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Windows of the Mind

Som Panha / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

Five stories about five senses may sound straightforward, but wait until you finish reading each of them.

“Windows of the Mind” by Frank Brennan brings you the stories of five different people with special abilities. The titles are A Fine Wine, A Nose for a Story, Arlo’s War, Open Doors, and A Gentle Touch.

A Fine Wine tells the story of a wine taster who can tell the quality of a wine with just one sip, but eventually loses his talent because of an accident.

A Nose for a Story brings you the story of a magazine journalist who metaphorically sniffs out celebrity scandals, and will do anything to get a scoop. Will her persistence make her a famous journalist or will it damage her career?

Arlo’s War focuses on a former soldier who hates noise as much as war, and would like to live a silent life, but cannot find peace for himself. Noise is everywhere. Even if they are not the sounds explosion, noises still depress him.

Open Doors is about a blind-from-birth radio presenter, who has a gift for challenging people to admit their wrongdoings. But after she has eye surgery to restore her sight, she has trouble adjusting to her new world. She has gotten used to sound, rather than images. Which one should she trust? What she hears, or what she sees?

A Gentle Touch describes a university lecturer who learns tai chi and discovers the secret of chi. Will he learn from his mistakes after causing an imbalance of chi inside his body?

I enjoyed the way the writer connected the five stories, leading the reader to understand the consequences of using our five senses improperly.

I learned that it is important to maintain a balance in our daily activities ranging from the way we talk to the way we listen, smell, hear and touch. It is good to avoid being extreme or extra. As one of the characters suggests, “Do not upset that balance. What happens when we lose our balance? We fall over!”

There are lessons for real life here if we desire to live in a carefree, or happy-go-lucky way.

Information on this book is available at the Self-Accessing Centre (SAC) at Royal University of Phnom Penh, or online at The author is Frank Brennan and the books is 96 pages long. This book was published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press.

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