Saturday, December 31, 2022

My wrap-up post for the Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2022

I signed up for the Snoop level (ten cozy mysteries of my choice), since I didn't know if I'd enjoy reading cozies.  The challenge began January 1st and ends December 31st (today).  I passed my goal by one extra cozy mystery and will record my wrap-up post HERE.  Below are the eleven cozies that I read.  (Can you spot my favorite?  Click the title to read about it.):

1.  Croissants and Corruption ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 164 pages, 8/10
2.  Desserts and Deception ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 128 pages, 7/10
3.  Pastries and Pilfering (Margot Durand Cozy Mystery, Book 3 of 12) ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (California and Mexico), 180 pages, 7/10
4.  Oy Vey, Maria! : A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2021, cozy mystery, 186 pages, 8/10
5.  Aunt Bessie Decides ~ by Diana Xarissa, 2014, cozy mystery, 238 pages, 4/10
6.  Class Reunions Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has A Story (A Baby Boomer Mystery Book 4) ~ by Susan Santangelo, 2013, cozy mystery, 240 pages, 9/10
7.  Retirement Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has A Story (A Baby Boomer Mystery Book 1) ~ by Susan Santangelo, 2009, cozy mystery, 214 pages, 8/10
8.  A Pain in the Tuchis: A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2015, cozy mystery, 217 pages, 10/10
9.  Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2014, cozy mystery, 244 pages, 6/10
10.  The Obituary Society ~ by Jessica L. Randall, 2014, cozy mystery, 196 pages, 3/10
11.  Murder to Go (Food Truck Mysteries #1) ~ by Chloe Kendrick, 2015, cozy mystery, 149 pages, 6/10

Friday, December 30, 2022

Lists of Best Books 2022

I got these lists from Deb at Readerbuzz, but as I looked at them I realized that I've never even heard of most of these books.  Oh, well, I'll look them over and see if I want to read any.  If you see any good books in these lists, do tell us which ones, please.

For what it's worth, the New York Public Library has lists you can print out in order to check off the titles as you read them.  Are you looking for the best new books for adults, children, or teens?  Click on any of these (above or below) for more information.
The illustration at the top shows the best books of 2022 according to Barnes and Noble.  I was not aware of these books, either, but I requested all three from my library.  As you might have guessed, all three had long waiting lists, so who knows when I'll read them.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Thirteen Thoughts for Thursday

1.  Word of the Year 2022
gas·light /ˈɡasˌlīt / verb (gerund or present participle: gaslighting) = to manipulate some-one using psychological methods so that they question their own sanity or powers of reasoning.  Example:  "He was gaslighting me into thinking I was crazy."

2.  In July 2021, I tried to download the free companion to this book and couldn't.  I even asked for help on my blog, HERE.  Last week, I was looking through my Kindle and ran across Am I Alone Here?  It showed as unread.  I thought, "But I DID read this book."

3.  Upon investigation, I discovered it was the unread COMPANION that I once-upon-a-time couldn't figure out how to download.  So help me solve the mystery, folks.  How is it that I now have this "free companion" book?  I have no idea.  The world is a mysterious place, especially with our devices doing their own thing.

4.  So I now have both the book and the companion on my Kindle, and they were NOT together.  Yes, the book itself shows as "read."  But not the companion.

5.  Next question:  Do I want to read that companion-book now, long after I finished the book?  No, because I don't remember details from the book 17 months after reading it.

6.  What if?  
Liz at Laws of Gravity used this image to ask:  "What if you found that $10 million was mistakenly deposited into your bank account due to a computer glitch?"  I'm not the only one who can't imagine NOT immediately informing the bank of the mistake.  Lisa commented, "Someone would be missing it, so they'd probably already have contacted the bank."  Exactly!

7.  Last week, I thought I'd see the Little Women movie on Friday, but it was cancelled because of bad weather and temperatures below zero.  St. Louis got nearly 3 inches of snow on Thursday, but my suburb to the west got more than that.  No, I didn't go out.

8.  I corrected the grammar book I was reading (a book I don't recommend at all).  Click HERE for the story, but basically the author called "Hindu" a religion.  Nope!  That should be "Hinduism" like the "Paganism" she had on the list.

