Writing about what I have been reading and encountering in the media.
|77. The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes, Penguin Audio, 10/08/2019 Audible.com
After I read this, I read three reviews that say it is plagiarized from The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. I don’t know if that is true. What I do know: This is historical fiction about women providing traveling library services in the hills of Kentucky during the Great Depression. I enjoyed the story and the characters. I don’t know how you might want to respond to the plagiarism accusation. Had I known ahead of time, I probably would have read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek first.
78. The Universal Christ, Richard Rohr, read by Arthur Morey, (religion) Random House Audio, 03/05/19. Accessed through Audible.com.
I have been reading this with a discussion group enjoying the book and the discussion very much. The author, Richard Rohr, is a Franciscan Priest. One of my Catholic friends says the Franciscans have always been thought of as “odd” within Catholicism. His thinking certainly is distinctive. He starts by saying all of creation is the first incarnation of God and Jesus is the second. He goes on to compare eastern and western Christianity and to discuss the differences and how they came about. It is clear that he thinks the western church lost something very important in the split from eastern Christendom. He then talks about what Buddhism has to offer Christianity in that it teaches how to be spiritual, where, he says, Christianity teaches what to believe. Finally, he defends women. He argues that Mary Magdalene, rather than being a prostitute, was the first apostle and explains clearly why he thinks this. A lot of this was not new to me, but instead validated a lot that I learned in my family and through my own reading and thinking, but not in church. We are almost finished with this book. I have two more by Richard Rohr to read, and I guarantee, I will read them.
79. Mary Magdalene Revealed, Meggan Watterston, Hay House Publishing, 07/09/19. (religion and memoir) Audible.com.
Meggan Watterston has been studying Mary Magdalene for years. This has led her on a spiritual as well as a scholarly journey. She shares both in this book. A male reader found this disgusting. I am glad I am not part of his family. I have found the book to be interesting and challenging. It is well worth the read. It would be good to read The Book of Mary attributed to Mary Magdalene herself before, during and after this book. It is only a portion of the original, all that has been found. It is easy for me to see how Ms. Watterston became so interested when looking at what Mary Magdalene wrote and hearing the stories Meggan Watterston discovered in her quest.
80. Books by Charlie Holmberg: (fantasy) Smoke and Summons, Veins of Gold, The Changeling, Siege and Sacrifice, and The Will and the Wilds. Audible.com
I don’t remember the order in which I read them as I read them as they come out. I think I have read everything she has written. This is light reading, escapist, and fun. Charlie Holmberg writes about female heroines dealing with challenges related to magic. Her characters are good and evil, with some struggling to decide which way they will go. I think anyone from pre-adolescence to old age can enjoy them. If you read much earlier in my list, you will see reviews of her earlier work. I may have left one out. Just start with the earliest publication date and move forward. Some tales go through more than one volume and some books stand alone.
81. The Way with Words IV; Understanding Poetry, One of the Modern Scholar productions, Professor Michael D.C. Drout; this is basically the series of lectures from a college course taught by Prof. Drout. 01/30/09, Audible.com.
I love anything that informs me more about poetry. If you are not a reader of poetry but are curious about it, this is a good way to get some solid footing.
82. She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy, Hyperion Audio Books, 04/05/2011, Audible. com
Another great bedtime read Caroline Kennedy selects poetry written by, for, and about women. Many of the pieces were new to me, and all amplify the importance and beauty of women’s relationships to each other and to those they love.
83. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris, (biographical novel, assuming that is a thing) Harper Audio, 09/04/2018. Audible.com
This tale is based on interviews with Ludwig Sokolov a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and was a tattooist there. This is a love story full of hope. How can one not love a well-told love story set in the depths of the darkest time in all of modern history? I hope you will love it too.
84. The Weight of Ink, Rachel Kadish, (historical novel) Highbridge a Division of Recorded Books, 06/06/2017. Audible.com
This is one of my top five favorite books of the past two or three years. The author connects two periods of history through a trove of documents discovered in a very old house in England. They originate in the Jewish section of London during the Plague. The historical character is the secretary to a Rabbi who, against tradition, has educated her. The modern characters are academic researchers. The tale is one of determination, of women challenging the status quo and using brilliant reasoning in their unconventional lives. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.
85. The Overstory, Richard Powers, (environmentalist novel) Recorded Books, 04/03/2018, Audible.com
One of the reader reviews of this book, offered by Michael Stansberry, says “I am a fuel-guzzling truck driver, but this book made me wanna pull my semi to the side of the road and hug a tree.” I can’t say anything much clearer than that. This is a great tale developed around the love of trees. The narrator, Suzanne Toren, does a great job of presenting the book.