SqueakyChu Soars to New Reading Heights - 3rd Quarter
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It's up a little early, but I'll be off line for a bit so I thought I'd get a head start on my third quarter reading (which has been very slow this year...mostly bogged down by political reads).
My Book Counter:
My Page Counter:
My 2017 Calendar:
GOAL: To have less than 506 books in my "To read" collection at the end of 2017.
UPDATE: My current number of "To read" books as of 08/29/17 is 482.
CONFESSION: The lower number is not because I've read more books. It's because I've culled my book collection a bit.
Photo by Justine Ng - Flickr - CC,A)
1. LT Meetup in Toronto, Canada on Saturday July 1, 2017 (Canada Day AND the sesquicentennial!) with jessibud2, _Zoe_, radicarian, and torontoc. :D
2. BookCrossing meetup at Harbord House pub in Toronto, Canada (!!!) on Sunday, July 2, 2017
3. Visit The Write BookShop in St. Catharine's Ontario, Canada. This book shop is owned by my friend Fran and her husband Steve!
4. BookCrossing meetup of BCinDC on Saturday, July 12, in Crystal City, Virginia.
17. Bystanders - Tara Laskowski - TIOLI: Read a book of short stories (fiction) by a new-to-you author - 229
* TIOLI shared read
Photo by Billy Bob Bain - Flickr - CC,A)
1. BookCrossing meetup this month!
2. Reading books at the beach!
18. How to be a Bad Birdwatcher - Simon Barnes - TIOLI: Read a book with a musical term in the title or author's name (bar) - 220 pages
19. Fish - Jane P. Resnick - TIOLI: Read a children's or YA book that was published between 1901 & 1999 (1993) - 29 pages
20. Puppy Pirates; Stowaway! - Erin Soderberg - 85 pages
21. Nexo Knights: Monster Battles - Julia March - 63 pages
22. Watching Water Birds - Jim Arnosky - TIOLI: Read a book with either a wedding or eclipse word or phrase in the title (watching) - 32 pages
23. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated Volume 2: Never Say Xever / The Gauntlet - Kenny Byerly 112 pages
24. Meet Robert E. Lee - George Swift Trow - 64 pages
* TIOLI shared read
Photo by Thales - Flickr - CC,A)
1. National Book Festival with LT/BC/LFL breakfast meetup at Le Pain Quotidian in DC on September 2, 2017 - I missed the meetup and the Book Festival.
2. BookCrossing meetup - Sunday September 23rd at Noodles & Company in Rockville, Maryland.
25. Pirates #2: X Marks the Spot - Erin Soderberg - TIOLI: Read a book that has a significant relationship to a book you read in August (the next book in the series, Puppy Pirates) - 86 pages
26. Dinner at the Center of the Earth - Nathan Englander - TIOLI: Read a book where there is at least one set of double consonants in the title - 251 pages
27. Invisible People - Will Eisner - TIOLI: Read a book with a title that names a living thing - 188 pages
28. Not in My Neighborhood - Antero Pietila - TIOLI: Read a book whose title contains a negative word found on the Negative Vocabulary Word List - 320 pages
29. A Boy of Good Breeding - Miriam Toews - 116/268 pages = 43%
30. Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking - Michael Solomonov, Steven Cook - TIOLI: Read a non-fiction book where food is a key theme - 92/368 pages = 25%
31. Mission to Berlin : the American airmen who struck the heart of Hitler's Reich - Robert F. Dorr - 20/328 pages = 6%
* TIOLI shared read
Sorry Madeline, I just found your new thread today.
Happy new thread!
Happy new thread! It was great to see you this weekend, and I hope the rest of your trip went well!
>5 FAMeulstee: >6 _Zoe_:
It was great seeing you, too. I hope you get to come down our way for a longer visit in the future. We're heading home tomorrow.
I'm sad to be back in the USA, but I guess I'll adjust once again. Canada was such a fun place to visit and made that much better by the good company of friends and family.
I also just found this thread! What's up with that?!
