Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How lucky we are...library books are a treasure.

If I had to buy every book I wanted to read my bank balance would be zip, zilch, nada. All the time.

Praise Jesus for the invention of public libraries and hope to the future they last for all eternity. Over the past few weeks I've compiled a stack from 2 different visits.

I also finished an amazing book, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, a beautifully written story of Count Alexander Rostov.  He's under house arrest in the Metropol Hotel in the heart of Moscow. He's lucky to be alive yet it's difficult to understand you may never take one step outside to do ordinary things.  He sets up routines to get through until young Nina, a visitor to the hotel engages him in conversation. His time is soon taken up with this precocious guest as they explore the inner workings of the hotel. Amor's language and the characters he breathes life into make this tale magical and believable. I would love to have been part of this story even as the seamstress who guides Alexander into parenting.  I returned this one back to the library only because it had a hold on it; otherwise I may have read it again. Instead I found Amor's first book, Rules of Civility (2011) and plan to read that soon.

Here is the rest of my stack:

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (2017) : excellent novel in verse about young Will retracing his life after his older brother is killed. (finished)

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (2017) : Magical tale of the Soria family in Colorado as they take care of pilgrims and each other. I'm on chapter 6 and as soon as I finish composing I plan to fly the sofa and read...I've loved Maggie's writing for a long time and once took a long drive through flood waters to hear her speak. She's pretty badass too.

What to say next by Julie Buxbaum (2017) : Recommended to me by my friend Tina, this one is an interesting tale of an unlikely friendship between Kit and David. (not yet read)

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (2017) : Carter Briggs is a happy young man until he sends one text to his friend Mars minutes before Mars, Eli, and Blake are killed in a car accident. Now the world seems to be coming down on Carter as everyone looks for someone to blame. (not yet read)

The Ties that Bind by Kent Haruf (1984) : I read Kent's "Our Souls at night" in the hammock this summer and was in love with the characters and the simple story line. I thought I'd start at the beginning of the Holt, Colorado stories with this one.

The Dry by Jane Harper (2016) : This title popped up on my mother-in-law's feed as a great new read while they were here which prompted both of us to put it on hold at our respective local libraries. After reading my last Cormoran Strike mystery (the 2nd in the series)-b/c I read them out of order-I could use another good thriller.

One of my 4th graders wandered around the library yesterday with a stack of books in her hand and a huge smile on her face and dreamily said "so many books, so little time..." 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Be Grateful Day

{Roger Williams on Smithsonian}
I have mixed emotions about this holiday. I don't have any trouble being thankful and realizing ALL that I have to be thankful for but the celebrating of this particular holiday just reminds me of the horrors we inflicted on Native people then and still. It also seems like a ticket for overeating.  Do I sound like a humbug?  Yes I probably do.  I just wish the holiday was simple and not followed by a crazy shopping frenzy. So today I challenge you to think about what you are truly grateful for and to realize our lives are built on the backs of others. Read here for another look at Thanksgiving. And this young person perspective.

My Grateful 11:

My family; 5 of us make up a unique team of weirdness filled w/ humor.
My brother Jason; he is my family rock and pushes me to be more.
The elders in my life; mom, my in-laws, my stepmom and my dad in spirit.
Nature; thank heavens for parks of all kinds, places to hike and breathe.
Public education; may they one day be truly equal.
Public libraries; free books to borrow is a wonder.
Books and reading; I love to be transported.
Delicious food; well cooked, unusual ingredients and flavors.
My health; which is often rocky but I'm very lucky to be alive.
My lovely house; I can see a layer of dust over the floor but ehh-
Friends that bring me quiet times, good times, and laughter.

What brings you joy?  Celebrate that today. Fill your plate with the stories that are told around the table and find happiness in the people you are sitting with around the proverbial table. Reach out and think of the many marginalized people in your community.