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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jewel….No Mines injured in this novel…

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Look the truth is based on the title and the picture on the cover I probably would not have given this book a second glance but for the

“Oprah’s Book Club” stamp on the spine and front cover.

 

Seriously I tend to read mostly New York Times Best sellers or books that have won other awards.

 

So the fact that I even noticed the very faint “Oprah” stamp, was pure luck.

 

 

With a title like Jewel you think you may read a VC Andrews type novel, or something about a southern belle

when in reality

what you get

is a Mother

Dealing with her life

the best way she knows how

 

the story takes placer in the first half of the 20th century(starts in 1940’s)

and Jewel is

orphaned and deals with much in her younger years

 

She grows up in Mississippi, the daughter of an “mixed race couple”

 

but beyond that she lives a life unassuming and yet the novel pulls you forward  until the point

her final daughter is born.

Naming her Brenda Kay, she realizes several months after birth the girl is not growing right

and ends up being diagnosed with a disease or chronic condition as the case may be.

 

It speaks to me and should speak to all mothers whether they have children with chronic disease/condition or not.

Metaphorically  it hits the nail on the head

I’ve been the mom of a child with special needs(two children to be exact) and granted their special needs are of the severe food allergy and asthma variety…I’ve dealt with the changes those medical needs bring into daily life, I’ve been Jewel giving my  life to them and coming round to see that’s the way it needs to be…but none the less…life changing

“Jewel” speaks to how mothers often give up so much of their own life to help their child/ren have the best opportunities they can in life,

often fighting guilt

guilt toward the time unable to be spent with spouse and other children,

guilty for wishing and praying for things they should not

guilty for not being able to do more

 

and finally

 

coming to peace

 

with all they have done

 

a mother

is a mother always

and Bret Lott has done an exceptional job of sharing that with all the readers of  : Jewel

 

You can find Bret Lott on FaceBook and on the website for the college of  charleston

I have not picked up any of his other books… yet…

but they are on my “to read”  list.

 

 

 

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I am B, i AM B, i am B…well that’s what the book told me…

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I am B

i AM B

 i am B

At least that’s  what Daniel Quinn insinuates at the end of his book:

The Story of B

An Adventure of

the Mind an Spirit

I began my journey with Daniel Quinn, in a college course by reading the Book

Ishmael

 

but recently looking for books at the local thrift store “The Story of “B”, by Daniel Quinn was facing me on the end cap.

I had to have it.  Having read Ishmael I knew somewhat to expect.

I do not fully agree with the ideas Mr. Quinn puts forth

but

I do think he has some intelligent thought-out phrases within the text.

Essentially “The story of B” is about a man, Father Jared Oborne, who has been called into his superiors office and has been sent off to seek out this person…known as “B”  and find out if  “B” is a threat to the church.

yadda yadda yadda….is B or is B not the Antichrist….is B out to destroy the church….blah blah blah

I had Quinn until it became too obvious …too soon….where the story was going

and yet….it is a good read….not a read in one day type of read….rather a read a chapter or two….and then stop and think for a day or two to let it sink in….how you feel about what you’ve read….and when ready…open the book and read more…

without spoiling the story(it is a decent novel)  I will share with you some of the insights I underlined while reading this novel.

The following are quotes from Daniel Quinn’s book “The Story of B” read them…think on them  (not for very long) then…go out and get a copy to mark up for yourself!

from page 49:  “Vision is the flowing river.  Programs are sticks set in the riverbed to impede the flow.  What I’m saying is that the world will not be saved by people with programs.  If the world is saved, it will be saved because the people living in it have a new vision.”

from page 51: “Programs are inherently reactionary. …They always follow, never lead….”

from page 52: “By contrast, vision doesn’t wait for something bad to happen it pursues something desirable”

this idea of visions….vs….programs….comes up again and again and again in the book

now a few more quotes I found interesting:

from page 77:  “Revolutions don’t occur among people who are thinking in the same old way.”

also from page 77 and I am putting this in Bold because it was an idea I had never considered before and found very interesting:

“…It’s naive because starving people don’t plant crops any more than drowning people build life rafts.  The only people who can afford to wait for crops to grow are people who already have food.”

from page 105:”…You never know when you might have planted a seed,…”

from page 140: “What appears to be kindand is meant to be kind can be the reverse of kind.”

from page 148: “…like neighbors everywhere, they tend to be much more aware of their differences than their similarities.”

from page 186: ” …Every track begins and ends in the hand of god, and every track is a lifetime long…Remember that your tracks are one strand of the web woven endlessly in the hand of god ”

 

As typical of Daniel Quinn’s works he divides history and contemporary culture in terms of Takers and Leavers…..either you are one or the other.

…and…

To Quinn there is not one GOD but rather a god.  He talks of animism(god in everything) as if is fully separate from believing scripture….but the scripture I know also talks of God as the creator of all and being with all thing in all ways.

Despite my disagreeing philosophical and many times theologically with what Quinn says…I am a reader and I like reading this sort of thing….it challenges me to think deeper…

and that…is more than just a good thing 😉

check out Quinn’s website here

so

although there is much interesting

title too long, why am I commenting?…

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I recently finished a “National Bestseller”

the curious incident

of the dog

in the night-time

a novel by:

mark haddon

(now as a disclaimer I read way more books than I ever post about on here)

and

unless I more than just like the book…meaning I actually want to put my name in the cover so when I lend it out I get it back…I don’t share it here.

this book is neither of those.

as a novel it worked

it was a fairly “easy” read

it flowed well, it worked as a novel  and that’s important…some books don’t.

{Mark Haddon of course has a website check it out here

but as a mom

of kids who I don’t always understand

this book gets you into the head of an autistic/asperger’s/sensory overloaded/a little OCD  type child

and that  alone

makes this book something all parents should read

told from the child’s perspective

(actually a teenager, I’m guessing)

it begins with a mystery

the death of a neighbors dog

and leads

beyond

into what I suspected at the beginning…but that is something I won’t share here

This book

details Christopher’s struggles and not just in description of the struggle but what is going on in his head

for example

when he encounters a NEW PLACE

or

a color he strongly dislikes

but how and why his intense logic based brain makes it both easier and more difficult to deal with the rest of humanity around him.

This book is for anyone who has ever met someone a little “different”

it will instill in you a compassionate longing  for them and for all people to be more understanding of each other.

OK that sounded a bit elementary I’m sure

but still

read this book

and then pass it on.

By the way, my recommendations would be that this book be reserved for the high school ages or the “mature” middle school-er

I wish he’d write a similar book with a little less swearing for the elementary age as elementary ages are the time when opinions and prejudices are formed…

this book written to a younger audience could introduce children to what goes on in a mind that works differently from their own

I think if kids middle/high school read it should be part of a class or book club with everyone reading and discussing  I wish the author had included discussion questions as part of the book.

thats all….

go buy!

ps

to be fair

mark haddon

on his blog

comments on aspergers and autism, saying he is not an expert and did not set out to create an individual with a specific condition

but rather in his own words:

curious incident is not a book about asperger’s. it’s a novel whose central character describes himself as ‘a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties’. indeed he never uses the words ‘asperger’s’ or ‘autism’ (i slightly regret that fact that the word ‘asperger’s’ was used on the cover). if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. it’s as much a novel about us as it is about christopher.

but still

what are you doing still reading this go out and borrow or buy the book!