Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Your People Shall Be My People by Don Finto

While reading "Your People Shall Be My People by Don Finto, I think of unity between people more than disunity. Peace will overtake the world. Israel will become one with Jesus, as the Jewish King coming down through the line of David. This nonfiction book emcompasses more than my individual salvation. It involves nations. It's evangelism on steroids, if I may use that term. Don Finto realizes the importance of amity between people who are truly related to one another in one way or another way. The book is about the beauty of love, for example, shared between a Palestinian and a Jewish man or woman and their children.

Until that complete coming together and an arrival of the King of Kings it is necessary to see and feel the tremors of  a world without peace. For example, long ago there was the hatred of the Jewish people during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. The ugly Inquisition which all of us would like to leave forgotten. Of course, there is the Holocaust. Just reading again about the murder of one rabbi's family is sickening. Six million Jewish people died agonizing deaths. Surely, these grim statistics and more to come will lead to a greater appreciation of God's  Kingdom when it is set up.

Until that time there is a need to remember the people like Corrie Ten Boom and her sister who chose to sacrifice their lives in order to save their kind neighbors. Although familiar with "The Hiding Place" and other true stories about Gentiles saving their Jewish neighbors, I had not heard of the Christian conversion of a Jewish person to The love of Christ except for the Ten Booms. That is not until the author shares his experience.

"While in my mid-twenties, I came to believe that Yeshua (Jesus) was/is the true Messiah of Israel. Yeshua changed me forever, filling my heart with His peace."

This book, "Your People Shall Be My People" is fascinating. It is filled with hope, joy and love. It is wondrous. It is a vision of great reward.bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/don-fintobakerpublishinggroup.com/books/your-people-shall-be-my-people-updated-and-expanded-edition/363702

The Memory of Meringue by Judith Fertig

Judith Fertig in "The Memory Of Meringue" writes so much about the flavor of lime, I'm now craving lime. I've never yearned for lime. My favorite flavor is lemon. Let's see in this one paragraph she writes about "April's lime and coconut theme...lime buttercream filling...lime cookie straw...lime bars...lime curd..."

I've liked lime Kool-Aid which I haven't drank in years. I've liked lime punch. I've never tasted the age old Key Lime pie. I can't remember the last time that the taste desire  has been so strong within me.  Should I try to bake a Key Lime pie? No, I'll start small. I'll have a cold lime drink today.

In my mind,  I can see limes lying in a case in the Produce section of the market. They are a pretty green. Still, they are not as pretty as yellow lemons.judithfertig.com,

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Love by Tina Chang



by Tina Chang
My mother now is taking her sheers and cutting
through live shrimp. When I was a child she peeled
each flushed grape until only the pale fleshy bead
remained. She placed them onto a plate in one shining
mound, deseeded, in front of me. 
 Image result for grapes and shrimpshttp://food.netviral.com ,

Tina Chang, "Love" from Of Gods & Strangers. Copyright © 2011 by Tina Chang.  Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books.

Source: Of Gods & Strangers(Four Way Books, 2011)

Tina Chang

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater

In matters of style, swim with the current;
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

---Thomas Jefferson, 3re President Of USA(1743-1826)

Friday, June 24, 2016

I Almost Forgot About You a novel by Terry Mcmillan

I've read a few novels lately where authors use the words "throw up." I hate it. I can think of regurgitate, chuck up, but nothing else. Lo and behold, Terry Mcmillan uses a squeaky clean term. I like it. She uses the word "purge." Nice, it doesn't present such a nasty picture in my mind.

"Piled up behind one of the vans was a heap of body bags, at least ten feet high, and equally as wide. I backed out....before my mind had the chance to tell my stomach to "purge" breakfast.http://terrymcmillan.com

Monday, June 20, 2016

Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater

In Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater, Mandy Tanner says she can't imagine not living by a river. She is a character who lives near or on the Arkansas river. Her words really struck me. I know rivers are pretty. I just never thought living by one could dramatically change my outlook on life. It seems Mandy would feel very sad without that flowing river nearby. I'm just the opposite.

When thinking of living by a river, I only think of flooding. Obviously, I need to look at rivers more closely and see them in a more positive light. I would like to follow a river by seasons. Mandy says, there are "myriad plants" by the river. What colors? Any herbals? Wildflowers? My mind can't imagine. Yes, rivers are in my thoughts today. 

I Didn't think about plants growing in rivers. I am familiar with the Water Lotus which is plentiful and beautiful. Another plant that grows in water is duckweed. I picked this water plant because of its name. I like its delicacy. While looking at photos of duckweed, I noticed frogs underneath the plant in the water. More importantly, duckweed is being cloned in order to produce medications.
Today is the first day of summer. Maybe this week we will ride by our river. What kind of trees bloom or don't bloom by the river? I seriously doubt whether living by a river will become my most important goal in life. I can't imagine using Mandy's words or thinking her thoughts.

