Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 5, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 5, 2019 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown


Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by 
Jesmyn Ward

This majestic, stirring, and widely 
praised novel from two-time National 
Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, the 
story of a family on a journey through 
rural Mississippi, is a “tour de force” 
(O, the Oprah Magazine) and a timeless 
work of fiction that is destined to become 
a classic.Jojo is thirteen years old and 
trying to understand what it means 
to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers 
to study, chief among them his Black 
grandfather, Pop. But there are other 
men who complicate his understanding: 
his absent White father, Michael, who is 
being released from prison; his absent 
White grandfather, Big Joseph, who 
won’t acknowledge his existence; and the 
memories of his dead uncle, Given, who 
died as a teenager. His mother, Leonie, is 
an inconsistent presence in his and his 
toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect 
mother in constant conflict with herself 
and those around her. She is Black and her 
children’s father is White. She wants to be 
a better mother but can’t put her children 
above her own needs, especially her drug 
use. Simultaneously tormented and 
comforted by visions of her dead brother, 
which only come to her when she’s high, 
Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect 
the brutal reality of her circumstances. 
When the children’s father is released 
from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a 
friend into her car and drives north to the 
heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, 
the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, 
there is another thirteen-year-old boy, 
the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly 
history of the South with him in his wandering. He 
too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and 
sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy 
the Odds by David Goggins 

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare 
-- poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored 
his days and haunted his nights. But through self-
discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, 
Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, 
overweight young man with no future into a U.S. 
Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top 
endurance athletes. The only man in history to 
complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army 
Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he 
went on to set records in numerous endurance 
events, inspiring Outside magazine to 
name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in 
America.” In Can’t Hurt Me, he shares 
his astonishing life story and reveals 
that most of us tap into only 40% of our 
capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% 
Rule, and his story illuminates a path 
that anyone can follow to push past 
pain, demolish fear, and reach their full 

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of 
Freedom by David W. Blight

The definitive, dramatic biography of 
the most important African American 
of the nineteenth century: Frederick 
Douglass, the escaped slave who became 
the greatest orator of his day and one of 
the leading abolitionists and writers of 
the era. As a young man Douglass (1818–
1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore. 
He was fortunate to have been taught to 
read by his slave owner mistress, and he 
would go on to become one of the major 
literary figures of his time. He wrote three 
versions of his autobiography over the 
course of his lifetime and published his 
own newspaper. His very existence gave 
the lie to slave owners: with dignity and 
great intelligence he bore witness to the 
brutality of slavery. Initially mentored 
by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass 
spoke widely, often to large crowds, 
using his own story to condemn slavery. 
He broke with Garrison to become a 
political abolitionist, a Republican, and 
eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the 
Civil War and during Reconstruction, 
Douglass became the most famed and 
widely traveled orator in the nation. He denounced 
the premature end of Reconstruction and the 
emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent 
voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce 
critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. 
He sometimes argued politically with younger 
African Americans, but he never forsook either 
the Republican party or the cause of black civil 
and political rights. In this remarkable biography, 
Blight has drawn on new information held in a 
private collection that few other historian have 
consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of 
Douglass’s newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating 
story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex 
extended family. Douglass was not only an 
astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped 
in Biblical story and theology. The 3 reviews are 



Like me, you probably spent lots of time with 
family and friends over the holidays. And I hope, 
like me, that time reminded you of just how 
important and special these relationships can be. 

 Though you might not realize it, estate planning 
has the potential to enhance those relationships 
in some major ways. Planning requires you to 
closely consider your relationships with family 
and friends—past, present, and future—like 
never before. Indeed, the process can be the 
ultimate forum for heartfelt communication, 
fostering a deeper bond and sense of intimacy, 
and prioritizing what matters most in life. 
Here are just a few of the valuable ways estate 
planning can improve the relationships you 
cherish most:


 1) It shows you sincerely care

 Taking the time and effort to carefully plan 
for what will happen to you in the event of your 
incapacity or death is a genuine demonstration 
of your love. It would be far easier to do 
nothing and simply let you family and friends 
figure it out for themselves. After all, you 
won’t be around to deal with any of the fallout. 
Planning in advance, though, shows that you 
truly care about the welfare of your loved ones. 
Such selfless concern and forethought equates 
to nothing less than a final expression of your 
unconditional love.


 2) It inspires honest communication about 
difficult issues

 Sitting down and having an honest discussion 
about life’s most taboo subjects—incapacity and 
death—is almost certain to bring you and your 
loved ones closer. By facing immortality together, 
planning has a way of highlighting what’s really 
important in life—and what’s not.

 In fact, our clients consistently share that 
after going through our estate planning 
process they feel more connected to the 
people they love the most. And they also 
feel clearer about the lives they want to live 
during the fleeting time we have here on earth. 
Planning offers the opportunity to talk 
openly about matters you may not have even 
considered. When it comes to choices about 
distributing assets and naming executors and 
trustees, you’ll have a chance to engage in frank 
discussions about why you made the choices you 
did. And that may just be the first step in actively 
addressing and healing any problems that may be 
lurking under the surface of your relationships.


