|Ages 2, 11, and 24 ~ generations of my descendants are also readers|
10 - Loved it!! Couldn't put it down!!
9 - Excellent!
8 - Very Good
7 - Good
6 - Above Average
5 - Average
Anything lower ~ "nah" or Not my cuppa tea
* DNF ~ Did Not Finish
|January favorite (#1)|
1. To Be Where You Are: A Mitford Novel ~ by Jan Karon, 2017, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"What is your hope,' said Paul, 'for any ministry you may undertake?"2. The Donkey's Dream ~ by Barbara Helen Berger, 1985, children's, 7/10
"To help people love God so they can learn to love themselves and each other."
"Is that it?"
Father Brad looked pleased, even paternal. (p. 231).
3. Five Fortunes ~ by Beth Gutcheon, 1998, fiction, 7/10
"Carter and Rae, arm in arm in their sweat clothes, were singing 'Sisters ... Sisters ... Never were there such devoted sisters...' Apart from the fact that Carter was eight inches taller and thirty years younger than Rae, they were quite convincing" (p. 68).4. Do One Thing Different: And Other Uncommonly Sensible Solutions to Life's Persistent Problems ~ by Bill O'Hanlon, 1999, psychology, 8/10
Summary of Solution Keys (from p. 198)
1. Break problem patterns.
2. Find and use solution patterns.
3. Acknowledge your feelings and the past without letting them determine your actions in the present and the future.
4. Shift your attention.
5. Imagine a future that leads back to solutions in the present.
6. Change problem stories into solution stories.
7. Use spirituality to transcend or resolve problems.
8. Use action talk to solve relationship problems.
9. Perform a resolution ritual to resolve unfinished issues from the past.
10. Develop stability and connective rituals to prevent problems and create connections.
|February favorite (#8)|
5. Lewis Grizzard on Fear of Flying ~ by Lewis Grizzard, illustrated by Mike Lester, 1989, humor, "not my cuppa tea"
"Avoid pouting pilots and mechanics named Bubba" (on the cover).6. The Bookshop on the Corner ~ by Jenny Colgan, 2016, fiction (Scotland), 6/10
"And as Nina looked around the little village in the sunshine, she couldn't help but notice something. Everyone was reading. People out in their gardens. An old lady in her wheelchair by the war memorial. A little girl absentmindedly swinging on the swings, her feet dangling, completely engrossed in What Katy did" (loc. 4145).7. News of the World ~ by Paulette Jiles, 2016, fiction (Texas), 7/10
(p. 113) He felt Johanna tugging at his sleeve. He looked down.8. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World ~ by Peter Wohlleben, 2015, biology, 9/10
She held up one of the shotgun shells.
It was loaded with dimes.
He stared at the shell resting on Johanna's outstretched palm.
Then the Captain reached out for it even as another round smashed into the front of the stone in front of him. He jumped but didn't duck. He lay back and hefted the shell. The dimes fit perfectly into the paper tube of a twenty-gauge hull.
Well, I'll be damned.
It was very heavy. He looked at the cap. She charged it with the powder charger. He saw her work the thumb lever that gave out twenty grains at a time: one, two, three, four, eighty grains of powder. A heavy load for his old shotgun. The Captain tossed the shell full of dimes up and down in his hand and smiled.
This is amazing, he said. He laughed. Ten years old and a wizard of field expedience.
"And what if you cut a tree down? Is it then dead? What about the centuries-old stump I introduced you to at the beginning of this book that is still alive today, thanks to its comrades? Is that a tree? And, if it isn't, then what is it? It gets even more complicated when a new trunk grows out of an old stump. In many woods, this happens all the time" (p. 80).
|March favorite (#11)|
9. A Reckoning ~ by May Sarton, 1978, fiction (Massachusetts), 8/10
"I'm trying to reckon everything up. I don't 'do' much anymore, but I think a lot" (loc. 1475).10. Letters from Skye ~ by Jessica Brockmole, 2013, fiction (Scotland), 8/10
"I never would've conjured up an image of an entire store filled with nothing but books" (loc. 1252).11. The Story of Arthur Truluv ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2017, fiction (Missouri), 9/10
"Well, this is just fine!" Arthur says. "I'll get some wood and we'll build a fire that day."12. Ilsa ~ by Madeleine L'Engle, 1946, fiction, "nah" (depressing and it just ended)
"I'll get a wreath for the door," Maddy says.
Gordon, sitting next to Arthur, meows. People think cats don't want to join in, but they're wrong. (p. 198)
"Oh, let's be honest, Henry," Myra said. "You sit around and listen to a lot of conversataions that aren't meant for your ears and you know it. So do I. Why shouldn't we? We're both shadows."13. We Are All Made of Stars ~ by Rowan Coleman, 2015, fiction (England), 8/10
"I―I never mean to listen. I don't do it intentionally. I―I just forget to go away," I stammered. (loc. 5884)
"Shadow, the very unofficial hospice cat, has emerged out of nowhere again. Pitch-black with no markings at all, and huge emerald green eyes. No one knows where he comes from or when he will come. He just appears when he pleases, knowing that when he does he will be made a huge fuss of by everyone who meets him. He's large, clearly looked after by someone, someone who probably has no idea of the humanitarian (or feline-tarian?) missions he goes on throughout the day" (p. 19).14. Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne ~ by Wilda C. Gafney, 2017, religion, 8/10
"Jezebel is perhaps the most infamous Israelite queen ... In some contexts, her name is synonymous with women who wear makeup, red lipstick, red anything" (p. 240).15. An American Marriage ~ by Tayari Jones, 2018, fiction (Louisiana, Georgia), 9/10
"Jezebel is the power of the throne; she is not the power behind the throne. So when the story of Elijah butchering her prophets makes its way to the palace, the king's immediate response is to tell Jezebel (1 Kgs. 19:1). Jezebel has not usurped Ahab's authority; he has yielded it to her" (p. 242).
