, getting worse with every day.

If his gradually growing misogyny wasn’t enough of a proof for you, get this!

In the meantime, he and Faye had started a line of medicinal oils, a business which brought them not only a lot of money but also a lot of interest from big companies.

One of them offered Gene $3 million to buy the receipts.

Gene declined the offer.

The Meeting of the Two Taras

Her trips back to her house opened Tara’s eyes to one crucial thing: that there were now two Taras.

And as her parents were trying to get her soul back from England to fit her in the body of the 16-year-old Tara that once left Idaho, Tara’s soul was soaring to very new and different heights.

Ph.D. heights.

Much more importantly, through Wollstonecraft and Mill, Tara had finally realized that women are just as good as men:

I carried the books to my room and read through the night. I loved the fiery pages of Mary Wollstonecraft, but there was a single line written by John Stuart Mill that, when I read it, moved the world: ‘It is a subject on which nothing final can be known.’ The subject Mill had in mind was the nature of women. Mill claimed that women have been coaxed, cajoled, shoved and squashed into a series of feminine contortions for so many centuries, that it is now quite impossible to define their natural abilities or aspirations.

Even more, that she had been lied her whole life about so many different things, from schools to hospitals to religion.

She started reading about Mormonism much more fervently and with a much different mindset, and realized that, in relation to many other intellectual and religious movements, Mormonism was downright radical.

Speaking of –

When during her Ph.D. research, Tara won a visiting fellowship at Harvard, her parents (after somehow finding out) quickly appeared at the doorstep of her dorm room.

Apparently, Gene had another revelation: that Tara has been taken by Lucifer and that the only way for her to save herself was accepting his blessing and coming back to her hometown.

Educated PDF Summary Epilogue

“Everything I had worked for,” writes Westover, “all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind.”

And she goes on:

I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yielded now, I would lose more than an argument. I would lose custody of my own mind. This was the price I was being asked to pay, I understood that now. What my father wanted to cast from me wasn’t a demon: it was me.

That was a price she wasn’t interested in paying.

And though she suffered a mental breakdown in the process, spending day after day watching TV and doing nothing else, she persevered.

She decided to leave her family behind her and finish her thesis.

And it all came down to one not-that-very0good day, when, watching herself in the mirror, Tara realized that her old self had finally left her:

The decisions I made after that moment were not the ones she would have made. They were the choices of a changed person, a new self.
You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal.
I call it an education.

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“Educated PDF Quotes”

You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life. Click To Tweet First find out what you are capable of, then decide who you are. Click To Tweet The skill I was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not yet understand. Click To Tweet We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell. Click To Tweet I began to experience the most powerful advantage of money: the ability to think of things besides money. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There are really not enough superlative adjectives to describe Educated.

Alluring, courageous, heartbreaking, heartwarming, beautiful, propulsive, best-in-years, one-of-a-kind, fascinating, extraordinarily evocative… – these have all been used by numerous different reviewers.

And all justly.

A unique memoir, it’s undoubtedly an autobiography of a type you’ve never had the chance to even imagine, let alone read.

And yet, as a Vogue review noted, “despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”

“Fit to stand alongside the great modern memoirs” – wrote The Sunday Times.

And they are not exaggerating.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Brain on Fire PDF Summary

Brain on Fire PDF SummaryMy Month of Madness

While reading the life-story of young and intelligent Susannah Cahalan, we learned more about life and the axis around which our lives spin.

The author bends over backward to help the readers see through the lens of rationality and make decisions in their best interests.

Although this may sound like something you’ve already come across with – we guarantee you that the life-of-madness as described by Susannah will knock your socks off!

Stay tuned to dive into the medical encounters a young Susannah was compelled to embrace.

Who Should Read “Brain on Fire”? And Why?

It is an educational and highly inspirational book that lifts the veils on the struggles and challenges a young girl had to overcome in order to tackle her illness.

As such, we find “Brain on Fire” mind-blowing and incredibly useful for the wider audience and especially for those suffering/have suffered from brain inflammatory disorders.

It will act as a wind at your back, and something that will urge you to propel forward despite the odds.

We loved it!  

Susannah CahalanAbout Susannah Cahalan

It is somewhat strange to cover Susannah Cahalan’s biography as most of this book serves pretty much the same purpose. However, we’ll try to mention a few things not included in this summary.

Susannah Cahalan is an American journalist and author born in 1985. Even a movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz was released on February 22, 2017.

“Brain on Fire PDF Summary”

The trilogy of Brain on Fire leans on the author’s hallucinatory and paranoid urges triggered by an uncommon disease. It puts her sanity into question and makes her even more vulnerable to external phenomena. Her family and those closest to her start to doubt her prudence and mental stability.

The key leitmotif that serves as an axis around which all the events circle is the struggle to overcome this inferiority. Namely, the elements which comprise the basis of this plot are weaved together and affected almost interchangeably.

As it turns out, the narrative is brought into line with the voice of Cahalan who finds it unbearably tricky to get back on its feet upon returning home.

She slides from one stage to the next in an effort to hasten the recovery process. She has been released from the hospital, but it would take some time before she could relate to the problem.

The other not so emphasized parts of this book are the diaries, journals, texts, testimonies and memories of those closest to her.

The rest of it is mainly traced to medical records linked to Cahalan’s health swings. You can also find writing and texts that were actually written by herself as she battled her way through the sickness.

One can say with some confidence that this is not as simple as ABC to deliver Cahalan’s life story in an easy-digestible manner. To be fair, we’ll go with a detailed but on the point description of what caused the illness to take hold of her life.  

Above all, the words conveyed, depict Susannah as a person whose life-trajectory deserves a special focus.

The whole journey commences with a brief portrayal of Cahalan and the medical predicament which precludes her of normal activities. First and foremost, the reader will bump into some self-destructive mindset fueled by paranoid thoughts.

Cahalan is not aware of course of the impulsive urge that compels her to go with the stream while neglecting the idea of recovery.

She keeps this little secret and refuses to inform anyone of her situation.  

The illness starts to take over her lifestyle in a matter of months as the pain intensifies and the whole idea of keeping it a secret is inconceivable.

From the outset, she firmly makes a stand against these symptoms, but the inner breakdown escalates with no end in sight.

The stigma attached to the American healthcare system is in the limelight as well. As you move onward with the book, you’ll realize that Cahalan’s skepticism regarding the expertise of the doctors is well justified as they refuse to dig up the problem and scratch only the surface.

Cahalan guides her audience through the painful experience she’s had with the medical treatment. Her family is devastated, and they look for a doctor who actually is interested in listening and coming up with a useful diagnosis.

Death lurks around the corner, as a potential solution is nowhere to be found. Cahalan only wants a doctor who is fundamentally interested in rendering a professional medical service, unlike all the others whose ego impairs their judgment.   

Is it too much to ask for humane treatment?

A point often overlooked was the fact that the main trigger proved to a physical one with symptoms which are not consistent and may delude the person suffering from it.

In other words, the layperson may not be aware of anything even when symptoms start to crop up. With that being said, the nature of the illness alongside the NMDAS-receptor encephalitis are put in the spotlight as Cahalan tries to portray an accurate picture of her medical condition.

But let’s take a few steps back and trace it to the beginning.

Susannah Cahalan’s professional and personal endeavors were only matched by her eloquent appearance.

She obtained her college degree from Washington University; mostly inspired and psyched up to take risks without any concealed tricks up in her sleeves.

A smart and cheerful 24-year old woman residing and working in New York City had a bright future ahead of her.

Hired at the age of 17 to work for the NY Times, she quickly rose to prominence due to her proclivity for hard work often under pressure. Capable of wringing out the story from not too friendly individuals such as rapists and kidnappers was her specialty.

Many pondered about Cahalan’s sudden shift in behavior and the instigators which induced the change in the first place.

It turns out that Cahalan had insect bites on her arm. Meanwhile, New York City was swarming with similar incidents as the bedbug plague wreaked mayhem in the Big Apple. She believed that her studio is also under attack and it would be hard for the city to avert a potential catastrophe.

She called upon an exterminator to get rid of the bugs and spray all across the place. Upon not finding a single one, Cahalan insisted that it’s necessary to throw around some insecticide or scatter it just in case they crop up!

At first, she tried to hide the fact that she has bug bites out of fear and mostly judgment. It is not easy to come out of the woodwork and just confess everything to people you hardly know.

The “bed-bug” incident was just the cream of the crop as she started to hallucinate and grow increasingly paranoid about the environment. The overly suspicious behavior turned a proficient and intelligent woman into an underdog.

The egregious misconduct didn’t seem normal to the people with whom she worked with, as she fell out of their favor.

Those closest to her, including Susannah’s boyfriend, Stephen peered into her soul in an attempt to locate the issue. As time went by, they became increasingly concerned about her emotional and mental situation.

They didn’t know that the worst is yet to come.

There wasn’t anything they could do to alleviate the problem despite their utmost concern for the well-being of Susannah. Outwardly, she started to exhibit an odd behavior by twisting her hands and mumbling.

Without any remedy in hand, the illness progressed. The doctors failed to spot the issue as they asserted that the tests are just fine and no preliminary action is required. Without any professional assistance, her health deteriorated.

In the eleventh hour, Susannah was transferred to NYU’s medical school hospital. She spent 4 weeks in the hospital before any official report or test about the disease was made. Doctors suspected that she may be suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or have sustained some physical ailments.

With her life on the line, a doctor, known for his ability to unpuzzle similar medical mysteries was summoned.  

Dr. Najjar was able to nail down the causes for Cahalan’s condition in a short amount of time. He used the “clock test” which helped him assess the degree to which Cahalan’s brain is infected.

She was instructed to draw a clock containing all the numbers from 1-12. Immediately as she started drawing, he spotted the issue. He concluded that Susannah’s right-side of the brain is infected and they need to react quickly.

Dr. Najjar immediately did a brain tissue biopsy which only upheld his claims made earlier. The report was conveyed to Dr. Dalmau who had experience with similar disorders and have worked with patients suffering from brain inflammations.