It was terrific to meet you after all these years! Hoping it won't take another 150 till the next time! ;-)
>8 torontoc: >9 jessibud2:
I just got home to Rockville about two hours ago. What a fantastic trip we had! Thank you both so much for your hospitality, warmth, and friendship. I had an amazing time. Each day was so much fun and very special.
I know some people here post pictures and details of their trips, but I was too busy with all of you to fuss with LT or BookCrossing while I was in Canada!
I have to say that the impetus for this trip was that our current president scared me out of my own country. We all cheered when we reached the Canadian border and groaned when we returned to the USA border.
After we left Toronto, we went to stay with a friend and her husband in St. Catherine's, Ontario. They own a book store (The Write BookShop) so you know I was in seventh heaven! If either of you are ever in St. Catherine's, drop by and say hi from me to Fran and Steve (the owners). You can also find some used books to buy. I did...and I almost never buy any books any more!
One day we toured the canals on which the ships cross from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie and vice versa. That was unbelievable how those huge ships could fit so neatly into the canal locks and be raised and lowered to the correct sea height.
The next day we went to Niagara Falls. Even though we'd been there before, it is always an amazing sight to see.
The following day we visited my cousin's son, his wife and their baby in Ithica, New York, and toured the Cornell campus.
Last we did some strenuous hiking at the Robert Treman State Forest and got to see some gigantic rock cliffs and gorgeous waterfalls. It was worth the effort to see them. That was in a place called Spencer, New York.
Shelley, I'll send you a snail mail letter after I unpack and get settled.
Cyrel, do you still live on Kainona Avenue? If so, I'll try to get a letter off to you as well.
Maybe I'll do some pictures of my trip at a later date when I get things here at home more organized. Some of those pictures are really worth sharing.
I'm off to check the TIOLI thread...and then do lots of laundry. Bye for now! :)
17. Bystanders - Tara Laskowski
July 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book of short stories (fiction) by a new-to-you author
What a collection of unsettling stories! Each gives a glimpse into someone's life, but what is exposed is not always comfortable. In one story, a woman looks at her own baby's monitor and sees the baby of a neighbor. In a second story, a lady gets a letter from her husband who she thought had died eight years previously. In yet another story, a man who constantly scares his mistress causes her to in turn scare his wife. If this sounds bizarre, it is. If you might be curious as to what happens in these stories and more, consider reading this book!
Rating - 4 stars
Just waving hello, Madeline. I saw your name and realised I hadn't dropped by in a while.
18. How to be a Bad Birdwatcher - Simon Barnes - TIOLI: Read a book with a musical term in the title or author's name (bar)
August 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book with a musical term in the title or author's name (bar)
This is truly a wonderful book. I've always been interested in watching birds, although that interest waxes and wanes as I go off on other tangents. This book gives me permission to do just that! It basically says that I don't have to be a "twitcher", a term used in England for an avid birdwatcher or one who obsessively check off birds on a "life list". Simon Barnes writes, "In fact, the notion of common birds and rare birds begins to look like nothing more than a kind of snobbery."
Simon Barnes talks about a bird's place in nature and how to appreciate all kinds of birds by simply noting their presence, listening to their sounds and using all opportunities to learn more about them. He writes, "In fact, the notion of common birds and rare birds begins to look like nothing more than a kind of snobbery." I love this attitude of laying down the life list and simply being mindful in the presence of birds.
Rating - 5 stars
To be honest, I wouldn't be able to tell you if a bird I saw was common or rare - they flit by too fast. My mum got me into bird watching as a child, when we lived near a river, which therefore tended to attract more species. I find it fascinating if I spot a bird here that has relatives half a world away.
>14 humouress: Well, that is exactly what was so cool about this book. The author basically said that it didn't matter if a bird was common or rare. What was important was being aware of it and other birds.
In order to see birds better, I have a birdbath and a bird feeder just outside my back window. I look at them through binoculars so I can identify them better. I used to check birds off on a list, but I stopped doing that because I lost two lists that I had. Both of them were on websites that went defunct. What I miss most about that last website that went defunct was not so much the bird list, but rather the bird expert to whom I used to ask questions. I had his name, but I could not find him after that anywhere on the web.