"Mandy knew she'd wither up and die like a neglected houseplant if she couldn't soak up the energy of the moving water and the myriad plants and wildlife it sustained."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Working Outside The Law

Archibald Lawless is a complicated character in the short story, Archibald Lawless, Anarchist written by Walter Mosley. He works outside of the law with I would say his personally picked vigilante team or workers. To me, he became like Robin Hood. He works for the good of others but not without helping himself to the goodies like money, etc. In this instance, he hired Felix Orleans, whom I liked. He's a journalist student hired by Archibald as a scribe. Felix becomes more than a scribe or secretary. He meets strange characters. He ends up in prison. He's innocent. Holds the man's head, Lansman, thinking he had a Heart attack.

It really, really bothered me that justice can swing the way of injustice so quickly. Felix, a clean guy, who has left home for the first time to live on his own, is put in jail and almost charged with murder. Spooky. I've always been spooked by my idea of prisons. Walter Mosley's prison scared me too. Those guys in there with Felix weren't friendly at all. One guy kept repeating "cherry, cherry, cherry. I thought his mind had skipped a beat or two beats. Thank God they were chained. Still wondering can an innocent man's life change so quickly?

It seemed like the police just need someone to pay for the murder of a man. No questions asked. Just commands. We've got you, so there. Innocence and freedom certainly are fragile, here today and gone tomorrow.

Wasn't sure of killkill. Didn't understand was it a fearsome group or what? It didn't add or take away from my love of this short story. Would like to meet Archibald Lawless and Felix again.waltermosley.com/

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Strange Collection

This guy seems so weird. His name is Archibald Lawless. I love the way Walter Mosley describes him, his office, etc. Before the end of the story I might end up hating him. "The man standing there before me had no double in the present day world or in history...The wall to my left had a series of shelves that held various oddities."

I want so badly to get in a corner and look at these cute, maybe strange objects in his office. One gives me the willies....."a rattlesnake suspended in fluid in a large jar...." Yuck! Is this a Biology lab?

  • toy chest
  • child's baby doll
  • a rattlesnake suspended in fluid in a large jar
  • a parchment scroll
  • a human skull
  • a stuffed animal
  • a necklace
  • pieces of glass represent "emeralds and rubies" 
I didn't name every item.  There is more stuff in the office Walter Mosley writes that isn't named in the list. What kind of guy other than a professor keeps these types of objects and walks around barefoot.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

They Were Christians by Christobal Krusen

I have been thinking about purpose. Cristobal Krusen's purpose of the book is to share the lives of people whom we might know, but we might not know their Faith background. They Were Christians by Cristobal Krusen is about Christians who lived lives of purpose. There is Frederick Douglas, Florence Nightingale and Dag Hammarskjold.

Dag Hammarskjold served his purpose as a Secretary-General. Sadly, he died in a plane crash. Then, there is Frederick Douglas. He was determined to become free through his bravery and belief in God. In the end, he became a public speaker speaking against slavery, and he became  a newspaper publisher, etc.

In the book, there are eleven biographical profiles. I would also count the author's Christian experience which I found fascinating. This would make twelve biographies. The author, Cristobal Krusen's,  personal experience must count also. He studied many religions and experienced a deep love for Christianity. The people in the book became like "personal friends."

I especially liked reading about famous literary figures like Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Charles Dickens. I only knew that Dostoyevsky was a Russian. His life is full of irony. For example, Dostoyevsky born rich fought for the rights of the serfs. However,the serfs fought against him because of the wealth.

One part of the book I have to mention is the dedication. The author dedicates the book to his father. He gives his father's name. Then he writes, "He loved me with a quiet love, and it has made all the difference." What a perfect gift for Father's Day. Cristobalkrusen.com

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Beautiful Thread by Penelope Wilcock

"...The grief of human aloneness in the uncertainty and vulnerability of life; the grief of choosing...even with all the richness of its gift and possibility; the grief of renouncing, of not clinging, of giving back, surrendering, asking nothing."
In The Beautiful Thread, I first became excited about meeting Madeleine and William and Brother Conradus again and others of St. Alcuin's Abbey. Then, I became happy about an upcoming wedding with Rose, Madeleine's mother, as a helper. Then, Penelope Wilcock's The Beautiful Thread introduced the friendship of  Abbot John and Rose. It's such a wonderful friendship. So, it is again Yorkshire in the 14th Century at the St. Alcuin's Monastery. The book is emotional. When is love not painful and exciting, a mixture of everything?