"Remarkably, Jezebel is literate and writes the letters necessary to exercise her will (1 Kgs. 21:9-10). ... No other women in the Scriptures are described as writing" (p. 243).
"Roy," I said, wondering aloud. "Tell the truth. Would you have waited on me for five years?"
He twitched that same shrug. "Celestial," he said, like he was talking to someone very young, "this shit wouldn't have happened to you in the first place" (p. 283).
|April favorite (#23)|
"What are we to each other?"17. A Soft Place to Land ~ by Susan Rebecca White, 2010, fiction (Georgia, California, New York), 8/10
"Brothers and sisters?" David offered.
"Maybe more like second cousins," Benjamin said.
"I think it's more like the cast of Gilligan's Island," Alyssa said. "We're these random people who ended up stranded on an island together" (p. 158).
"Robert didn't go to an office. Or rather, his office was in their home on Mars Street. It was the nicest room of the flat, with a gas fireplace and two walls of bookshelves. The walls were painted a deep red, and whenever Ruthie went in there she felt warmed, as if she were sitting by a fire" (p. 125).18. Little Stories for Big People ~ by Sol Gonshack, 1976, vocabulary (65 stories good for ESL students), 7/10
12 ~ Keeping Up with the Joneses19. No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters ~ by Ursula K. Le Guin, 2017, essays, 8/10
28 ~ The Lemon (a car)
35 ~ The Eager Beaver
61 ~ The Worrywart
63 ~ The Absentminded Professor
"I got a questionnaire from Harvard for the sixtieth reunion of the graduating class of 1951. ... 'In your spare time, what do you do? (check all that apply).' ... What do retired people have but 'spare' time? ... The question remains: When all the time you have is spare, is free, what do you make of it? ... What is Harvard thinking of? I am going to be eighty-one next week. I have no time to spare" (pp. 3, 6, 7).20. Alaska's Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers ~ by Nick Jans, photos by Mark Kelley, 2005, travel (Alaska), 9/10
"I don't know what it is I've done all my life, this wordworking" (p. 52).
"Why are things as they are? Must they be as they are? What might they be like if they were otherwise?" (p. 83).
"A notable fact of both Sawyer glaciers is the relative abundance of deep-blue ice ― formed under greater pressure and generally older than the lighter shades. The blue color also contributes to the spectacular array of free-floating ice of all sizes ― from massive icebergs to low-lying 'growlers' to the minor chunks dubbed 'bergy bits'" (p. 27).21. Two by Two ~ by Nicholas Sparks, 2016, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"I danced with my daughter. She swayed and bounced and held my hands, revealing flashes of the young woman she would become, and the innocent girl she still was. It was, I realized, the first dance I'd ever shared with my daughter" (p. 377).22. Oscar Wilde's Wit and Wisdom: A Book of Quotations ~ by Oscar Wilde, 1998, quotations, 8/10
"On Monday, London's last day of school before winter break, I finally got around to the Christmas list that Vivian had left me. ... Tuesday, December twenty-second, was London's last day of school before the winter break, and that was when I planned to wrap all the gifts" (pp. 438, 440).
- "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." ~ The Picture of Dorian Gray (p. 15)
- "I can resist everything except temptation." ~ Lady Windermere's Fan (p. 32)
- "I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." ~ In Conversation (p. 56)
"I feel like I'm part of this mystery, I'm connected. I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose" (p. 89).
|May favorite (#34)|
24. Her Last Breath ~ by Linda Castillo, 2013, fiction (Ohio), 10/10
"If this hit-and-run was planned, do you think she might have been a target? Or do you think this was random? What?" (p. 159).25. The Bookshop Book ~ by Jen Campbell, 2014, travel, 8/10
"One day at the bookshop I got a call from a lady who had spied a collection of nature tales on our online inventory. She used to have the book when she was younger, she said, but her mother had sold her copy at a jumble sale forty years ago without her permission, and recently she'd been hoping to trGack down a copy to read to her grandchildren. She'd never forgotten the beautiful colour plates ... She was thrilled to find we had a copy. I packaged the book up and posted it to her. The next day she called me back. I quickly realised she was in tears, and I worried that the book might have got damaged in the mail. ... But it turned out that the book I had posted to her was her book: the actual copy, with the inscription in the front from her great aunt, and one of the corners bumped from where she'd dropped it down the stairs when she was seven. Forty years ago, some 200 miles away, her mother had sold the book, and somehow we'd come across it and somehow she'd come across us, and there she was, reunited with her very own book. It's moments like this that make bookselling one of the best jobs in the world" (loc. 1412).26. Grover Looks for X ~ by Sarah Albee, illustrated by David Prebenna, 2001, children's board book, 9/10
"X is an extra important letter. X begins the words xylophone and x-ray. If you are an excellent explorer such as myself, you can find X at the end of a word like box or in the middle of a word like tuxedo. TAXI!!!!"27. The Time of the Church ~ by Suzanne Richterkessing, illustrated by Susan Morris, 1999, children's picture book, 8/10
"Elder Mouse continued teaching the young mice. He smiled as he thought to himself that Smidge and Smudge were very bright little mice. Indeed, indeed!"28. Over What Hill? (notes from the pasture) ~ by Effie Leland Wilder, 1996, fiction (South Carolina), 9/10
"Senescence begins29. Rebecca's Story: An Ellis Island Adventure ~ by Cynthia Benjamin, illustrated by James Seward, ND, 7/10
And middle age ends
The day your descendants
Outnumber your friends" (p. 93).
