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November Reads

I'm late again! It doesn't matter. It's the New Year and I did complete all my reading. I am successfully into my January reading, just behind on my posts about it. But I will catch up now! I might skip quotes on a few for time's sake.


CONSIDER THE BIRDS by Debbie Blue


Rating:



My last major paper in college was an attempt at a biblical theology of doves and ravens. It’s something that’s been of interest to me since then so much so that I have the two flying beasts tattooed on my right forearm. I also plan to write a longer extended non-fiction book about my thoughts on the two biblical birds. So this book peaked my interest, especially considering the title was what I originally thought I’d title my book one day. So be it. I will say as excited as I was, I was also disappointed. I was hoping for more theological interpretation and what I got was more sociological interpretation. There was certainly some theology, a good amount, just not the amount I hoped for. I tend to lean more theological when it comes to interpreting scripture and because of that, I expected it from this book. But I will say there were plenty of theological points made that I rather loved. Whether it was the pelican’s sacrificial death or the death eating vulture, I was into it. But it wasn’t enough for me. I still think this is a worthy read, just be ready for a bit of politics mixed in with the writing. The writer shows her hand a little too much for my taste but anyone writing about birds in the bible gets a thumbs up from me. I hope one day to join their ranks, and reading this just inspired me even moreso to follow through with those plans. I went back and forth between three nails and four. If I was willing to put the time in maybe I'd find a graphic for half a nail and give it 3.5.


The Mayans referred to the vultures as death eaters. This struck them as a good, godlike thing because, after all, we need something to eat death (to digest it and rid it of its toxicity). Vultures stare death in the face and fear it not at all. It goes through their bodies and comes out harmless. They cleanse the world....Maybe God is something like that--not so much like an eagle--not a fierce warrior god swooping in for the rescue or the kill, but a God who can take everything in and make it clean--a God who can make even death nontoxic. (pg. 77-78)


The Incarnation is a story about a God who. comes into the world as a naked, weak, little baby. It's a story that punctures narratives of a violent, all-powerful deity. It is about a God coming to disarm us by being utterly weaponless, absurdly vulnerable. God doesn't come in power to save us, accordding to the Christian narratives, but in weakness...We don't need to defend ourselves. We don't have to hide who we are. We can be honest about everything. James Alison says, "Confession is the long slow process of being disarmed." In the light of God's radiant love, we can be at peace with ourselves and one another. I believe this revelation could change the world. (pg. 100)


STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE EMPIRE by Timothy Zahn


Rating:



For the longest time I’ve wanted to dive into the world of Star Wars outside of the movies. There’s a host of novels written by a plethora of different talented writers that span across a vast timeline within the Star Wars universe. Some of these are considered canon and some aren’t, with Disney being the deciding factor. It gets too deep for me to figure out but from my research this trilogy was the place to start and almost unanimously agreed upon within Star Wars fandom as the best written fiction for the galaxy far far away. So I finally did it. And I must say, it was as great a ride as everyone says. The first book picks up a little after the end of the episode 6 movie and finds the rebellion struggling to rid the galaxy of the remnants of the Empire's hold on society. Not only that but there’s a general who is attempting to rebuild the broken empire and he is slow to anger and meticulous, unlike his predecessors. He is keen to every move being made and has awareness the rebellion hasn’t dealt with before. The usual gang are back, Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, your favorite droids and Calrissian. The writing is enticing, nothing too flowery and gives you fun dialogue along with the well paced action. There are plenty of new characters along the way that become new fan favorites as well. New bounty hunters, smugglers and possibly Jedi? This first book deals with a rising enemy, a rebellion slowly finding disunion in their midst and of course, disturbances in the force. If you love Star Wars or enjoyed the movies, this series will be a fun ride for you and will expand the universe in ways you never thought of. I will continue with the second book next month.


C'baoth shook his head. "You don't understand power, Grand Admiral Thrown. Conquering worlds you'll never even visit again isn't power. Neither is destroying ships and people and rebellions you haven't looked at face-to-face." He waved his hands in a sweeping gesture around him, his eyes glittering with an eerie fire. "This, Grand Admiral Thrown, is power. This city--this planet--these people. Every human, Psadan, and Myneyrsh who live here are mine. Mine." His gaze drifted to the window again. "I teach them. I command them. I punish them. Their lives, and their deaths, are in my hand." (pg. 51)


On the other hand, perhaps the move to that storage shed implied that Karrde had decided not to sell him to the Imperials after all. It might be worth asking Karrde about someday. Preferably from a great distance. (pg. 274)




MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden


Rating:



I remember when I was younger, the movie for this book came out. There was quite an amount of buzz around it and I believe it won or was nominated for numerous awards. I also believe at the time I was aware it was based on a book, and even though the visuals and setting of the movie interested me, it was not enough interest for the age I was to lead me to read it or see the film. But now, many years later, when I found the book for a dollar at a used book store, my interest was aroused. There’s something about Japan that fascinates me. I’m obviously not alone or unique in this but for the past couple years i’ve been drawn to the world of Japan. I recently started trying to learn the language, although life has motives it seems to derail that, and have a longing desire to visit the land. Not only that but I’ve grown intrigued at the culture and it’s history. This book was perfect for the appetite I was developing. Not only do you get a peak into the culture, at least from World War 2 times, but you get descriptions of the unique and beautiful world that is Japan. This story steps specifically into the world of the Geisha, and it’s more intricate and disturbing at times than you’d think. Naturally, there is the drama and the politics but there’s also friendship, loyalty and passion involved mixed of course with trauma and poverty. If you pick this book up, you’ll be able to see through the eyes of a Japanese woman and witness her traverse life as a geisha from beginning to end. And even more, it’s quite close to a true story. There was even a lawsuit for how close the story was to the actual geisha the author interviewed to learn from. The movie is also a great depiction and entertaining even though slightly different than the book.

Couldn't the wrong sort of living turn anyone mean? I remembered very well that one day back in Yoroido, a boy pushed me into a thorn bush near the pond. By the time I clawed my way out I was mad enough to bite through wood. If a few minutes of suffering could make me so angry, what would years of it do? Even stone can be worn down with enough rain. (pg. 94)


Nobu rose to leave, for he had to be back in Osaka before nightfall. I walked with him to the entryway to help him into his coat and shoes, and put his fedora on his head for him. When I was done, he stood looking at me a long while. I thought he was about to say he found me beautiful--for this was the sort of comment he sometimes made after gazing at me for no reason.

"My goodness, Sayuri, you do look like a peasant!" he said. He had a scowl on his face as he turned away. (pg. 356)



Thanks for reading and if you take any of these recommendations I hope you enjoy the read!

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