 3) It builds a deep sense of trust and respect

Whether it’s the individuals you name as your 
children’s legal guardians or those you nominate 
to handle your own end-of-life care, estate 
planning shows your loved ones just how much 
you trust and admire them. What greater honor 
can you bestow upon another than putting your 
own life and those of your children in their hands? 
Though it’s often challenging to verbally 
express how much you love your family and 
friends, estate planning demonstrates your 
affection in a truly tangible way. And once these 
people see exactly how much you value them, it 
can foster a deepening of your relationship with 
one another.


 4) It creates a lasting legacy

 While estate planning is primarily viewed 
as a way to pass on your financial wealth and 
property, it can offer your loved ones much more 
than just financial security. When done right, it 
also lets you hand down the most precious assets 
of all—your life stories, lessons, and values. 

 In fact, the wisdom and experience you’ve 
gained during your lifetime are among the most 
treasured gifts you can give. Left to chance, these 
gifts are often lost forever. Considering this, our 
planning process includes a means of preserving 
and passing on these intangible assets. 

 We guide clients to create a customized 
video in which they share their most insightful 
memories and experiences with those they’re 
leaving behind. This not only ensures our clients 
are able to say everything that needs to be said, 
but that their legacy carries on long after they—
and their money—are gone.


The heart of the matter

 Estate planning doesn’t have to be a dreary 
and depressing affair. When done right, 
it can put your life and relationships into 
a much clearer focus and ultimately be a 
tremendously uplifting experience for everyone 
involved. Contact us today to learn more. 
Dedicated to empowering your family, 
building your wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a 
mission to help parents protect what they lovemost. 
His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to 
sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love 
and financial security for your family by calling 
626.355.4000 or visit for 
more information.

All Things By Jeff Brown




When the famed explorer John Wesley Powell bumped, 
splashed and thrashed his way down the Colorado 
River in 1869, he discovered one of the most striking 
geologic features on Earth. Not the Grand Canyon 
— although that too is a marvel — but a conspicuous 
boundary between the sunset-colored sediments 
of the upper walls and the dark, jagged rocks below 
them.Powell had learned to read the layers of desert 
rocks like pages in a book, and he recognized that the 
boundary represented a missing chapter in Earth’s 
geological history. Later, researchers realized it was 
more like an entire lost volume, spanning roughly 
one-fifth of Earth’s existence, and that a similar gap 
existed in many places around the world.“There must 
have been some sort of special event in Earth’s history 
that led to widespread erosion,” said Steve Marshak, a 
geologist at the University of Illinois who studies what 
has come to be known as the Great Unconformity.
New research suggests it was something special 
indeed. Scientists propose that several freak episodes 
of global glaciation scoured away miles of continental 
crust, obliterating a billion years of geologic history 
in the process.This Great Unconformity may have 
set the stage for this transition by providing vast 
shallow seas where marine life could flourish. And 
Snowball Earth appears to have bulldozed loads of 
critical nutrients into the ocean that nourished the 
diversification of life.



Happy New Year! Time to 
explore possibilities and get 
oriented with fresh intentions. 
What are you looking forward 
to experiencing this year? This 
could be the ‘year of you’ - 
taking care of yourself in a new 
way, uncovering more of the 
real you.It’s time to get those 
goals, ideas and priorities 
down on paper and into the 
universe. All together they become a vision for the near 
future and the long-term. This process of identifying and 
naming what we want to transpire has tremendous power. 
Somehow the words in print or expressed creatively on a 
vision collage come alive. It sets the intention. Get creative 
in this process; create a visual guide with color and pictures 
or drawings of what you want and hope for in your life. This 
will help open your mind and build Shakti (power) around 
what you are seeking. Naming your goals doesn’t have to 
take a long time. A simple list will work too. A vision collage 
that takes 15 minutes is just fine. There’s no perfection in 
this. It is helpful to get still and tune into your breath and 
heart for a few minutes just prior to doing this work.When 
setting an intention, follow up actions need to take place. 
Taking action and stepping in the direction of what we want 
can be challenging. We’re used to the old way. To generate 
motivation, do yoga! Yoga will help keep your body healthy 
and aid in keeping the mind calm, leaving energy clear and 
free-flowing.Gathering power and a sense of knowing is 
important too. Give your intellect a rest by finding a spiritual 
practice such as meditation. Time is needed to tune into 
intuition and divinity. The universe also becomes a guide as 
intellect only can be limiting. This is a phenomenon I love 
about yoga and meditation. We are each a single practitioner 
but part of the greater whole. What exists outside is also 
inside. An ocean of consciousness connected in many ways. 
Therefore, when we make a change, a shift occurs within 
us and ripples out in the world around us. Suddenly there’s 
expansion and opportunity when there were none before. 
It’s miraculous.Please enjoy creating your vision for the new 
year! Let better health, yoga, meditation, and self-love be on 
the list. Contact me to learn more about how to bring yoga 
and meditation into your life:


Keely Totten, E-RYT 500, 

Teacher, Mentor, Dreamer, Plan Maker

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: