Posted by : Karen Thursday, November 10, 2011

Loved it! Highly recommended - read it on holiday whilst in Ballito and really un-put-downable. Loved how it challenged me too - both in the subject matter (how much have things really changed/examining the remnants of my upbringing that still reflected some colonial shadows), and in Stockett's personal story: her manuscript was rejected 61 times before it was published, and is now a movie too. How is that for an encouragement to never give up?!

I admit that initially I was not at all taken with this book, despite being promised that it was a great read. I admit that after the first pages I felt I should keep reading until I had figured out who the narrator was. And then I was hooked, line and sinker, and definitely another un-put downable book (that seems really bad English, but it just feels it should be written like that!). Whilst it is not necessarily an 'enjoyable' book, it is highly recommended.

Then I read this (I don't know how so many books about Jews and the Holocaust landed up on my bedside table). And I enjoyed the way in which it was narrated, the way in which the story unfolded, the innocent humour.... but really, it's an AWFUL plot - and that's my emotions speaking. Don't read this if you're looking for something light, or cheery...recommended if you're feeling strong and have some tissues near by....

Messianic Jews fascinate me. I love Lauren Winner's frankness, her unflinching honesty, her ability to pen so much of what goes on in my own random thoughts with such eloquence. I love how unsatisfied she is with being single and the road she walks within that, her relationship to church, her academic nature, and the way she falls in love with God in spite of all that. Here are two passages that have brought such a revelation to me:
  • God, I have decided, is not on call...He is all powerful so I suppose He could be on call if He wanted to be, and maybe, on rare occasion, He is. But in general, God doesn't turn up when you page him. He is right where he always is, and what regular, daily maybe twice prayer gives us is some more hint of  of just where that is, and how to get there, and one of the things liturgy gives us is a way to get there when all our ways have given outWhen I am unable to pray, the prayer book gives me the words. Liturgical prayers, Edith Stein wrote, "support the spirit and prescribe to it a fixed path." And all this time I have been so scathing of liturgy...O God. Now I get it, I see it, and I am bowled over by the beauty of liturgy.
  • She quotes from Diana Eck's Encountering God: The Latin credo literally means "I give my heart". The word believe is a problematic one today, in part because it has gradually changed its meaning from being the language of certainty so deep that I could give my heart to it, to the language of uncertainty so shallow that only the "credulous"would rely on it. Faith... is not about propositions, but about commitment. It does not mean that I intellectually subscribe to the following list of statements, but that I give my heart to this reality. Believe, indeed, some to us from the Old English belove, making clear that this too is meant to be heart language. To say, "I believe in Jesus Christ is not to subscribe to an uncertain proposition. It is a confession of commitment , of love."

Again, a fascinating journey of a well known and established Jewish family drawn into Christ by their eldest daughter's radical belief. A great quick read! 

Highly recommended to anyone homeschooling, anyone involved in education, anyone with a desire to see creativity flourish in today's world. Every page has something I want to jot down, something I want to run through and read to Braveheart. Sir Ken Robinson examines the very essence of what needs to change today so that our children will be prepared for the future that faces them.
  • "It is often said that education and training are the keys to the future. They are, but a key can be turned in two directions. Turn it one way and you lock resources away, even from those they belong to. Turn it the other way and you release resources and give people back to themselves. To realize our true creative potential—in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities—we need to think differently about ourselves and to act differently towards each other. We must learn to be creative."
  • (From the inside flap) There is a paradox. As children, most of us think we are highly creative; as adults many of us think we are not. What changes as children grow up? Organizations across the globe are competing in a world that is changing faster than ever. They say they need people who can think creatively, who are flexible and quick to adapt. Too often they say they can't find them. Why not? In this provocative and inspiring book, Ken Robinson addresses three vital questions:
    • Why is it essential to promote creativity? Business leaders, politicians and educators emphasize the vital importance of promoting creativity andinnovation. Why does this matter so much?
    • What is the problem? Why do so many people think they're not creative? Young children are buzzing with ideas. What happens as we grow up and go through school to make us think we arenot creative?
    • What can be done about it? What is creativity? What can companies, schools and organizations do to develop creativity and innovation in a deliberate and systematic way?

Saved the best for last. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for married women or brides-to-be. It is a frank, honest, lovingly written book that answers 21 questions Christian women most want answered. Pintus and Dillow are mature married women who write this book in very down to earth fashion. Their book is divided into three sections: Simmering Questions (really laying a true Biblical foundation for sex eg How can I be Godly and Sensuous, Where Can I go to Buy a New Body, How do I make Love with Children Wrapped Around my Knees); Smoldering Questions (How Can I get over the Guilt of past sexual sin, What do I do when He has a headache, Is it Possible to get Beyond the Pain of Sexual Abuse?); and Sizzling Hot Questions (How can sex go from Boring to Sizzling?, What's the Big Deal about Orgasm?). You can read some of my reflections here and here.

2 Responses so far.

  1. I'm amazed at what you manage to read in a month!!! Look like some good reads!!! Hugs

  2. Karen says:

    don't be fooled! This is an accumulation of about three months worth - i just don't get around to blogging about it that often!

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