"Rebecca was born in another country. When she was ten years old, her parents decided to leave their homeland. The soldiers there had killed many people" (p. 3).30. Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor ~ by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Raul Colon, 2016, children's picture book, 8/10
"I was a scientist at last. Pinpointing the soundings helped me slowly understand the shape of the Atlantic's floor..."31. The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale ~ by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Randall Wright, 2011, children's chapter book, 7/10
"He was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms. Fleet of foot, sleek and solitary, Skilley was a cat among cats" (p. 1).32. Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer ~ by Barbara Ehrenreich, 2018, sociology, 9/10
"It was the best of times, It was the worst of times" (p. 229).
— C. Dickens
33. Counting by 7s ~ by Holly Goldberg Sloan, 2013, YA fiction (California), 9/10
"Once I realized I was old enough to die, I decided that I was also old enough not to incur any more suffering, annoyance, or boredom in the pursuit of a longer life. ... As for medical care: I will seek help for an urgent problem, but I am no longer interested in looking for problems that remain undetectable to me. Ideally, the determination of when one is old enough to die should be a personal decision, based on a judgment of the likely benefits, if any, of medical care and — just as important at a certain age — how we choose to spend the time that remains to us" (p. 3).
Another May favorite (#32)
"Not only do I reject the torment of a medicalized death, but I refuse to accept a medicalized life, and my determination only deepens with age. As the time that remains to me shrinks, each month and day becomes too precious to spend in windowless waiting rooms and under the cold scrutiny of machines. Being old enough to die is an achievement, not a defeat, and the freedom it brings is worth celebrating" (pp. 12-13).
Quoting physician John M. Mandrola: "The default should be: I am well. The way to stay that way is to keep making good choices — not to have my doctor look for problems" (p. 9).
"The woman does all the talking, and Pattie doesn't respond. She doesn't even say 'uh-huh' or 'I understand.' She is like me. Silent. I admire that in a person. The ability to keep your mouth shut is usually a sign of intelligence. Introspection requires you to think and analyze. It's hard to do that when you are blabbing away" (pp. 134-135).34. No One Ever Asked ~ by Katie Ganshert, 2018, fiction (Missouri), 9.5/10
"I am a shadow. I no longer dream in color. I don't count by 7s. Because in this new world I don't count" (p. 177).
"Apples grow on apple trees. And cherries grow on cherry trees. But we don't say that an acorn grows on an acorn tree. Things like that are interesting. At least to some people" (p. 217).
"When she volunteered at the youth center, she wasn't an outsider. She didn't have to function on two different levels like she did at O'Hare, where she wasn't just a new teacher learning the ropes but the black new teacher from South Fork, constantly aware of how she was being perceived. It was exhausting" (p. 195).
"It wasn't fair. A mother shouldn't have to feel the desperation that came when her bright child was stuck in a school that offered zero college prep classes. A school that had over-crowded classrooms and underpaid teachers, many of whom were subs, because subs didn't require health insurance. A school that might as well be a pipeline to the Missouri prison system, especially for boys without fathers. Boys like Darius" (p. 53).
|June favorite (#35)|
35. Shine ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2016, fiction (short story), 10/10
"What if they liked you more than they like me?"36. Ten Women ~ by Marcela Serrano, 2011, fiction (Chile), 6/10
Ruth didn't know what to say. It was the first time she realized that a person might look like Christina, and live in a fancy home, and dress in designer clothing, and have everything her heart desired, and still go to sleep at night worrying.
Maybe we are more alike than we're different, Ruth thought.
"Why am I telling you stories about other people? I'm supposed to be telling you about me. I think that one person's story is always part of other people's stories" (p. 82).37. The Theft of the Spirit: A Journey to Spiritual Healing with Native Americans ~ by Carl A. Hammerschlag, 1992, psychology, 9/10
"What is this exercise we're doing, Natasha? ... Perhaps we take advantage of a select audience to invent ourselves to a certain extent, or to silence what we hate most" (p. 201).
38. Rethinking Immortality ~ by Robert P. Lanza, 1990, science, 6/10
"Without faith in a believable ethic, we suffer. ... Without any cultural or political guides who inspire trust, our perceptions of reality are created by sales professionals. Image has become more important than substance ... If self, technology, and possessions have become our pervasive mythology, how can we reawaken in ourselves a sense of community that can sustain us? We can return to a life of morality through telling and listening to stories, through experiencing genuine awe, through participating in rituals and ceremonies" (p. 25).
Another June favorite (#37)
That matter is the mere surface of reality was evident even to Einstein, who, when asked by Ben-Gurion if he believed in God, responded to the effect, "There must be something behind the energy." That something, it seems, is the human mind" (loc. 66).39. Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories ~ by Simon Van Booy, 2009, fiction, 7/10
"...the content of the mind is the ultimate reality" (loc. 71).