9.  Word of the Day

pa·gan·ism /ˈpāɡəˌniz(ə)m / noun = (1) a religion other than one of the main world religions, specifically a non-Christian or pre-Christian religion.  (2) a modern religious movement incorporating beliefs or practices from outside the main world religions, especially nature worship.  Example:  "Paganism includes respecting mother earth."

10.  Do you order things online?  Or do you prefer to shop in person?  Because of Covid, I've been purchasing much more online.

11.  This chair also has eyes.  These photos give you an indication of how hard it is to see Clawdia when I walk through my apartment.  However, she's smart and knows I don't always see her.  As I approach, she says, "Mewp."  (Neither photo is of Clawdia.)

12.  Higher math?  I saw an ad for a charger that was on sale for $25.  It had been $38, so according to them, you save $12.  I guess I really am old.  In my day, a $12 savings on something that once cost $38 would then cost $26.  If all they are charging is $25, then it's an even better deal than what they are advertising.

13.  Speaking of math, whatever happened to that "new math" from the 1960s?  Click HERE to read all about it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

TBR 22 in '22 Challenge — wrap up post

The TBR 22 in '22 Challenge was hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader.  The goal was to read 22 books from my TBR shelves in 2022.  The bigger goal, of course, is to read books I already own.  These books could be on my shelf or on my Kindle.  Books I read for other challenges counted as well.  So here are the books I completed in 2022 that fit the criteria:

1.  From the Dark We Rise ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2021, historical fiction (Germany), 281 pages, 7/10
2.  A Light in the Window ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2021, historical fiction (Germany), 280 pages, 6/10
3.  War Girl Lotte ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2017, historical fiction (Germany), 180 pages, 7/10
4.  Croissants and Corruption ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 164 pages, 8/10
5.  Desserts and Deception ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 128 pages, 7/10
6.  Mrs. Peachtree and the Eighth Avenue Cat ~ by Erica Silverman, illustrations by Ellen Beier, 1994, children's picture book, 32 pages, 8/10
7.  Caterpillar Kisses: Lessons My Kindergarten Class Taught Me About Life ~ by Christine Pisera Naman, 2005, anecdotes, 100 pages, 9/10
8.  Chester's Way ~ by Kevin Henkes, 1988, children's picture book, 32 pages, 10/10
9.  A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story ~ by Linda Sue Park, 2010, children's historical fiction (Sudan), 122 pages, 10/10
10.  The Titanic Sisters ~ by Patricia Falvey, 2021, historical fiction, 320 pages, 8/10
11.  Squeeze Me ~ by Carl Hiaasen, 2020, mystery (Florida), 352 pages, 4/10
12.  The Midnight Library ~ by Matt Haig, 2020, fiction, 288 pages, 8/10
13.  Still Alice ~ by Lisa Genova, 2007, literary fiction (Massachusetts), 320 pages, 9/10
14.  Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" ~ by Zora Neale Hurston, foreword by Alice Walker, 2018, cultural anthropology, 208 pages, 8/10
15.  The Butterfly Effect ~ by Rachel Mans McKenny, 2020, fiction (Iowa and Costa Rica), 328 pages, 6/10
16.  Dovetail ~ by Karen McQuestion, 2020, fiction (Wisconsin), 353 pages, 8/10
17.  Grandaddy's Short Stories ~ by Everette Summers, 2007, short stories, 47 pages, 1/10
18.  Grandaddy's Short Stories: Book II ~ by Everette Summers, 2007, short stories, 90 pages, 4/10
19.  Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit ~ by Courtney Ellis, 2021, psychology, 213 pages, 9/10
20.  The Virtues of Aging ~ by Jimmy Carter, 1998, memoir, 160 pages, 10/10
21.  Fresh Scars ~ by Donna Mumma, 2021, fiction (Florida), 305 pages, 8/10
22.  Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Isabel Dalhousie Mystery, Book 2) ~ by Alexander McCall Smith, 2005, mystery (Scotland), 272 pages, 9/10

I did it! Then I kept reading books I already own.
I think l remembered to come here and add most of them.
Either way, I went WAY past my goal, so I'm happy.

