Reviews

Praise for Food for Thought: Essays on Mind and Spirit

Jerry Fabyanic’s writings are reflective, engaging, and desperately needed in a world that is moving away from personal connection and independent thought.

– Dr. Jason C. Steinle, Author of Upload Experience

Food for Thought by Jerry Fabyanic is a series of prescriptions for human decency. Each piece calls for a joyful dance with life. Fabyanic draws on mythology, science, nature, creativity, and personal experience with a kinetic energy that takes the reader on an exploratory journey. The series casts shadows and light upon personal growth in an increasingly impersonal world. We need these self-reflections now more than ever!

Food For Thought speaks to us of the benefits of developing a kinder heart, an open mind, and a hungry spirit. It speaks of the values of simplicity and acceptance while never underestimating the battle with The Blues. Each essay is an epistle to plain old Humanity with its consequential dramas and dilemmas. Food for the body, mind, and spirit. Nourishment for the inner child. Here is a healthy serving of soul power in a world that can give you an overload of indigestion. Thanks for a great meal, Jerry!

– Rick Posner, PhD, Author of Lives of Passion, School of Hope

In Food for Thought, Jerry Fabyanic invites us to step outside the chaotic trappings of modern life and contemplate more spiritual matters: forgiveness, connection, fairness, wonder. With Fabyanic’s gentle, conversant style, these brief essays become rhetorical origami: neatly crafted philosophical creations where simplicity meets beauty. Read singly or in bunches, they’ll help you make the most of your brief spell on this beautiful, fragile planet.

– Sandra S. McRae, Author of all the way to just about there and The Magic Rectangle

In a series of poignant, well-crafted essays, Jerry Fabyanic explores the human psyche in both personal and societal contexts. Drawing from a host of influences as diverse as Eastern religious texts, twentieth century empirical science, Central American indigenous traditions, and Shakespeare, Fabyanic picks up where Brené Brown left off, exploring our life’s journey through thought experiments that drag us consciously down the rabbit hole with him.

Fabyanic suggests that we are each at our own stage of personal development, but his essays meet us where we are. In focusing on topics from gratitude to death and literary characters from Gatsby to Linus, Fabyanic addresses aspects of our human existence. But these are just the foreground set against the more expansive backdrop of hopeful spiritual evolution. While the essays are individually consumable, they also form a cohesive whole that will render the reader better for the experience.

– Steven Craig, Author of Waiting for Today

In this lovely collection of thought-provoking and insightful essays, Jerry Fabyanic invites readers to contemplate the evolution of humanity as well as the intricacies of the universe. His essays integrate both the simplicity and the complexity of life as he shares poignant and valuable life lessons with compassion and consciousness. These essays certainly provide food for thought, as well as an appreciation for the human experience and the wonder of the universe. I highly recommend it!

– Cheryl Ilov, Author of Forever Fit and Flexible: Feeling Fabulous at Fifty and Beyond

I loved this book! In Food for Thought, Jerry Fabyanic, the English teacher, turns philosopher to ponder the ultimate issues of our lives. From change to loneliness, hope to forgiveness, thankfulness to death, Jerry brings his wit, insight, humor, and a bit of historical context as he weaves in the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers and writers and shares personal experiences common to all of us. In his own inimitable and often lyrical style, Jerry presents a new and powerful way to look at these fundamental issues and poses questions and actions for the reader that are thought-provoking. We would all benefit from Jerry’s profound reflections in our own lives.

– Ann Nye West, President and CEO Bristlecone Publishing

Jerry Fabyanic’s Food for Thought serves up a smorgasbord of tasty morsels to tantalize your mind and inspire your soul. These honest self-reflections encourage readers to consider—and reconsider—their own opinions on everything sandwiched between living and dying, with a taste for chocolate thrown in to make the more “meta,” chewier essays easier to swallow. Highly relatable, Jerry’s prose runs the gamut from poignant to provocative. Each essay is sprinkled with allusions to works by other great minds and ends with a succinct statement or suggestion.

Jerry will never stop learning. This is clear throughout his collection. And by sharing what he has learned, he becomes a teacher to us all. While sampling the bounty in this book, remember Jerry’s mother’s advice, “Go outside and play!”

– Laurel McHargue, Award-winning  author and podcast host

Jerry Fabyanic’s essays on mind and spirit will knock your socks off! When I finished the book, I inserted a large, colorful one-word icon on the last page: WOW! The essays are eclectic, insightful, germane and, yes, helpful as we navigate our way through this increasingly complex world of ours.

Jerry is an extraordinarily accomplished and well-read person who draws on his powerful life experiences and many years as an educator in the broadest sense of the word. Each essay captures an important dimension of life that the reader can apply. The references to music and literature are delightful—an education, per se—and carefully crafted to capture the right tone and point. Even if you’ve been around the block, you’ll gain new insights, remember things you’ve forgotten, and take a fresh look at life and your place in the world.

