Murder Never Gets Old

There was nothing like sitting in the middle of a heavy rain storm while reading Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

The weather here today was awful and was a perfect reading day for this book.  Christie’s writing hooks you from the word “It”.

This is the first time I’ve actually read one of her books from cover-to-cover.  I’m familiar with the BBC versions of her work and right now I’m sorry I haven’t read her more before.

A great book for a rainy or snowy day.

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The Tenderness of Wolves

I’m going to answer one of the questions from the reader’s guide.  (Something different).

Parker describes the “sickness if long thinking” as a state where a wild animal cannot be tamed by a human or humans because it always remembers where it is from and desires to go back.  Even though Parker relates it to a wolf cub he told Mrs. Ross he took care of, most of the humans in the book have some sort of sickness of long thinking.

One of them is  Jammet, the murder victim.  Even though there is never any narration or point-of-view from Jammet, what is subsequently revealed about him is that he suffers from this and this may have been the cause of his murder.  Jammet is who he is, he adapts for the person, the people, the circumstance that he is in.  Francis reveals that he and Jammet were lovers while it is also revealed Jammet had a family and children.  Jammet is the prime example of a human that acts like a wild animal; Jammet cannot be tamed and cannot and does not change his character for anyone.  By staying on his own and living in Dove River, a type of outpost, Jammet fulfills his desires to be out in nature and be free of any obligation.

Caleb’s Crossing

Even though this book is a work of fiction, Caleb’s Crossing could easily be used as a jumping off point to teach early American history, women’s studies, Native American history, colonial history, and much more.

It was fascinating to read this as I have visited both Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts and the Mashantuckut Pequot Museum in Ledyard, Connecticut.  This is one of the many parts of American history I shake my head in sorry at and feel like Western civilization trampled and nearly killed off peoples who could have helped this country on a different course.  What Geraldine Brooks writes about is a “missing” piece of American history.  I will especially never look at Harvard University the same way again.

The Sorrow of War: Bao Ninh

I found this book in a thrift store and don’t usually buy books yet I am glad I did.

I caught most of Ken Burn’s recent documentary on the Vietnam War.  The documentary was eye-opening.  I had a professor in college who was a Vietnam Veteran and most of what we read in the class was literature from Americans who served in Vietnam.  As the years have gone by, I have realized that there was a lot in those books that I missed.  I saw this book and I grabbed it.

Kien is lucky.  The book just begs to be read and read and read.  The heartbreak is there and raw from the first page.  The images Ninh shares, the raw emotions, the humanity comes through every word.

The Jungle of Screaming Souls.

No matter where you stand on war, the Vietnam War, politics, this book is a must read.  Bro Ninh captures and the translator beautifully brings into English Kien’s world.

Godric by Frederick Buechner

A gem I found.  What intrigued me was that the cover said that the book had been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was published in 1980.  I also haven’t read too many books where the dedication is in Latin.

I’ve always been fascinated by people who live outside of the box and Godric certainly did.  Also, given his name, Godric wasn’t the most perfect either.

It is amazing to read a novel set in Middle English, the English before Shakespeare, the English that comes from the Middle Ages.  The language takes you back and you see the world through Godric’s lens and where the truth does and doesn’t lie.

This is a book you won’t be able to put down.  Kudos to Mr. Buechner on a fine work.

Station Eleven

Reading this book was forgetting where you were sitting reading it.  Everything dropped away.

It was an official book selection for a local library’s One Book, One Town.  That’s how I found it.

This is a reminder of how we are all connected and don’t remind it.  This is a reminder of how fragile society can be, yet rebuild at the same time if given the will of people to survive.

 

Two Suns Rising

This book opens with a quote by Rumi.  Rumi has come to be my favorite poet and philosopher after Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Rumi writes that “today is your day”.

Today is always your day and you just need to recognize that.

The author, Jonathan Star, whoever this is, puts together a compilation of sacred writings with regards to love and higher power throughout the world.  Reading this, I wish I had read it earlier yet realize I read this at the right time in my life.

I wish I had had this for some of my undergraduate classes.  The writing is pure and down-to-earth at the same time.  One can feel the power put through the words shared.