23.  Regarding Anna ~ by Florence Osmund, 2015, fiction, 272 pages, 10/10
24.  Aunt Bessie Decides ~ by Diana Xarissa, 2014, cozy mystery, 238 pages, 4/10
25.  Liar and Spy ~ by Rebecca Stead, 2012, children's mystery (New York), 208 pages, 8/10
26.  Pastries and Pilfering: Margot Durand Cozy Mystery, Book 3 of 12 ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (California and Mexico), 180 pages, 7/10
27.  Oy Vey, Maria! : A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2021, cozy mystery, 186 pages, 8/10
28.  Aunt Bessie Decides ~ by Diana Xarissa, 2014, cozy mystery, 238 pages, 4/10
29.  Class Reunions Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has A Story (A Baby Boomer Mystery Book 4) ~ by Susan Santangelo, 2013, cozy mystery, 240 pages, 9/10
30.  Retirement Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has A Story (A Baby Boomer Mystery Book 1) ~ by Susan Santangelo, 2009, cozy mystery, 214 pages, 8/10
31.  A Pain in the Tuchis: A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2015, cozy mystery, 217 pages, 10/10
32.  Last Train to Istanbul ~ by Ayse Kulin, 2002, historical fiction (France and Turkey), 417 pages, 4/10
33.  The Consequences of Fear: A Maisie Dobbs Novel (Book 16 of 17) ~ by Jacqueline Winspear, 2021, mystery (England), 352 pages, 9/10
34.  Educated ~ by Tara Westover, 2018, memoir (Idaho, Utah, England), 336 pages, 10/10
35.  The Value of Honesty: The Story of Confucius ~ by Spencer Johnson, illustrated by Steve Pileggi, 1979, children's picture book, 64 pages, 10/10
36.  StrengthsFinder 2.0 ~ by Tom Rath, 2007, self-help, 183 pages, 10/10
37.  Tao Te Ching: A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way ~ by Lao Tzu, translated by Ursula K. Le Guin with J. P. Seaton, 1997, religion, 137 pages, 9/10
38.  A Charlie Brown Christmas ~ by Charles M. Schulz, 2007, children's book, 128 pages, 10/10
39.  Kiss My Asterisk: A Feisty Guide to Punctuation and Grammar ~ by Jenny Baranick, 2014, English language, 178 pages, 4/10

THIS is the page where we are supposed to link our wrap up posts.  I listed books on my original sign-up post as I finished them, copied them for this page, and 39 is my final total.  Whew!  I've had a good reading year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Mt. TBR Challenge for 2023

January 2023 kicks off the twelfth year for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge, which I did in 2020.  Bev at My Reader's Block hosts this challenge.  This time, I'm signing up for the Mt. Blanc level to read a total of 24 books from my own shelves in 2023.  (It looks like I picked TWO levels because today is TWOsday.)  Here are the challenge levels:

Pike's Peak (14,115 feet):  read 12 books from my TBR pile

1.  75 Years: A History of East Lake United Methodist Church 1908-1983 ~ by Bonnie Setliffe Jacobs, 1983, history, 38 pages, 8/10
2.  The Irish Cottage: Finding Elizabeth (The Irish Heart Series Book 1) ~ by Juliet Gauvin, 2014, fiction (Ireland), 349 pages, 4/10
3.  A Vow of Silence ~ by Veronica Black, 1990, cozy mystery (England), 175 pages, 8/10
4.  A Vow of Chastity ~ by Veronica Black, 1992, cozy mystery (England), 191 pages, 3/10
5.  Being Authentic: A Memoir ~ by Morhaf Al Achkar, 2020, memoir, 174 pages, 7/10

Mont Blanc (15,781 feet):  read 24 books from my TBR pile


Mt. Vancouver (15,787 feet):  read 36 books from my TBR pile
Mt. Ararat (16,854 feet):  read 48 books from my TBR pile
Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet):  read 60 books from my TBR pile
Cerro El Toro (20,236 feet):  read 75 books from my TBR pile
Mt. Everest (29,029 feet):  read 100 books from my TBR pile
Mount Olympus (Mars) (69,841 feet):  read 150+ books from my TBR pile

I'll conquer the lower Pike's Peak and keep going until I reach the top of Mont Blanc.  Maybe I'll go even higher.  Who knows?  Sign up HERE, if you are interested.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Books from Santa?

Book Blogger Hop* asks a question each week.  Here's the one for Dec. 23-29, 2022:

Did Santa bring you any books?