"...the mind transcends the transient existence of things in space and time" (loc, 161).
"Children are the closest we have to wisdom, and they become adults the moment that final drop of everything mysterious is strained from them. I think it happens quietly to every one of us — like crossing a state line when you're asleep" (p. 89).40. The Time Illusion ~ by John Gribbin, 2016, science, 8/10
"Music is only a mystery to people who want it explained" (p. 22).
"George had lived for several years without a television. Television made him feel lost and lonely. George's local post office had recently attached one to the wall — an attempt to calm people confined to wait in massive queues. George bought his stamps elsewhere and avoided the voice he felt knew absolutely nothing but refused to stop talking" (p. 187).
"In 1966 I read a science fiction story, October the First is Too Late, written by the eminent astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. It is an entertaining tale involving an unusual kind of time travel ― time on Earth is jumbled up so that, for example, Britain was 'in' 1966 while the North American continent was 'in' 1750, and a traveller could pass from one time to another by moving around the globe" (loc. 517).41. The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn ~ by Lori Benton, 2014, fiction (North Carolina), 9/10
"Never mind the State of Franklin. It was the state of her clothing that presently grieved her" (p. 114).42. Yellow Crocus ~ by Laila Ibrahim, 2014, fiction (Virginia), 9.5/10
"I've heard that name before. Who are they?"
"Cherokee, most of 'em. ... A warrior called Dragging Canoe leads them. They settled on Chickamauga Creek and took that name for themselves. There's others joined 'em now. Creeks. Some Shawnees from up north" (p. 158).
43. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter ~ text and drawings by Margareta Magnusson, 2018, self-help, 8/10
"Do you think slaves and people go to the same heaven?"
Another June favorite (#42)
Shocked and offended by the question, Mattie took a breath before answering, "Slaves is people. Never heard 'bout more than one heaven, so I 'magine there only the one."
"Who does the work?" wondered Lisbeth.
"There ain't no work in heaven," declared Mattie.
"What if you do not get into heaven?"
"As far as I concerned, God loves ever'body so God forgives ever'body so ever'body gonna get to heaven" (p. 58).
"I own too many clothes and too many books and I do not need sixteen plates when there is only room for six around my table" (p. 53).44. The Art of Saying NO: How to Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time and Energy, and Refuse to Be Taken for Granted (Without Feeling Guilty) ~ by Damon Zahariades, 2017, self-help, 5/10
"I only keep books that I still haven't read or books that I keep returning to" (p. 62).
"Being assertive means having the self-confidence to express your needs and wants, and pursue your own ends, even in the face of opposition. It involves telling people where you stand on a given topic and leaving no room for confusion. Assertiveness is declaring your point of view and not feeling as if you need others' approval or validation" (p. 13).
"At its most basic form, assertiveness is candid communication. Nothing more" (p. 14).
"No one will respect your time more than you. So you must remain vigilant, reminding yourself that saying yes to one thing requires saying no to something else" (p. 130).
|July favorite (#49)|
45. The Promise Between Us ~ by Barbara Claypole White, 2018, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"I don't like odd numbers. They feel scratchy" (p. 83).46. To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie. ~ by Phil Callaway, 2011, humor, 6/10
"I'm sorry that we weren't honest with each other" (p. 225).
"Whatcha doing?"47. October the First Is Too Late ~ by Fred Hoyle, 1966, science fiction, 8/10
She smiles. "You did that yesterday."
"I wasn't finished."
"You mean there are different times in different places on the Earth?48. Youth ~ by Isaac Asimov, 1952, science fiction, 8/10
"That's right. That's the way it must be. In Hawaii it is the middle of August 1966, in Britain it is September 19th, 1966, on the American mainland I would guess it is somewhere before the year 1750, in France it is the end of September 1917" (loc. 1223).
"And with that weapon in their possession they let themselves be handled and caged? I don't understand it."49. Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today ~ by John Shelby Spong, 2018, theology, 10/10
But the calm thought came, "We would not harm the young of an intelligent species" (loc. 494).
"If God is the Source of Life, then the only way I can appropriately worship God is by living fully. ... If God is the Source of Love, then the only way I can worship God is by loving 'wastefully,' a phrase that I like. ... If God is the Ground of Being, then the only way I can worship God is by having the courage to be all that I can be ... So the reality of God to me is discovered in the experience which compels me to 'live fully, to love wastefully, and to have the courage to be all that I can be.' ... the mission to which my mantra calls me is the task of building or transforming the world so that every person living will have a better opportunity to live fully, love wastefully and be all that each of them was created to be in the infinite variety of our humanity" (pp. 285-286).50. In the Beginning...: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis ~ by Isaac Asimov, 1981, theology, 7/10
"In short, the Universe is moving from Cosmos to Chaos, from Order to Disorder, in the reverse direction of that imagined by the various mythological accounts of the Creation ― including the Biblical account" (loc. 408).51. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared ~ by Jonas Jonasson, 2012, fiction (Sweden), 8/10
"The tradition that the ark came to rest among the mountain ranges of Urartu is rather a point in favor of the tsunami theory of the Flood. Ordinary river flooding would sweep floating objects downstream ― southeastward into the Persian Gulf. A huge tsunami would sweep it upstream ― northwestward toward Urartu" (loc. 2714).
