Review: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

For mature audiences only and for those that can handle tough issues and graphic portrayals.

The copy of this book that I found contains notes and a lot of highlights.  I’m wondering if someone, or two, used this for a class or book group, or both.  Finding scribbles and highlights is fascinating because it shows what other people reading the same thing latched onto during the reading.

In today’s day and age, Michael’s relationship with Hannah would be treated as a major crime, the setting for a show like Law and Order’s Special Victim’s Unit.  Olivia Benson would be on the case of a woman having an affair with a teenager half of her age.

This book could only take place in the setting that it does.  Everyone has secrets to hide yet justice is being handed out on a continual basis.

I just wonder for a country like Germany that has forced and compulsory state sanctioned education, just like the United States and a few other countries, how someone like Hannah would have fallen through the cracks and would have never learned to read or write, even functional literacy.  That is the major gap that is left by having the story from only Michael’s point-of-view.  He says that Hannah would never answer his questions.

Having worked with English Learners and with clients who can read barely beyond a second or third grade level as adults, Hannah’s complete lack of anything really makes me wonder.  Did the system just pass her along, so to speak, as happens today even though not many people are willing to discuss the subject.  Did she come from a poor family that the system missed somewhere?  Who knows?  It is left to the reader’s imagination.

Hannah preyed on Michael and the feeling seemed to go the other way as well.  No one is a good guy in this story.  Heartbreaking in some ways, yes, but these are two imperfect human beings.

Daily Prompt: Sail

via Daily Prompt: Sail

This word is a summer word.

Teaching English, English uses this verb to describe what a boat does.  Other uses include a balloon sailing up in the air, or a bird sailing on the wind.  Are wind surfers sailing or surfing or both?

Enya uses this in one of her songs.  She describes sailing away.

In English you can sail in, sail into, sail on, sail up, sail down, sail toward, sail away…..basically any type of direction you need to go.

Years ago I took a basic boating class and the instructor always complained about local birds pooping on the sails.  The physical sails are tough and strong but too much bird poop is a bad thing.

Hoist your sails and live your life.

Photo Challenge: Transient

via Photo Challenge: Transient

I don’t have a photo I’ve taken for this word.  Someday.  Yet for right now the word can be discussed.

Transient population.  This expression always pops into mind.

Yet what does it mean to be transient?

This is a word that is related to transport, transportation, transfigure, transpose to go across something.  The suffix trans- and moving of some sort.

Does owning a home mean one is not transient?  Staying in one place for a long while?

What about nature?  Most animals are transient, constantly on the move.  For them being transient is a good thing, usually, and they are listening to what their body, more specifically something in their neurological and reproductive system, is telling them to do.

Are we humans meant to be transient?  Our ancestors were.  Yet being classified as a “transient” today is a negative thing.  Is that because one may not be part of a community for a long while?

Thoughts?

Daily Prompt: Meddle

via Daily Prompt: Meddle

Don’t meddle in other people’s affairs.  Don’t meddle in something that isn’t your business.  Don’t be a meddler.  Don’t meddle in politics.

How many times have we heard this?  Who came up with these words of advice anyway? How many people still do this kind of stuff?

This word always makes me think of busybody old ladies sitting around gossiping with the blue wigs and drinking tea.

Some people mistake this word with “metal” because of the pronunciation.

Can one meddle in a good way?  Is community advocacy a good way of meddling?  How else can one meddle in a positive way?

 

Daily Prompt: Create

via Daily Prompt: Create

Create.  This word can open floodgates.  Everything we see and touch and is created and has been created from something else and/or by someone else unless we began the process somehow.  Even art materials were created by someone else and we take the materials and create something else out of them.

Nature.  Humans are part of nature and we tend to forget that.  Controversies about evolution aside, we all come from someone and something else.  We have in our bodies all of the basic elements on the Periodic Table.  Our eyes have the same types of rods and cones like the horseshoe crabs who have existed since before the dinosaurs.

All religions have a creation story.  All cultures have creation stories.  Every human being has a creation story.

Where does creation fit in with you today?  What will you create today?

Radiate

via Daily Prompt: Radiate

To radiate.  This word has its’ positive and negative meanings and connotations.  The positive have to do with warmth and beauty the negative have to do with health and pollution and environment.  Or do they cross over in some way?

Right now my computer and cell phone are giving off radiation.  Why are we told not to worry about this?  A lot of people disagree.  Radiation from nuclear fallout, atoms hitting each other.  Yes, there is natural radiation from the sun that we can’t live without. Radiation provides us with so much that we may not be able to comprehend it all in one sitting.  However, I don’t understand why radiation is used in medicine and for cancer patients.

I love sunflowers and they radiate happiness.  Big, strong, tall, and bright.

When someone is smiling from ear to ear, people say they are radiating happiness.

People who are empaths know that others radiate emotions, like a radio tower, and they tune into them.

How many things, good and bad, radiate in our lives?

Ascend or Descend, Your Choice

via Daily Prompt: Descend

Descend always makes me think of Dante going into the Seven Circles of Hell.  Down and down he went until the part where Hell does actually freeze over.

It makes me think of Steven King.

It makes me think of going down, of horror movies, and Edgar Allen Poe.  The dark staircases with a flashlight coming around the corner, of pyramids, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, sleuths with flashlights searching for clues.

Descend is the action, the verb.  Descent is the noun, the thing.

The best thing you can do is ascend, go up.  Pick the best way, the best reaction to a situation.  Ascent is the noun.

Religions carry a lot of stories and beliefs about people ascending, Elijah, Jesus, Mohammed, to name a few.

The more one complains, the more they will not ascend.  They will descend.  Do not bring negativity into your life.  Always ask that whatever this negative is to turn it into a positive situation.  That’s the best way to stay away from descent and to keep going.