And Tango Makes Three, Kersplatypus, Goldie, and Other Goose.
Happy Birthday, Cady!
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In 1856, when Kate Warne went to see Allan Pinkerton, only men were detectives. But Kate convinced Allan to hire her for his detective agency. She explained that she could worm out secrets where men could not go ― in disguise as a society lady! Join Kate on her most important mission ― to thwart a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the way to his inauguration.
This book is at heart a love story — of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her. Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write — initially in her journal — solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.
Rabbi Sacks tackles the phenomenon of religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God. If religion is perceived as being part of the problem, Rabbi Sacks argues, then it must also form part of the solution. When religion becomes a zero-sum conceit — that is, my religion is the only right path to God, therefore your religion is by definition wrong — and individuals are motivated by what Rabbi Sacks calls “altruistic evil,” violence between peoples of different beliefs appears to be the only natural outcome. By exploring the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, Rabbi Sacks shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of biblical texts at the heart of all three Abrahamic faiths. By looking anew at the book of Genesis, with its foundational stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Rabbi Sacks offers a radical rereading of many of the Bible’s stories of sibling rivalry: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Rachel and Leah. “Abraham himself,” writes Rabbi Sacks, “sought to be a blessing to others regardless of their faith. That idea, ignored for many of the intervening centuries, remains the simplest definition of Abrahamic faith. It is not our task to conquer or convert the world or enforce uniformity of belief. It is our task to be a blessing to the world. The use of religion for political ends is not righteousness but idolatry ... To invoke God to justify violence against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege.”Claire @ The Captive Reader and Linda @ Silly Little Mischief that encourages us to share the names of books we checked out of the library. See what others got this week.
Rose McKenna, makes a split-second decision that alters the course of her life — and makes you wonder what you would do in her shoes. Nobody could have foreseen what would happen the day that Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in the cafeteria of her daughter’s elementary school. Rose does it to keep a discreet eye on her third-grader, Melly, a sweet, if shy, child who was born with a facial birthmark that has become her own personal bull’s-eye. Melly has been targeted by the mean girl at their new school and gets bullied every day, placing Rose in a no-win position familiar to parents everywhere. Do we step in to protect our children when they need us, or does that make things worse? When the bully starts to tease Melly yet again. Rose is about to leap into action — but right then, the unthinkable happens. Rose finds herself in a nightmare, faced with an emergency decision that no mother should ever have to make. What she decides in that split second derails Rose’s life and jeopardizes everyone she holds dear, until she takes matters into her own hands and lays her life on the line to save her child, her family, her marriage — and herself.
If you have lost faith or have never known it, or if you have ever wondered "What can religion offer?" here are wise and thoughtful answers. Rabbi Kushner addresses a critical issue in the lives of many: a spiritual hunger that no personal success can feed. He shows how religious commitment does have a place in our daily lives, filling a need for connection, joy, and community.
Modern humanity has accepted a truncated, impoverished definition of life. Focusing solely on material realities, we have forgotten that joy, purpose, and meaning come from a life that is both immersed in the temporal and alive to the transcendent. We have, in other words, ceased to live in God. Moltmann shows us what that life of joy and purpose looks like. Describing how we came to live in a world devoid of the ultimate, he charts a way back to an intimate connection with the biblical God. He counsels that we adopt a "theology of life," an orientation that sees God at work in both the mundane and the extraordinary and that pushes us to work for a world that fully reflects the life of its Creator. Moltmann offers a telling critique of the shallow values of consumerist society and provides a compelling rationale for why spiritual sensibilities and encounter with God must lie at the heart of any life that seeks to be authentically human.Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia, is now hosted on its own blog. It's a way for readers to share the books that arrived in the past week and explore other book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.