Saving Simon : how a rescue donkey taught me the meaning of compassion

From Andrea Kalinowski

Author: Jon Katz

Title: Saving Simon : how a rescue donkey taught me the meaning of compassion 

Saving Simon : how a rescue donkey taught me the meaning of compassion by Jon Katz was a mostly uplifting read. I say mostly because when you, the reader, first start the book, the fate of the donkey seems dire indeed. Simon is a “rescue” donkey meaning a concerned individual spotted Simon in a risky living situation and started the process of liberating him from that situation. Simon’s rescuers found the donkey in a fenced area too small for him and his care had been severely neglected. Jon Katz owned a “gentleman” farm, a “gentleman” farm in that farming is not the owner’s main occupation, fiction and nonfiction writing are. Jon agreed to “rescue” the donkey and provide him with a safe living environment. For the first few months, this “rescue” operation required multiple applications of ointments and salves and lots of TLC. In the course of rescuing Simon, Jon began to define and redefine, for himself, the meaning of mercy and compassion. He poses a question to himself and essentially to all of mankind regarding mercy and compassion. The question that he seeks to answer is – does only the blameless individual(s) deserve compassion? This book encouraged me to look at how I define mercy and compassion and to whom I award those gifts. Saving Simon was a most thought-provoking read.

Grave undertakings : mortician by day, model by night– one woman’s true-life adventures

From: Andrea Kalinowski

Author: Alexandra Mosca

Title: Grave undertakings : mortician by day, model by night– one woman’s true-life adventures

I was browsing the catalog one day and this particular title so intrigued me, I had to immediately place a reserve upon it. I then anxiously awaited its arrival. The book was entitled Grave undertakings: mortician by day, model by night – one woman’s true-life adventures by Alexandra Kathryn Mosca and it caught my interest from page one. Alexandra’s birth mother died in childbirth and that is only the beginning of Alexandra’s trials. One would think that if an individual or a couple wants to adopt a child, it is done as a humanitarian, selfless act but this is often far from the case. Alexandra’s adoptive parents were mentally and physically abusive and, at sixteen, she went out on her own. From an early age, the pomp and pageantry of funerals and death had fascinated her and she decided her calling was that of mortician. At the time of her decision, this was a career field that did not welcome women. The majority of her fellow classmates at Undertaking College were the children of established funeral families so they already had a position awaiting them. Alexandra had to convince the male establishment of her skills and even then, she was quite often relegated to the position of lady attendant. A lady attendant was the person designated to come in and make up the deceased. Alexandra had a hard time breaking into her field but most of the time managed to keep her spirits high and her determination strong. She proved to me, that if you have a desire and a willingness to sacrifice, anything is possible.