mldavis starts again in 2014
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Winner of the Belwether Prize for fiction in 2010, this is a nicely executed novel of the no-man's (or woman's) land between racial definitions. The protagonist is a young woman born of a "white" mother and "black" father, a survivor of a family suicide, who struggles to find herself in an environment that seems unfavorable. Using alternate narrators and some chronology shifting, the book is an easy read with some not so easy revelations.
Those sympathetic to the agenda should read the book to better understand the historical context and modern intent of the movement. Those who view the encroachment of the Christian Right into secular areas as a temporary win by a small fringe element should read the book to better understand the ideology and intent of the movement that is growing in evangelical fundamentalist Christian circles.
It is a book unlike any other and is long overdue as a wake up call to both sides.
Empirical evidence is presented based on a comparison of current scripture and the generally accepted canon with its own internal inconsistencies, and with other more recently found ancient texts from sources such as the Dead Sea scrolls, Nag Hammadi and other sources.
I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind who is interested in learning the historical origins of the bible. I would not recommend it for fundamentalists who believe they know the "truth" and are not open minded enough to learn what historians and theologians really know about ancient texts.
I didn't mean to aim at the far right, just fire a volley across the bow as a warning that some of the comments in the later chapters might cause alarm to those who already know the answers and who are not open minded or self-confident enough to trust their preconceived opinions. I never try to change anyone's mind regarding religion or politics as those are often irrationally determined and rather permanent, and no amount of fact with distort the "truth."
We saw how well that worked in 1919...still, there I am, screaming "GUILLOTINE! GUILLOTINE!!" at the passing limos.
I'm not happy with some of the things that the Present has been unable to do while in office, but I do sympathize with him on many issues. He wanted to transcend partisanship, only to have Mitch McConnell vow at the Senate podium in front of the entire nation that he shall fail and that they will do everything to make sure he is a one-term President. There is a 1936 speech in which FDR described struggling with "the old enemies of peace -- business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering."
Social welfare has been present since the invention of fire and is witnessed in many animals. It's almost the definition of civilization, yet it is anathema to the far right.
Beliefs are a complicated blend of facts, lies and faith, and as such usually exist beyond the realm of the rational. The problem is that it takes too long for unvetted ignorance to destroy itself and it takes everyone down with the ship. Never underestimate the power of ignorant people in large numbers. A political party dedicated to dumbing down its base and the entire country for political gain is the height of unAmericanism.
And you think you have it tough, RD. I live in the heart of the Bible Belt. Sorry for the soapbox. It's refreshing to find a kindred soul in the surrounding waters.
That's just one example of the Texas mentality of "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out." The Texas rangers I've worked with on interstate cases think those @#!% hats are crowns and they want everyone to sit on the floor at their feet during an investigation. Yes, a stereotype based on inadequate sample.
The author argues that his comatized trip into a spiritual world had to be real, because under his medical condition, his brain functions could not generate the equivalent of a "dream" state or retain memory and therefore what he encountered was "real." I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to refute that argument (he goes into some detail regarding the various brain areas and related functions).
So I did not challenge his theory for that reason. I did find it telling that his father was a highly religious man, the author was an Episcopalian prior to and following the illness, that he went through post-ICU irrational thought (a common occurrence), he never went back to medical practice (he says because he wanted to share his experience with others), he makes his living on the lecture circuit, and he never wrote any rigorous account of his experience in any legitimate peer reviewed journals.
Overall, the book is a challenge to scientists (not insurmountable), and an effective personal testimonial for those who are pre-wired in that direction. I remain skeptical.
The book is long but maintains tension and interest to the end. A good read if this is your genre. There are no obvious seams of collaboration and the books reads as one.
The Ethiopian waited patiently for my return and is that much better after the scorched mega-batch Folgers kept me from my morning cup. I roasted a nice batch of Columbian Narino Buesaco just now which is resting for a day or two to de-gas and mellow. Coffee can be SO good when it's handled properly and with respect.
Finishing up A Year of Biblical Womanhood which isn't quite what the title implies. Short review upon completion. Ah, my own bed. :-)
Overall, it is apparent that there is a large discrepancy between the dictates of the Jewish Old Testament and the New Testament instructions of Paul as contrasted with the teachings, actions and relationships of Jesus. Evans does a nice job here of maintaining interest and managed to keep my attention despite the fact that this is not my genre.
Ah, the Kenya is ready and the book awaits.
I'm halfway through 1Q84 and I'm impressed with the translation, which is excellent. The narrative rocks back and forth mainly between two characters who, by now, are apparently destined to meet. Interest remains high and it has held my attention so far despite the long time periods holding this cat cruncher (wish I had it on my Kindle). Maruakmi seems to be a bit over-preoccupied with sexual content at times which so far hasn't manifested itself into a relevant aspect of the story, but I withhold judgement until the bitter end.
The translation reads as though it had been written in English, with no occasionally awkward words or sentence structure, and contains a number of surprising idiomatic expressions and specific references which pop up as curiosly un-Asian, but then we are an international society within the literary world, aren't we?
The basic structure and story line is good, the writing is good, and there are no grammatical flaws, so obviously the translators have done a masterful job. To what degree they have altered the text, no one but another translator can judge.
Sip ... ahh ... Kenyan...
But Jamaica Blue Mountain and Hawaii - that's livin' high on the tree, price wise. Never roasted JBM myself but some of the Hawaiian is great. Had a bit of the Geisha from 2012 that was worth dreaming about.
Books - Uncommon Grounds by Sandra Balzo is worth reading.
Another book I have is Home Coffee Roasting by Kenneth Davids. Haven't read that in a long time.
I found it interesting to the point that I never felt I wanted to pitch it at the cat (which would have killed it if I had one), but it could have been written in half the space. The book has very few characters and strings the boy-girl separation along for the entire narrative. I'm not sure what all the excitement is, except to be able to say you read the whole thing. 3 stars for effort. It was a library reading assignment or I might never have considered it.
Hoffman includes a look at translational errors (linguistics, in which he is an expert), the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, the appropriate writings of the historian Josephus, and the Book of Enoch. As an amateur student of the study of the origins of biblical scripture, I found this book well representative of some of the more important insights gleaned from modern studies and understanding. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest outside of the covers of the modern bible. As with many recent scholarly works, it will make those who insist on biblical inerrancy to be most uncomfortable.
Yes, it is a fascinating topic, unfortunately ignored by the majority. Like Faux Noose claims, "we report, you decide," except that so many are choosing what someone else tells them and so few are deciding from what is being honestly reported. The search for facts continues...
I hope your search is going well, RD.
With no deadlines at hand, I'm re-reading Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck, a memoir of sorts of two teen-age kids who flew a Piper Cub across the country in the 60's. I might have to fire up the flight simulator and fly that route again with them. I love aviation books, and perhaps the best is Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K. Gann, one of the great aviation pioneers of yesteryear. Must dig that one out as well.
The Yellow Bourbon is cooling and changing flavor a bit, so back to the taste testing.
This is an excellent book for those with the time and patience to read it. It was an ARC, received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Much of the narrative concerns Lee's association and collaboration with Truman Capote on his book In Cold Blood much of which Lee was apparently responsible for. It is an interesting look into an author that we know so little about.
Happy Holidays, Mike!
And, of course holiday cheer to both of you!