Absolutely LOVE all of Alexandra Stoddard's writing and inspiration. It's my little escape before drifting off to sleep at night, my slice of heaven-oAbsolutely LOVE all of Alexandra Stoddard's writing and inspiration. It's my little escape before drifting off to sleep at night, my slice of heaven-on-earth, and hopes for a future haven of my own to invite others into........more
The interpretation of a modern day Jane Eyre was enough of a description to get me to read Margot Livesay's latest. Despite an unrealistic and hastilyThe interpretation of a modern day Jane Eyre was enough of a description to get me to read Margot Livesay's latest. Despite an unrealistic and hastily shut ending, the bulk of the story unfolds at a pace which adds depth to Gemma.
The details of life in Scotland, Britain, and Iceland only added to the appeal by taking me back to my graduate school days in Ireland. I tried to then read other of Livesey's novels, but this one took the cake. I think that is largely due to my enduring pleasure with Bronte's original work....more
Wasn't too sure about this at first, but See's delicately researched novel transported me out of my head. The whole appeal of an artistic women's writWasn't too sure about this at first, but See's delicately researched novel transported me out of my head. The whole appeal of an artistic women's writing was fascinating and powerful. It was perfect for a sick day at home . . . ...more
I'm going to buy this book as soon as I can. For me, it's become a Christian classic along the lines of 'Beyond Ourselves' (Marshall) and 'He Loves MeI'm going to buy this book as soon as I can. For me, it's become a Christian classic along the lines of 'Beyond Ourselves' (Marshall) and 'He Loves Me' (Jacobson). Not only does it reveal a lot of the shame-based motives in Christian circles, but outlines practical methods for clarifying a new lifestyle and thought patterns free of guilt, shame, and people-pleasing.
Yay! I've found my new "cozy" read!! Karon's writing wraps me up in an oversized afghan with a mug of steaming coffee; it's quickly graduated to the lYay! I've found my new "cozy" read!! Karon's writing wraps me up in an oversized afghan with a mug of steaming coffee; it's quickly graduated to the level of a literary snuggle in my world! : )
I can't wait to read the whole series now, and elicits my long-standing devotion to the warmth and simplicity of small town life. Three cheers for little cities and places where people still talk with their neighbors out in the street!...more
I tried to read this book several times before, but could never bear it. I ended up shoving it to the back of my book pile because it hurt too much toI tried to read this book several times before, but could never bear it. I ended up shoving it to the back of my book pile because it hurt too much to read. Warning: This book will awaken your heart; it will cause you to feel the edge of desires which are bittersweet. It will speak to those dreams and longings that you may have pushed away because God has not fulfilled them. At least, these were part of the reasons why I could not finish the book. It was more comfortable for me to not feel my heart, instead of face its ache.
Only very recently, at the suggestion of a beloved friend, did I open its pages again. And I finished! : P Not only is the Gospel related in an entirely fresh narrative perspective, but I began to see the Kingdom of God in a way I had never glimpsed before. This is exactly what my own church-inurred, cultural christianity heart needed. I have grown up in the Church; I've heard the Gospel and thousands of incredible sermons; I've read Joyce Meyer books and been to one of her conferences; I've been a leader at a religious nonprofit organization; I've fasted, prayed, tried reading my Bible from cover to cover.....you know....the list goes on and on.
But I've been praying for God to reveal His heart to me in a way I've not experienced before, and for Him to show me who He truly is--not what American Christianese Culture says he is.
Alls I know is that this book is well on its way to becoming a classic, and has been part of that answer to prayer....more
So I'll be teaching this during the upcoming fall semester for the first time, along with two other multicultural texts. Although, as Liu would contenSo I'll be teaching this during the upcoming fall semester for the first time, along with two other multicultural texts. Although, as Liu would contend, our such books are not so much multicultural as they are omnicultural. Ha.
Liu's prose is elegant. He manages to convey the most complex thoughts with accessible metaphors and similes. He's provocative, even insisting that the 'Asian American' label is not necessary and lacks specific cultural impact. As a native speaker, he can reach a vast amount of Americans while also relating to the majority who are second or third generation children of immigrants.
I also found him to be honest: about his marriage to a white woman, his social climbing, his enjoyment of 'nice things', and his ambivalence about racial demarcations and labels. I'm sure some of my students will not agree with his push to 'transcend race', favoring ethnic heritage and culture instead. Others, may agree but find such a stance unrealistic.
In any case, he will be good for class discussion. ...more
The second book really caught me by surprise! I felt as if there were more plots twists and unexpected narrative booby-traps. For example, call me dafThe second book really caught me by surprise! I felt as if there were more plots twists and unexpected narrative booby-traps. For example, call me daft, but I never thought Katniss would go back into the arena. And to find out that Haymitch, Cinna, and other figures from the Capital have been part of an underground plot to overthrow the Capital all along? And that Katniss has unwittingly been a crucial figure in that plot?
Heeellllooo! Kudos to Collins for writing a whiplash narrative which forced me to finish the book in two days!
I liked how Katniss is learning to become a team player instead of an autonomous heroine. To survive, she must form and nurture alliances. She is also learning to trust people and follow her instincts. And, she is learning that she can love someone who didn't experience the poverty and hardship of her own childhood. Most of all, she learns that she is capable of loving even those from the Capital who evince empathy, love, and kindness. She is learning that friendship and trust can be formed in even the unlikeliest of places.
It's not so much about where you come from, but who you are.