The love between Abbot John and Rose led me to think and ask questions. Is it wrong for people who give their life to God to fall in love with another person? Is it ever possible to have a close friendship without thoughts of passion? Is the emotion of love between two people simply too powerful for any of us to control? Should a person worry about how their friends will feel about their relationship?

After reading Brother John's experience, I feel it ever more important to be aware of God's Everlasting Forgiveness. Forgiveness of ourselves is important because as humans we tend to walk where angels fear to tread. Guilt must not become a weight. It can destroy us. Too much of anything is not good. Abbot John's feelings wear him down. His struggles are written about with empathy by the author. I still think of Rose.

Life is complicated. If we are not judged and have friends with open and loving hearts it is possible to grow and never stop loving God and ourselves no matter the circumstances. The novel is again about love and friendship and trials. I will gladly read another novel by Penelope Wilcock. Her heart is deep. kregel.com/fiction/the-beautiful-thread/

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cutting The Sun by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

After Francesco ClementeIndian Miniature #16
The sun-face looms over me, gigantic-hot, smelling
of iron. Its rays striated,
rasp-red and muscled as the tongues
of iguanas. They are trying to lick away
my name. But I
am not afraid. I hold in my hands
(where did I get them)
enormous blue scissors that are
just the color of sky. I bring
the blades together, like
a song. The rays fall around me
curling a bit, like dried carrot peel. A far sound
in the air—fire
or rain? And when I’ve cut
all the way to the center of the sun
I see
flowers, flowers, flowers. 

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, "Cutting the Sun" from Leaving Yuba City. Copyright © 1997 by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.  Used by permission of Doubleday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Murder And Brandy Boy by Dianne Harman

In Red Cedar, California, there is trouble. Teens at the high school are going against the rule to get what their heart desires. Priorities of parents and teens is definitely out of order. The big prize is Stanford University. The question is what should you or what should you not do when you want something so badly, and you don't meet requirements. Nerdy Birdy, Manny, Mark and two graduating students who are dating one another are some of the characters involved in this shameful situation that ends in murder.

Liz Lucas, the owner of Red Cedar Spa, becomes deeply involved in the case. She is also the main sleuth in other books written by Dianne Harman. I thought a lot about peer pressure and  the need to succeed. I also thought about the pressure to pick the most outstanding university. This becomes more important than thinking about future grades that will lead to a person becoming outstanding in his field and community. I liked the cozy because there are so many issues to think about including gun control, how far should a parent go to protect his/her child and how to not become a people pleaser because of fear.

I loved Winston and Brandy Boy. Dianne Harman really gives great background information. For example, I didn't know the history of St. Bernard dogs. Fascinating. To top it all of at the end of the cozy there are recipes. My eyes hooked on  to the very chocolate cake.

I felt happy when "Murder And Brandy Boy" ended. One more second and it would have gone on too long. I didn't get to know Winston, the other dog, very well until the end of the story. So, I focused all my attention on Brandy Boy. I also would have liked to know what Red Cedar looked like as a town. Thought Seth Williams, the Police Chief, very interesting. He came across as such a slimy person. Usually, all of the police are fine people who just need help figuring out the crime. This Seth person really grossed me out.

 Looking forward to another cozy by this author. I have the feeling Roger will appear again still in love with Liz. dianneharman.com/

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Beautiful Thread by Penelope Wilcock

It is a friendly reunion with book characters from earlier books in The Beautiful Thread by Penelope Wilcock. Here again is William, Madeleine, Abbot John and Brother Conradus. At the moment, I am enjoying the friendship between Rose, Madeleine's mother, and Abbot John. All friendships are not so refreshing. They seem to understand one another so well. What he enjoys, she enjoys. Their laughter is a delight. Their friendship is felt by Brother Conradus. It makes him happy to watch his mother walk and talk with the Abbot. This one friendship is changing the whole monastery. All friendships are powerful, but not all friendships are good. This one is as sweet as the smells in the Physick Garden.herbgardendesigns.org/themes-for-herb-garden-design-medieval/

Monday, May 30, 2016

Theolonious Rising by Judith Richards

New Orleans, Grandmothers, children friends and relatives are a part of an unforgettable storm named Katrina. I never can read enough about this storm. I thank God for the people who lived through it and those people who helped one another. Judith Richards, the author of Theolonious Rising paints the setting well. I could feel my skin wet with water and my face wet with tears. Katrina of 2005 was a dramatic and brutal time for adults and children.