In “tough-to-grasp” terms – the disease was labeled as anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis. In layman’s terms, the brain is under attack by the antibodies. It’s literally one big internal chaos which induced shifts in behavior, physical and mental inconsistencies.

Now, they had to figure out the possible treatment that could help her in the recovery process. The doctors were relieved because at least now, they had a good understanding of the problem.

The road turned out to be a tough one, so the doctors decided to ponder heavily before each decision is made.

How did Susannah fall victim to the disease was a mystery to them?! It included several possibilities, all of which with a significant percentage of probability.

Cahalan stood back up again – seven months since she first became infected with the disease. Her health condition was on the rise as she made up her mind to go back to work.

Educated from this experience, Cahalan wrote an article to embolden those suffering from similar disorders and invite them to share the problem as soon as possible. This article reached many people, and Susannah was lauded for her willingness to share with the world the process she’s been through.

An experience that almost cost her life was actually the turning point of hers – now Cahalan sees the world with different eyes, dazed in awe at the fragility of existence.

Key Lessons from “Brain on Fire”

1.      Act as quickly as possible
2.      You know yourself better
3.      Get back on your feet

Act as quickly as possible

We are not entitled to lecture anyone but as far as we can tell, if Susannah reacted quickly and informed those closest to her about the mood swings, perhaps the outcome would’ve been different.

We are referring to lesser struggle and better response to the situation.

You know yourself better

Sometimes we question our mindset and the thoughts accumulated there. Anyway, you should always be one step ahead of everything that is presented before you!

In other words, we are saying that you should be the observer of thoughts, not merely someone who is fully engaged in self-talk.

Get back on your feet

Even when the world collapses right in front of you, you must pluck up that courage and make a comeback – live through the tough times.

Maintain your composure and ponder about a possible twist in your favor.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Brain on Fire Quotes”

We are, in the end, a sum of our parts, and when the body fails, all the virtues we hold dear go with it. Click To Tweet I had asked him many times why he stayed, and he always said the same thing: “Because I love you, and I wanted to, and I knew you were in there.” No matter how damaged I had been, he had loved me enough to still see me somewhere inside. Click To Tweet The brain is a monstrous, beautiful mess. Click To Tweet There are few other experiences that can bring two people closer than staring death in the face. Click To Tweet It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If we are completely honest, then we must say that this story left us speechless. We are not in a position to discuss the narrative nor the plot which in our opinion is perfectly delivered by Susannah.

We leave you be the judge of this astonishing and life-altering memoir of a woman who defeated a rare illness.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDF Summary

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDFImmortality can sometimes be construed as an act of deity, performed and nurtured in pre-modern societies.

When you put words like eternity or timelessness in the spotlight, people often think of heroes and people who are regarded as legends.

This book is all about a woman whose treatment will echo across centuries for her unplanned contribution to medicine.

Who Should Read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”? And Why?

Don’t blame us for putting a poetic spin on this story. When you read it – you’ll immediately sense why we are so amazed by the sequence of events which illustrate this medical struggle.

The bottom line is – “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a breathtaking work straightforwardly delivered to us!

Regardless of your whereabouts, tradition, or culture – this book is for you!

Rebecca SklootAbout Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is a freelance writer born on September 19th, 1972. She specialized in medicine and science which partly explains why she decided to cover Henrietta’s life story.

She visited several Universities across the US, teaching students the principles of creative writing and journalism.

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks PDF Summary”

Rebecca Skloot didn’t have any clue regarding the life-trajectory of Henrietta Lacks. She first came across her name in a biology class, and since then the curiosity only soared. No one actually had much information about Henrietta, and Skloot was the one plunged into learning.

Being engrossed entirely in Non-fiction writing laid the foundation for Rebecca Skloot to use this strong-willingness and write the story of Henrietta.

Henrietta Lacks was only four when her mother passed away in 1924, leaving her to take care of herself from an early age. A throwback to 1920 – Henrietta was born to a relatively poor African-American family, as the eight children.

Not long after Henrietta’s mother died, her father makes up his mind to move to Clover, Virginia where he separates the family by giving the children to relatives. Henrietta goes to Tommy Lacks (her grandfather) at which house she shares a bed with her cousin.

This relationship turns into a sexual one, right about the time Henrietta is 14. She gives birth to a boy named Lawrence, and a few years later she conceives another child. Lucile is born short-afterward whose health-conditions deteriorates as she suffers from severe mental disadvantages.

Not seeking any medical assistance, Henrietta and Day decide to raise the child by themselves. Later on, they welcome a third child into their lives named Sonny.

In 1951, Henrietta realized that her due date is near, and she gives birth to yet another baby girl – Deborah. After the birth, she senses an intense pain in her womb but decides to ignore it due to lack of trust in doctors.

Right about the time, Henrietta gives birth to a fifth child (Joe), the pain intensifies. She now feels beleaguered and is compelled to seek medical assistance. Henrietta is diagnosed with a tumor as big as a grapefruit.

A gynecologist (Howard Jones) at Johns Hopkins explains that “something” quite big is attached to her cervix and recommends radium treatment.

Inquisitive regarding the process of cancer-treatment, Jones and Richard TeLinde (the Boss) take samples of Henrietta’s blood cells.

Without Henrietta’s consent, they pass the cancerogenous cells to George Gey (a scientist who thrives on finding new medical solutions). Up until now, he has failed in creating the so-called immortal cells which will help the upcoming generations.

In the meantime, Henrietta is subjected to cancer-treatment – not knowing that Gey and Mary (his assistant) are trying to separate the cells, but to no avail. With little hopes of success, lucks turns around in their favor.

After splitting the cells, Gey finally manages to create the first-ever sequence of immortal cells – labeled as the HeLa.

Much of the success, should be credited to George’s wife Margaret whose sterilization methods have helped the process fueled by the necessary tools.

HeLa cells’ use is without any doubt, and it continues to gain the necessary momentum. The experiments launched in the fields of oncology, biology, genetics, and others helped the society to progress in medicine.

The very harvesting happened without any formal approval from Henrietta.

Henrieta undergoes radium treatments in an effort to kills or destroys the cancerogenous cells. At Johns hospital, she is advised to go-through daily X-ray analysis, to increase the chances of success. In the meantime, she finally plucks up her courage and informs her family of the medical predicament.

After the X-rays, she is exhausted and goes to Margaret’s house to sleep. The doctors don’t realize that her stomach begins to puff up, as tumors form in the abdomen area.

Several weeks later, doctors claim that she is free of cancer, but Henrietta dies shortly afterward.

Gey requests a full autopsy and wants to procure more blood samples. In addition, the Lackses (Henrietta’s family) know nothing of her involvement in this large-scale medical research. Elsie, who is also sick is sent to a facility to get proper medical help.

Nonetheless, feeding 4 children is too much for Day Lacks at this point. To help his family, Lawrence drops out of high school to enlist in the US Army and is soon dispatched to Vietnam.

Day calls upon Henrietta’s relatives Ethel and her husband to take care of the remaining three children.

Ethel, who wasn’t very fond of Henrietta, abuses the children at every opportunity. Worked to the bone, and often beaten, life is hard for Deborah, Sonny, and Joe.

They are even starved to submission, while Lawrence knows nothing about it.

Galen even sexually harasses Deborah for years, while Joe has anger problems. Upon witnessing the mistreatment, and injuries caused by Ethel, Lawrence picks up his siblings and decides to raise them by himself.

Sonny starts on the right foot, graduates from high-school and even enlists in the Air Force. However, he soon falls into drug problems and is arrested. Deborah, on the other hand, begins dating Cheetah with whom she has a child.

She even decides to settle down and agrees to marry him. Deborah gives birth to a second child, but Cheetah (her husband) can no longer support his family as he starts abusing drugs and becomes increasingly aggressive towards Deborah.

Deborah is no pushover because she learned how to defend herself while living with Galen. She even pushes him down the stairs with the intention of killing him at first, but then she subdues this urge. Deborah files for divorce and becomes a single mom.

Joe, on the other hand, experiences emotional instability caused by Ethel’s abuse. He joins the military but is expelled soon for exchanging blows with too many fellow soldiers.

He can flare up at any moment, and upon his return to Virginia, Joe commits murder and is arrested.

He spends most of his time in solitary and ponders about life. Joe gives thought to the possibility of converting to Islam, and that’s what he does.

Upon release, he struggles to rejoin society and find a stable job.

He is forced to volunteer at Johns Hopkins (medical facility) in order to make some money. Medicine is revolutionized by Gey’s recent discovery, as many scientists and researchers think of selling the cells with a single intention in mind – to make money.

Tuskegee Institute is converted into a factory for HeLa Cells, where the inhumane syphilis studies were conducted.

Journalists want to know more about the origins of the HeLa cells, and the colleagues at the institute are not sure whether it is smart to mention Henrietta.

Not wanting to reveal her true identity, they give some false names. In the meantime, many research operations are held at the center.

Chester Southam even begins injecting cancer cells into patients without their consent of course, and his unethical method is compared to Hitler’s experimentation on Jews.

It became clear that the Jewish doctors are not to keen to proceed with the research and they hand in their resignation.

New policies are enacted in the 1960s, according to which – researchers and doctors are obliged to obtain consent from their patients prior to conducting any kinds of experiments or collecting blood samples.

In the meantime, renowned scientists manage to form the ATCC (American Type Culture Collection). By 1966, Gartler is able to prove that HeLa cells aggressive advancement overshadow that of other cells, and the researchers are compelled to walk out on this medical outlook.

In 1970, Gey himself was diagnosed with cancer and died a few short months afterward. It is after Nixon’s war on cancer that the Lacks family hears of HeLa cells. They don’t know anything of Henrietta’s involvement and nurture deep distrust toward doctors.

It became crystal clear that doctors and scientists alike are in it for the money. The Lackses are tested for cancer, but it is all in vain. Deborah even tries to educate herself on HeLa cells, but that is easier said than done.

