|Thanks to Left Bank Books for this photo.|
1 hour ago
The Center squatted on the corner of Juniper and Montfort behind a wrought-iron gate, like an old building used to guarding its territory. At one point, there had been many like it in Mississippi — nondescript, unassuming buildings where services were provided and needs were met. Then came the restrictions that were designed to make these places go away.A Spark of Light ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2018, fiction (Mississippi)
The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center — a women’s reproductive health services clinic — its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.
But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester, disguised as a patient, who now stands in the crosshairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.
This is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? This novel will inspire debate, conversation ... and, hopefully, understanding.
That's when I took out my flip-phone camera and took a picture of my own surroundings. Okay, even on a nice sunny morning, the inside of a cafe is not on a par with seeing a breathtaking waterfall. So here I am, back in my apartment, typing up a blog post and googling that waterfall in Scotland to see what the protagonist of this novel is seeing, hoping it's an actual place in Scotland. Yes! I found a photo of Mealt Falls (see above).
"The waterfall over the Kilt Rock formation was breathtaking. It plunged at least fifty feet into the ocean below. Beyond the falls, dramatic headlands carved by centuries of wind and water jutted against the sky" (p. 65).
Daly argues that men throughout history have sought to oppress women. In this book she moves beyond her previous thoughts on the history of patriarchy to the focus on the actual practices that, in her view, perpetuate patriarchy, which she calls a religion. Daly's "New Intergalactic Introduction" to this edition explores her process of writing Gyn/Ecology, "this Thunderbolt of Rage" that she hurled against the patriarchs in 1978 and again in the re-surging movement of radical feminism in the 1990s.Feminist Theologian Mary Daly Remembered. (After posting, I finished reading the article and apologize for posting something about Mary Daly that concludes with the opinion of a MAN who disapproves of her and says she'll be "only a footnote." Good grief!)
The first family was dysfunctional. At least, that's the picture painted by the storyteller in the book of Genesis.Nothing surprising here. This is nonfiction about how to read the Bible, not a novel where we wonder what's about to happen. I'm interested enough that I paid more for the Kindle edition of this revised book today than I would have paid for the hardback. Here's what it's about:
This book calls upon the church to break from its cultural captivity and challenge the assumptions of the American Empire. Anyone who has ever questioned their faith or is looking for answers they cannot find in their own church’s standard teachings will discover a new creed in Bell and Golden’s provocative and spiritually enlightening work.
Who cooked the Last Supper? If it had been a man, wouldn't he have a saint's day by now, with a fervent following of celebrity chefs? Questions like this got me into trouble from my earliest schooldays, when it seemed that all history, like everything else in the world, belonged to men.The Women's History of the World. Did I buy it? Did I borrow it from the library? Did I read it? It isn't on my shelf with other books on women's issues, but I moved a couple of months after I posted about the book in late March, so it could still be in a box somewhere, if I own it. My guess is, though, that I borrowed it from the library. Wow! So now I get to read it on my Kindle in all its original glory! The author says it has now been published the way she wrote it, humor and all, because "the subject is far too serious not to joke about" (loc. 103).
Dwarf ~ the word my friend Sandy came up with.According to Wiktionary, "dweeb" is college slang from 1968. Dork and dweeb are both missing from my 1991 dictionary, while "geek" comes from geck (fool) and is...
Dwell ~ cliff dwellings (don't dwell on it too long).
Dwindle ~ the days dwindle down to a precious few.
Dweeb ~ how is this different from a dork or geek or nerd?
"a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake."
"A compassionate life is more fulfilling. It's only when the ego bows out that the curtain rises on real life. That it's more blessed to give than to receive is not some moral nostrum, they say, but a prescription for authentic joy" (loc. 130).
"First, let's get the meaning clear: empathy is the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions" (loc. 56).
"People really do love to hear themselves talk. The more you let them speak, the more they will like you"" (p. 130).
"Cooperation is intrinsically rewarding. Giving a gift will make the brain happy just as much as receiving it" (loc. 193).
"Discerning how much is enough is made particularly difficult in our culture, which teaches that security lies in 'having more than I have now'" (p. 26).These five books are (currently) together on my Kindle, making me notice the primary words of their title. Do you have compassion, empathy, and/or charisma? Do you want them? What do they mean? How are they related, if at all? Notice that three of the five deal with compassion in one way or another and two deal with kindness. Are compassion and kindness the same thing?
Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it ― a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever.I'm rather tired of books covering different people in different time periods, wondering how the authors will bring the whole thing together in the end. But I'll give this one a chance. I've read about 30% of this one on my Kindle (no page numbers to share here), and I'll keep reading to find out what happens.
Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does ― in more ways than he can ever imagine.
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