"It would have been much more fun to save a geriatric from the clutches of a gang of criminals, rather than ― as now ― failing to save the criminals from the geriatric" (p. 184).52. Forever Is the Worst Long Time ~ by Camille Pagán, 2017, fiction (Michigan), 8/10
"For the first time, Nora had demonstrated to me that a strong relationship didn't require an absence of strife, that two people could hold opposing viewpoints (whether on toilet paper or public policy) and still be deeply in love and committed to their partnership" (loc. 2789).53. The Lightkeeper's Daughters ~ by Jean E. Pendziwol, 2017, fiction (Canada), 8/10
Lou "had been ordained by God-knows-what mail-order church in order to marry us" (loc. 3324).
"I know she can't see me. But if I didn't know better, I'd swear Elizabeth Livingston was looking right through me. I'm invisible except to the one person who is blind"54. Home to Harmony ~ by Philip Gulley, 2002, fiction, 7/10
"I ... took a church in the next state over, where I pastored twelve years before leaving for health reasons: I was sick of them and they were sick of me" (p.5).
"It requires a good memory to live in a small town. You have to remember who isn't talking to whom and why, and who's on whose side" (p. 24).
"People call and ask me to visit someone in the hospital. Frank asks them, 'Why can't you go? Are your legs broken? Why do you want Pastor Sam to do your Christian work for you?' " (p. 77).
"Just because something is true doesn't mean it has to be said" (p. 87).
|Another July favorite (#55)|
"Every coincidence was proof of the way the universe was interconnected" (p. 6).56. Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son ~ by Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo, 2017, religion, 9/10
"He named her Anni because she'd been an anniversary present" (p. 23).
"We didn't get her microchipped, but she had an ID tag."
She shook her head. "Her collar had her name on it, and that was it" (p. 239).
Bart: "I rely on reason, science, and common sense to convince people that love is the most excellent way" (p. 66).57. The Sue Monk Kidd Spiritual Sampler: A letter to readers from Sue Monk Kidd and excerpts from The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and When the Heart Waits ~ by Sue Monk Kidd, 1996 and 1990, EPub edition 2016, memoir, 9/10
Bart and Tony: "Simply stated, ... most of us feel deeply hurt and offended when we realize the person we are talking to genuinely believes we are doomed to hell. In a real sense, to write someone off that way is the ultimate act of disrespect, effectively negating every good thing they have ever said or done unless they change their mind and agree with us" (p. 151).
Letter: "Readers have often pointed out that the themes in my novels seem to have emerged out of my earlier work. At the heart of each is a feminine search for self" (loc. 47).
Dance: "Even God 'himself' was defined by men and envisioned in their image" (loc. 483).
Heart: "I have found that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root, pati, which means 'to endure.' Waiting is thus both passive and passionate" (loc. 711).
|August favorite (#58)|
58. The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth ~ by Michio Kaku, 2018, science, 9/10
(p. 159) Einstein ... According to his hypothesis, the Earth does not revolve around the sun because it is pulled by the sun's gravity, but because the sun warps the space around it. The fabric of space-time pushes on the Earth so that it moves in a curved path around the sun. Simply put, gravity does not pull. Instead, space pushes.59. The Color of Water in July ~ by Nora Carroll, 2012, fiction (Michigan), 8/10
(p. 264) Another theme that cuts across the barriers of space and time is our common social values. One core concern is for the welfare of others. This means kindness, generosity, friendship, thoughtfulness. Various forms of the Golden Rule are found in numerous civilizations. Many of the religions of the world, at the most fundamental level, stress the same concepts, such as charity and sympathy for the poor and unfortunate.
The other core characteristic is focused not inward, but outward. This includes curiosity, innovation, creativity, and the urge to explore and discover. All the cultures of the world have myths and legends about great explorers and pathfinders.
"Jess was seventeen. The very same age at which my dear sister, Lila, departed. She looked so much like Lila too" (p. 197).60. Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe ~ by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman, 2009, science, 8/10
"Nothing in modern physics explains how a group of molecules in your brain create consciousness" (p. 4).61. When I'm Gone ~ by Emily Bleeker, 2016, fiction (Michigan), 7/10
"...the content of the mind is the ultimate reality, and ... only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality" (p. 82).
"The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around" (p. 110).
"Unfortunately, cancer isn't scared off by love" (p. 136).62. Bounce ~ by Megan Shull, 2016, YA fiction, 8/10
"It's the end that marks a beginning, not the first day. Every time he read it, he couldn't help thinking she'd been talking about more than school" (p. 168).
"I feel this ache in my chest. ... I really, really wish I had a dad like that" (p. 233).63. The Bloom Girls ~ by Emily Cavanagh, 2017, fiction (Maine), 8/10
"She pulls me in, cradling my head with her two strong hands, and looks me straight in the eyes. 'We can get out of here, Punky,' she whispers, tears streaming off her face. She is so happy. 'It's really going to happen. We can get a new start.' ... And this warm, grateful feeling nestles in my heart. This is what Christmas is truly about" (p. 333).
"They might not have been friends, but they were sisters, and that bond went deeper than the surface irritation" (p. 145).64. Southernmost ~ by Silas House, 2018, fiction (Tennessee and Florida), 9/10
"When the girls were born, their free-spirited mother had somehow convinced their father that with a last name like Bloom, they should name the girls after the flowers she carefully tended ― calla lilies, violets, and black-eyed Susans" (p. 34).
"I believe in God, but I don't believe in church" (p. 42).65. Journey by Starlight: A Time Traveler's Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything ~ by Ian Flitcroft, illustrated by Britt Spencer, 2013, science, 9/10
"And my job is to let him know what's right and what's wrong."