>15 SqueakyChu: Ah, entrapment. *nods sagely*
That is sad, about the websites.
>13 SqueakyChu: - I read that one a few years ago, Madeline and loved it, too. Another really excellent writer of nature and specifically, birds, is Pete Dunne. he also is a regular contributor to one of the bird magazines (I forget which one, at the moment).
>17 jessibud2: When I finished that book, I set it aside to save for you because I thought you'd really like it. It's amazing that you've already read it. I thought it was probably an obscure book. I guess not! I'll look for more books now by Simon Barnes because I loved the book of his I just finished. I'll look for books by Pete Dunne because you recommend him. Is there any particular book of his with which I should start?
>18 SqueakyChu: - This is the first of his that I ever read and the one that got me hooked: https://www.amazon.com/Small-headed-Flycatcher-Yesterday-Didnt-Leave/dp/0292716001
It's a series of short essays and some wonderful illustrations (not his) as well. I have also read a few others of his books but I am still in Montreal at my mom's, heading home soon. When I get home, I will check my shelves and let you know other titles that I enjoyed
>21 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Just had to chuckle because my current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, wrote a book (a memoir) with that title. Not about nature! It was published in 2014, by the way, before he was elected to the highest office in our country
19. Fish - Jane Parker Resnick
August 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a children's or YA book that was published between 1901 & 1999 (1993)
I offered to read this book to my four-year-old grandson, but he said no. I read this book myself quickly because it seemed to have quite a few fun facts about many sea creatures. I liked ths book, but I was sorry that my grandson would not let me share it with him
Rating - 3.5 stars
20. Puppy Pirates; Stowaway! - Erin Soderberg - 85 pages
This was a very cute book (the first of a series) that I chose from the public library because it was about pirates, a subject fascinating to my four-year-old grandson. I especially liked this book because it was about puppy pirates who faced the enemy kitten pirates with the weapon of choice being water shot from a canon to scare the kittens! It turned out that this book was more about friendship (Wally the puppy and Henry tried to join a band of puppy pirates) than it was about enemies.
It is a nice story for young children. It had my grandson enthralled as he kept asking me to read chapter after chapter. Fortunately, the book was not too long, and it kept from being boring by its humor. Both my grandson and I are looking forward to reading Book 2 together!
Rating - 4 stars
Thanks for the tips on the kids' books! I read to my 3 yr old great nephew. We have a beach week coming up with lots of great reading time.
>27 humouress: >28 nrmay: I'd love to hear what books and topics your kids like best. Right now my grandson is most interested in pirates and sea creatures. I try to follow his interests with books rather than have books direct his interests.
My grandson turned four this past May and can now sit still for chapter books. He begs me to read the chapters one after the other. I've taken to interrupting the chapters with some kind of building or craft project or even playing out the scene with toy characters rather than just read continuously. I find that this makes each book come more alive. Does anyone else do this? This might also be a babysitter's way of filling up the day! :D
>29 SqueakyChu: Oh, those ideas sound like fun! A bit late for us, though. I'm not really an out-of-the-box thinker (though I do get some weird ideas) so I was teaching them to read at that age and focussing on letter sounds etc. Now (my youngest is 8) they read independently, so when I do read to them, it's bedtime reading with most of the lights off, so they wind down for the night. Theoretically.
We did go through the Mr. Men and Little Miss sets which are fun for reading to that age and then, a bit later, for them to read out loud. My son still likes them. Recently he went through the Tom Gates series, which was in fashion in school and now he's reading through his brother's books; Skulduggery Pleasant and Percy Jackson at the moment. My 13 year old isn't such an avid reader, but he tends to pick up biographies of his sporting heroes.
ETA: he was also into (of course) books from his favourite TV programs like Chuggington and Thomas the Tank Engine. I realise most of these are British books / programs, but you have equivalents (out there in the colonies) ;0) See if you can get hold of some of the Mr. Mens though; they're fun and innocent and a little bit silly.
