Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: August Turak
August Turak, author of Brother John, is a very storied man. (2018, inside back cover) Turak founded the Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation (SKSF) in the wake of publishing this ground-breaking book. It is a spiritual and educational based not for profit that has become tremendously successful with students, academics, and lay people alike. Turak is now an award-winning writer who has held guest slots on BBC and Forbes.com. Turak is a tremendous public speaker too and loves spending spiritual time at Mepkin Abbey in Charleston, South Carolina alongside the Monks.
Turak won $100,000 when he decided to enter the prestigious John Templeton Foundation’s “Power of Purpose Essay Contest” with Brother John. This contest was a mere 3,500 word or less project that invited authors to respond to the question of “What is the purpose of life?”. August had a scant ten days to complete and submit his entry. He did a fabulous job of addressing that question and elaborating on that topic further too. That was 2004.
Brother John was born from a personal setback that August had suffered while sky diving. It had been this particular crisis that found August at the doors of Mepkin Abbey seeking spiritual solace. It was during the many walks on those grounds and in the quiet company of Brother John where Augies’ life was forever more changed and he found his purpose.
Turak was surprised and somewhat humbled when he found out that his entry, Brother John, had won this esteemed prize. Initially, he thought that the winning call was a prank from some friends, but he soon learned it was real. A splashy ceremony was conducted at the Four Season’s in New York City.
Brother John was published in two anthologies, The Best Christian Writing and The Best Catholic Writing. (2018, p.7) The luck of this draw spearheaded a new direction and career for Turak. Auggie donated his winning monies to the Mepkin Abbey and some other heart-felt charities before using the remainder to establish the SKSF.
Doctor William Willimon said this about August, “Augie loves to be born again, and then again, in his constant quest for fresh, life-changing truth. He was therefore a perfect student for the best of teachers.” (2018, p.5) To which August adds, “The agony of life is uncertainty, and the rationalization is that uncertainty is certain. – So we rationalize that it’s all “relative”, or that we’re already doing enough and don’t have time.” (p.11) How often have you contemplated this very question? We all make time for the things we feel deeply about.
I don’t want to give this entire book away, but I will tell you that I loved it and found it awe inspiring! To learn more about Turak and his other works please visit his website at www.AugustTurak.com
The graphics for Brother John were done by a very talented man by the name of Glenn Harrington and I found them as compelling and poignant as the words on these pages. Harrington has been featured in American Art Collector magazine, the New York Times, American Arts Quarterly, International Artists Magazine, and the Philadelphia Enquirer. (2018, inside back cover) His illustrations have graced the covers of other equally as prestigious periodicals. Harrington’s works have been on exhibit around the globe. Harrington has won several prizes and awards for his work. To learn more about his please visit his website at www.glennharrington.com