Bah, humbug!  No, Santa went right over my house without leaving me a single book.  Well, okay, I live on the sixth floor of a tall building, and Santa managed to avoid running into it.  Do you suppose Santa failed to leave a book because I have no chimney for him to come down?  I did, however, give myself books from the library, from the bookstore, and for my Kindle.  Does that count?  If so, then I did get books.

Oh, wait!  I just remembered that I used to BE Santa when my children were little, so all those books DO count after all!  Here are some 10/10 books that I recommend you give yourself (in no particular order):
  • A Pain in the Tuchis: A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2015, cozy mystery, 217 pages, 10/10
  • The Indigo Girl ~ by Natasha Boyd, 2017, historical fiction (South Carolina), 329 pages, 10/10
  • Regarding Anna ~ by Florence Osmund, 2015, fiction, 272 pages, 10/10
  • Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah ~ by Richard Bach, 2001, philosophy, 144 pages, 10/10
  • Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul ~ by Richard Bach, 2004, philosophy, 216 pages, 10/10
  • The Virtues of Aging ~ by Jimmy Carter, 1998, memoir, 160 pages, 10/10
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas ~ by Charles M. Schulz, 2007, children's book, 128 pages, 10/10
  • Educated ~ by Tara Westover, 2018, memoir (Idaho, Utah, England), 336 pages, 10/10
  • Rick the Rock of Room 214 ~ by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Ruth Chan, 2022, children's picture book, 40 pages, 10/10
(*Note:  I like that we can plan ahead by reading the upcoming questions HERE.)

Sunday, December 25, 2022

♫ ♪ ♫ It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ♫ ♪ ♫

I didn't know I could put musical notes in the blog title until Deb at Readerbuzz did, so I borrowed hers.  It makes this Christmas post look rather musical, though, ♪ ♫  ♫ doesn't it?  ♫  I think I'll scatter music throughout this post ♫  ♫ ♪  ♫ ♫ and see what happens.

♫ ♪ ♫  A question comes to mind.  Maybe two.  

First, what does Christmas look like?  ♫ ♪  Please answer in the comments.

Second, what Christmas music comes to mind when you see these notes?  ♫ ♪ ♫  Here's my list, as songs popped into my mind.  The first one is obvious!
  • It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Blue Christmas   ♪ ♫
  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth  ♫ ♪
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  • It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Jingle Bells    ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
  • Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer  ♪ ♪ ♫
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  • Frosty the Snowman   ♫ ♪
It's your turn now.  What Christmas music popped into your mind. ♪ ♫ ♪  Warning!  My mind didn't stop at a dozen.

I googled Christmas music and came up with Christmas music featuring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Kenny Rogers.  ♫♪ ♫  Enjoy!

P.S.  🎄 Deb has done it again, using 🎄 little Christmas trees 🎄 in this week's salon post🎄

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

A Charlie Brown Christmas ~ by Charles M. Schulz, 2007, children's
Well, I have my tree up, and I've read the book ... all 128 tiny pages of it!
This is what MY tree looks like:  4-inches tall with its one red bulb.
(And did you notice Linus's blanket wrapped around the bottom?)

Friday, December 23, 2022

Correcting the grammar book

Kiss My Asterisk: A Feisty Guide to Punctuation and Grammar ~ by Jenny Baranick, 2014, English language, 178 pages

I have this on Kindle, which shows "location" but not "page" numbers.  The error I'm about to correct is found at "loc. 1420" in the chapter on capitalization, where it says:

We also capitalize religions:
Christianity, Judaism, Hindu, Islam, Paganism

I didn't add any punctuation to that quote because I want you to see what's actually in the book.  Look at those religions she's listed.  Oops!  "Hindu" is NOT the religion, but a person who follows the religion called Hinduism.  Those three little letters are needed to make that distinction.  People don't follow the religion of "Christian" or "Pagan" or "Hindu."  Thus, the third word in that series of five should be Hinduism.

Yeah, it's important to know when to add "-ism."

(Click HERE or the title above to read what I wrote about the book when I bought it.)

Beginning ~ with a discarded book


"The last time I saw the Messiah's Handbook was when I threw it away."

Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul ~ by Richard Bach, 2004, philosophy, 216 pages

This is the lost book from Illusions.  Now I've found it on my Kindle (said with tongue in cheek).  I told you about this book, HERE, when I wrote about Illusions (which I have now read and rated 10/10)

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Little Women in my Thursday Thoughts

1.  Do you remember the story of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott?  That novel follows the lives of the four March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — and details their passage from childhood to womanhood.  Those four girls called their mother Marmee.