I was a teacher of young kids with disabilities (physical and cognitive), many of who were non-readers. We had daily story time and I often would read a book the first time, then we'd read it again (several times, if they really liked it), acting it out (each student choosing a character to *be*), using hand or finger puppets (I had a lot of those) or other dress-up props. Some of our favourite books were the *Bear* series, by Karma WIlson (https://www4.bing.com/search?q=karma+wilson+books&form=EDNTHT&mkt=en-ca&httpsmsn=1&msnipt=4&refig=5a97b1f284f34f08c1ec3e55f30190fd&pq=karma+wil&sc=8-9&sp=5&qs=AS&sk=AS4), among others. Her illustrations are lovely and her text is lyrical and fun. Also, in a similar vein, both in text and illustrations, are the Llama Llama books, by Anna Dewdney (who sadly, passed away not long ago at such a young age). Both these series are aimed at younger kids, like your grandson, Madeline, but the dramatization of them can be a lot of fun, Then there are also Franklin the Turtle books, a Canadian staple. I met the author, Paulette Bourgeois, once, long ago, when her own 2 kids were small, as they went to the school around the corner from where I taught, and before I got my permanent contract, I used to substitute at that school, when she was volunteering, as well. Nearly 30 years ago!! Franklin is now an empire!
>30 humouress: I never heard of Mr. Men, but I'll look for those books.
>31 jessibud2: This kid is four going on fourteen. He's now into graphic novels and comics as well. We did Ninja Turtles and Lego characters books this morning. I am totally and completely bored by action figures. Ugh! I can't wait to read to my granddaughter (after she is born and is old enough to listen to me read, of course). The bear books do not go over well with my grandson, but he LOVES those Franklin books. I do, too! They talk about such important topics and do them in such a wonderful way. Those are a real treat. I never realized that the Franklin books were Canadian books. That's a nice discovery for me!
21. Nexo Knights: Monster Battles - Julia March
As much as I love playing with Legos, I don't like reading books about Lego characters. To read this book was not my idea; it was the idea of my four-year-old grandson to have me read it to him. His interest in monsters and battles does not coincide with my own interests. Therefore, in all fairness, I must say that, as much as didn't want to read this book, the story just enthralled my grandson,
We acted out the story with toy characters in between chapters. The characters themselves were imaginative. The book did speak about being a good person with its "Knight's Code". For young readers, the print is large and easy to read. The photos are colorful and fun. Okay, so maybe it isn't as bad as I thought when I read it for the first time!
Rating 3.5 stars
22. Watching Water Birds - Jim Arnosky
August 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book with either a wedding or eclipse word or phrase in the title (watching)
This is a beautiful, slim volume noting the most prevalent water birds. It mostly highlights each bird's characteristics through detailed and colorful art work. This would be a nice introduction to water birds, but more information is needed to further understand each species.
This book was written for school-age children. Since my four-year-old grandson refused to allow me to read it to him, I read it to myself!
Rating - 4 stars
I love Jim Arnosky books! I have had a few pass through my hands (and classroom) over the years.
>35 jessibud2: The drawings/paintings in that book are gorgeous. It's fun that you are familiar with some of the kids' books I am reading. Since this Arnosky book has such great bird pictures, of course I thought of you when reading it. I spent last summer trying to draw pictures with colored pencils of birds. That pastime lapsed after a few months, but I did a few successfully. Here's one...
My nephew loves trains, Pet Patrol, and puzzles!
If your grandson is liking chapter books I recommend:
My Father's Dragon and its 2 sequels by Gannett
The Littles series by Peterson and
Fox and and His Friends, 1st in a series by Edward Marshall. And any others by Marshall (very funny)
pirate book -
Has he read Edward and the Pirates by McPhail?
Dory Story by Jerry Pallota
Once a children's librarian, always a children's librarian . . .
Happy new thread. My kids re now 8, 9 , 11. I still enjoy reading to them. I'd be happy to recommend some excellent picture books if you are interested.
>38 nrmay: I'll put those books on a wishlist and get them from the library the next time I go. Thank you!
>39 brodiew2: My grandson was four yeas old in May and pretty much no longer does picture books except for some old favorites. He loves chapter books and comic books now.
