Sunday, December 1, 2013

An imperfect gift for those who have it all together

My book, Embracing the Gray: A Wing a Prayer, and A Doubter’s Resolve, has been given over a hundred 5 Star Reviews at (97% of all responses). It might be an interesting gift idea for a friend or relative who is going through hard questions about life, faith, and purpose.  Here are some excerpts from readers that have been posted…

When I first set out to read Mark's book, it was with a view to enjoy a fellow road warrior's memoirs and reminisce on my time on the road while I read through stories of his times. Mission accomplished ... but wait, this book is far more than a simple set of stories and memories of being on the road!

Mark's influence in "the biz" is astounding. His depth of experience goes well beyond what I knew of him, taking on perspective and experiences from so many of the past 40 years of music and artists. He can speak with authority on many a friend or acquaintance from the music industry, yet this book is not about Mark, nor is it about the biz; yes, it speaks of him, but it's not about him. Instead, I was surprised to find a depth of insight and a clarity of direction that has been gleaned from a long search for meaning in life.

I found myself laughing, crying, moved beyond emotion to introspection, but ultimately, a powerful, well-written synopsis of a life richly lived. I never saw the end coming in this book. It crept up on me silently and without need of a summary, Mark beautifully wove words to the meaning of embracing the gray. Life is not about either/or, it's about both/and. The insights are so appreciated in this world of extremes where "embracing the pendulum" much more the norm. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well done, Mark! 

Mark Hollingsworth's Embracing The Gray is an amazing journey through one ordinary yet extraordinary man's life and faith. The book is refreshingly truthful. It portrays true humanity and glimpses of the divine. I'd highly recommend this autobiographical novel!  

A captivating read. Mark's story draws you in as if you are reading an account that is both familiar and yet at times devastating. I laughed out loud and was brought to tears. His honesty about his doubts and faith called out and validated my own questions as something to embrace rather than try and run from or never face. Even apart from the story of faith that is woven throughout, the experiences of his life are simply fascinating to read.

I am not a quick reader and have left too many books unfinished because they did not hold my attention. I finished this book within a 24 hour period. I have already bought a copy for a Christmas present and may get a few more. I'd recommend this to nearly anyone out there. 

Tears and laughter.  What a ride! As someone who has traveled a great deal, I could relate to some of the adventures Mark Hollingsworth experienced in his journeys, but that's where the comparison ends. The depth and insight Mark has into the people he met along the way, his keen sense of observation and compassion moved me to tears as I read the book on a flight home. His deep desire to help his fellow man (or woman) both abroad and in his hometown is inspiring, and has caused me to open my eyes for a sharper look for those who need a shoulder, a laugh or words of comfort. Good on you Mark for being a friend to those in need and the caring son and brother that enriched his family. 

Loved this book for so MANY reasons! Embracing the Gray had me mesmerized from the very opening. The family dynamics, the questioning mind, the musical influences, the peer group, the range of viewpoints and the writing style that ties it all together really kept my interest from start to finish. Having grown up in a Christian household I had a foundation that I grew up on but I so related to the tragedies and the life events that brought Mark to his place of questioning. I was a wanderer for years and I am a music buff so I was hooked right from the beginning. I admired Mark's courage to step out and question verbally and to challenge his peers in college.

I SO enjoyed reading about his journey with Kerry Livgren (with the band Kansas) and I was happy yet saddened by the unfolding of his relationship with his brother. An unexpected surprise I received was the fact that I was given a new perspective on the music that I grew up on. I went back and listened to the songs Mark talked about in Embracing the Gray, and I love them more today than I did back then. It’s a book that I am so glad to have added to my collection  A+++++ MUST READ!!!

I very much enjoyed this book. Mark's sheer honesty regarding his faith and experiences left me in contemplation and wonder. We are reminded that the world is full of darkness and beauty simultaneously. There is heartbreak and there is hope. The structure of this book is such that it is hard to put down. I found myself always curious about what would come next. This is a unique thing, I believe, for a writing of nonfiction. Mark has had an amazing life, and we are very privileged to be given the opportunity to witness his journey.

Excellent.  I appreciate Mark's refreshing honesty about his faith, his struggles, and the joy and torment that life in general brings. I was moved to the brink of tears often. The compassion exhibited throughout is inspiring.

I continue to be humbled by the response the book is generating. You can also check out other reader reviews, as well as order the book in hard copy at this link.  In fact, Embracing the Gray is also available for a limited time as a 99 cent Kindle download at this same link.

If you would be interested in purchasing a signed copy, please contact me, and I can work with you directly on any of those requests, or answer any other questions you might have.  I answer all my mail.  : )

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