2.  Now there are four books about the four daughters.  I told you about those books in a recent Sunday Salon post.

3.  I phoned an old friend recently, and we talked about our 6th grade production of Little Women, which was 2 hours long.  I played the part of Marmee, and Shirley was Meg.  That was 70 years ago, when we were just 12 years old.  I told you that HERE.  You can read more about the novel in Wikipedia.
4.  You probably wonder what made me think of Little Women after all these years.  Surprise!  It's the Friday Afternoon Matinee Movie scheduled to be shown on the big screen in our Theater Room here on December 23rd.  That's tomorrow, and I'll be there.

5.  Here's a promo for the 2019 version we'll see.  Do you recognize any of the actors?

6.  I found this advice in a short article:  Decluttering should happen every time you go from room to room.  Take something with you to put in its correct place as you go. 

7.  Colleen quoted Aaron Freeman about "dying" in her recent Thirteen Thursday (#7):  "...your energy’s still around.  According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly."  I like the idea of being here, but less orderly.

8.  "Common foods that may trigger your nose to run when you eat include ... red peppers."  There's a name for this condition:  gustatory rhinitis.  And I have it, apparently.

9.  I guess I'll quit eating in the Café and getting the weekly meals, since peppers show up in a lot of their foods.  Or maybe I'll just order fresh fruits and yogurts and scrambled eggs when I eat there.

10.  The best part of Christmas is hearing from my friends and family who live far away.

11.  One of my neighbors has Covid.  When I delivered a small package that had arrived for her, I slid it under her door, not wanting to face her.  Another neighbor was spraying inside her car Monday, after having driven the sick person to the doctor for confirmation.

12.  Today is my maternal grandmother's birthday.  Inez Geneva Underwood Reynolds (1880-1943) was born 142 years ago on this day.  She's the second person from the left on the front row, and that tall girl on the front row is my mother.  This photo of Mom's family was taken about 1928.

13.  The snow in this Christmas card I got from my daughter Barbara in 2020 looks delightful, but the wind and snow predicted across the middle of the United States may not be what we want for the holidays.  Especially for travelers.  Temps are predicted to be below 0°F in St. Louis today and tomorrow.  On the other hand, there’s SNOW place like home for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Grammar alert

Time for a test.  How many mistakes can you find on this sign?  Think about word order and rules of grammar and whatever else you learned in school.  Let's correct this sign.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

A Christmas tree and a poem for 2022

And a very Meow-y Christmas to you, too!

I wish you a Meow-y Christmas,
I wish you a Meow-y Christmas,
I wish you a Meow-y Christmas,
and a Happy New Year!

Clawdia and Bonnie

Monday, December 19, 2022

Ten Toe ~ prescription

                            Qty:  Aim for 10,000 steps every day
                            Usage:  At least 30 minutes every day
                            Exp. Date:  No Expiration — GOOD FOR LIFE!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Food for thought and for the tummy

Risé and I had lunch at Jilly's Cupcake Bar and Café, which is about half a block from where we live.  We both got their Brisket BLT (called a BBLT) and a Snickerdoodle gingerbread cupcake (a better view is on the left).  We had enough for another lunch.  We two book lovers managed NOT to go to the bookstore that's in the same strip mall.
Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change ~ by John Lewis, 2012, nonfiction, xvii + 180 pages

Faith, patience, truth, love, peace, study, and reconciliation:  these are the buckets into which Lewis poured his message about "the inner transformation that must be realized to effect lasting social change."  A civil rights pioneer and Georgia congressman, Lewis (Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement) sought to inspire nonviolent activism in a time that he regarded as the most violent in history.  For his audience, Lewis targeted Occupy protestors, and members of the movement could draw lessons from the anecdotes that are the heart of the book.  

At its best, the book provides a testament to the power of nonviolence in social movements, with moving personal accounts of the Freedom Rides, such as when Lewis described being physically beaten in South Carolina or sitting out a 40-day sentence in the unrelenting Parchman Farm prison in Mississippi.  At its worst, it resembles an extended campaign speech:  "Some people have told me that I am a rare bird in the blue sky of dreamers ... despite every attempt to keep me down, I have not been shaken."  In between these extremes is the advice of a wise uncle who has earned the right to have his say. 