In 1984, another scandal emerged as John Moore files a lawsuit against a doctor who harvested his cells without proper consent. It’s estimated that the patented and reproduced cells are worth approximately $3 billion.

The court upheld the doctor’s rights and rules against Moore. The Lackses didn’t file one of their own, as they don’t have the details regarding the whole HeLa process.  

The first contacts between Rebecca and Deborah emerge in 1999 over the phone. They talk for almost an hour when Deborah is instructed to end the chat without further warning. Skloot even goes to Baltimore to meet with Sonny, but he never shows up.

On the way over to Lacks Town, Rebecca bumps into Cottie (Henrietta’s cousin) who warns her that the Lackses hate talking about medical stuff. Finally, Sonny agrees to meet her and takes her to see Lawrence as well.

Ten months after the initial contacts were made, Deborah and Skloot decide to continue where they left off. Deborah agrees to give an interview but stipulates certain conditions to be met:

  • Skloot mustn’t twist Henrietta’s name as previous researchers did
  • She must find out what happened to Elsie

Skloot agrees to these terms as they continue their search. The next day, they decide to pay a visit to Zakariyya (Joe’s new name after converting to Islam) a visit. He is bitter and irritated but keen to share his thoughts on HeLa Cells.

The three of them, visit the Christoph Lengauer’s cancer lab at Johns Hopkins, where the Lackses for the first time can take a look at cell division. Accompanied by Deborah, Skloot hit the road the next day heading toward Crownville – the place where Elsie lived.

They don’t hear anything good about Crownsville, and most of the files which could lead them to Elsie are lost. After conducting a throughout investigation, they do come across a photo of Elsie with hands wrapped around her neck.

They later decide to pay a visit to Deborah’s cousin Gary. Rebecca returns the other day to break words with Gary regarding the whole thing about Henrietta and Elsie.

In the meantime, Rebecca and Deborah became close friends and share the fruits of their investigation. Deborah’s health deteriorates over time, and Rebecca tries not to expose her to any additional stress and begins to hide some facts.

Deborah suffered a stroke while in church, but survives thanks to her grandson’s reaction. Things don’t go in the right direction for the Lackses as Gary, Day and Cooties die one after the other. Sonny, on the other hand, has health problems and needs to pay a $125,000 hospital bill.

Deborah works full time to help her daughter earn a living, but struggles to keep up the pace. Skloot calls to inform her that the book is finally finished and is going to be published in the near future. She dies soon after, and the rest is history.

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“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes”

But I tell you one thing, I don't want to be immortal if it mean living forever, cause then everybody else just die and get old in front of you while you stay the same, and that's just sad. Click To Tweet Some things you got to release. Gary said. The more you hold them in, the worse you get. When you release them, they got to go somewhere else. The Bible says He can carry all that burden. Click To Tweet We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph. Click To Tweet I keep with me all I know about you deep in my soul, because I am part of you, and you are me. Click To Tweet Like I'm always telling my brothers, if you gonna go into history, you can't do it with a hate attitude. You got to remember, times was different. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Taking time off to scan through Henrietta’s life story is definitely well-worth the energy.

We urge you to take a quick glance at the events which throw light upon the partial effectiveness of the cancer treatment known to society.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind PDF Summary

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind PDFCreating Currents of Electricity and Hope

If you think the odds are against you, you should hear the story of the boy with a bag of hopes!

The book’s narrative spins around one man’s journey to technological breakthroughs and life-encounters that shaped his mission.

Climb aboard!

Who Should Read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”? And Why?

Unlike most other books which are better suited for some than others, this one is most definitely going to spark that fighting spirit inside you.

It will be a huge mistake not to read the story of William Kamkwamba premised in “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”

It surely covers one of the most intriguing storylines we have ever bumped into.

William KamkwambaAbout William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

William Kamkwamba is a Malawian author, engineer, and innovator born on August 5th, 1987. He rose to popularity in 2007, when he somehow managed to build a wind turbine and generate enough power to supply a few electrical appliances in his house – literally out of garbage!

Bryan Mealer is a correspondent born in Odessa, Texas.


Chapter One

Prior to William’s enlightenment in science, he was fearful of magic. When he was six, a boy next door gave him a bubble gum, not aware that it was stolen – he took it. The next day, a trader knocks on the door trying to get to the bottom of who stole the pack of gums.

Terrified of a potential curse, William runs into the forest and tries vomit up the gum. After not being able to do that, he confesses everything to his dad, who later apprises the trader that William was not aware of the gum’s questionable origins. Trywell (William’s dad) pays a full week’s wages to compensate for the loss.

Trywell, William’s father, is not a superstitious man but loves to tell traditional magic stories.

One of his favorites revolves around the Battle of Kasungu – according to which a young princess is killed by a rhino, and then a magic hunter is hired to put an end to the threat.

Chapter Two

Trywell prefers to be a traveling trader, rather than a farmer under the rule of President Hastings Banda who freed Malawy from Britain.

This new system of authoritative governance suits the traders and pretty much every tier of Malawi society. Trywell shares his encounters with the Yao (Muslim Traders) who rage terror on Chewa people in an effort to bring them under their submissive rule.

Without David Livingstone (Scottish Missionary), the conflict between Chewa and the Yao would still be in full swing – even today. Trywell manages to resist the temptation to gamble and shies away from prostitutes while on the move. As a result, he earns the nickname – The Pope.

He enjoys good music and even ends up spending a night in jail after managing to overpower 12 security guards while attending a concert.

He agrees on converting to Christianity to get out of prison and live a better life for him and his family.

Chapter Three

About the time William is 9 years old, the family is saddened by the loss of Uncle John. Later that day, William’s other uncles Musaiwale and Socrates arrive and manage to organize a proper funeral for John.

Mister Ngwata comes out of the closet and contends that now the village should show solidarity and help John’s children with basic needs such as clothing, food, and school. While addressing the crowd, the gravediggers have dug up a hole in a traditional Malawi style, to put John’s coffin down.

This sequence of events caused by Uncle John’s death leaves many things unsettled. Life on the farm becomes hard, and the entire family suffers because Jeremiah (John’s eldest son) doesn’t have what it takes to harvest the crops and look after the farm.

In the meantime, President Muzuli enacts new policies regarding farming. Simultaneously, William can no longer count on outside help to grow tobacco, because his family can’t afford additional workers.

Chapter Four

It is 2000, William (13-years old), Gilbert, and Geoffrey are all grown up and spend less time hunting and more time playing bawo – a traditional Malawi game. He is also passionate about soccer, and cheers for MTL Nomads; but his enthusiasm wavers as he grows older.  

William and Geoffrey are keen to find out how radios and other machinery works. They even go as far as dismantling and then reconstructing the radios to find the secret sauce.

Through trial and error, they learn how to connect circuit board by utilizing plastic and wires. In a little while, they launch their own radio-fixing business but need a stable power source. They search for batteries even in trash cans and are discouraged when no elderly can explain how the engines work.

William gets up at 4 am every day, to take advantage of the morning-breeze and produce enough crop that could last for an entire year. He goes to bed each night dreaming about his tech-oriented ambitions.

Chapter Five

William tries to untangle the clues on how to make the radio work. Bicycle dynamo seems like a feasible option, and he reckons that by attaching small metal lamps to the wheels, he can turn the light switch on.

Things start on the wrong foot at first, but in next to no time the radio works. It is of crucial importance to mention that almost 98% of all Malawians have no access to electricity and as a result, they hit the bed when it gets dark.

Deforestation is the main culprit for power shortages, and it occurs due to the need for making tobacco fields. Gilbert, unlike most families, can afford electricity, and William is interested to find out how a single touch can light the entire place.

He decides to focus on school, for the time being, because getting good grades will pave the way for success. One day, accompanied by Gilbert, William visits the trading center. There, he lays eyes upon many women who cannot feed their families and offer to work for anyone on the fields.

Trywell says to William that the (Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation) has enough food surplus in case of shortages, and will distribute it to the peasants.

Nonetheless, this enthusiasm is soon shattered, when William overhears that President Banda has sold the grain reserves to foreign countries.

Chapter Six & Seven

Agnes (William’s mother) gives birth to another baby girl. At first, they are preoccupied with the name, as they believe a meaningful name will help her through life.

On Sunday, Agnes daze at men who break words with Annie and castigates her for her wrongdoings – since Malawian women aren’t allowed to speak with men without permission.

She explains that they ask for directions, but later when Agnes returns from the market, she finds a letter in Annie’s room. Agnes frowns as she rereads the letter in which Annie apprises them of her decision to tie the knot with Mike (a teacher).

Both Agnes and Trywell react outrageously, but there’s little they can do at this point.

The price of maize is on the rise; people starve and do unimaginable things to survive. One father sells his two daughters; women are attacked on their way home and deprived of the food they’ve purchased – literally, there is a lot of scamming with no end in sight.  

Agnes is no longer able to make many hotcakes, and the family starts to lose money. The government continues to promote ineptitude in dealing with the crisis, and people begin to withdraw money from the banks for fear of being scammed on another field as well.

Sadly, the students cannot concentrate on the studies, and William soon finds out that it’s a lot harder to deal with hunger in school rather than on the field. With no money to pay the school fees, William informs Gilbert that he’ll walk away.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Summary

Chapter Eight & Nine

In the next chapter, the author describes the death of Khamba (William’s dog).

A several weeks after Khamba’s demise – hell breaks loose in terms of a cholera epidemic. The situation is so severe that people die within a time-frame of 5-6 hours after the first symptoms.

The Malawi communities crumble deeper on a daily basis, either from disease or hunger. Trywell starts to lose weight rapidly, and Agnes forbids her children to weigh themselves.

The next harvest of dowe and pumpkins brings people from the brink of death. The town starts to rejuvenate as people enjoy chattering about many things but it will take more time for the village to heal itself.

As everyday life goes on, students enroll back in school programs. Unfortunately for William, his family still doesn’t have enough money for him to continue learning. He reckons that in order to catch up with his classmates, he should start reading.

