What are you reading the week of December 21, 2019?
Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.
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Next up for listening is Correspondents by Tim Murphy.
Happy Holidays to everyone who is celebrating one thing or another, and Good Hiding* ** to everyone who prefers to opt out.
* I just made that up!
** And by "Good Hiding," I mean "hiding away from," not "You deserve a good hiding." (Maybe I need to rephrase, eh?)
My wife and I are heading to NYC to spend time with family and friends for about 6 days and I'll probably be aware from LT during that time, so taking the opportunity to send good wishes now.
Soviet Santa says "Happy Yule!" Solstice Greetings to all. Read more here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/soviet-santa
Have had a terrible week because of further hospitalization, and I'm just so fed up with it all - the pain, the hospital, the worry. Luckily, there are books to lose myself in, and a colouring app on my phone that I find greatly relaxing. I will stop with the health updates if they are a nuisance to this community; it's just that books and worry and pain have become so interlinked for me that I find it difficult to think about one without the other.
Sorry to learn you're experiencing pain and illness, especially when all around you are probably caught up in the jolly jolly business. Go right ahead and moan in public. Your reality -- good and bad -- is appropriate to share among LT-ers.
When you described the heroine's life in the book you're reading, it seemed strange to me that a person needing aggressive medical intervention would relocate to a remote setting. As you say, "Very Weird." Nonfiction?
Heart of a Samurai – Margi Preus
This young adult novel is marvelous work of historical fiction based on a real person. Manjiro was only 14 when he left his small village intent on getting food for his family. Setting out with some local fishermen they were caught in a storm and wound up on a deserted island. Ultimately rescued by an American whaling ship, Manjiro became the captain's favorite, due to his enthusiasm and willingness to learn, and was renamed John Mung.
I really liked this book and how Preus explores prejudice and intolerance, as well as the gifts of curiosity, eagerness to learn and being open to new experiences. The Japanese empire was a closed society for over 200 years, not allowing any foreigners on its soil, and even going so far as to ban any Japanese who had left Japan from returning, lest they were “contaminated” by foreign thought, mores, practices and culture. Imagine the terror the fishermen feel on discovering that their rescuers are “blue-eyed devils!”
Of course, that prejudice goes both ways. Some of the sailors aboard the ship are equally wary of the Japanese “savages.” They’ve heard their own horror stories and believe the Japanese would kill and eat them.
The novel details Manjiro’s adventures which took him to America, on several sea voyages, and ultimately back to his native Japan where he helped usher in a new era of tolerance towards foreigners and witnessed the end of Japan's 250-year policy of isolation. Several of Mung's drawings depicting whaling and life in America and Japan in the mid-19th century are included.
I do want to wish everyone the very best of holiday seasons. Hope your stockings are filled with good books!
I finished Lamb in HIs Bosom, an excellent portrayal of a poor Southern family in the mid 1800's. The descriptions of the landscape, ways of life and thought, and people were vivid. The strength of people in the struggle of life was palpable.
I finished The Bus on Thursday. It started and middled with such promise, and then I don't know what happened. I'm not at all sure how I feel about it. In one sentence I can sum up: "it was a strange book".
Am on much firmer ground with the 1970 Booker winner, The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens. It's about a middle-aged drug addict, hallucinating wildly, who lives over the family shop with his sister and their father the rabbi. The writing is lovely. So far so good.
The book is presented as a series of short vignettes, each from five to seven pages in length, told more or less in chronological order, with Singer’s narrative evolving as the small boy begins to grow and to question his surroundings. In the early remembrances, the perspective is kept very tightly on his father’s fierce devotion to God and to Jewish biblical and rabbinical law, custom and mysticism. The tales told are about the people who arrive in the Singers' home, what their problems are, and how his father deals with them.
Soon enough, however, the outside world begins gradually to intrude. The family moves from a small town to the crowded streets of a Jewish Warsaw slum. Next come rumors and then the realities of World War One, with its uncertainties and sharp deprivations. Singer’s older brother becomes more worldly, and young Isaac begins asking questions himself and longing for information about the outside world. Zionism and socialism begin to be discussed among the young, further eroding the hold of the old ways over the community as a whole.
Moving and delightful.
"Too Naked: Leah Dunham" from Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen – Finished!
"Elizabeth Seton" from American Heroines: The Spirited Women who Shaped Our Country by Kay Bailey Hutchison
“My Jockey” from A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
“Along the Border” from The Union Reader edited by Richard B. Harwell
“The Current Cinema” by Brendan Gill from the December 2, 1967, issue of The New Yorker Magazine
“Tierra del Fuego” from Tierra del Fuego by Francisco Coloane – Newly added
As noted, I finished Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen. My wife and I are leaving early in the morning for a holiday visited to New York City, so I'll review the Petersen, and catch up with my vacation reading, upon my return. Also as noted, I read the first short story from the collection Tierra del Fuego by Francisco Coloane, a Chilean writer I learned about last month when we visited his hometown. Honestly, I don't actually take a trip every month. We're looking forward to staying home for a good long while after the New Year.
My next book is going to be the American Civil War novel, Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara. See you in a week!
Pam Munoz Ryan
This is the wonderful story that starts with Otto, a young man who was lost in the forest but saved by 3 girls who are trapped in the forest. They give him a harmonica marked with an M. If he passes it on and it saves someone, the girls will be released. The harmonica touches the lives of three families and we learn of their tragic stories and what has become of them and the girls trapped in the forest. Written for children and young adults but adults will enjoy this too!
Stephanie, once again is embroiled in another mystery when Ranger, a bounty hunter she occasionally works for, needs her to go undercover at an ice cream factory after a dead body covered with chocolate and pecans shows up in an ice cream truck. All the regulars make an appearance in this story including her Grandmother and her crazy friend Lula. I like this series, always a fun fast read.