Life is a Balance was awarded the Gold Standard of Literary Excellence by The Princeton Literary Review in 2013.
Title: Life is a Balance It isn’t only about you, part 2 of his life journey, Misguided Sensitivity is part 1.
Author: Philip Nork Jr.
Genre: Real-life Fiction
Published By: All Things That Matter Press (August 11, 2012)
About the Story: The journey of self-discovery is a lifetime trip; and just like the fingerprints you possess, yours will be uniquely different from anyone else’s. There are things that are common in each – such as good and bad times, emotional highs and lows, and choices that will need to be made. These choices that are presented to you can greatly define how you live your life. They may be influenced by the people who you meet, symbols that are strategically placed along your journey, and especially by however you choose to worship your idea of God. Being that no choice ever comes without consequence, there really is no right or wrong answer; either road taken will eventually get you to where you’re supposed to be. Although some roads take longer than others in order to reach your final destination.
My Thoughts: When I started reading this book I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was the author’s memoir, but through the reading I realized much of it was fictionalized. It was a slow beginning for me, but with the thought, it being a memoir, I kept reading. It became interesting and then I needed to keep reading.
Phil’s journey was tough. The author pulled me from one experience to another, some of them happy, some silly making me roll my eyes, and some very emotional, crying. Phil was a boy full of life, but he just couldn’t seem to stay happy. He was looking for acceptance, searching for the right road in his life. And seemingly, never quite finding the one that brought him complete peace.
He was a likeable, open-minded individual with a charismatic aura which he used to make people happy. He needed to take care of women, make them happy. It was something compulsive to him. Unfortunately, he didn’t know he needed to also be taken care of and made happy. He wanted to leave every woman he met happy. He figured if she was happy, he would be, too. But life kept knocking him down, hurt way too many times by young women who used him. When he finally thought he could open himself up and love a woman because he thought he loved her, something terrible would happen. I think his experiences gave him great character. His experiences taught me as well. Perhaps that is why he decided to write.
This book also talks about the gay and lesbian community. That was interesting to me, since I know so little about them. Phil seemed to be comfortable with all types of people.
All in all, I enjoyed the read. I enjoyed the style of dialog throughout the book and the many people Phil loved and lost. The author has created a bit of a niche for himself with his books. They seem to center around looking for happiness, getting over feeling alone, overcoming divorce and death. He tells us for every end there is a new beginning. His books show us that you never know when a person enters your life and this person will help you learn and grow. His story is one of hope and eventual peace.
About the Author: “People ask me all the time, “What genre do you write in?” I used to not know how to answer. You see, I take pieces of real life, sometimes mine, sometimes others, and weave them into a fictional story. This is called non-narrative fiction or creative fiction or reality fiction or any of about a hundred other titles by the experts. In reality, I call it real life fiction.”
Philip Nork’s early years were in Chicago, Illinois. His parents divorced. Children cannot escape the trauma this presents in their lives. It certainly didn’t escape Philip. Analytically, he tried to understand the relationship between a man and a woman. He spent his growing up years with deeply conflicting experiences and learning from those he met who has made him the man he is today. His writing is greatly influenced with the need to help.
Much an introvert, he spent hours listening to his favorites—artists like Bread, Jim Croce, Air Supply and Rod Stewart. With his quiet ways, and handsome demeanor, girls were drawn to him, particular those who needed a listening ear. All of his stories within the story have pieces of his life, albeit written with a fictitious bend.
He married, had a son and moved to Nevada. His job kept him on the road a lot and this is where his idea of the books began. While in a hotel room he turned the television on and watched the classic film Grease. This particular movie was special to him. Once finished, he listened to some 1970’s music which between the two gave him the idea of this two-part journey.
He’s been on a roll ever since. These are the books he has published:
This House is a Home: A story of coal mining, family and the Sengers of Stiritz, June 11, 2014
Amore & More in Albuquerque, July 23, 2013
The Other Side of Horse Racing, June 5, 2013
Legends of the Lake, December 9, 2011
What the Heart Feels…: Poetry from a teenager of the 1970’s, December 28, 2011
You’re Never Alone…A Child of Divorce Searches of Happiness, December 8, 2011 Sensitivity 101: The Search for Acceptance, August 7, 2009