Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One read, one received ~ books, of course!

(Click to enlarge any photos)
On Monday, I traveled to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville with my friend Donna, who must see a specialist in pulmonary hypertension there every few months.  Sorry it was so overcast as we headed home, with Donna driving and me using my cellphone as a camera.  Can you read "Chattanooga" and "Memphis" on the two highway signs?

You might say we used the time profitably by taking along books — but, of course!  While she drove, I read aloud and we discussed what Marcus Borg had to say about Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power — and How They Can Be Restored (2011).  Although I didn't distract her by reading when the traffic was heaviest, we still managed to get through the Introduction and four chapters.  Here's what I underlined in the introduction (page 2):

"To redeem means to set free from slavery, bondage, captivity; it is not about being saved from our sins.  In this sense, Christian language needs to be redeemed — to be set free from its captivity to contemporary literalism and the heaven-and-hell Christian framework."
When we got home last night (we're roommates), we found that UPS had delivered another book.  Ten days ago, Wendy @ Caribousmom emailed to tell me:
"You were one of the lucky winners over at the Chunkster Challenge blog giveaway this month. You won a copy of The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sanburg."
This novel (2009, English translation from Swedish 2011) is a "chunkster" itself, at 664 pages.  (Click to read Wendy's review.)  From the back cover of the paperback:
"In February 1940, the Nazis established what would become the second-largest Jewish ghetto in the Polish city of Lódz.  Its chosen leader:  Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, a sixty-three-year-old Jewish businessman and orphanage director.  From one of Scandinavia's most critically acclaimed and bestselling authors, The Emperor of Lies chronicles the tale of Rumkowski's monarchical rule over a quarter million Jews.  Driven by a titanic ambition, he sought to transform the ghetto into a productive industrial complex and strove to make it — and himself — indispensable to the Nazi regime.  Drawing on the chronicles of life in the Lódz Ghetto, Steve Sem-Sandberg captures the full panorama of human resilience and asks the most difficult questions:  Was Rumkowski a ruthless opportunist, an accessory to the Nazi regime driven by a lust for power?  Or was he a pragmatic strategist who managed to save Jewish lives through his collaboration policies?"
This blurb says "February 1940," but the heading of the first chapter says "April 1940."  That's the month I was born, 72 years ago, so when this story takes place, I was alive on the other side of the world from Lódz.  Somehow, that makes it seem even more current and real to me.  I imagine, like Wendy, I'll find the novel emotional to read.

Revised Helen Reddy song
for the older woman:
"I am woman, hear me snore."

This was part of a "humorous" email that came while I was on the road yesterday.  Like this cartoon woman, my mom dozed in her recliner when she was elderly.  Wait!  That was when my mother was in her sixties, years younger than I am now.  Does this mean I'm elderly?  (Interesting how our perceptions change, isn't it?)


Beth said...

Oh dear...I've been dozing in my recliner for years...and I'm only 54! Yikes. :-)

Wendy said...

Great post, Bonnie. And glad to hear the book arrived safely! I'm interested to hear more thoughts on the Christian book...I'll have to keep an eye out for your review!