Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: We Stood Upon Stars by Roger Thompson

Title: We Stood Upon Stars by Roger Thompson
Source: Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review

About the book:

We are made for freedom and adventure, friendship and romance. Yet too much of life is spent unfulfilled at work, restless at home, and bored at church.  All the while knowing there is something more. You’ll find some of life’s best moments waiting for you over a campfire, on a river—even in that coffee shop or brewery you didn’t know you’d discover along the way. It’s time to begin the search.
In the literary spirit of well-worn tales about America’s open road, this poetic, honest, often hilarious collection of essays shows how to embark on adventures that kindle spiritual reflection, personal growth, and deeper family connections.
From surfing California’s coastlines, stargazing southwestern deserts, and fly-fishing in remote mountains of Montana, you’ll be inspired to follow the author’s footsteps and use the hand-drawn maps from each chapter to plan your own trips.  There you will hear God’s voice – and it may help you find what you’re searching for.
“We search mountaintops and valleys, deserts and oceans, hoping sunrises and long views through the canyons will help us discover who we are, or who we still want to be.  The language of our hearts reflects that of creation because in both are fingerprints of God.”

My thoughts:

This book is quietly beautiful, like standing in the wilderness beneath a deep blanket of stars. I took my time with it, as I would anything to be savored, reading a chapter here, one there. It is a book for dreaming by, with its gorgeous imagery and prose. 

Every chapter is somewhere new, and is preceded by a hand-drawn map of the author's design, highlighting the secrets of the area - where to get a good cup of coffee, for one, or where to find the best fish tacos. Thompson shared his journey, from the material to the spiritual, within the pages of this book. I learned about his grandfather, his father, his wife, his sons, and of their joys and challenges. Of how nature and the wild can speak to you, if you just stop and listen. 

His writing is incredibly vivid, with images that stick with you. For instance, the book opens with:

"Grandpa rode out of the Oklahoma dust bowl on the back of a Harley Davidson after the Great Depression. His father, my great-grandfather, was driving. To make better time, his father tied Grandpa to his body with a rope so Grandpa could sleep without falling off. Though in oven winds, sleep seldom came."

What a great image, that of a motorcycle riding preacher pulling out of town, his son strapped to the back. 

He speaks of loss, when their family loses their beloved dog, Logan. 

"Fathering comes somewhere between the deep breaths and the blank page where there is no script. What my boys needed to know was the truth - that I hurt along with them. they needed to know a father's heart is a broken one, that it's been mended stronger, and as a result has strength to carry any of the pain they cannot." 

Simple and beautiful. 

The spirituality that lies within the pages does not beat you over the head with chapter and verse; instead it is more a way of looking at the world, being mindful and grateful and appreciative. 

I very much enjoyed this book, and feel it is one I will read again and again.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

A little bit about the author:

ROGER W. THOMPSON is a successful entrepreneur, collaborator, adventurer, and writer. He’s spent his career building innovative businesses and nonprofit organizations. In addition to creating the first mission tourism resort in Haiti with the Hands and Feet Project, he’s produced surf films, built skate parks, and outfitted adventure trips. Alongside his wife, he travels, surfs, snowboards, and fly-fishes—and is teaching his two young sons to do the same.


  1. Sounds great, and I love that there's a handdrawn map for each chapter. Nice touch. And it's so true we seek out the beautiful, wild places to feel closer to nature or to find meaning or whatever. Glad you liked it- looks like a fabulous read.

    1. I was a little nervous but I loved it. The maps add such a cool touch!

  2. Replies
    1. A lot of the places listed are on your side of the country! This was a good read. :)

  3. This sounds beautiful. What a lovely summer read.

    1. It really was! Perfect for those (sometimes rare) quiet moments in your day. :)

  4. This sounds like the kind of book that would give me insane wanderlust. haha :) And what a beautiful cover!


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