Gilbert gives him the lowdown on these English books, but it is too hard for William to learn everything on his own. William continues exploring many books including “Explaining Physics” which he finds amusing and educational.

He begins to ponder about the utility of a windmill and how it can act as a power generator to replace the kerosene lamps. William needs a dynamo to build the prototype but lacks the funds. Helped by Gilbert and armed with knowledge, he begins to locate the missing pieces for his windmill.

Chapter Ten & Eleven

Trywell wants his son to go to school because he knows that relying on the mercy of the harvest is a tough life to live. Headmaster Phiri informs everybody that the grace period is over, and the students have to pay a yearly subscription in order to attend the classes.

Unable to cover the expenses due to the debts incurred during the time of the famine, William is expelled. He goes back to the crops, and have their best year. They stock up on supplies while William begins to work on his windmill.

He spends time in the library, trying to understand how the nuts and bolts can be connected to the blades of the rotor. At one point, William realizes that only a generator separates him from having the full collection.

Gilbert manages to procure one, and the build-up commences. They start by creating the frame and attaching the bicycle and dynamo to the tractor fan.

People gather around and spread the rumor that William is crazy. To everyone’s shock, the light-bulb flickers and people scream in joy and amazement.

For the next couple of months, people from all over the country come to see this invention with their own eyes.

Chapter Twelve & Thirteen

William now faces a tough challenge ahead – to charge his cousin’s phone. Evidently, it will take more power than usual. He tries to circumvent the lack of power by building a step-up transformer, like the ones located in Europe and America.

After two months, he finally manages to purchase a battery. To charge it, he is compelled to shift from AC to DC by utilizing a diode from an old radio. He has to deal with many problems that his windmill generates, but he is willing to find a long-term solution.

In like manner, he looks high and low to find another potential project. He sets his heart on building a radio-transmitter. While engrossed in his technological endeavors, his mother decides to hit the road with an intention in mind to visit her parents.

He comes back infected with malaria.

The whole Malawian society is swarming with infection and death. There are some severe health problems such as the spread of HIV added to the threat of bad harvest.

Despite the present predicament, William is summoned and designated as the head of a science club due to his accomplishments.

Chapter Fourteen & Fifteen

Dr. Mchazime arrives at Wimbe and asks to speak with William. He wants to know more about the windmill boy and even invites a renowned journalist to interview him. The journalist is eager to know more of William’s vision of Malawi, and how this power-supply generator will make that come true.

The Kamkwamba family is excited and gets together around the radio to hear of William’s latest endeavors.

His work appeared on many newspapers and even picks up International fame. With the help of Dr. Mchazime, William is scheduled to appear at TEDGlobal.

Tom Rielly, is bewildered and impressed by William’s achievements, especially if you take into consideration his educational background. During the summit, William is uplifted by the presence of many young Africans who share their ideas that could put an end to the plight of millions.

Many people are keen to fund William’s future projects and education. With the money he receives, he helps his parents get proper medical care, and even go as far as paying Gilbert for his school tuition.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Epilogue

William is on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa. He ought to address the economic situation in developing countries at the World Economic Forum (2008) on Africa.

His path is weaved around the idea of prosperous Africa while erasing the mistakes from the past.

William expands on the process which led to the creation of the windmill, and even briefs president Mutharika about the path he alongside Geoffrey and Gilbert had to cross to make it work.

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“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind PDF Quotes”

So many things around you are reusable. Where other see garbage, I see opportunity. Click To Tweet I went to sleep dreaming of Malawi, and all the things made possible when your dreams are powered by your heart. Click To Tweet Few people realize this, but cutting down the trees is one of the things that keeps us Malawians poor. Click To Tweet Cool! Where did you get such an idea? The library. Click To Tweet Maize is just another word for white corn, and by the end of this story, you won't believe how much you know about corn. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This life-altering and mind-blowing story revolve around a single quote – If you want to make it, all you have to do is try!

It sounds like a straightforward route, but many of us veer off course. Let William’s path inspire you and help you achieve your goals.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Tuesdays with Morrie Summary

Tuesdays with Morrie SummaryAn Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson

We featured this book on our list of most inspirational books ever written, and we never got the chance to summarize it for you.

Time to right that wrong.

Join us on a few unforgettable Tuesdays with Morrie.

Who Should Read “Tuesdays with Morrie”? And Why?

As its subtitle suggests, Tuesdays with Morrie is about a relationship between a dying old man and an unhappy young man – a professor and a former student – “and life’s greatest lesson.”

And this lesson covers topics such as love and happiness, marriage and friendships, regrets and loss – and, ultimately, death.

In other words, that’s not a hyperbole in the subtitle: you may, in fact, learn life’s greatest lesson from this book.

And neither are the ones in the following two sentences: everybody should read Tuesdays with Morrie; because Morrie’s lessons can certainly change your life.

Let’s just say it this way: we would have loved to have Morrie as our professor; and, in a way, after finishing this book, we kind of feel like we did.

About Mitch Albom

Mitch AlbomMitch Albom is an American journalist, author, screenwriter, musician, and TV and radio broadcaster.

He made his name as a sports columnist for Detroit Free Press, becoming one of the most award-winning sports journalists of his time. In fact, the Associated Press Sports Editors awarded him best feature writing honors 7 times and named him the nation’s best sports columnist a record 13 times!

His first non-anthology book was simply titled Bo, an autobiography of football coach Bo Schembechler, co-written with him. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller, just like his second book, Fab Five.

However, the real breakthrough for Albom came after Tuesdays with Morrie was published in 1997. One of the bestselling memoirs of all time, the book remained on the New York Times bestselling list for over four years, an unprecedented success for a book of its kind. Unsurprisingly, the book was turned into an eponymous TV movie, the most watched television film of 1999.

Six years after Tuesdays with Morrie, Albom published The Five People You Meet in Heaven, another resounding success. Once again, it became a television movie in 2004, which, once again, was the most watched TV film of the year.

Five more books followed: For One More Day, Have a Little Faith, The Time Keeper, The First Phone Call from Heaven and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.

Albom has so far founded several charities both in Detroit and Haiti.

Find out more at and

“Tuesdays with Morrie Summary”

Mitch and Morrie, 1979

Tuesdays with Morrie opens with a college memory.

Mitch Albom, the book’s narrator, tells us what happened after his 1979 graduation from Brandeis University. After receiving his diploma, Mitch gifts his favorite professor Morrie Schwartz a monogrammed briefcase.

It is more than a token of gratitude; it is a token of love and respect. And it comes with a promise: Mitch assures his moved-to-tears professor that he will keep in touch no matter what happens.

Mitch, 1995

Sixteen years later, we find Mitch living a mediocre and unfulfilling life.

But if you think that means that he is some unsuccessful schmuck without a job and someone to care for him – think again. Or, better yet, read his biography above.

If you don’t want to scroll up, then let us tell you what’s happening with Mitch in the year of 1995. In a sentence: he is a 37-year-old well-paid nationwide-famous sports writer with a loving wife (Janine) and a pretty hectic schedule.

Since he’s always on the road on reporting assignments, he doesn’t’ have that much time for his wife; and, even though he has promised her children, he never seems to think it’s the right time to have them.

All in all, he’s living the life you probably dream about until you actually start living it.

Morrie, 1995

And one night, as he is disinterestedly flipping the channels on his TV, Mitch happens upon a show featuring none other than his favorite college professor! It’s a Nightline interview with Ted Koppel – the first of three – and it both astounds and saddens Mitch.

And here’s why:

You see, from the interview, Mitch finds out that Morrie has been diagnosed with ALS, which is short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which, in turn, is a technical term for something more widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

If you still don’t know which debilitating disease we have in mind, then it’d suffice to say that we’re talking about the disease Stephen Hawking suffered from.

Let’s make that even more heartbreaking for you: Morrie’s favorite hobby – as he tells Koppel on the Nightline interview – is dancing.

Mitch and Morrie, 1995: The First Meeting

Mitch is overwhelmed with memories and feelings.

Soon, he contacts Morrie and decides to visit him in Boston. More specifically: West Newton, Massachusetts.

Their first meeting?

Well, a bit anticlimactic.

Namely, Mitch delays greeting his professor – i.e., someone who has effectively changed his life with no interest to get anything in return – because of a phone talk with his producer.

He still regrets this. But he regrets nothing since.

Mitch’s Sobering Wimbledon Experience

You see, shortly after Mitch’s first meeting with Morrie – at the time, all but planned to be the last as well – Mitch is sent on a reporting assignment to London. It’s the end of June 1995, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for some Wimbledon action.

However, Mitch can’t stop thinking about Morrie and their first discussion. And, one day, as he is knocked over by a crowd of reporters racing to catch a glimpse of then celebrity couple Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields, he suddenly realizes that he is on the wrong place chasing the wrong thing.

It’s Morrie he needs to be with.

And it’s Morrie he calls the minute he arrives in Detroit and finds out that the newspaper union is on strike and that his report from Wimbledon isn’t even going to get published.

Soon, the arrangement is made: Mitch will return to Morrie’s house every Tuesday until Morrie is able to talk, and they will discuss the things that really matter.

The last lesson. The most important one.

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Morrie Schwartz, 1916 – 1995

Throughout Mitch and Morrie’s discussions – extending over a period of fourteen Tuesdays – we get a glimpse of both Morrie’s life and their relationship during the college years.

And we learn that life wasn’t that generous to Morrie.

The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, he was a poor, but precocious child. Since his father didn’t know how to read and his brother David was an infant, when he was merely eight years old, Morrie was forced to read aloud the telegram informing the family of his mother’s death.

Morrie’s father, Charlie Schwartz, was incapable of providing him and his younger brother David in no manner whatsoever: neither financially, nor emotionally. Which made the next two years of Morrie’s life a bit hellish.

Finally, his father remarried, this time to a Romanian woman by the name of Eva. Fortunately, she was kind and gentle and managed to provide both Morrie and David with the love and care they desperately needed. Unfortunately, David developed polio at a young age and this left him paralyzed.

Morrie’s father didn’t want David to find out that Eva is not his biological mother, so he forced Morrie to keep this a secret. Morrie would keep the telegram with the news of his mother’s death all his life so as to not forget that his mother existed.

In adulthood, Morrie married an MIT professor named Charlotte, who bore him two sons, Rob and Jon Schwartz. Charlotte caries for him in a compassionate, motherly manner.

It seems as if now, as Morrie is nearing his death, he is becoming a child again. Only this time, he is given the love he wasn’t during his actual infancy.

Mitch as a College Student

Though acting tough, Mitch himself was a tenderhearted young man while at Brandeis University, with a profound capacity to love and a sincere need to be loved.

Even though merely a student of Morrie, Mitch always saw in his professor something of a father figure. And their relationship – as exemplified by the farewell gift – resembled father/son relationship much more than a professor/student one.

In a heartbreaking moment, when Morrie is barely capable of moving – or even breathing – on his own, he confides in Mitch that if he could have another son, he would undoubtedly want that son to be Mitch.

The Main Lesson

An overarching element of Morrie’s lessons is his attempt to encourage Mitch to brave the wilderness inside him and find a unique path of his own:

We’ve got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it–and have it repeated to us–over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.

In the eyes of Morrie, the world has gone astray and become just too materialistic. People believe that money and success bring happiness, and they don’t know that when death comes neither of these two matters not one bit.

What does is love and kindness, integrity and compassion.

A life which doesn’t have these as objectives is a life not worth living.

Mitch’s Brother

Inspired by Morrie’s words, Mitch tries his best to restore his relationship with his brother Peter.

Peter is living in Spain and suffers from pancreatic cancer, but doesn’t want compassion or help from his family.

So, Mitch tries to reach him, calling his brother and leaving him numerous messages; the only thing he receives is a short message from Peter stating that he is fine and that he doesn’t want to talk about his disease.

Morrie assures Mitch that his relationship with Peter would eventually be restored; we don’t know if Morrie knew something we don’t, but we do know that after his death, this really happened.

Death Is Not the End

Eventually, Morrie dies.

At his funeral, Mitch recalls promising him that he will never stop talking with him.

Unlike his graduation day promise, this is one that he still keeps. Namely, whenever in trouble or doubt, Mitch Albom conducts a silent discussion with his beloved professor in his head.

To this very day.

It seems that Morrie was right about this as well: “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

Key Lessons from “Tuesdays with Morrie”

1.      Enjoy Your Emotions to the Fullest
2.      Don’t Ever Settle for Substitutes
3.      Love Each Other or Perish

Enjoy Your Emotions to the Fullest

The first time Mitch sees Morrie cries, he feels a bit uncomfortable. “It’s okay to cry,” says Morrie. Soon enough, Mitch learns that he is entirely right.

Because why should you hide from your emotions? If you are sad, why shouldn’t you cry? And if you are in love, why shouldn’t you give all your heart (we’re looking at you, W. B. Yeats)?

These are cathartic experiences and one day, you’ll be unable to do either.

So, open yourself. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

It may be awkward at first, but it pays off big time in the end!

Don’t Ever Settle for Substitutes

If there’s one thing Morrie is fed up with, it’s modern culture.

“Wherever I went in my life,” he tells Mitch at one point, “I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’”

Morrie’s interpretation:

These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.

Love Each Other or Perish

This is Morrie’s paraphrase of the most famous verse of W. H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939”: “We must love one another or die.”

It’s not exactly a choice is it?

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“Tuesdays with Morrie Quotes”

Accept who you are; and revel in it. Click To Tweet The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. Click To Tweet I like myself better when I'm with you. Click To Tweet Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on too long. Click To Tweet Don't cling to things because everything is impermanent. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Tuesdays with Morrie has sold almost 15 million copies so far, and has been translated into more than 40 languages. It is widely considered to be one of the bestselling memoirs of all time – if not the bestselling memoir in history.

It has been taught at many schools worldwide, whether American high schools and universities because of its messages or Asian primary schools because of its straightforward, simple writing.

The movie it inspired, the Oprah-produced 1999 ABC feature by the same name, won four Emmy Awards and was the most-watched TV movie of 1999. Starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, the movie (you can watch it in full here) will almost certainly bring a tear or two in your eyes.

But that’s nothing compared to the effect the book may have on you.

We dare you to not cry at the heartbreaking farewell; and we dare you to go on living the same mediocre life you do (yes, believe us, you do) after finishing Tuesdays with Morrie.

It’s a book that stays with you.

A book everybody should read.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Gandhi Before India PDF Summary

Gandhi Before India PDFEven foreigners with absolute zero knowledge of the Indian culture and history, have heard of Gandhi and his peaceful revolution.

His highly unusual style of handling the political turmoil in India, has become the epitome for freedom.

Let’s not reveal everything, yet!

Who Should Read “Gandhi Before India”? And Why?

It is sad that these types of books are tough to summarize because they have this amazing storyline. We did our best, but we believe that reading this masterpiece is in everyone’s best interest.

Gandhi Before India” is definitely an eye-opening book that deserves every respect from the world community.

We don’t want to label Gandhi anything because in doing so, we will conceal the only thing that Guha is trying to unravel – the unbiased review!

Ramachandra GuhaAbout Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha is no stranger in Indian society.

As a historian, columnist for Hindustan Times and The Telegraph, and an author who surely loves to conduct research on numerous topics, he has proven its worth.

“Gandhi Before India PDF Summary”

First of all, who was Gandhi? Why does the world reckon that he is one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century?

In all honesty, it’s not easy for a person without noble origins to elevate him/herself to such a high level. He was born in a small village in 1869, right about the time the British influence had reached its peak.

As we mentioned, he distinguished himself for his non-violent revolt against British colonization of India and inspired many conquered countries to rise against the oppressors. The Arab Spring is one example, followed by Nelson Mandela Martin Luther King, The 13th Dalai Lama, etc.

The worldwide revolution often portrayed Gandhi as a symbol of hope, that doesn’t endorse violence of any kind. Egyptians, Tunisians, and other communities carried Gandhi’s picture during their rallies to showcase that the idea of fairness underpins democratic ideals.

In 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was shot by Nathuram Godse (A radical right-wing supporter) at close range and died quickly afterward. His legacy remains embedded into the minds and hearts of culturally diversified Indians and worldwide supporters.

According to some westerners, and probably Indians, the murder of Gandhi was used as a political weapon against Hindu-Indians who didn’t recognize Pakistan’s sovereignty and other factors.

Their actions became synonymous with hate, something that Nehru enforced as Gandhi’s political heir.

A throwback to an era, when justice-seekers were imprisoned for publicly expressing their ideas. From 1903, up until his death in 1948, Gandhi became India’s father and his remarks on Indo-British society were published in newspapers in both Gujarati and English.

This book tries to unveil Gandhi’s real identity, the one that is behind the curtain and often neglected. As a matter of fact, Ramachandra Guha is hailed as one of the most prominent historians and has the credibility to question the portrait of Indo society.

In addition, he reminds us that skepticism altogether is a powerful way of finding the truth, which in many cases is concealed. The depiction of Gandhi must be examined and perceived impartially.

Gandhi from all Angles

The central premise of this eye-opening starts by explaining that both Left and Right extremists didn’t like Gandhi’s symbolic vision.

On one end, Maoist had destroyed Gandhi’s statues all over the country, while the Right-Wingers supported a theocratic society. Evidently, not all people who opposed Gandhi’s ideology were British, or Afrikaans. There were a lot of Muslims, Hindus; you name it.

While residing in South Africa, Gandhi coined a term “Satyagraha” which in layman’s terms means something like “truth-force.” The same reform movement and ideology was later applied in India. His time in Natal and Transvaal also shaped the nationalist movement in India, because he had time to contemplate on many things.

This mass disobedience technique, created by Gandhi had a task to stand up to the oppressors, and show no interest in filling their pockets.

According to Gandhi, all people should receive the same amount of rights regardless of their status and cultural background. During his stay in Afrika, he realized that discrimination is the new tool of modern enslavement and something that had to be stopped.

Years later, this ideology became the driving force in post-British Socialist India.

The author clearly outlines Gandhi’s four forces, which characterize him as a leader:

  • Freedom Fighter
  • Reformist
  • Religious Pluralist
  • Prophet

At the age of 19, Mahatma Gandhi went to London, and it was also the first time outside his native Kathiawar. It helped him to shape his views, see the Western world, and draw his own conclusions on how India should be governed.

The adventure in London

Probably the two most renowned Indians in London at that time were Dadabhai Naoroji and Abdul Karim. Naoroji was a trade agent who moved to London a couple of decades ago, while Abdul was a Muslim who worked on Queen Victoria’s staff.

Mohandas received his first lecture on English etiquette by Dr. Mehta who stated the following:

Do not ask questions as we usually do in India on first acquaintance; do not talk loudly; never address people as sir while speaking to them as we do in India; only servants and subordinates address their masters that way.

Afterward, he went to visit a local Inner Temple, located west of the city. Gandhi sent a letter to his brother, complaining about the weather and also mentioning that he doesn’t have any urges for eating meat or consuming alcohol.

Upon arriving at Bombay, Gandhi was informed by his brother, that their mother died a few months ago. Although he was sad, Gandhi didn’t have much time to lose. In the first couple of days, he enjoyed the company of Raychand – Dr. Mehta’s relative.  

They talked about a lot of things related to religion, culture, beliefs, and tried to find a link between them. Decades later, Gandhi shared that Raychand had a massive influence on him as if he was his intellectual lodestar.

When the Boer war broke out, Gandhi, shockingly to most people, cheered for the British. From this standpoint, we can say that he was an imperialist with regards to his cultural belief, which converted a bit later.

In the early 1900s, his main efforts were fixated at South Africa, their way of life and so forth. As a lawyer and a person of stature, he provided services for many clients in Johannesburg and other cities. In the meantime, he began to hatch a plan on how to improve the rights of Indians in the Transvaal area.