>37 jessibud2: I used to draw when I was younger. I just stopped. No reason why. My daughter did the same thing. She was a very talented artist. She stopped drawing when she got out of college. I started back for fun last year and again stopped. No reason why. I just did other things with my time, I guess. Now I want to do arts and crafts with my grandson, but he he has gotten to the age in which he refuses to do them with me.
Wow. Done with picture books at 4. must be an early reader if he on to chapter books at 4. pretty cool.
>43 brodiew2: He doesn't read at all yet. He can recognize a few letters. He adamantly opposes anyone reading him any ABC book or trying to teach him the alphabet by book. I just follow what interests him and teach him about whatever subject arises. He was into Ninja Turtles today so we finished a Ninja Turtle graphic novel (I point to the frames with a pencil as I read them) and then read a few chapters of a Ninja Turtle chapter book. Then I drew three Ninja Turtles, we both learned about nunchucks and the katana sword, and he built a sewer out of MegaBlocks. All in one morning!
>44 SqueakyChu: Aw, Ninja Turtles - I loved them when I was your grandson's age (and still do!).
I think you're doing exactly the right thing with him - not forcing the alphabet learning but just letting him get acquainted with words in his own time. No need to stress it - he'll want to learn eventually.
>45 PawsforThought: The only thing that bothers me is that all the Ninja Turtles do is fight, fight, fight! I hope this is just a stage...or I'll soon hear back from my daughter-in-law! :d
>46 brodiew2: I loved reading chapter books to my kids at night. My boys adored listening to them, but my daughter was not so patient. When I told her that I would only read one chapter a night, she'd wait until I left the room and secretly finish the books. I quit reading to her much sooner that I did with my two boys.
23. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated Volume 2: Never Say Xever / The Gauntlet - Kenny Byerly
This is the mystery of books: what is fabulous to one person is so boring to another. This is the mystery of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to me. My four-year-old grandson was so enthralled with this book. I never cared for these turtles when my own three children were young, and it's hard for me to get into them now. I love graphic novels (on other subjects) and really do like turtles. I even like Japanese culture (think nunchucks and katana sword). However, I can't get into the story of these turtles who are fighting on every page (or eating pizza). I also complained about the very dark setting on all of the pages. My grandson explained to me that the setting had to be dark. The Ninja Turtles live in the sewer. Oh, yeah...
Rating - 3 stars
It's funny. I don't actually remember my parents reading TO me but they were both avid readers, themselves. I was reading at age 4, and I can remember the refrain from my bedroom, for many years, was "Just one more chapter!....."
That said, my dad always *told* us stories at night, just sat on the edge of the bed and made them up as he went along. I later adopted this routine when I began to babysit the neighbourhood kids. It made me a very popular babysitter! lol
How did this page turn into my grandson's reading instead of mine? Is this why I have no more time to read books of my own?! :D
>50 jessibud2: Oh, do I have a babysitting job for you! :D
I don't remember my mother ever reading to me either. Isn't that funny? She was an avid reader. What I do remember is taking the bus every Saturday morning to downtown Baltimore (Maryland, USA) to go to the gigantic Enoch Pratt Free Library and bringing home books such as Babar the Elephant, Madeline, and Baron van Munchhausen. I also remember that my favorite book was Anderson's Fairy Tales. I had that book until it was (like your copy of Shelanu - Haha!) just a pile of loose pages bound with rubber bands. :D
24. Meet Robert E. Lee - George Swift Trow
I am so bad with history. I got hold of this book when someone donated it to my Litte Free Library. I then decided I needed to read about Robert E. Lee to see if I could get some facts about him as his statues were being removed from many places in the United States (this being the summer of 2017 with the United States back in turmoil due to extreme political division). What I found in this book was a man whose father, "Light Horse Harry" Lee, fought in the American Revolution and later became governor of the state of Virginia. Later, his son, Robert E. Lee, was educated at West Point to lead a military life. As the nation divided over the issue of slavery, General Lee ended up leading the Confederate soldiers because his allegiance was primarily to the state of Virginia.