"It's more important to show him how to be good to people than how to judge them" (p. 63).
"Don't forget this is a thought experiment. If you imagine it happening, it just might" (p. 46).66. Sparrow Migrations ~ by Cari Noga, 2013, fiction, 8/10
"I don't suppose Isaac Newton would have been too happy with Schrodinger's cat experiment, either. One of Newton's lesser-known claims to fame is as the inventor of the cat flap. In the understandable universe that Newton described, the cat would become bored and exit out the cat flap at the back of the box . . . leaving the quantum mechanics scratching their heads and wondering where the cat went" (p. 85).
"We could travel the entire universe in no time because we can travel as fast as our imaginations can take us. You can imagine yourself anywhere in the blink of an eye" (p. 100).
"...Robby's tribute. Later, the chaplain would tell Robby it felt more sacred than any prayer she could recall" (p. 319).
|September favorite (#67)|
67. The Orphan Daughter ~ by Cari Noga, 2018, fiction (Michigan), 9.5/10
"Until now, I never thought anything could be worse than a mother losing a child. There is, and Lucy knows it: a child losing her mother" (p. 221).68. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August ~ by Claire North, 2014, science fiction, 7/10
"Having concluded that no one else I had ever encountered was experiencing this journey through their own days again and again, logic demanded that I consider myself either a scientific freak or in some way touched by a power beyond my comprehension" (p. 85).69. The Memory of Butterflies ~ by Grace Greene, 2017, fiction (Virginia), 9/10
"It occurred to me, almost belatedly, that my Ellen had a half brother out there" (p. 50).70. The People Shall Continue (40th anniversary special edition) ~ by Simon J. Ortiz, illustrated by Sharol Gravees, 1977 and 2017, children's, 9/10
"My Ellen would've been about this age, this size. Except for the dark eyes and darker hair, this could be her" (p. 78).
"I recognized George Bridger's hard, tight scrawl. It read: Liam's girl needs a home. Her mama left her. I'm sick. Going to the hospital and likely not coming back. Take care of Trisha. Regards to Clara" (p. 79).
The teachers and the elders of the People all taught this important knowledge: "The Earth is the source of all life. She gives birth. Her children continue the life of the Earth. The People must be responsible to her. This is the way that all life continues."71. Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness ~ by Anastasia Higginbotham, 2018, children's, 8/10
From the 1500s to the late years of the 1800s, the People fought for their lives and lands. In battle after battle, they fought until they grew weak. Their food supplies were gone, and their warriors were killed or imprisoned. And then the People began to settle for agreements with the American government.
72. Days of Awe: Stories for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur ~ by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Erika Weihs, 1991, children's, 8/10Juliette Hampton MorganBorn 1914 ... Do not mess with me. ... Died 1957...was a white librarian who fought for racial justice in Montgomery, Alabama. When Juliette was riding the bus and the white driver would refuse to pick up a Black bus rider ― even after he collected their fare ($$$) ― Juliette would pull the emergency cord and raise H-E-double-hockey-sticks until the driver did his job. This was an act of love, for herself and for the community to which she belonged. What she did is called: disrupting white supremacy.
"Charity, the rabbis say, is most important of all, for without compassion for other, there can be neither true repentance nor meaningful prayer.73. The Glass Butterfly ~ by Louise Marley, 2012, fiction (Oregon), 7/10
Tshuvah ― RepentanceTefilah ― PrayerTzedakah ― CharityThese are the gates to the Days of Awe" (p. 13).
"We give charity not so much for others as for ourselves. It is part of a circle. Charity teaches compassion. Compassion leads us to charity" (p. 15).
"What is prayer? It is opening our hearts to God, expressing our overwhelming joy in being His creatures, and thanking Him for giving us life" (p. 32).
"Forgiveness is not only for the sake of those who ask it of us. It is also for our own sake" (p. 39).
"At least she had gotten a library card. And with that and her rental agreement, a driver's license" (p. 77).74. Clock Dance ~ by Anne Tyler, 2018, fiction, 8/10
"Faith. Fé, in Italian, which became fey in Nonna Angela's accented English. It was all the same, and it was both a gift and a curse" (p. 107).
"Blasting some poor bastard, just showing them what I can do. I wish someone ― anyone, I don't care who ― would give me an excuse!" (p. 112).
1967 ~ "Willa Drake and Sonya Bailey were selling candy bars door-to-door. This was for the Herbert Malone Elementary School Orchestra" (p. 5).75. Carpool Diem ~ by Nancy Star, 2008, fiction, 7/10
1977 ~ "Willa's college had a jitney that made several runs to the airport before any major holiday" (p. 41).
1997 ~ "Willa and Derek were out on the freeway, driving to a swim party in Coronado" (p. 77).
2017 ~ "The phone call came on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-July" (p. 107).
"I should be on the best team I can be on. The girls on the Asteroids aren't serious about anything. They're afraid of working hard and I'm not. And if working hard doesn't work, I'm not afraid to work harder. I have to go," she whispered.76. Secrets of Eden ~ by Chris Bohjalian, 2010, fiction (Vermont), 8/10
She got out of the car and ran to join her team.
"What have I done?" Annie asked (p. 257).
"Some years later, when I announced my decision to go to divinity school, my sister observed that I was moving from a bickerage to a vicarage" (p. 44).