John Lewis "was a guiding voice for a young Illinois senator who became the first Black president," according to the West Suburban Journal, where I found this photo of Barack Obama awarding him the Medal of Freedom in 2011.  Quote from the book:

"The most important lesson I have learned in the fifty years I have spent working toward the building of a better world is that the true work of social transformation starts within.  It begins inside your own heart and mind, because the battleground of human transformation is really, more than any other thing, the struggle within the human consciousness to believe and accept what is true.  Thus to truly revolutionize our society, we must first revolutionize ourselves.  We must be the change we seek if we are to effectively demand transformation from others."

This quote is from the dust jacket, so I don't know the page number.  Amazon readers have rated this book 4.9 out of 5 stars, so it must be pretty good.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Another book from Donna

Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading ~ by Eugene H. Peterson, 2006, religion, xii + 186 pages

Eat This Book challenges us to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God’s revelation, and to live them as we read them.  Peterson offers greatly needed, down-to-earth counsel on spiritual reading.  He draws readers into a fascinating conversation on the nature of language, the ancient practice of lectio divina, and the role of Scripture translations.  Included here is the "inside story" behind Peterson’s own popular Bible translation, The Message.

You can probably see I've been going through another box I got from my friend Donna's apartment after she died.  This one seems to have a lot of her books about religion in it.

One of my new books

Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written ~ by Marcus J. Borg, foreword by Bishop Lowell Erdahl, 2012, religion, viii + 593 pages

Borg presents the New Testament books in the chronological order in which they were written, and highlights how what began as a radical Jewish faith transformed itself into Christianity.  He emphasizes the vital importance of seeing the documents in their ancient setting and provides valuable contextual commentary on each of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament.

Huh, this is the first I've heard of this book, which was among the books I inherited from Donna after she died.  I'm surprised because Borg is one of my favorite authors, and he wrote my favorite theological book:  The Heart of Christianity.

Let's try loving one another


(Pages 1-6 are missing.)
— Mary 1:1

Mary Magdalene's gospel starts with missing pages.  These are the words we can't get back, this is the wisdom, the voice of Christ from the heart of a woman, that was torn out and most likely destroyed before the rest of her gospel was buried.  There was something so incendiary in these first six pages that her gospel starts on page seven.

Mary Magdalene Revealed: The First Apostle, Her Feminist Gospel and the Christianity We Haven't Tried Yet ~ by Meggan Watterson, 2019, religion, 264 pages

I started by reading the short introduction of the author on page 239, and then I read the introduction on pages xiii - xvi and watched an interview between the author and the managing director of Hay House on YouTube (click this link, if the video below doesn't work for you).  The author's website is

"The message is to LOVE each other."  That's a quote about 6 minutes into this 38-minute video, which I think gets to the point that LOVE is what it's all about.  Believing certain things is not the point, worshipping the right way isn't it, either.  Just LOVE one another.  That's the Christianity we haven't tried yet, in my opinion.  Then I was ready to really get into this book and see if that's also what "the first apostle" says in her book.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts
Book Beginnings on Fridays.

I forgot that I had written about this book in November, HERE, but the posts are different.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
asks a question each week.  Here's the one for Dec. 16-22, 2022:

Which time of day do you prefer to read: 
morning, afternoon, or evening?

Hmm, I'd just have to say, "Yes."  I always prefer to read.  I read in the morning when I get up, I read throughout the day, and I read in bed before falling asleep.  Being retired, I'm not limited by WHEN I can read.  Unless I plan to go somewhere with a friend or have to get groceries or something like that, you'll probably find me reading.  I do occasionally have to do things like wash dishes or clothes, but I'd rather be reading.  Who wouldn't?

(*Note:  I like that we can plan ahead by reading the upcoming questions HERE.)

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Joyful thoughts for Thursday

1.  Look what I got in the mail:  A package from my daughter that was wrapped in JOY.

2.  Time for a confession.  Everyone knows that old age is our "second childhood," and everyone also knows that you can't trust children around Christmas gifts.

3.  When I realized my daughter didn't actually say it was for Christmas, even though she used Christmas wrapping paper, I went ahead and opened the gift.