Both a friend of mine and my husband also read this book and felt that this version of Robert E. Lee's life was "sanitized". Obviously I have to do further in-depth and, more to the point, adult reading so I can better understand the role of Robert E. Lee in American history. To introduce me to this subject, I found this children's book, published in 1969, an interesting, if watered-down start. I have to decide if I want to continue reading about General Lee to get more of a sense of who he was and his role in American history.
Rating - 4 stars
>47 SqueakyChu: But they're fighting evil! And as a member of the first generation to watch TMNT I can promise that it'll be fine in the end. Everyone I know my age loved watching Turtles and everyone turned out just fine - no violent tendencies.
Having said that, I grew up with the original version of TMNT - no graphic novels, etc. - and think they might have been a bit more "light-hearted" than the new stuff (thought I haven't read or watched any of the new stuff so don't know).
When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles premiered in Sweden in the late 80's, parents were horrified by the name and it had to be changed to "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" instead, because the word ninja "insinuated violence". Not a word of a lie.
When I was about 5 my dad brought me Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales when he came home from a business trip. I read many of those over and over. I still have it. Must be at least 'collectible' now if not 'rare'!
My mother read me nursery rhymes, Golden Books bought at the grocery store, and her childhood copies of Heidi and The Bobbsey Twins, published between 1917-1927, with old-fashion glossy plate illustrations. I have those on my shelf too!
I'm not sure what to do with that Robert E. Lee book. I read it for my own information. I got it from a friend who donates oodles of books to my Little Free Library.
Since Robert E. Lee is out of favor (as having led the Confederate Army, which favored slavery, against the Union during the Civil War) and his monuments are being taken down all over the United States, I'm not sure what to do with that book. Originally I intended to release it in my Little Free Library. Would that be politically incorrect, or is that censorship? I certainly would not release a biography of Adolph Hitler there.
What should I do with that book? it has nothing offensive in it as a textbook, but it doesn't give the whole picture of the horror of slavery.
Well, you could release it without registering it (with BCID), maybe into a different LFL, so you wouldn't have to feel as if you were supporting that *side*...
>58 jessibud2: I already registered it at Bookcrossing. I have no qualms about releasing it in my own LFL, but Jose says I shouldn't do that. I also would hesitate to do the dirty deed to another LFL, though. I'll probably release it at a book festival, but I want to release it in my own LFL first. However, I don't want to offend anyone. Maybe ResQGeek, who does the kids books at our festivals, might have a reaction to it but he doesn't censor books.
>57 SqueakyChu: Hello SqueakyChu. You ask some really good questions here. The term 'out of favor' and 'politically incorrect' stood out. I certainly understand the socio-political climate, but does that make Robert E. Lee any less a historical figure? Was he not known as a brilliant military strategist? Was he not a deeply spiritual man? Was he not greatly respected even by Ulysses S. Grant? I don't think the book needs to be hidden or that you should have any shame about reading history or passing it along within your own LFL.
>60 brodiew2: I asked this question on my Little Free Library stewards group. Too bad it is a private group because the discussion was so good. Most stewards suggested I not put it in the Little Free Library, but those that suggested that I put it in knew a lot more about the person who was Robert E. Lee. I got the same feeling from those stewards that I got from reading the book. That was that General Lee was not necessarily a bad character although he represented what for us was synonymous with promoting slavery. How can we form a judgement if we are not allowed to read both about good and bad figures?
I've decided to release the book in my Little Free Library at an upcoming date, but I also will remove it if I get any complaints about it. My guess is that no one will take it home. In that case, I'll try to release it at a book festival although I'm not sure this book will be accepted there for release either.
Just for fun, you might tape a bright colored index card up on a door,
at his eye level
with "door" written with a black sharpie.
If he asks about it, just respond neutrally, "oh, yeah, that's..."
If he responds well or okay,
gradually add more cards, but not to HIS stuff.
then, stick one on you and other people to see if he wants his own;
he then MAY want cards for HIS things.
Re: fighting Ninja turtles - maybe you could ask if they'd like to go swimming
and make up a fun story as you put them into their Ninja pool...?