This whole mess led to a political impasse, which was partially supported by certain media outlets. From such vantage point, it’s crystal clear that Gandhi was trying to find the perfect way to express himself through meditation, celibacy, strict diet, etc.

The end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th were tough for him. For 10 years he roamed around visiting Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and other cities but never broken a single word with a peasant whose plight was evident.

We also come to an understanding that in 1906, Gandhi had a few encounters with Winston Churchill and he became increasingly aware of the modern predicament. He even gave answers that surprised Churchill on what principles does he believe are crucial for achieving a modern society.

His legal career, at the time, was on hold, due to the fact that he was engaged in forming his political views. Upon his return to South Africa, Gandhi became increasingly interested in people’s opinion overall, which will later serve as the backbone for his ideology of social structure.

His sudden return to Transvaal was basically a political decision, where he started a Political Journal named “Indian Opinion.” That was actually the turning point in his life!

The opinion of the oppressed must be heard, and that’s was a real impetus for launching a battle against exploitation.

One cannot say that Gandhi wasn’t a remarkable figure in the modern world. He was indeed a reformist, a peaceful revolutionary who managed to see beyond races, and cultures.

His contribution to equality and development of Third-World countries remains a fact to this day.

We firmly believe that the author wanted merely to imply that questioning the other side of the story is beneficial in order to understand the big picture.

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“Gandhi Before India Quotes”

Social reform was as important as political emancipation; mindful of the sentiments of Muslims. Click To Tweet The colonists feared that the few hundred passengers waiting off the coast were the beginnings of large-scale immigration that would decisively alter the demographic profile of Natal. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Who doesn’t want to know the story behind Gandhi rise to power? This doesn’t mean that Gandhi sought dominance, but eventually he became a central figure in the Post-British society.

This book is a pure gold, and we believe that everyone should find some time to read it.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Year of Yes PDF Summary

Year of Yes PDF SummaryHow to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Are you saying “no” to too many things in your life?

Well, it’s time to change that.

Let Shonda Rhimes help you to kickstart your life-changing “Year of Yes.”

Who Should Read “Year of Yes”? And Why?

Do you like Grey’s Anatomy?

Considering the fact that the show is on TV for about 13 years now, we bet it’s safe to assume that not many would answer that question in the negative.

Well, this is the story of the person behind its success: Shonda Rhimes.

So, if you are a fan of that show, don’t miss this book.

Don’t miss it if you want to be the person behind the next Grey’s Anatomy: there are many lessons here for aspiring TV writers.

However, don’t expect all of them to be encouraging: there’s more to life than being successful. In fact, that’s lesson number one.

About Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Lynn RhimesShonda Rhimes is an American screenwriter and television producer.

She is best known as the creator, writer and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice. She is also the creative force behind ABC’s political thriller Scandal.

In 2017, Netflix purchased the streaming rights for Rhimes’ shows and made a multi-year development deal with her, according to which her future productions will be Netflix Original series.

Year of Yes is Rhimes’ only book so far.

“Year of Yes PDF Summary”

Even if you don’t know who Shonda Rhimes is, you certainly know what Shonda Rhimes has so far done. Because she is the creative force (both writer and producer) behind three top-rated TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal.

However, if you think that Year of Yes is a book about success – think again! It’s actually much more a book about happiness. And it’s not so much about what you should do to be happy, but about what you should don’t.

It’s also a highly personal account of how Shonda Rhimes became Shonda Rhimes – and what she would have done differently if she could go back in time. And what she actually did the minute she faced her regrets.

Born in Chicago as the youngest of six children to a college professor (her mother) and a university administrator (her father), Rhimes was (expectedly) an introvert.

Her favorite hobby was playing pretend with food items. She had a habit of hiding in her mother’s pastry and developing stories in which the green beans were ruled by the yams, and the tomatoes plotted an overthrow.

She was, in every sense of the phrase, a storyteller from birth, homo narrans.

Unsurprisingly, after attending Marian Catholic High School, she went on to earn a BA at Dartmouth College in English and film studies.

It was here that she started dabbling in much more serious make-believe games, joining the Black Underground Theater Association and directing numerous student productions. She also acted in some of them, writing fiction in the meantime.

It was the beginning of the 1990s, so it’s only natural that Shonda dreamt of becoming the next Toni Morrison, the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Interestingly enough, after Shonda became Shonda Rhimes, she had the privilege to have dinner with Morrison.

The thing they talked about?

Grey’s Anatomy.

Now, how did that happen?

How does one evolve from just a regular person dreaming a dream to an exceptional one living inside it?

Shonda has pretty straightforward advice:

They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.

I think that’s crap.

I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? They are busy doing.

In other words: dreaming is easy; it’s doing the work necessary to turn that dream into a reality that is difficult.

However, that’s not what Shonda learned during this process of becoming one of the most respected people in the film industry; what she did is actually a much bleaker lesson: that success doesn’t bring you happiness.

In fact, it may be the very opposite: it’s what prevents you from being happy.

For two reasons:

First of all, if you want to be successful in Hollywood, you can’t allow yourself a break; however, if you are a writer, that usually means many solitary sleepless and stressful nights. After all, it’s not like you don’t know that even Muses need to take some rest from time to time.

The second reason is even scarier. Namely, no matter how lonely and insecure you feel, you mustn’t show this before anyone. Because nobody has the time to deal with an anxious person with panic attacks in a world where new episodes must come out each week and new TV shows are constantly created and produced.

Rhimes’ solution?

Well, the obvious one: gobbling up her feelings.


And, of course, after she realized that this method gained her some weight, she felt so sad that she had to start eating some more.

You know it: the vicious, vicious circle.

And then, one day, her sister and her publicist all but ordered Shonda to accept an invitation for dinner with then-U.S. President Barack Obama and the First Lady.

Suddenly, Shonda realized that there must be another way. In other words, you can, instead of watching the world go by in front of your very eyes, take participation.

And just like Jim Carrey in Yes Man, she decided to say “yes” to everything.

You may remember 2015 as the year you did nothing in particular, but in Shonda Rhimes’ vocabulary, 2015 was her “Year of Yes.”

The first thing Shonda said “yes” to was her social life.

And this led to a few memorable experiences, such as being photographed by Annie Leibovitz and being interviewed (for the first time) for Good Morning America!

In addition, she organized a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. And she didn’t reject the offers for a friendly hangout by the cast of her shows.

The second thing Shonda said “yes” to was her family.

Rhimes adopted her first child back in 2002, and her second and third in 2012 and 2013. However, before her “Year of Yes,” she didn’t have that much time for Emerson, Beckett, and Harper. In 2015, however, she decided that that’s not a way to live your life.

So, she started saying “yes” every time her daughters would ask her to play with them. And she stopped working during the weekends so that she can dedicate herself fully to her family for at least two days a week.

It wasn’t always like that.

When she adopted her first child, a friend of hers asked her whether she had started interviewing for a nanny. Rhimes was furious: “Why would I want to adopt a child if I plan to make it someone else’s problem?” – she yelled.

However, soon enough she realized that real life doesn’t work the way movies do. In real life, it is quite tricky – and almost impossible – to balance family and work.

In comes Jenny McCarthy.

Though she has written some books about parenting – no, we’re not talking about that Jenny McCarthy.

It’s Shonda Rhimes’ supernanny who, in Rhimes’ words, helped her both realize that it is impossible to do it all and, ironically, actually do it all. (Your friends are an extension of you; and you are an extension of your friends. Never forget that.)

This helped Rhimes feel much more confident and act with much more assertiveness. And it inspired her to say “no” once in a while – when that secretly means saying “yes.”

Because a “no” to self-depreciation is actually a “yes” to compliments. And a “yes” to compliments leads to just the perfect amount of self-love.

And that – as Rupi Kaur points over and over again – is the only valid starting point of love.

Not to mention health, as well!

You see, Shonda Rhimes lost 117 pounds during 2015.

Now, you can say that it’s because of exercising and dieting and you won’t be wrong. However, the real, underlying reason is something else.

A newly discovered capacity for self-love.

Key Lessons from “Year of Yes”

1.      Unhappiness May Be the Price for Success
2.      The FODs and the Bad-Asses
3.      The One Rule of Happiness

Unhappiness May Be the Price for Success

Most people know that happiness and success are intricately related. And they instinctively agree that the former must follow from the latter.

OK, let’s agree with that. So, you can’t be happy if you are not successful. But can consider yourself successful if you are not happy?

As Shonda Rhimes found out during her “Year of Yes” – no, you can’t. And, unfortunately, success may be an obstacle on your road to happiness.

Because you may have to sacrifice many things so that you can become successful. And because, during the process, you may forget that you wanted to be successful only so that you can enjoy those exact same things.

You know – the plotline for every romantic comedy ever.

It turns out it’s much too real.

The FODs and the Bad-Asses

Shonda Rhimes thinks herself a FOD, that is “first, only different.”

How different?

Well, you know: not male, not white, and yet highly successful.

Since she’s a rare kind even today – did luck have anything to do with her success?

“I am not lucky,” answers at one point Shonda Rhimes. “You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way, and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

Other people you can call badasses: Julia Child, Serena Williams, Oprah… Wonder Woman. And Brené Brown.

And, well, you.

If you want to, that is.

The One Rule of Happiness

Remember the Anna Karenina Principle?

If not, maybe the first line of that brilliant Tolstoy novel will refresh your memory: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

In other words, in order to be happy, you need to check all the checkboxes. You can be unhappy, however, if only one (any one: love, friends, family, work, etc.) of the checkboxes is left empty.

Obviously, this explains why it is so much more difficult to be happy. But, what it doesn’t say is how you can be happy.

Shonda Rhimes, however, thinks that, in fact, it does.

Because, if there are so many things that influence our happiness, and if each of us is different – then the only way to happiness is your way.

There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Being traditional is not traditional anymore. It’s funny that we still think of it that way. Normalize your lives, people.