In writing these essays, Jerry was forthcoming about his own personal experiences, thoughts, trials, and tribulations. His level of candor and self-awareness helps make the book appealing and useful. His essays resonated. I experienced the whole panoply of emotions, from mild amusement to laughter to deep sadness. In the process, I learned new things and was reminded of ways of being that I should change or address to put things in perspective to be a happier person and maybe make things go smoother. As a result, there were decisions I made, actions that I took, and new ways of looking at things as result of this book.

Food for thought, yes, but also food for action . . . for all of us. Highly recommend!

– Timothy C. Hall, Award-winning author; Executive Director/CEO of private,
public, and nonprofit organizations; Honorary Lieutenant, Denver Police; and US Marine Vietnam veteran

Jerry Fabyanic’s Food for Thought delights the emotional and intellectual pallet. His musings clarify and confound.

  • On Cynicism: “I view the cynic as one who believes in the perfectibility of humans but runs smack into the reality that we will not be perfected.”
  • On Final Conversations: “What if I said the wrong thing?”
  • On Contentment: “The permanence of satisfaction can be destructive to pursuing one’s bliss.”

You can open any page of Food for Thought to learn, laugh, and open up your life. A reader’s book you don’t want to miss.

– Barb Lundy, Author of Fiction of Stone

I met this guy my freshman year in high school. He asked a lot of thought-provoking questions, not to be annoying but to acquire more knowledge. He made me think. He made me wonder. He made me want to learn more. Now here we are, many years later, and Jerry is still doing that. It doesn’t matter if he refers to Little Billy from the Family Circus cartoon, Mitch Albom, Carl Jung, Pope Gelasius, or Antisthenes. Jerry challenges his readers to be better, to think, to understand, to laugh, to wonder, to care, to feel.  Food for Thought is an appropriate title for this bountiful buffet of his essays. Eat slowly and take the time to savor and digest this book.

– Karen Gamret, Retired Educator, Ann Arbor Public Schools,
Washtenaw Community College, and Eastern Michigan University

The title, Food for Thought, is certainly apropos. Philosophical and mind stretching, Fabyanic’s book explores a variety of topics with insight, wit, and humanity.

– Jodi Bowersox, Award-winning author of the Tripping on Mars,
The Lightning Riders,
Anonymous, and The Rocky Mountain series

In this enjoyable and intriguing collection, Jerry Fabyanic weaves the themes of mythology, literature, the sciences, and spiritual traditions into diverse, wide-ranging personal essays. The mix includes writings about growing up in a family with thirteen children, the pleasures of chocolate, and universal questions of meaning. Jerry creates unique insights into current times by connecting these themes to film, music, and today’s events. These essays are a treat for the curious and questioning mind.

– Donna Taylor, Retired Human Resources Professional

Gentle and profound, Jerry Fabyanic’s musings give the reader quite a feast. His insightful eye lands on weighty subjects from the troubling dilemmas that we face to questions of eternity, and his sly wit keeps the darkness at bay. From contemplating loneliness to indulging in a “barbaric yawp,” Food for Thought offers joy and hope in a time when they are often scarce.

– Laurie Marr Wasmund, Award-winning author of
My Heart Lies Here, Clean Cut, and White Winter Trilogy

Award-winning author Jerry Fabyanic’s new book, Food for Thought, is sure to become another winner. The eye-appealing cover invites the reader to sample the goodies inside, a collection of essays that will pique your curiosity and encourage you to think and respond to Jerry’s thoughts and ideas. It’s a book you can read cover to cover or sample an essay at a time by allowing their intriguing titles pull you in. You will not be disappointed. There must be a reason Jerry’s last name begins with Fab.

– Andrea Antico, Retired Librarian and Author of children’s books

One of my favorite rituals is making a “pour over” every morning. I enjoy the bloom of that magical moment. I then proceed to sink into my spot on the couch and enjoy that first sip. This portable guide, Food for Thought, is on par with that bloom. I can randomly open to any page and enjoy a brief essay while contemplating my intentions for the day.

– Mary Pat Young, Retired Business Owner

Jerry Fabyanic’s Food for Thought takes readers on a grail quest for lifelong learning, understanding, and enlightenment. His provocative essays offer insightful perspective and a unique exploration of many of humanity’s ongoing challenges. His passion for teaching is evident in his fresh approach to such topics as information overload, the growing apathy to mass shootings, and social disconnection in an over-connected world. From mankind’s natural resistance to change to the magical properties of chocolate, Food for Thought challenges us to examine our preconceived notions and open our minds to what is possible.

– Catherine Spader, RN and Author of The Wulfhedinn Series

Fabyanic delves into the human condition and raises it for all to see with whimsical comparisons that reveal the trueness of our humanity. With him, we spelunk through all aspects of being human tied together so thoughtfully that I now have a long list of things to read or study. From Ahab and quantum physics to the life cycle of emotions Fabyanic’s essays become food for discussion and thought.