Monk lives through the storm with his Grandma. While they wade through rising water and find themselves trapped behind doors, I felt the bond between a Grandmother and her grandchild. Brave Grandma does not allow the storm to deter her from remembering the past. She shares these memories with Monk. He listens closely as she talks about Grandpa. She tells how he built their home. Grandma even cracks a joke during her last moments about not being able to swim but big enough to "float."

I gained a deeper appreciation for the strength and bravery needed by all those who experienced the storm. Monk holds his Grandma's head as she dies in all that water. He never left her side. I knew he was afraid deep inside somewhere. Monk, the boy, and Grandma, helped each other through a trying time. After Grandma died, Monk didn't give up. He fought through the waters alone for a while.

After reading Theolonious Rising by Judith Richards, I am more afraid of flooding waters than ever. There are many snakes and roaches in the water. I had to close my eyes and skip the parts about roaches. Is it possible the author gave to much thought to "roaches?" Disgusting.

I am sorry not to have spent time talking more about New Orleans and the friendship of Quinton Touissant, a real character and the history behind Theolonious Monk's name.  Quinton, although a striking dresser, knew much about Louisiana History. He tells Monk about his parents, etc. Throughout the book, we are reminded of "Amazing Grace." Something that is needed at the worst of times and at the best of times.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Breath of Peace by Penelope Wilcock The Hawk & The Dove Series

It is about marriage. Penelope Wilcock's "The Breath of Peace" is mainly about Madeleine Hazell and William de Bulmer. For years and years William de Bulmer was an abbot. His wife, Madeleine, throughout the years has been a Healer. After meeting one another in Yorkshire during the 14th century, they marry one another. For me it was surprising to read about a monk from St. Alcuin marrying and having such a difficult time adjusting to love and marriage. However, this is one of Penelope Wilcock's fine points. She writes about Brothers in a monastery with realism. I always come away knowing that although the Brothers and the Abbot are close to God it is not easy to act Christlike. Human nature still gets in the way.

It really did hurt to read about William de Bulmer's childhood. He dealt with quite a bit of abuse in his family. These painful memories have an influence on his marriage. I also felt pain for Madeleine Hazell. To me, she comes across as a wild, barking dog. Easy to snap at William while he comes across like a lost sheep who means no harm whatsoever. I wondered did Penelope Wilcock's feelings about a monk and his religious duties cause her to write in a softer tone about William's actions in the marriage.

I also had trouble with whom the couple picked as their marriage counselor. He is Madeleine's biological brother. I thought Madeleine's brother would show favoritism to her and not William. It is interesting to read Abbot John's answer to each of them. I think he truly was close to God because neither William or Madeleine seemed unhappy with the outcome of the meetings.

I didn't expect this plot for the next in the series. I was shocked to receive a book about a marriage and a marriage between two very different people. Again, I am anxious to read the next book in the series. Penelope Wilcock has a way of teaching practical lessons through the use of St. Alcuin's monastery in Yorkshire without making me feel like she is getting across Christian lessons. I also have fallen in love with the 14th century. In Breath of Peace, I had the chance to see more closely how ordinary people would live with farm life and all. The author also sustains a certain amount of consistency. I can not point to one book which has bored me or has been a repeat of a plot. Penelope Wilcock is an amazing author of Church History Fiction.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wondrous Words

1. existentialism
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts. thefreedictionary.com/existentialism

He believed in existentialism. It was his way of life during the seventies. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mailbox Monday


Thank you to Harper Collins for Resolved by Lina Abujamra and Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman from Baker Publishing House.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman in Wilde Lake brings us to Two Americas. One America has become historically famous. Most well known when it is sung by Billie Holiday. The song is titled "Strange Fruit." I heard my parents talk about it and other friends down through time. I tried to listen to it for the first time tonight. I couldn't do it. It's heartbreaking what Black men have suffered down through the ages here at home in America. I will listen to the rest of the song at a later time.

Thank goodness Laura Lippman gave a look at the other America. Because I am not fully equipped tonight to write about That America I will focus on the other one where Davey sings "This lovely land is mine. This lovely land is mine. This lovely land is mine..." As the song reached its climax, a scrim depicting the Tree of Life fell and somehow it seemed as if the chorus had become a living, breathing Tree of Life.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Friday 56

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"Madeleine had spent her life collecting arts of healing. It gave her a profound sense of satisfaction to have discovered that whatever else making love may be, it is also good medicine. She chased the terrors that stalk by night clean out of his head."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Beginnings

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A Murder is Announced by Simon Brett

"There were so many subjects off-limits that conversation in the presence of the Dowager Duchess of Faughstrayne was always a rather tense business, as the guests at that weekend house-party at Castle Crawsbey soon found out."

A weekend house-party in a castle, I can't imagine. Even though I hate tension in the air I wonder what the guests are talking about.