You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize, don’t explain, don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator. And go for a happy ending. One foot in front of the other. You will make it.

And that’s the one rule of happiness: don’t listen to others telling you how you can make yourself happy. It won’t work – because you’re a unique individual. Follow your inner voice should work. Even if that means having no family of your own or being less than successful in your profession.

For some people, happiness is having a coffee with their high school friends once a week. And why shouldn’t it be?

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“Year of Yes Quotes”

Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Click To Tweet ’Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need.’ ‘He is very dreamy,’ she says. ‘But he is not the sun. You are.’ Click To Tweet Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change. Click To Tweet Losing yourself does not happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one ‘no’ at a time. Click To Tweet If I don't poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Year of Yes is – to quote a review – “as fun to read as Rhimes’s TV series are to watch.”

So, if you enjoy rapid-fire dialogue, poignant moments, great punchlines and unforgettable life lessons – you’ll enjoy this memoir as well.

Raw and revelatory, Year of Yes is as life-affirming as its title.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A PDF Summary

Always Running: La Vida Loca PDFAre you also on the run? Hiding from someone, or perhaps cannot find peace?

Anyway, this book gives a rundown on how a local gang-member became a shining jewel, whose actions inspire millions.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the plot.

Who Should Read “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A”? And Why?

First and foremost, this is one of those books which carry a dose of hope, therefore – categorization would be utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, we welcome you to explore its secrets and find similarities between yours and Luis’ life. In other words, “Always Running: La Vida Loca” is predestined for troublemakers in the making, who needs to hear the other side of the story.

About Luis J. Rodriguez

Luis J. RodriguezLuis J. Rodriguez is an American poet, author, a novelist with Mexican origins, who managed to conquer the world with his life stories.

He is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books including poems such as My Nature is Hunger, The Concrete River…

“Always Running: La Vida Loca PDF Summary”

Luis recalls his early days when he was about 9. Along with his family, he goes to Union Station, and the journey suddenly begins. His mother takes good care of Luis and his needs in particular. As a comic book lover, she provides him with new materials for him to read and entertain himself.

His father on the other end in reckless and stands firm in his idea not to return to Mexico at any cost. Luis’ mother doesn’t greet this news with enthusiasm, but eventually, she decides to stay as well.

Luis finds himself in the middle of a quarrel, and describe his situation as a bouncing ball – without any permanent settlement nor solution; only dodging troubles and going where the wind takes them.  

Luis tries to overcome the language barrier with an intention to blend into the group of students. The main problem is a lack of basic understanding, which makes life even harder. The teachers have little clue on how to deal with such personalities and help them integrate into the society.

Out of fear of becoming a laughing stock, he decides to speak as little as possible. He attends school superficially, with no real interest in digesting the teachings. Such a turn of events instigate a new behavior and leave Luis little choice but to indulge in troublemaking as a way of life.

Forming a gang is seen as a way out such misery and gaining respect. Being on the same wavelength as his unsettling friends makes him an essential figure in the newly formed circle. Joining the Animal Tribe and earning a nickname “Chin” represent the turning point in his life.

Meanwhile, Luis is aware of the violence and crime perpetrated by these groups as families are abused and threatened. Killing happens almost daily, as gang violence spreads like cancer. Secretly, he believes that life can change for the better, but he decides not to betray his crime-partners.

To prove that he is a valuable member of the organization, he participates in an assault against a rival gang member, while firebombing his house. Knowing that all the other family members are inside, doesn’t stop him from taking part in the aggression and brutality.

Then out of a clear blue sky, he is offered a chance to showcase his skills and make an honest living. Guided and mentored in a community center, he somehow manages to pluck up his courage and gear himself up with the right mentality.

A teacher recognized the potential Luis possesses, and as a response, some of Luis’ writing samples were sent to a committee. Without knowledge, Luis comes out a winner, without even being aware of his application. He is awarded $250 and praised for his style.

Another City-Based program hires him to paint murals, and decorate the urban environment. A journalism degree is within reach, now more than ever, but yet again runs into trouble when he saw a woman beat up by the police.

He interferes and intervenes, which adds another blemish to his resume for assaulting an officer in the line of duty. He is back in the beginning once more!

When he was at the height of is gang-membership career, Luis turned down an offer to take part in a cigarette laced with PCP operation. His decision convinced other members to go down the same road, and by the public, this action is greeted with respect and admiration.

He manages to survive the boiling atmosphere inflamed by acts of “betrayal,” and he is even shot at. This warning is pointed at other members to watch out how they behave.

Luis struggles to find cover, but with the help of others, he copes with the situation and rising tension. He eventually flees the bad neighborhood and ends up getting married. Out of nowhere, a discredited rival gang member approaches Luis at a family gathering to wreak vengeance.

Luis asks for forgiveness because of the suffering he has caused, and if killing him would alleviate the pain, he’s prepared to give his life.

Key Lessons from “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A”

1.      It’s never too late
2.      Find your talent
3.      Grow daily

It’s never too late

Luis made it crystal clear, why he was the one who managed to abandon the circle of illusion and hatred.

Every person can wake up from a state of deep sleep, and then work its way through life until the goal is reached.

Find your talent

At first, no one is aware of its potential nor how to find it. Identifying your shallow limitations is the first step in eventually emerging as a winner.

In other words, you have to alter your mindset, before you embark on an adventure to conquer the world.

Grow daily

Education is just one tiny segment of learning; the real challenges are up-ahead. If you are not armed with knowledge and a positive spirit, you’ll quickly face a downfall.

So, don’t hesitate to invest in your professional expansion in order to improve your creative thinking skills!

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“Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A Quotes”

She was still young then in Watts, in her thirties, but she had all these ailments. She didn't' even have teeth; they rotted away many years before. This made her look much older until later when she finally obtained false ones. Despite… Click To Tweet There are choices you have to make not just once, but every time they come up. Click To Tweet Cry, child, for those without tears have a grief which never ends. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There’s not much that can be said from our perspective, regarding the stylish correctness of this book. If our humble opinion is meaningful to you then – this book has thumbs up!

Take notes and learn!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

When Breath Becomes Air PDF Summary

When Breath Becomes Air PDF SummaryAt around 9 p.m., on March 9, 2015, Paul Kalanithi, an Indian-American neurosurgeon, passed away after a long and grueling battle with cancer, just a month shy of his 38th birthday.

Published several months later by his wife, “When Breath Becomes Air” is his unfinished, thoroughly heartbreaking autobiography.

One which will undoubtedly make you wonder about the meaning of your life as well.

Who Should Read “When Breath Becomes Air”? And Why?

A touching and life-affirming autobiography chronicling the death of a remarkable man, “When Breath Becomes Air” is Paul Kalanithi’s “Last Lecture,” the things he had an urge to share with the world once realizing that his life is nearing to an end.

As such, this book should be relatable to everyone.

And it ought to be read by everyone as well.

About Paul Kalanithi

Paul KalanithiPaul Sudhir Arul Kalanithi was an Indian-American neurosurgeon and an author.

Born on April 1, 1977, Kalanithi graduated as valedictorian from Kingman High School, before earning a B.Sc. in human biology and a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Stanford.

Afterward, he attended the University of Cambridge – from where he obtained an M.Phil. in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine – and the Yale School of Medicine, where he graduated cum laude and met his future wife.

In May 2013, Kalanithi was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer; he died two years later.

Though left unfinished, “When Breath Becomes Air” was published, with an epilogue from his wife, in January 2016 by Random House.

“When Breath Becomes Air PDF Summary”

Paul Kalanithi was born on April 1, 1977, in Bronxville, Westchester County, New York to a Christian family hailing from India.

A doctor, his father spent most of his time away from home, which resulted in Paul’s disenchantment with medicine even before he developed any interest in it.

When Paul is 10, the family moves to Kingman, Arizona.

This gets Paul’s mother worried: Kingman, Arizona is “the least educated district in America” and she believes too much in the academic future of her three sons to allow any risks.

Her solution?

She acquires college reading lists and makes her sons read every book on them. They even take their SATs in Las Vegas, about 100 miles away from Kingman.

This is not a problem for Paul: he’s enamored with literature and enjoys few things more than an afternoon passed over any book written by Thoreau, Poe, Orwell, Camus, Sartre, Beckett.

However, during the summer before college, his then-girlfriend borrows him a book by Jeremy Leven, titled “Satan: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S.”

Kalanithi is fascinated by Leven’s idea that the brain is merely a machine which allows the mind to exist (in much the same manner, that the hardware of your computer is a vehicle for the browser on which you’re reading this text).

So, he started a course in biology and neuroscience.

These areas – literature and neuroscience – will remain lifelong interests for Paul: the former because it delved in the meaning of what it means to be alive, and the latter because it’s a science of the mechanisms which produce this meaning.

He felt – as he says himself at one place – that “literature provided the best account of the life of the mind, while neuroscience laid down the most elegant rules of the brain.”

Paul was a cum laude student, and everything was going great until the beginning of 2013: he had an MA in literature and was in the final stages of his residency training in neurosurgery when he first started feeling severe back pain and signs of exhaustion.

He was worried that these might be the signs of spinal cancer, but the X-ray results of a routine medical check-up looked just fine.

His primary care doctor determined that the pain and the lost weight must be the result of his 14-hour workdays – something which seemed like all but the most logical conclusion to Paul as well.

However, his health deteriorated in the following months, and even before he got the results of his CT scan in the month of May 2016, Paul and his wife Lucy were already prepared for the worst.

Its name sounds as sickening and as gruesome as what it actually represents:

Stage-IV non-small-cell EGFR-positive lung cancer.

“I need you,” Paul whispered to his wife.

“I will never leave you,” she replied.

Kalanithi, the doctor, was suddenly a patient; Kalanithi, the avid reader, was suddenly the book that he needed to read and comprehend:

Grand illnesses are supposed to be life-clarifying. Instead, I knew I was going to die—but I’d known that before. My state of knowledge was the same, but my ability to make lunch plans had been shot to hell. The way forward would seem obvious, if only I knew how many months or years I had left. Tell me three months, I’d spend time with family. Tell me one year, I’d write a book. Give me ten years, I’d get back to treating diseases. The truth that you live one day at a time didn’t help: What was I supposed to do with that day?

