Really well-written book that deals with a lot of ideas: love, friendship, marrying for love vs. security, death, race, racism, inter-racial relationsReally well-written book that deals with a lot of ideas: love, friendship, marrying for love vs. security, death, race, racism, inter-racial relationships, etc. Considering all of the issues it takes on, this book is surprisingly humorous--I laughed out loud a LOT! I'm really impressed that the male author could write about female relationships so well. ...more
Even though I'm not Hatmaker's typical audience, I enjoyed this book very much for its strong messages of responsible stewardship of the resources weEven though I'm not Hatmaker's typical audience, I enjoyed this book very much for its strong messages of responsible stewardship of the resources we have access to. Jen Hatmaker takes 7 months to fast from different things (food variety, possessions, media, etc.) and shares the lessons she learns through the process. There were some editing issues (for example, using "it's" instead of "its" numerous times, spelling chic as sheek, etc.), and I'm not sure if those were intentional to make the author seem more relatable, but I didn't find them to be too detracting. A lot of reviewers seem to have trouble with the writing style, but I didn't find it off-putting. Yes, there's some discord between her comments that her church is 100% in the mission and the reality of her privileged lifestyle, but I did not find her attitude to be holier-than-thou at all. I think most Americans could stand to spend some time engaging in similar exercises of fasting from consumerism. The reflections at the end of each month were particularly well done.
I found the last chapter on prayer particularly interesting, and something I'd like to do during Lent and Advent (I complete fasts in the other areas already.) Hatmaker decided to pray 7 times a day after reading Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr. The prayers and times are:
1. The Night Watch (midnight): My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. (Ps. 119:148) Readings: Psalm 42, Ps. 63, Ps. 119:145-152
2. The Awakening Hour (6 am): Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love; so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Ps. 90:14) Readins: Ps. 19, Ps. 95, Ps. 147
3. The Blessing Hour (10 am): Let your loveliness shine on us, and bless the work we do, bless the work of our hands. (Ps. 90:17) Readings: Ps. 67, Ps. 84, Ps. 121
4. The Hour of Illuminsation (noon): You are the salt of the earth...you are the light of the world. (Matt. 5:13-14) Readings: Ps. 24, Ps. 33, Ps. 34
5. The Wisdom Hour (3 pm): For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21) Readings: Ps. 71, Ps. 90, Ps. 138
6. The Twilight Hour (6 pm): A prayer of thanks for the blessings of the day. Readings: Ps. 34, Ps. 139, Ps. 145
7. The Great Silence (bedtime): By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me--a prayer to the God of my life. (Ps. 42:8) Readings: Ps. 23, Ps. 91, Ps. 134
Wow. This book was not what I expected at all. The twist with the criminal at the end reminded me a bit of an episode of Law and Order: SVU. Well-paceWow. This book was not what I expected at all. The twist with the criminal at the end reminded me a bit of an episode of Law and Order: SVU. Well-paced with interesting characters, Ripper is a good choice for anyone who enjoys mysteries or crime novels.
As a side note: the person who did the tranlation for this book did an excellent job. In my experience, translated books frequently fall flat in a new language. However, this one read as though it had originally been written in English!...more
**spoiler alert** Beautiful story told from the perspective of a gorilla who lives in a mall side-show. Funny and sad at the same time. I loved it, an**spoiler alert** Beautiful story told from the perspective of a gorilla who lives in a mall side-show. Funny and sad at the same time. I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone (child or adult) who loves animals. Spoiler alert: when Ivan sees the video of Ruby joining her new family, I teared up at his reaction. Wonderful, sweet story!...more
Ok, I have some mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, I deeply agree with its premise. On the other hand, I found a lot of the anecdotes to beOk, I have some mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, I deeply agree with its premise. On the other hand, I found a lot of the anecdotes to be weak illustrations of the concept, or maybe they were just not fleshed out fully enough for me to understand the link. I also think the concept can't be applied universally. For example, no matter how much I try to do certain things, like slam dunk a basketball, I'll never be able to do them.
Anyway. There are a lot of parts I like, and that are very useful in my work as a teacher.
Some favorite quotes:
[Tiger] wants to be the best [golfer], even the best ever. "But the best me--that's a little more important." (99)
A no-effort relationship is a doomed relationship, not a great relationship. It takes work to communicate accurately and it takes work to expose and resolve conflicting hopes and beliefs. It doesn't mean there is no "they lived happily ever after," but it's more like "they worked happily ever after." (152)
The belief that partners have the potential for change should not be confused with the belief that the partner will change. The partner has to want to change, commit to change, and take concrete actions toward change. (156)
I'm normally a HUGE Roald Dahl fan, but this was just ok. Not much character development--there were no characters I felt attached to. Maybe that wasnI'm normally a HUGE Roald Dahl fan, but this was just ok. Not much character development--there were no characters I felt attached to. Maybe that wasn't part of the goal. It's a quick, fun read, and could be a good way to introduce kids to this author....more
I wanted to love it. I found this book while helping my boyfriend clean out his parents' house after his father died, and got excited to read somethinI wanted to love it. I found this book while helping my boyfriend clean out his parents' house after his father died, and got excited to read something I think his father had enjoyed, especially because I've been into chef memoirs lately. Although I did really enjoy parts of this book, I found the main character pretty self-absorbed and unlikable. The book focused too much on her unhappy marriage and too little on how she actually became a successful chef-owner for my preference. It's a well-written book, and I can think of many people who would probably enjoy it. It just wasn't for me.
From [my father] we learned how to create beauty where non exists, how to be generous beyond our means, how to change a small corner of the world just by making a little dinner for a few friends. From him we learned how to make and give luminous parties. (10)
The conviction was instant and forever: If I pay my own way, I go my own way. (40)
Alternative high school and alternative college, housed in old barns or in prefab modular units of click-together plywood, were a necessary and important part of my development, but had trashed my own sense of validity. But this--this highly polished marble floor, this leather chair, these brass banisters, these chandeliers--this was Total Legitimacy. (95)
I had been staring right at Misty across that prep table and didn't even recognize her for what she would come to be. It took me a long time to figure out what this woman in a dirty T-shirt grilling chicken breasts was teaching me. Or to even admit that I had learned something from her...To call Misty my mentor isn't accurate. I suspect it makes us both kind of uncomfortable--the implied intimacy of it for her and the fealty of it for me--and yet, if you squint with one eye, and look through that peephole, that is what she, for a certain important period, became. (111)
I have fired people who can't suffer their setbacks and petty failures. If they go down early and spend the rest of their five-hour shift that way, it threatens to sink the whole boat and that can't happen just because you burned your first omelette and had to refire it. You've got to get your GI Jane on. (150)
There are only five years between us, but five years is enough time for the geography and topography of a family to change dramatically, for ravines to form, trees to upend, streams to run dry. (156)
What I have loved about cooking my entire life, especially prep cooking, is the way that it keeps your hands occupied but your mind free to sort everything out. I have never once finished an eight-hour prep shift without something from my life--mundane or profound--sorted out. (250)
I like to be anchored by routine, not shackled by it. (266)
Read this book with one of my students as part of a unit on building a strong classroom community. I remember reading it as a child as well. Still getRead this book with one of my students as part of a unit on building a strong classroom community. I remember reading it as a child as well. Still gets to me--poor Wanda! I like that it doesn't have a perfect resolution....more
Sweet story about an 8th grader whose brother gets very sick. Really loved the blend of sadness and humor. It's pretty rare to find a YA book that doeSweet story about an 8th grader whose brother gets very sick. Really loved the blend of sadness and humor. It's pretty rare to find a YA book that doesn't sound like it was written by an adult, and this book manages to capture the voice of an 8th grader well. I can think of a bunch of my students who would enjoy this one!...more
Nice essays from an American couple who moved to Italy. There are some really lovely passages, and the authors are clearly very skilled. There were juNice essays from an American couple who moved to Italy. There are some really lovely passages, and the authors are clearly very skilled. There were just two aspects that made me give it three stars instead of four: Initially, I didn't understand that they were essays rather than one continuous narrative, so that threw me off a bit. Once I realized that, I enjoyed the book more, but it did leave me with a feeling of vague confusion. In addition, because the book is co-authored, there are a few chapters which switch from first person to third person and back (i.e., "When [David] tells Mark what has happened, Mark looks at his own documents and discovers the discrepancy...In a white rage, we hunt down Bruno.") David and Mark are the co-authors, and I imagine they took this approach to specify which person had which experience, but this switching, combined with some switching of verb tenses, was quite confusing to me.
But it is not money that makes a home, or lack of it that keeps one from being made. (6)
The most useful thing anyone living in Italy can learn is how to be bored. (38)
In a boring country, you find that you are content more often than happy, since we make our own contentment and happiness makes itself. (39)
This story, which at the time we took to be about ingratitude and jingoism (how could anyone covet layer cake in the land of the tarte tartin?), is really about the stubborn longing for familiar things--even things at which, back home, one turned up one's nose-- that with the passage of years becomes such a distinguishing feature of expatriate life. (89)
We questioned other Americans and discovered that they, too, often fell prey to culinary nostalgia. On visits home we lorded our superior knowledge of European cookery over our friends and families, even corrected their errors...In Italy, we nearly wept over the absence of graham crackers, hoarded cans of cranberry sauce, even stole shamefacedly into the McDonald's on Piazza di Spagna to savor a Big Mac in an invisible corner, and invariably ran in to the director of the American Academy on the way out. (91)
Memory, of course, was the real culprit. As Proust knew, flavor awakens the past, which is why the longing for certain foods so often encodes a more complex longing: for remote places, for childhood, even for the childhood longing for remote places. (91-92)
When you live abroad, the ordinary and the mysterious trade places. What from a distance seemed exotic, the very things in pursuit of which you left in the first place, lose their charm, while the alchemy of time and distance reveals in commonplace things--the things you took for granted--a surprising loveliness. This may be the secret joy and sorrow of expatriate life: By virtue of living in a foreign land, you throw not merely your history but your identity into relief. The past renders an unexpected poetry. To prepare the foods of childhood becomes, in a very real sense, a brief trip home. (92)
All of us agree[d] that the rest of the evening would have to be devoted to reading in front of a fire, after we had called our families on the other side of the ocean--a distance that seems greater in Christmas Day than it does the rest of the year. (130)