"Sometimes you just expect the waves and waves of sorrow to wash over you. Swamp you completely. That, in my mind, is real grief. And mourning? That's when you've reached the stage where you can build a stout seawall against those colossal breakers and go about your life" (p. 194).
|October favorite (#80)|
77. And Tango Makes Three ~ by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole, 2005, children's book (ages 4-8), 8/10
78. The Letter ~ by Kathryn Hughes, 2013, fiction (England), 8/10
"All the girls who pass through this convent are fallen women, moral degenerates who have been shunned by society and rejected by their own families, to whom they have brought nothing but shame" (loc. 3133).79. A Gospel of Hope ~ by Walter Bruggemann, 2018, theology, 7/10
"The enduring act of love is generosity" (p. 6)80. Who Cooked the Last Supper? : The Women's History of the World ~ by Rosalind Miles, 1988, 2001, history, 9/10
"Taking time to be human is a deep contrast to the drivenness of the acquisitive life that is always on the make and that ends in fatigue that has no energy for humane living" (p. 140).
"[The] holiness of the baptized community consists in the habits of generosity, grace in speaking, and tenderhearted forgiveness. ... our life in generosity, grace, and forgiveness is in the image of God" (p. 148).
"In reality the first men, like the first women, only became human when they learned how to care for others" (loc. 603).81. Hot for the Scot (Book 1 of The Kilted Heroes series) ~ by Janice Maynard, 2016, fiction (Scotland), 9/10
"Hypatia, the Greek mathematician and philosopher. Trained from her birth in about A.D. 370 to reason, to question and to think, she became the leading intellectual of Alexandria, where she taught philosophy, geometry, astronomy and algebra at the university. ... But her philosophy of scientific rationalism ran counter to the dogma of the emerging religion of Christianity, as did her womanhood and the authority she held" (loc. 1468 and 1473).
"Walking in the garden that had been Eden, Mother Nature met Father God and her doom" (loc. 1523).
"All these systems ― Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam ― were presented to them as holy, the result of divine inspiration transmitted from a male power to males empowered for this purpose, thereby enshrining maleness itself as power" (loc. 1535).
"The Great Goddess in her threefold incarnation (maiden, mother, and wise-woman) lies behind the Christian trinity" (loc. 1591).
"Each in its own way, the five major belief systems of Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam by their very nature insisted on the inferiority of women and demanded their subjection to values and imperatives devised to promote the supremacy of men" (loc. 1693).
"How could it ever have come about ... that men had built a theory of male superiority upon a story that showed Adam as weakly knuckling under to Eve, then whining about it?" (loc. 4435).
"The oldest profession of women was the priesthood" (loc. 5893).
"This trip to Scotland was the most adventuresome thing I had ever done. Angus, on the other hand, had seen a great deal of the globe. Despite his small-town upbringing, he was more cosmopolitan and sophisticated than I could ever hope to be" (p. 134).82. Scot of My Dreams (Book 2 of The Kilted Heroes series) ~ by Janice Maynard, 2016, fiction (Scotland), 8/10
"Scotland felt like home. I didn't believe in reincarnation, but it wasn't so farfetched to think that one of my long-ago ancestors might have emigrated from here to the mountains of north Georgia" (p. 51).83. Not Quite a Scot (Book 3 of The Kilted Heroes series) ~ by Janice Maynard, 2016, fiction (Scotland), 6/10
"You were looking for something when you came here, weren't you?"84. Scot on the Run (Book 4 of The Kilted Heroes series) ~ by Janice Maynard, 2017, fiction (Scotland), 6/10
It must have been a rhetorical question, because he didn't wait for an answer. He kept right on going. "It wasn't Jamie Fraser you were hoping to find. It was McKenzie Taylor ― right?" (p. 134).
"You've got my imagination running amok."85. A Spark of Light ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2018, fiction (Mississippi), 8/10
"I love it that you know what that word means."
"Are you calling me a nerd?"
"I would if I didn't think you would take it as a compliment" (p. 20).
"He started to pace. He had come here with intention, but not with a plan. Somehow he hadn't imagined that there would be people left when he finished teaching his lesson of retribution" (p. 174).
"Louie's final thought before he passed out was that this was indeed some crazy world, where the waiting period to get an abortion was longer than the waiting period to get a gun" (p. 275).
"You can't shoot me," she said. "I'm pregnant" (p. 277).
|November favorite (#92)|
86. Unsheltered ~ by Barbara Kingsolver, 2018, fiction (New Jersey), 8/10
"We are given to live in a remarkable time. When the nuisance of old mythologies falls away from us, we may see with new eyes" (p. 89).87. What Cats Teach Us: Life's Lessons Learned from Our Feline Friends ~ by Glenn Dromgoole, 2000, gift book, 6/10
"Teach them to see evidence for themselves, and not to fear it" (p. 205).
"I suppose it is in our nature," she said finally. "When men fear the loss of what they know, they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order" (p. 206).
"But the logistics of a new phone turned out to be simple: Tig could add herself to Jorge's family plan. This might be a modern equivalent to marriage" (p. 393).
"And her brain seemed resistant to the life-changing art of pitching things out" (p. 405).
"A laptop cat is more soothing than a laptop computer" (p. 96).88. Cat Tales: A Catty Concoction of Quotes, Poems and "Dear Tabby" Advice ~ ed. by Suzanne Beilenson, 1992, gift book, 6/10
"There are times when we just have to take a leap of faith" (p. 23).
