Uninspiring. That’s not to say uninteresting. As an introduction to analysis of ancient manuscripts it is interesting and logically written. However,Uninspiring. That’s not to say uninteresting. As an introduction to analysis of ancient manuscripts it is interesting and logically written. However, as to illuminating the teaching or words of Jesus it is indecisive and lackluster. Since I disagreed with basic assertions (that the New Testament Gospels must be read individually and not harmonized to gain a clear picture of the writers’ intentions and that if the words had been inspired originally God would have prevented any scribal copying errors, no matter how small), the author’s conclusions--and arguments--were unpersuasive. I found the historical and cultural context much more interesting than the details of what an original manuscript might have said....more
"a gardener is a person of all kinds, but in particular a gardener is a person who at least once in the gardening year feels the urge to possess compl"a gardener is a person of all kinds, but in particular a gardener is a person who at least once in the gardening year feels the urge to possess completely at least one plant."
Among Flowers illuminates the lengths to which the consumed gardener will go to achieve this possession. As with many of life's endeavors, it turns out that the journey is more important than the end. As I encountered the previous quote not far from the beginning of the book (page 33), I was anticipating experiencing an awesome, magnificent floral journey with a good friend (for so I have found the recent writings of Ms. Kincaid).
When I finished the book—and it has been about a month now—I was a little disappointed, for aside from the many Latin plant names (a few of which I looked up—I would recommend searching flicr.com for pictures of some of the extraordinary plants mentioned), I didn't feel that Ms. Kincaid ever came to the point where she encountered the plant that she desired to possess completely. Indeed, most of the detail of plants (their Latin names) were not even the plants that she could grow. She does admit in the beginning of the book that some of the seeds she is growing in her garden now, but from the book, I have no idea which those would be.
Rather I found this book to be about walking, about discovering the world at the pace of a pedestrian. This was a pleasant, if disconcerting, discovery as I seem to have a walking theme appearing in my reading of late.
As always Ms. Kincaid's writing is fabulous, delicious, and top notch. ...more
This is a great multi-generational story. I learned a lot about Korea and it's history over the last two generations. It was mostly a pleasant read wiThis is a great multi-generational story. I learned a lot about Korea and it's history over the last two generations. It was mostly a pleasant read with interesting characters and extreme situations....more
When I asked a friend from India for a good overview of Indian history, she recommended this one. A few years later I have finished it. It's long, acaWhen I asked a friend from India for a good overview of Indian history, she recommended this one. A few years later I have finished it. It's long, academic, and historical. But it is readable. I really appreciated the thoughtful structuring: various historical periods are each examined from the perspective of economics, cultural happenings, and society structure and interaction. While different things are known about different periods, it was nice to know that Ms. Thapar would look at each of the topics. I also found that her time period summaries (the last few paragraphs of each time period section) were succinct. If someone wanted to skim the book, reading the conclusion paragraphs would be a good way to do so.
I also appreciated the maps in the back of the book. I have never looked closely at the geography of India and I'm definitely unfamiliar with the historical names of places, so the maps which included specifically (and only) the names of the places discussed in a given section were very helpful. ...more