I'm beginning to feel that I'm rooting for Peeta. He's simply too good to be true. To be honest, I don't think there are many teenagers who would sacrifice themselves for a friend the way Peeta does.
But that's what I like about these books. The characters are arbitrary from the norm in American society. Most teenagers are terribly obsessed with their own world, their own lives, their grades, their relationships (or lack thereof), and their own reputations. Katniss, Peeta, and Gale live for causes beyond themselves. They are willing to sacrifice their own interests for those they love, and recognize that the world does not revolve around them.
I believe that the books show what we are all capable of when it comes to taking care of those we are close to....more
Julia Child’s voice is quite warbly, a bit high-pitched, and most assuredly different from most women! The great thing to do before reading this is toJulia Child’s voice is quite warbly, a bit high-pitched, and most assuredly different from most women! The great thing to do before reading this is to watch a couple of her cooking shows on YouTube. It rounds out the voice in one’s head as you read through the narrative. It also makes the story more personable, and Julia is definitely warm and engaging!
I have always found the woman fascinating, though I would not emulate her body carriage or whimsical awkwardness. In fact, I think I could become that too easily if I became obsessed with her. She didn’t marry until her later years, and what’s even more gratifying is that she did not finch her niche in life until her late 30s. So I have ten years to go! Ha.
She simply took life as it presented itself. There was no need to rush through and try hard to ‘be’ something in order to have a “successful” life. She merely followed her instincts and passions. She also worked very hard at her gifts, and did not accept anything less than her best. Like J.K. Rowling, she underwent professional setbacks and personal difficulty in health, friendships, and loneliness. Like Rowling, she also used those times to delve deeper into what made her tick. She allowed her drive to overcome her in a quest to perfect and become better. Eventually, she was granted mastery of her passion.
The only caution I would have for this gastronomical memoir is the language. There are a lot of French and culinary terms which make the reading choppy. But it will make you appreciate your dinner more, and heighten your sensual pleasure in eating. In fact, even though I am not privy to the cuisine described in the writing, it motivated me to take whatever ingredients I do have and maximize their potential. It’s all about working with what you got, instead of trying to be something you’re not. ...more
This is one of only two Dickens novels with a heroine: Frances Dombey. And, yes, that’s why they call it Dombey and Son. Makes sense, right? : ) No, IThis is one of only two Dickens novels with a heroine: Frances Dombey. And, yes, that’s why they call it Dombey and Son. Makes sense, right? : ) No, I think Dickens did that on purpose to underscore Frances’s place in the story: her goodness, sincerity, and most of all, resiliency.
Dombey and Son is unique in that it has a lot of themes at sea. Walter disappears for years on end, and there are rumors that he has drowned. Sal Gills is a retired instrument maker, and there are rumors that he has died and will never witness Walter’s return. People disappear for years on end, yet all the right characters manage to secure or improve position after a hiatus.
The only one who physically dies is Dombey’s son. There are metaphorical deaths for all the characters with major defects: Dombey, Edith, and Dombey’s toothy right-hand man. That guy-Karker-was a crack-up, by the way. Dickens evinces as much about Karker’s motives through his teeth as he does through his shallow, obsequious tone. He’s forever smiling, calculating, and displaying everything cat-like and canine through an obsession with teeth. It becomes rather humorous, actually.
Mr. Toots was sweet, and I loved Edith’s mother. Maggie Smith would be the perfect actress to play her part if another adaption was done.
I also realized that I enjoy and understand Dickens more if the book is on audio. There is so much difficult syntax, that I find it easier to digest if I hear the tone and inflections of the speaker. Same thing with Shakespeare: it’s easier to appreciate if I see and/or hear the spoken word.
Dombey and Son was not quite as dark as Bleak House, although Mr. Dombey’s tyrannical abuse came close. Dombey and Son tidies up too neatly to take on the more tragic quality of B.H. I also think Dickens did a good job of interspersing Edith and Mr. Dombey’s wrath and mututal hatred with sunny respites of Mr. Toots, Frances, and the Captain. Otherwise, it could have been called a Victorian tragedy. ...more
I have discovered that the only way I can really enjoy Dickens is on audio. Otherwise, as I discovered with Hard Times and Great Expectations, the wriI have discovered that the only way I can really enjoy Dickens is on audio. Otherwise, as I discovered with Hard Times and Great Expectations, the written voice inflections are difficult to consume. Also, the wry irony and humor is best caught if you hear someone else read the text. At least, this has been the case for me.
Hard Times was not a particularly appealing book. I considered it rather dark, melancholy, and disconcertingly similar to aspects of our current society post 2000. Stephen's story was tragic and melodramatic; he deserved better than to die in such a manner that Dickens chose.
If nothing else, the text accurately depicts the dark underside of industrialism and capitalism. This is a harangue that continues to persist today, especially with the current economy.
Perhaps the reason that I did not like the book so much was precisely this economic accuracy. It falls too close to the depressing realities of our current monetary struggles.
However, Dickens is always good for reminding one that the Victorian era was largely not all posh, high tea, and scones. I continue to give him a fair shot because he insists on embodying the poor and upholding the necessity for character - even when no else is watching.
This engagement of character is two-fold: not only in the moral sense, but in the palpable, detailed characters Dickens breathes life into. I pick up his books prepared to enjoy a slow, build-up to an excellent story. I know that I am not going to be entertained with a whiplash narrative, and that is perfectly suited to my moods when I do choose Dickens. ...more