"Nurture your independent spirit" (p. 79).
"Taking risks can lead to unexpected but beautiful new perspectives" (p. 91).
CAT DICTIONARY (excerpts)89. Good Dog. Stay. ~ by Anna Quindlen, 2007, gift book, 8/10
Cat-nip = Feline love bite
Cat-walk = pussy prowl
Cat-kin = Feline family
Cat-call = Feline 'fone conversation
Cat-alytic converter = Changes a kitten into a cat
Cat-acomb = Used with a catabrush (pp. 14, 15, 17)
"Beau ... had grown ancient by the standards of his breed. And I had grown older. My memory stutters. My knees hurt. Without my reading glasses the words on a page look like ants at a picnic" (p. 81).90. George and the Dragon: Call to Arms ~ by Harry Hazell, 2017, fiction (novella), 8/10
"Vengeance. That's what I wanted. I wanted my brother back again; I wanted to fight the dragon alongside Bertie, as he had wanted me to do, but it had killed him, so I would have to fight it alone" (loc. 408).91. Sister of Mine ~ by Sabra Waldfogel, 2016, fiction (Georgia), 8/10
"She had always longed for a sister. Now she had one, in a way too shameful to admit" (p. 42).92. The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language ~ by Melvyn Bragg, 2003, 2011, language, 9/10
"Miss Mannheim, does it ever strike you as strange that we Jews who were slaves in Egypt now own slaves in America?" (p. 119).
"Adelaide had thrown away her own life to save her sister. Adelaide had refused William Pereira, who would have married Adelaide for her fortune and debased Rachel for her body" (p. 295).
"New words are new worlds. You call them up and if they are strong enough, they keep in step with change and along the way describe more and more, provide new insights, evolve on the tongue and on the page" (loc. 1352).
"Correcting English is one of our great indoor sports" (loc. 3652).
"...a book was published which celebrated Australian and its pronunciation: Let Stalk Strine" (loc. 4439).
|December favorite (#95)|
93. Ape House ~ by Sara Gruen, 2010, fiction, 8/10
"One of the most exciting discoveries to come from the language lab was that once bonobos acquired human language they passed it on to their babies, communicating with a combination of ASL and their own vocalizations" (p. 184).94. Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote ~ by Kirsten Gillibrand, illustrated by Maira Kalman, 2018, children's, 9/10
"It had not escaped John that the bonobos had managed to acquire human language, but that humans had not crossed over in the other direction" (p. 252).
"We want to be counted. We want to be heard. We are going to fight for what we believe in, and we are not turning back."95. Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power ~ by Rachel Maddow, 2012, history, 9/10
"Abrams restructured the United States Army in a way that made it harder for a commandeer in chief to go to war, or at least harder to fight a war without having first sought the support of the American people for that war" (p. 20).96. The Mysterious Tale of Gentle Jack and Lord Bumblebee ~ by George Sand (Amandine Lucile Aurore Dupin, 1804-1876), illustrated by Gennady Spirin, 1986, English translation 1988, "nah"
"When Ronald Reagan extricated himself from the Iran-Contra scandal by cutting one of those crucial mooring lines ― without considered forethought or specific course headings in mind ― it set the country adrift and heading into a dangerous tide. Congress has never since effectively asserted itself to stop a president with a bead on war" (p. 125).
"We have come very far toward the monarchical Presidency that Hamilton and Madison and the others feared" (p. 153).
"Post-9/11, the CIA is a military force that wages war on America's behalf. And it has the handy feature of being able to do so in places where we are not supposed to be at war" (p. 198).
"The general problem with the entire benighted theory of counterinsurgency is that there are no examples in modern history in which a counterinturgency in a foreign country has been successful. None!" (p. 211).
"So you see that, in this world, you must rob or be robbed, murder or be murdered, be a tyrant or a slave. It is up to you to choose: Do you wish to conserve wealth like the bees, amass it like the ants, or steal it like the hornets? The surest way, I believe, is to let others do the work and then take from them..." [Gentle Jack:] "I have no desire whatsoever to learn how to plunder and to kill" (p. 42).97. Half a Heart ~ by Karen McQuestion, 2018, fiction (Wisconsin), 10/10
98. Origin ~ by Dan Brown, 2017, fiction (Spain), 8/10
"He'd heard how angry his father had been chasing him down the street and knew he would not come home to forgiveness. Instead, he'd be beaten or starved as punishment. Or maybe worse. Being lost and alone in Wis-consin was preferable to that" (p. 24).
Another Dec. favorite (#97)
"There were so many good people in the world, but it always seemed like there were more bad people because they made more noise" (p. 83).
"Specifically, what kind of kid steals a towel and a tomato? Maybe a hungry, wet one?" (p. 86).
"Human intellect has always evolved by rejecting outdated information in favor of new truths" (p. 421).99. The Phantom Tree ~ by Nicola Cornick, 2017, fiction, 6/10
"And history has proven repeatedly that lunatics will rise to power again and again on tidal waves of aggressive nationalism and intolerance, even in places where it seems utterly incomprehensible" (p. 428).
"Ever since I was a child, I've had the gut sense that there's a consciousness behind the universe" (p. 436).
"There had been another traveler in time, from another place and another past. Unlike her, he had found his way back. And if he could do it, if he could find the way, then so might she" (loc. 1059).
"Had she really spoken words to that effect to Diana less than half an hour ago, when Diana was supposed already to have passed away?" (loc. 3124).