4.  And what was inside?  More JOY, which is now hung on the wall where I will see it every day.

5.  When I texted her to thank her, she wrote back that she wanted me to have a bit of Christmas.

6.  I told her I'll hang JOY on my cart, when I go to the Circle@Crown Café to eat.

7.  Oh, by the way, Clawdia wanted to play with that tassel on the bottom.  Nope, nope, nope!  This one's not for you, Clawdia.

8.  Let's make more connections to the word JOY, some of which I have shared before.  It's my favorite word, for one thing.

9.  Why?  Partly because I've spent a lot of time with this word; to wit:  I presented a paper on "Joy or Despair?" at the Southeastern Undergraduate Philosophy Conference held at Emory University back in the early 1970s.  I asked why existentialists seemed to focus on despair (Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus come to mind).  If, as they say, we find our own meaning in life, why not choose joy?

10.  One of my favorite phrases from the Bible is "make a joyful noise," so when I started a church newsletter, I named it Joyful Noiseletter.

11.  I was so "into" the meaning of joy during my undergraduate years that my best friend addressed my mail to "Bonnie Joy Jacobs."

12.  When my bank got its first teller machine, telling us to choose four letters or numbers to access it, I considered using B-J-O-Y.  My young daughter Barbara said, "But Mom, anybody could figure out that's what you would pick." 

13.  At the top of my blog about words, I have these words:  "Joyful Noiseletter — an exuberant newsletter to myself about joyful things, like words, which I enjoy."

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Take a peek at this

I was reading an email which said:  "Take a peak at Session 1..."  Uh, I think she peaked ... I mean, picked ... the wrong word.  Did I pique your curiosity?  Which word should she have chosen for that email I read?
I wrote about these three words in 2010:  Write It Right ~ peaked, peeked, piqued
I wrote about two of these words in 2017:  TWOsday ~ comparing peek and pique

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Two by two

Prayers for the Dead ~ by Faye Kellerman, 1996, thriller, 406 pages

The brutal murder of Dr. Azor Sparks in an alley behind a restaurant is greeted with public outrage and a demand for swift, sure justice.  But the investigation into the well-known surgeon's death is raising too many questions and providing too few answers for homicide detective Lieutenant Peter Decker.  Why, for example, would the family of a man so beloved respond to his slaying with more surprise than grief?  And what linked a celebrated doctor with strict fundamentalist beliefs to a gang of outlaw bikers?  But the most unsettling connection of all is the one that ties the tormented Sparks family to Peter Decker's own and the secrets shared by a renegade Catholic priest and Decker's wife, Rina Lazarus.

Serpent's Tooth ~ by Faye Kellerman, 1997, thriller, 425 pages

A man walks into a trendy Los Angeles restaurant a disgruntled ex-employee with an automatic weapon and seconds later, thirteen people are dead and thirty-two more have been wounded.  It is a heinous act of mass slaughter that haunts Homicide Detective Peter Decker.  But, though eyewitnesses saw only the lone gunman who apparently took his own life after his bloody work was done —  evidence suggests more than one weapon was fired.  It is a disturbing inconsistency that sends Decker racing headlong into a sordid, labyrinthine world of Southern California money and power, on an investigation that threatens to destroy his reputation and his career.

The Confessor
~ by Daniel Silva, 2003, thriller, 400 pages

In Munich, a Jewish scholar is assassinated.  In Venice, Mossad agent and art restorer Gabriel Allon receives the news, puts down his brushes, and leaves immediately.  And at the Vatican, the new pope vows to uncover the truth about the church’s response to the Holocaust — while a powerful cardinal plots his next move.  Now, as Allon follows a trail of secrets and unthinkable deeds, the lives of millions are changed forever — and the life of one man becomes expendable

The Unlikely Spy ~ by Daniel Silva, 1996, thriller, 752 pages

"In wartime," Winston Churchill wrote, "truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."  For Britain’s counterintelligence operations, this meant finding the unlikeliest agent imaginable — a history professor named Alfred Vicary, handpicked by Churchill himself to expose a highly dangerous, but unknown, traitor.  The Nazis, however, have also chosen an unlikely agent.  Catherine Blake is the beautiful widow of a war hero, a hospital volunteer — and a Nazi spy under direct orders from Hitler: uncover the Allied plans for D-Day.

Two books each by two authors

I picked up her library book delivery for a friend:  two thrillers by Faye Kellerman and two thrillers by Daniel Silva.  Do you think she was thrilled with her library loot?