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Wondrous Words Wednesday

May 2, 2018

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

This word is from SPACE DUMPLINS by Craig Thompson.

1. eschatology – “An Eschatalogical Vison.”

Eschatology is the branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

April 30, 2018

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 04.27.2018

April 27, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I can think of many words to describe JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson – emotional, compelling, heartbreaking, disturbing – but none of them adequately describe this book that moved me in so many ways.  Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative – a non-profit agency that fights for justice for the poor and underrepresented segments of our society, oftentimes people who are wrongly condemned or sentenced unfairly.  In this book, he shares stories of many of the clients he has represented, some successfully, others not.  The stories he shares are heartbreaking and brought me to tears on numerous occasions.  I think JUST MERCY would be a terrific book club selection because I talked about it A LOT as I read it.  I want to thrust it in everyone’s hands and feel it’s a must read for anyone and everyone who cares about justice.  I feel very strongly about what Stevenson is doing and decided to make a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative as soon as I finished this outstanding book.   As Stevenson so aptly said,

. . . we have to reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent.

The audio version of this book is very capably narrated by the author – his compassion and concern are evident.  I’m glad to know there are people like him out there fighting for those who aren’t capable of fighting for themselves. (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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SNAIL MAIL by Samantha Berger is an adorable picture book about the beauty of letters sent through the mail.

Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that some things were just A LITTLE more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail.

In the book a young girl makes a card for the boy she loves and sends it all the way across the country to him.  It takes four snails to make the trip but they enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.  When the card finally arrives, the boy is so happy everyone knows the journey was worth it.  As you can tell from the cover, Julia Patton‘s illustrations are charming and add much to the delightful story.  This book is sure to spark a love of the written word and snail mail in early readers. (Review copy provided by Running Press Kids.)

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Author and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich decided to see what it’s like to live on low paying jobs and wrote about her experience in NICKEL AND DIMED: OR (NOT) GETTING BY IN AMERICA.  She worked as a waitress in Florida, a house cleaner in Maine, and a retail clerk at a big box store in Minnesota.  She started out with a little money and did have the advantage of health insurance.  She worked long, hard days for little pay and discovered it’s almost impossible to get by on the wages paid the working poor.  It seems the biggest issue is housing – not only is there not enough affordable housing but the little that is available isn’t close to job openings.  She was also struck by the way society looked down on the people who work hard for very little pay.  Ehrenreich discovered,

The “working poor,” as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society.  They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high.  To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.

This book is well written and thought provoking.  I wish Ehrenreich had taken it a little bit farther and shared the stories of some of the people she worked with.  Still, NICKEL AND DIMED is a book everyone should read.  It’s been several days since I finished the book and I still think about it a lot and I’m sure it will influence where and how I spend my money in the future.

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Since I got so many comments about axe throwing last week, I decided to include this short video I took of one of my friends while we were there.  These places are popping up all over the place and are lots of fun.
  • Carl got back from visiting his dad on Wednesday and I filled in for him at the store while he was gone.
  • Our temperatures seem to have finally settled down which means summer will be here soon.  We had a lot of rain this week and I’m hoping that means we’ll have beautiful May flowers.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged almost 18,750 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 25, 2018

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

Even though I didn’t finish THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton, I did find a few words in it.

1. vicegerent – “Few things seemed to Newland Archer more awful than an offense against “Taste,” that far-off divinity of whom “Form” was the mere visible representative and vicegerent.”

A vicegerent is an administrative deputy of a king or magistrate.

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2. ormolu – “Even personal experience of these facts was not always a protection from the chill that descended on one in the high-ceilinged white-walled Madison Avenue drawing room, with the pale brocaded armchairs so obviously uncovered for the occasion, and the gauze still veiling the ormolu mantel ornaments and the beautiful old carved frame of Gainsborough’s ‘Lady Angelica du Lac.'”

I’ve seen this word in THE AGE OF INNOCENCE more than once, so I think it must have been a popular feature 100 years ago when the book was written.  Ormolu means golden or gilded brass or bronze used for decorative purposes (as in mounts for furniture).

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3. sacerdotal– “She said ‘reading the newspaper’ in the tone in which a Minister’s wife might have said: “Presiding at a Cabinet meeting” — not from any arrogance of mind, but because the habit of a lifetime, and the attitude of her friends and relations, had led her to consider Mr. van der Luyden’s least gesture as having an almost sacerdotal importance.

Sacerdotal means of or relating to priests or a priesthood: priestly.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

April 23, 2018

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Friday

Saturday

 

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 04.20.2018

April 20, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I think I knew too much about SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult when I picked it up so I’m going to be rather vague about its content.  It’s the story of Ruth, an African American nurse who’s taken off the case of a white infant at the request of his white supremacist parents.  Ruth is the only one present when the baby goes into distress and she has to make a tough decision in a matter of seconds – does she follow orders and leave the baby alone or does she care for him?  I heard Picoult speak about this book and she did her homework before writing it – speaking to African Americans, white supremacists, and medical and legal professionals.  I admire her for taking on such a polarizing and timely subject but am sad to say I didn’t love the book as much as most people have.

In typical Picoult fashion, the point of view shifts between several different characters including Ruth, her lawyer, and the white supremacist dad.  I found the characters to be one-dimensional, though.  I also thought the book was too long – it became repetitive after a while.  Don’t get my wrong, I liked this book a great deal – it’s very readable and thought provoking – but wasn’t blown away by it.  I’m thinking it’s because I knew quite a bit about it before I started it.  I do think SMALL GREAT THINGS would make an excellent book club selection because there’s plenty to discuss within its pages.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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ANNA AND JOHANNA: A CHILDREN’S BOOK INSPIRED BY JAN VERMEER by Géraldine Elschner and Florence Kœnig is a wonderful way to introduce early readers to art.  The authors of this beautiful picture book have imagined the lives of the anonymous models of two of Dutch artist Jan Vermeer’s well known paintings – The Milkmaid and The Lacemaker.  They include images of the two paintings and information on Vermeer in the back of the book.  I thought the story was lovely and enjoyed the illustrations even if they don’t mimic Vermeer’s work.  I love books and art and thought the author and illustrator did a great job combining the two.  The book is nicely bound and printed on high quality paper so it will hold up to repeated readings.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

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After reading a couple serious books I decided I needed something lighter so I picked up CLASS MOM by Laurie Gelman and it delivered.  It’s the story of Jen Dixon – a stay at home mom with two daughters in college and a son in kindergarten.  Her best friend is the PTA President and she talks Jen into being Class Mom for her son.  Jen decides to lighten things up and sends irreverent, sarcastic emails to the other classroom parents but some people don’t find them all that funny.  The year’s not a bad one, though – Jen learns about herself, brings the classroom parents closer together, and has a front row seat to school drama.  Funny emails are sprinkled throughout the narrative.  Having been a  Class Mom and a Team Mom several teams, I found this book to be laugh out loud funny.  I thought Gelman nailed the politics and personalities involved in organizing a classroom’s social calendar.  Pick this book up when you need to brighten your day.  (My friend Julie sent me this book.)

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SPACE DUMPLINS by Craig Thompson is a graphic novel for the middle grade set.  It’s the story of a young girl named Violet whose world is turned upside down when whales develop diarrhea because their poop is what powers the planet.  When her dad goes missing and her mom is busy with work, Violet and a friend decide to go hunt for him.  I thought the illustrations in this book were fabulous but the story was just okay – there was just too much going on in it for me.  I’m not much for science fiction, though, so I think the target audience will enjoy it more than I did.   (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

 

Off the blog

  • I started another jigsaw puzzle – so far this one’s been much easier than the last one.
  • I went with a couple of friends to throw axes this week and, even though I was the worst at it, I had a blast!
  • Our weather still hasn’t settled into spring.  I washed my fleece and put it away but had to pull it back out this week.
  • Carl’s gone to see his dad so I’ll be working extra the next several days.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just under 18,000 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 18, 2018

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I found one new to me word in CLASS MOM by Laurie Gelman.

1. breve – “After picking up a shitload of prunes, some Ezekial bread, coconut water, and kale, I head next door craving the double breve I’m going to revel in.”

Most people are probably familiar with this word but I’m not a coffee drinker so I had to look it up.  Caffe Breve is an American variation of a latte: a milk-based espresso drink using steamed half-and-half mixture of milk and cream instead of milk.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?