These essays shine a light on both what is courageous and what is vulnerable within us, allowing readers to see their own truths more clearly and bring them forward for discussion. He encourages us to explore beyond our comfort zones, allowing us to expand our understanding of who we are and who we could be. The essays make me wonder. Isn’t that what essays are for? They certainly inform, verify, encourage, and entertain. I have a full plate, plenty of chocolate, and a wide slice of ice cream to enjoy, savor, and be delighted by while I contemplate the next serving of Food for Thought.

– Allynn Riggs, Award-winning author of The Stone’s Blade series

In Food for Thought, Jerry Fabyanic puts his keen mind to work elaborating on personal insights of varied topics as well as illuminating some of his own life lessons. Humor and subtle wisdom abound in this collection of essays that alternate between heartwarming and boldly academic. Fabyanic weaves a beautiful thread—the common thread of the human condition—throughout. As I perused the pages, I found myself wanting to use these wisdoms in my own life. It’s a delightful read. I greatly enjoyed the beautiful prose and high-minded ideals that Fabyanic delivers.

– Todd Fahnestock, Author of Ordinary Magic

Jerry’s slices of life musings offer something for everyone: literature, history, psychology, philosophy. His uncommon view of common experiences is expressed with honesty and vulnerability and is often wryly funny and whimsical. From childhood memories of a large family living together in a tiny home to dissecting current events, reading Food for Thought will make you feel like you are wrapped in a warm blanket while you are sitting in front of a fireplace on a snowy night and realizing what being rich really means.

– Nanci Hubbard Morse, MA, Literature and Theory of
Knowledge Teacher and International Baccalaureate Coordinator

Holy Cow, I thought I would be able to skim through this book and just have an enjoyable quick read. But no! I found myself wanting to spend time reading and rereading one chapter over and over because with each new paragraph, I started thinking about my life and how small attitude adjustments could change it. If that wasn’t enough, I dusted off my journal and started writing my own thoughts as I pondered the wisdom shared by Jerry. I am going to go back and scour this book again. Life is complicated, but somehow, we make it harder than it really is. Jerry helps his readers see what is truly important in our time spent here on Earth. Perspective is everything, and he reminds the reader of that. Every adult would benefit from reading this book.

– Lisa Reinicke, Award-winning Author and Speaker

In each essay in Food for Thought, Jerry provides readers with current and relevant thoughts expressing vulnerabilities around life circumstances. Each is poignant, teaching us about the softness of our existence and providing an opportunity to learn about ourselves.

– Rachel Kodanaz, Author of Living with Loss, One Day at a Time

I admire Jerry Fabyanic’s willingness to go deep into a topic, a welcome contrast to the short-form news and digital information we usually get. He offers so much more than sexy headlines. Stories like “Shockability Quotient” and “Curing the Loneliness Disease” mix his personal viewpoint with the thoughts of writers from William Ernest Henley to Billy Joel. Immediately drawn to the “Chocolate” essay, I was delighted to learn the history as well as the magic that Jerry wove through it, suggesting that chocolate is a way to bring even the most polarized people together. This collection of stories provides something for all the senses as well as every mood.

– Amy Collette, Founder of Unleash Your Inner
Author and Author of The Gratitude Connection

It is surprising to find a book whose sole purpose is to make you think, and it is even more surprising to find one that does so. Yet this is what Jerry Fabyanic manages to do in his well-written, meandering book, Food for Thought. Jerry takes us to places, some familiar and some not so familiar, and in just a few short pages, he has us thinking in ways we may not have thought before. He uses his own life experiences and thought-provoking literature to accomplish this. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the issues that constitute our lives. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

– Jim West, Author of Topo: The Stories Behind the Maps

Jerry’s gift to readers is a delightful book full of sincere, thought-provoking insights—some bringing a smile to faces, some a few tears. With personal communication increasingly being relegated to second place behind the impersonal communication of social media sites and texting, Jerry reminds readers of the importance of communicating directly with others as well with themselves and that we not only need to take stock of our place in the world but also within our own mental, physical, and spiritual spheres.

– Cheryl Carpinello, Award-winning author of the
Guinevere Trilogy and the Tales & Legends series

Jerry Fabyanic’s Food for Thought is a powerful collection, capturing not only the depths of his thinking, but also his discipline and dedication to the essay as an art form. The collection has an interesting range of topics, most of which we ponder or wrestle with at some point in time and some we would avoid. After reading his essays, it feels somehow surprising that we would avoid any topic he covers, and now we have the opportunity to choose otherwise. Not only does he give us his insights in these essays, but he also gives us permission to explore our own perspectives.

– J.M. Mitchell, Author of Killing Godiva’s Horse and Public Trust

I experienced Food for Thought as being a bit like a seven-course meal for the mind and spirit. Covering the spectrum of human experience, there is something for everyone to savor and digest. Jerry shares thought-provoking tidbits of wisdom based on a lifetime of learning and experience. These beautifully composed essays triggered deep personal and nourishing reflection. Oh, and Jerry, I like my chocolate at least 70 percent dark!

– Rev. Joseph Holub, Retired Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America