>62 m.belljackson: Fun ideas, especially the first one. He'd get a kick out of it.
I'll try it!
25. Pirates #2: X Marks the Spot - Erin Soderberg
September 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book that has a significant relationship to a book you read in August (the next book in the series, Puppy Pirates)
I've really enjoyed reading this series so far to my four-year-old grandson. I like this book because of the treasure which turns out to be not a "real" treasure but a stack of treasure maps to be used for further adventures. I really like that twist. I also like the fact that my grandson saw that ending as a good one.
Rating - 4 stars
26. Dinner at the Center of the Earth - Nathan Englander
September 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book where there is at least one set of double consonants in the title
What?!! After carefully noting who did what where and when throughout the entire book, I finished the last sentence of this novel and have no idea of what I just read. That is not to say I didn't like it. What I took from this book was that you can't believe what you read and you can trust no one.
The book deals with the way individuals deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It includes an Ariel Sharon-like character, a prisoner in a secret prison, multiple spies, and some characters involved in romance.
I was uncomfortable with the political background of this novel, but it is necessary to know ahead of time to fully understand the book's quiet commentary. I did very muc like the intimacy with Israeli culture as the story mentions trampiada and shakshuka. :)
Should you read this story? I would say yes if you like other works by this author (I do...very much), and you don't mind entering a mental labyrinth. Happy traveling, fellow reader!
Rating - 4 stars
27. Invisible People - Will Eisner
September 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book with a title that names a living thing
This is quite a look at those individuals who are invisible in our society because they are thought to lack value or they suffer pain which they are unable to divulge to others.
Of the three stories presented, the one I found the saddest was" Mortal Combat" which was about two single adults, a woman who devoted her life to caring for her dad and a man devoted to caring for his domineering mother. The pain presented at the end of the story was so much that the man had to resume his invisible life in the stacks of books in the children's library. The stories are a commentary of how socially isolated people may become even in congested urban life.
The artwork in this graphic novel is terrific. The expressions of the characters tell their story even more so than the dialogue bubbles do.
Rating 4.5 stars
28. Not in My Neighborhood - Antero Pietila
September 2017 TIOLI Challenge: Read a book whose title contains a negative word found on the Negative Vocabulary Word List
This is a very well researched book about how race relations affected the demographics of Baltimore during the twentieth century.
I was first curious to read this book because I grew up in Baltimore, having been brought there by my parents in 1948 as an eight-month old infant and lived the through the time I left the city in 1968. I always lived in a mostly Jewish neighborhood, and never thought much about it. I just assumed that Jewish refugees of Nazi Germany who ended up living in Baltimore simply wanted to live near people they knew. What I didn't know for the entire time I lived in Baltimore was how racial and religion were deeply embedded (even legally, in the beginning) in real estate sales. By this, I mean that blacks and Jews were actively prohibited from buying real estate in areas that were white and gentile. I also experienced first hand the white flight that took place among Jews when a black family would move into the neighborhood.
This book clarified for me the term redlining, in which real estate agents would color code single blocks on a Baltimore map to determine the price of a house by whether or not it was in a black or Jewish neighborhood rather than by the condition of the house. I was already familiar with the term blockbusting, but never knew that it had originally been against the law to do this (e.g. have a black family move into a white block or vice versa). Black families living in a neighborhood caused home price values to go down. Jewish families were considered just one step above black families in this respect.
I found the whole subject of this book mortifying. When I now return to Baltimore from the diverse community in which I currently live, I feel as if I'm entering a time warp. I pretty much agree with what the author learned from his research except that I don't agree with the author's premise at the end of the book. He basically intimated that because the "mutt" (biracial) Barack Obama, had been elected president in 2008, we entered in a new era of race relations. I would love for that to be true, but I don't believe we're anywhere close to that now nor will we be any time in the near future.
Rating - 4.5 stars
>67 SqueakyChu: - This sounds really interesting, Madeline. It also wouldn't surprise me one bit if this very thing was not limited to Baltimore. I bet it has happened in many many places.
Race and religion are such bizarre concepts. I saw a documentary film yesterday about the Dalai Lama and learned that, for him, his Buddhism, his teachings are more philosophy than they are religion. He is really an interesting man. I was not comfortable with all the bowing down and other such *reverence* that so many religions have as part of their rituals but it's good to learn about it all, regardless.
And just this morning, a friend of mine sent me this article, about a book I now really want to find:
Talk about controversy...
>68 jessibud2: I'm sure this happened in many places, but Baltimore must have been one of the worst. I was always aware of this as a kid. When I first moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, I moved into a newly segregated apartment complex with roommates. The rent was dirt cheap! We soon were partying with everyone we met, black or white, Hispanic or Caucasian, Jew or non-Jew. I even married one of those Hispanics I met in front of my apartment several years later! :D I felt a sense of liberation moving into that diverse community. The city in which I live now, Rockville, has a truly diverse city. It is a delight and I'm proud to be a resident of this city.
I am still embarrassed about Baltimore. I think it is an interesting city, but I'm glad I no longer live there. I felt liberated when I left. I will go back to visit (and see Barbara who lives in Catonsville, a suburb of Baltimore).
Aren't all religions philosophies in a way? That they have to get so encumbered in destruction of "enemies" is a tangent on which they need not go.
My rabbi gave an interesting sermon yesterday in which he quoted scientists and other rabbis who strongly feel that there were no such people as the patriarchs of the bible. Where does that leave Judaism as a religion based on Abraham? He will explore this issue in programming throughout the year. As much as I avoid going to the synagogue, I might break down to attend some of these programs. :D
I like works by Dorit Rabinyan. I've read Strand of a Thousand Pearls and Persian Brides. I read both very long ago, but I remember the former as being a story of successive generations of Yerushalmi women with a curse.
Let me now go explore your link...
>69 SqueakyChu: - I wondered how you two met! And I forgot to ask, when you were here! LOL! You party animals, you!
My commentary as I read the article you posted...
1, I didn't know that Dorit Rabinyan was so young!
2, Now I have to read that book as well! Onto the wishlist it goes! I probably can get it from my library.
3. Amos Oz, David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua and Meir Shalev,
...my literary heroes!
4. By the way, while I'm thinking of it, you should also read The Dinner at the Center of the Earth which I described above in message #65. It's fascinating!
5. Wow! Rabinyan's story is so sad. :(
6. My ideas were compared to those of Hamas
Can you imagine that?!
7. If I had imagined any of this, particularly my feelings of fear and alienation, I would never have written my novel—I would have been much too scared.
That is really sad. We are working so hard, both in the US and in Israel to preserve freedom of the press. I fear for what will happen when and if that right is ever taken away from both of our countries. There is such a thin line as to what is acceptable.
8. I'd never hear of Lehava. What a despicable organization!
9. “While I do not want my country to go on being an occupier, neither do I want it to become a minority. That is my interpretation of being a Zionist. Unlike some, I do not consider it bizarre for the Jewish people to want to control their own destiny.” I feel the same way about Jewish identity in Israel and also about Jewish identity in the US.
To distract from that, he described me as an ultra-leftist and made the worst accusation you can make against an Israeli artist—that I attacked and slurred Israeli soldiers. That sounds so eerily like my own country. Ugh!
10. He knew that by portraying me as the nation’s enemy, as not supporting Israel, he would be able to distract the public from other aspects of his agenda and the larger political situation. Sadly, I feel that same sort of bullying these days here in the US. It's sad when Israeli politicians try to divide Israeli Jews. That is not their job!
11. More than anything. I am a Zionist. Me, too!
12. Longing for home is very Israeli and perhaps essentially Jewish;
I have that longing. Do you have it? It came from being a part of that country and getting to know it and its inhabitants so well. Israel is always a part of my heart.
13.Ultimately, the government cannot limit the freedom of the written word.
So far. *sigh*
14. What a great article Shelley! Thanks for sharing it!
>68 jessibud2: Yes that was a very good article and a book I will look out for.
Have a wonderful weekend, Madeline.
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