Even before Paul started his therapy, he discussed with his wife the possibility of starting a family.

“Will having a newborn distract from the time we have together?” Lucy asked Paul. “Don’t you think saying goodbye to your child will make your death more painful?” she added.

And then Paul said something as remarkable as anything:

“Wouldn’t it be great if it did?”

Lucy tells this same story in the clip below.

A word of warning, though, if you intend to watch it: prepare some tissues beforehand:

Paul’s situation got better at first, but then the worst happened: he stopped reacting to the chemotherapy, and by the time his daughter – Elizabeth Acadia (Cady) – was born (4 July 2014), he was so exhausted that he was unable to stand in the delivery room and had to lie on a cot while Lucy was giving birth.

Despite all the pain and suffering, Paul is filled with an incredible amount of joy at seeing his daughter for the first time.

Unfortunately, merely eight months later, he will see her for one last time.

Key Lessons from “When Breath Becomes Air”

1.      Paul Kalanithi Was a Remarkable Man
2.      Life Is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans
3.      Life Isn’t About Avoiding Suffering

Paul Kalanithi Was a Remarkable Man

Paul Kalanithi had almost everything: a Stanford MA in literature and a cum laude degree from Yale School of Medicine; nearly completed residency training for a neurosurgeon; quite a few published articles and even more prestigious awards; numerous successful operations; finally, a beautiful wife.

Life Is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

And then he was diagnosed with metastatic stage IV non-small-cell EGFR-positive lung cancer.

As he says himself, hiscarefully planned and hard-won future no longer existed. Death, so familiar to me in my work, was now paying a personal visit.”

And that’s what often happens in life: something completely unexpected changes the course of planned events once and for all.

Life Isn’t About Avoiding Suffering

Paul Kalanithi didn’t live enough to complete “When Breath Becomes Air.”

Its epilogue was written by his wife, who shares the most important lesson she learned (in the form of advice given to Lucy and Paul’s daughter) in a heartbreaking TED Talk, delivered a year and a half after the death of her husband.

Cady, engaging in the full range of experience — living and dying, love and loss – is what we get to do. Being human doesn’t happen despite suffering. It happens within it. When we approach suffering together when we choose not to hide from it, our lives don’t diminish, they expand.

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“When Breath Becomes Air Quotes”

You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving. Click To Tweet Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. Click To Tweet There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment. Click To Tweet I can’t go on. I’ll go on. (Via Samuel Beckett) Click To Tweet Even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Writing for the USA Today, Mack McCarthy, wrote that “When Breath Becomes Air” is “a story so remarkable, so stunning, and so affecting” that he “had to take dozens of breaks just to compose [himself] enough to get through it.”

Chances are – you are going to need quite a few breaks as well.

But that could only mean one thing and one thing only: if you haven’t read “When Breath Becomes Air” so far, you must do it in the very recent future.

It’s not that Kalanithi’s memoir will bring you to tears and help you live through the beauty of a profoundly cathartic emotion. It’s that it will make you cherish your life a bit more.

Not many books can do that.

But, then again, there are not many people as extraordinary as Paul Kalanithi.

No, we are not changing the tense in the previous sentence.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth PDF Summary

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth PDF Summary

What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

Do you want to learn how to become an astronaut?

Or how life in space can alter your perspective about living on Earth?

Then, read our summary of Chris Hadfield’s “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.”

It answers both of these questions.

Who Should Read “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”? And Why?

If you are interested in astronauts – or dreaming of becoming one – then you should buy “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” as soon as possible.

However, Chris Hadfield’s autobiography should be your choice even if you are merely looking for a book to help you live a better and more fulfilled life – one that has nothing to do with astronomy and spacecrafts.

After all, just look at the title.

About Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield is a retired astronaut, the first Canadian to walk in space.

Both an engineer and a former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot – one of the very best – he first flew in space in November 1995 as a mission specialist. Six years later he went back and walked in space for the first time.

In December 2012 he flew for a third time, after which he served as a commander of the International Space Station from March until May 2013.

He is a member of the Orders of Ontario and Canada and has received both the Canadian Forces Decoration and the Meritorious Service Cross.

“An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth PDF Summary”

When I was young – that is, before I turned 12 or something – when asked what I would like to be, when I grow up, I’d always answer “astronaut.”

I mean, what could be better than being an astronaut, right?

Floating through space, zero gravity and all, strange planets and beautiful stars all around you, the Earth just a pale blue dot in the far distance

The best possible profession a guy can have.

Well, if that ten-year-old me could have read “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth,” the autobiography of Col. Chris Hadfield, aka the first Canadian to walk in space, he would have probably had at least a few second thoughts.

Because – who would have guessed? – being an astronaut isn’t what the dictionaries teach you (that is, something along the lines of “a spacewalker” or “a member of a spacecraft”), but, actually, merely a person trained to do those things.

But wait: Hadfield has an even better definition:

An astronaut is someone who’s able to make good decisions quickly, with incomplete information, when the consequences really matter.

Wait a moment, you say – there’s nothing about planets and stars, space and spacecrafts in this definition; nothing at all! And these things are there in the very word, be it “astronaut” or “cosmonaut”! You can’t fool me: they mean star- or space-sailor!

Where’s the sailing in Hadfield’s definition of an astronaut?

Well, there is some sailing – true – but most of it is stationary, and it happens on Earth. As Hadfield points out, in general, you need several months of training to prepare for one single day in space!

And you’ll get your first mission only after several years. And – surprise! surprise! – you’ll have to spend the next two to four years training for that specific mission.

The really heartbreaking part of this all is that no matter how good you are and how much you want to go into space, the chances are stacked against you from the start!

After all, it only fits three people in a Soyuz spacecraft, which means that not only each of them should be exceptionally well-prepared, but also that the three chosen ones should be experts in mutually compatible categories.

Well, Hadfield was one of these lucky few.

And the main lessons he learned in space – and which he believes are applicable everywhere, let alone Earth, are these three:

#1. There’s no such thing as over-preparation. That’s actually the background of Hadfield’s definition of an astronaut; an astronaut, simply put, is one who has prepared for everything in advance and who is capable of acting fast even when something unpredictable happens. After all, it’s not like there’s a rescue crew near you!

#2. The more they criticize you, the safer you are. Even the smallest blunder can be a crucial one when you’re in space; so, at NASA, everyone is – and should be – a critic; in other words: you should pray that they criticize you so that you can learn what not to do the next simulation.

#3. Make up for the lost time with your loved ones. Being an astronaut means spending a lot of time away from your family; Hadfield tried making up for that by prearranging the delivery of Valentine gifts for his wife or lighting the biggest candles (the rocket’s engines) for his son’s 16th birthday (which was on the very same day as Hadfield’s launch)

By the way, we forgot to mention (in case you don’t know):

Chris Hadfield is a great and exceptionally funny John Cleese lookalike, and you should really check him out on YouTube, debunking space myths or sharing his experiences at TED.

Or, channeling his inner Bowie:

Thanks, Chris: that video never fails to make our day!

Key Lessons from “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”

1.      Preparation Is Everything: The Power of Pessimism and Negative Thinking
2.      The Importance of Making Mistakes and Accepting Constructive Criticism
3.      The Only Thing You Can Control Is Your Attitude

Preparation Is Everything: The Power of Pessimism and Negative Thinking

Astronauts have a saying: “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.”

However, once you’re in space, a problem means certain death in 1 out of 35 cases – which are not chances you’d like to see aggravated.

Can you improve them?

Of course: by taking a trick from the old Stoic book and visualizing everything in a negative light.

Use the same strategy in life as well: because when you’re prepared for something in advance, you can be a lot calmer.

“It sounds strange, probably,” writes Hadfield, “but having a pessimistic view of my own prospects helped me love my job.”

The Importance of Making Mistakes and Accepting Constructive Criticism

“A man of genius makes no mistakes,” wrote James Joyce once, “his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

Pretentiousness aside, Joyce is right about the second part: making a mistake is actually the best way to learn new things. Just think about the way people learn to play an instrument! They make many mistakes, and they try until they stop making them.

If you go on playing your guitar the same away after making a mistake (i.e., appropriating it), your brain will think it’s the right way and will engrave it as a habit.

In other words, making a mistake is just a part of the learning process; seeing the mistake is the other. And since we are incapable of seeing our mistakes as clearly as impartial observers, constructive criticism should be a big part of every apprenticeship.

So, instead of saying “oh, shut up,” say “thank you” the next time someone points out a mistake of yours.

The Only Thing You Can Control Is Your Attitude

As we pointed above, even if you want to become an astronaut in the customarily accepted meaning of that word, there’s a high chance that you won’t.

After all, only 561 people from no more than 40 countries have gone into space so far.

However, Hadfield never gave up.

He just reframed his state of mind:

I don’t determine whether I arrive at the desired professional destination. Too many variables are out of my control. There’s really just one thing I can control: my attitude during the journey, which is what keeps me feeling steady and stable, and what keeps me headed in the right direction. So I consciously monitor and correct, if necessary, because losing attitude would be far worse than not achieving my goal.

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“An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth Quotes”

I never stopped getting ready. Just in case. Click To Tweet In order to stay calm in a high-stress, high-stakes situation, all you really need is knowledge. Click To Tweet Each time you manage to do that your comfort zone expands a little, so if you ever face that particular problem in real life, you’re able to think clearly. Click To Tweet Rehearsing for catastrophe has made me positive that I have the problem-solving skills to deal with tough situations and come out the other side smiling. Click To Tweet Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We really like Chris Hadfield, so we loved this book from start to finish.

And so did almost each and every reviewer, describing “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” as “a satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut” (Kirkus Reviews) and as “a very human glance into a rarified world” (WSJ).

Allow us to include one more quotation at the end: “Houston, we have a superstar!”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: