This is more a travel guide than a book, something to read after you've returned from the Holy Land. Or to read eight months after you've returned, apThis is more a travel guide than a book, something to read after you've returned from the Holy Land. Or to read eight months after you've returned, apparently, which is my case.
It presents the more basic of details, but covers the vast array of Israel: From Biblical times, and prior (why did I not see the fossilized dino footprint?), to the bustling modern cities and ongoing excavations. As much as I saw there, there's so much I missed. I think that means I'm due for another pilgrimage....more
As someone who's been searching outside a fundamentalist upbringing, this debunks a lot of the "anti-Catholicism" I've encountered in the church.
It taAs someone who's been searching outside a fundamentalist upbringing, this debunks a lot of the "anti-Catholicism" I've encountered in the church.
It takes each major argument and breaks it down, defending the faith with both Biblical and historical context. There are moments the Catholic explanations seems a bit flimsy—at least it admits there are no real reasons, let alone Biblical, for some of the traditions—but it's a solid work. Some of the Bible verses I've read time and time again, seeing it in one narrow-minded way, suddenly mean so much more.
It's geared toward Catholics, and some details and terminology went over my head, but this is a good foundation for anyone—Catholic or not—to begin to learn....more
I'll admit that I'm cheating here—I'm reviewing the book before properly finishing it. But at the same time, I may never be properly "finished." BecauI'll admit that I'm cheating here—I'm reviewing the book before properly finishing it. But at the same time, I may never be properly "finished." Because there are so many principles in this book that are guides for life, a leaning process if you will, and it's one that should be revisited and not simply stowed away on a bookshelf to collect dust.
I've bookmarked several places to review again later. There are some wonderful concepts in this book about overcoming our brooding habits. It's about living in the "now" and experiencing life as it happens. It's getting over our habit to dwell on things and live inside our own heads. It's suggested in the book to read it when you're not feeling down, in order to better understand the process. At the same time, it's difficult to truly understand the benefits in the moments when they're not needed—i.e., "the good times." But practicing meditation in the good times will make it easier to continue the practice later when it's truly needed. Not that it's ever "easy" to go through a depressive episode...
The only reason I leave this with four stars rather than five is due to the extreme focus on the "self." It's good to focus on yourself, but in small increments. While I attempted to put the practices into place, I found it more fulfilling to focus less on myself and more on the world around me—and also to pray. It's those things that keep us humble. Much of our negative thoughts are because we're too self-focused, and it's beneficial to remember the wider world as more than something that affects only our own lives....more
I had the pleasure of listening to Elizabeth speak at a forum that, at the end, left me with a burning desire to read this book. Lucky for me (and forI had the pleasure of listening to Elizabeth speak at a forum that, at the end, left me with a burning desire to read this book. Lucky for me (and for the many others in attendance), she happened to have copies on hand. Now that's good marketing.
These are the "little sins:" The things you don't actively think about, but they add up. Procrastination isn't a big deal, right? And a little suspicion of other people is healthy, isn't it? But these seemingly little things can spiral into something bigger, and each chapter relates the "little sins" to some of the big ones: Sloth. Pride. Envy. Whoa, so you're saying self-deprecating humor (guilty) is sinful? You'd be surprised.
This little book speaks volumes. It not only targets these little sins, but also offers ways to overcome them. And while we can all probably relate to something in each of these chapters, it's not presented in a way to make us feel guilty about it—it shows that we're human. It throws humor into the mix. We may all suffer from these seemingly little sins, but we can also overcome them if we stop being stubborn and go to God with them.
This is one of those books that will need a period re-read as a refresher, and a reminder of all those little things we should be working on....more
Behold the Dreamers is a political piece as much as a personal one. Jende is an African immigrant, working as hard as he can to keep his family in AmeBehold the Dreamers is a political piece as much as a personal one. Jende is an African immigrant, working as hard as he can to keep his family in America. His wife, Neni, is going to school to be a pharmacist. Their dreams are bigger than their income, and they try so hard to become capital-A "Americans."
The first chapter draws you in—Jende in his discount suit and clip-on tie, sweating over an interview as a chauffeur for a big Wall Street guy. But this family is charming: Their joy at his employment, and the simple joy of just being together. He works long days, but his wife still has dinner ready for him when he gets home. It's almost domestic bliss, though it's overshadowed by them being illegal immigrants.
But everything changes. This is a tale of their struggles, and it's about the way they change. It's the desperate attempts to stay in the country. It's living as an immigrant during the financial crisis, and it's making hard decisions that will affect your life and your family.
I thought there'd be a strong comparison between Jende and his employer, Clark; Clark is a Wall Street guy, living the high life, with his personal chauffeur and home in the Hamptons. I regret there wasn't more comparison between their lives, with their respective struggles. Each thought the other was happy, I suppose.
There's a lot of Clark's family drama, which had little to do with the story at all, and those parts were honestly the weakest here. I didn't need every line of dialogue with Clark's children to know what was going on. And it's simply told—even the most dramatic plot twists are presented in a non-dramatic fashion, more like a news report than a novel. Which works for news reports, but could use a little more oomph in literature.
This may have taken place in 2007–8, but it could have easily been told at any time through America's history. Including present day. Do you struggle day in and day out to stay in the land of opportunity, or do you throw in the towel and go home?...more
The more I read Ploughshares, the less I'm into this kind of "high brow" literature. I mean, I went to school for writing, so I'm not one to talk abouThe more I read Ploughshares, the less I'm into this kind of "high brow" literature. I mean, I went to school for writing, so I'm not one to talk about "prestige." But my goodness, some of it is too much for me.
That being said, there are a few standout pieces in this collection:
It starts out fabulously with Katherine Damm's The Middlegame. One sibling in the hospital, the other visiting to play chess. It's presented day by day, like these things are when someone close to you is terminally ill. It's about time and patience and contemplating whether we've made the right choices—whether that's in chess or life, well...
Taylor Koekkoek, Emergency Maneuvers A father who doesn't know how to be a parent in the absence of his spouse. A reconnection of family, a desperate attempt to bond with his sons. I'm a sucker for family stories, all right?
Gabrielle Valvorsessi, Dry Season at the End of the Empire
Field and fields of almonds for us to dip our hands into and take. Everything growing somewhere. Everything ours.
Tarfia Faizullah, Self Portrait as a Mango Living as a minority, trying desperately to push through stereotypes.
I say, Suck on a mango, bitch, since that's all you think I eat anyway
Christopher Kennedy, Historical The beginning of time, the birth of history.
an oarless boat on a perfectly still body of endless water, as when you speak to me in the fifty languages of nowhere.
Nathan McClain, To Have Light Light in the darkest of times, or of fleeting moments: Broken down on the side of the road. The Garden of Eden. A beautiful woman in passing.
Emilia Phillips, Static, Frequency
Memories aren't mercy, even if they rescue you into innocence. I wish it wasn't easy for the body to think I've suffered because I sweat in front of a gym TV
David Wojahn, Two-Minute Film of the Last Tasmanian Tiger If you can read this and not want to view said two-minute film, we have to have a talk. Benjamin. His name was Benjamin....more