"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Books & Movie

Bomb by Steve Sheikin -- I ended 2014 with one of his books, and the first book I finished this year was his story about "the race to build - and steal - the world's most dangerous weapon."  Someone had recommended this to me several months ago, but I had other books to read and reading about making bombs didn't seem all that interesting.  Then I read one of Steve Sheikin's books plus I was reading Hiroshima so I figured "why not?"  Lots of spy talk, physics, interesting characters in this book.  One of my favorite stories took place in Norway when the resisters there were given the job of destroying Germany's heavy water supply.  I learned more about the importance of uranium and science.  Quite an interesting book!

by John Hersey  --  a friend sent this as part of a Christmas present and I decided this would be the first book I started reading.  It made me remember Bomb so I checked it out at the library to read more of the race to build the atomic bomb.

A couple interesting things from the Hiroshima book. The Red Cross hospital where "Dr. Sasaki worked for three straight days with only one hour's sleep" had only 8 doctors for 10,000 patients at one point. (pg. 56) Also, American army doctors "came by the dozen" to Tokoyo to observe Father Kleinsorge's "ridiculous scratches" which would mend and then open again when he moved.  (pg. 75)

"People who suffered flash burns were protected, to a considerable extent, from radiation sickness. Those who had lain quietly for days or even hours after the bombing were much less likely to get sick than those who had been active.  Gray hair seldom fell out."  (pg. 78)

Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin -- another rather interesting tale from US history about the length some counterfeiters will go to in order to free their best engraver from prison: how about robbing Lincoln's grave and holding his remains for ransom? 
By the way, did you know the Secret Service was started to catch counterfeiters?  After the Civil War, 30-50% of money in circulation was fake. That's enough to doom an economy so the government fought back. Until 2003 the SS was under the Dept of the Treasury, but now they are part of Homeland Security.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin -- yes, another of his books!  Well, this was a really interesting look at Benedict Arnold. I remembered he was a traitor, but not much else about him.  Never knew he was so tight with George Washington, and many details about his adventure in invading Canada, and who was involved with him in the betrayal. That part was super-interesting to me. 

Outcasts United by Warren St. John -- this is adapted for the YA audience, and tells the story of a Jordanian woman who came to the US, graduated, defied her parents by staying here, and eventually coached groups of refugees in soccer.  Such a neat tale of their struggles and hard work on and off the field. Made me wish I lived near Clarkston, Georgia, so I could meet Luma al-Mufleh and the Fugees. 

Down by the Riverside by Jackie Lynn -- Recently divorced and headed west, Rose Franklin's car breaks down in West Memphis, Arkansas, where she is forced to stay for a few days.  Since she has a camper, she stays at Shady Grove campground where she gets involved in a little mystery concerning the man pulled from the river the day she arrives in town. 

The Pleasure Was Mine by Tommy Hays  -- a story about a man who had to put his ailing wife into a nursing home...and the summer his 9 year old grandson came to stay with him for nine weeks.  A rather sweet story that I found at the local library.

Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? by J.R. Daniel Kirk -- I think this book was recommended to me by Amazon awhile back. I tend to enjoy books that talk about Jesus and Paul so I added it to my wishlist and received it several months ago.  This year I'm going to try reading all these books on my shelves that I've put off reading.  This book is "a narrative approach to the problem of Pauline Christianity" and at times my mind had a tough time engaging with the author, but other times I thought it made a lot of sense and was quite understandable - even challenging.  I'm still struck by the fact of the importance of community (or family of God) vs. individualism (which my somewhat loner nature tends to prefer).   I enjoyed the author's take on those 'do not judge' verses from Jesus, and I liked how he dealt with the issues of women in churches, and even homosexuality (even though I realize most liberal/progressives won't like his stance, yet most conservatives probably wouldn't like other parts of his stance...so, fun for him,  I'm sure.) The author speaks much of narrative or story "because both Jesus and Paul believe that their own lives, and the lives of Jesus's followers, are continuations of the narrative of Israel -- the story to which the one true and living God has bound himself, and through which the true and living God is bringing about the reconciliation and rectification of the entire created order.'  (pg. 193).

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens -- When Joe's college classroom assignment is writing the biography of someone, he heads to the local nursing home.  With a long- absent father, no grandparents in the picture, and a horrible mother, he looks to write the story of a stranger.  The director introduces him to Carl, a dying Vietnam vet who spent thirty years in prison for raping and murdering a fourteen-year-old girl.  As Joe and his friend Lila read the court transcripts and hear Carl's story, they come to some surprising conclusions.  I found this on the new books shelf at the local library. 

JANUARY 21 -- I watched The Book Thief -- got the DVD at the library on Sunday in case I wanted to watch something this week, and I actually took the time out of my life to do so.  Touching story!

Becca By the Book by Laura Jensen Walker -- apparently this is part of a series about a book club called The Getaway Girls. They like to read books and go on adventures together.  This book dealt,of course, with Becca, and it starts with this adventure-loving woman skydiving!  The book talks about a bet she makes with her friends who think she won't commit to anyone. So she gets stuck with this Christian guy and finds herself hearing all this "Christianese" which her friends translate for her.  Pretty cute, light fiction reading if you are into this sort of thing. My mom read this book from the library and passed it along.   It gave us reason to discuss terms we use as Christians that nonChristians might find weird.

Angel Song by Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman -- a story about a lady currently living in New York City who comes home to Charleston, SC, to see her sister graduate.  After a bad accident, Ann is forced to make more trips home where she solves the mystery of the angel song, and finds some good friends.

Daring Chloe by Laura Jensen Walker - this book is part of the series mentioned above, and actually explained more of the adventures referred to in the Becca book. I especially enjoyed their trip to Paris, and thinking of our time there in late 2013. Good memories!

Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker -- a novel about a young woman diagnosed and undergoing treatment for breast cancer; although it is written by the lady who wrote the series about book club girls (above), this book precedes that series; good story about the importance of faithful friends

Also this month we watched White Collar season 5* beginning on January 8 and finishing on the 17th.  The season had 13 episodes.

*Andrew received this for Christmas. It's only the 2nd show we've ever watched this way.


Niki said...

That's a lot of books read in one month. I'm surprised I've managed 2½ this month. lol

Susanne said...

Yeah, I've been in a reading mood this month. :) Instead of going out shopping or looking at places in the evenings, I've been reading.

Also, many of these are fluff books - and the ones that aren't (like Bomb) are Junior level books with big print. Quite easy to fly through.

The Jesus/Paul book was the most challenging and it wasn't very long or I'd probably still be reading it! :)

Haitham Jafar said...

Busy month :)

I have started reading the book thief, I like it so far. Two of my friends (who know my taste in books quiet well) WARNED me: haitham, do not watch the movie first. And so I did, lol. The DVD is in our uni's library and I have a temptation to just take it out and keep it close. I have not read what u wrote but hopefully I will come back and comment on yr 2review" on that one once I finish reading (and maybe watching!)

thx 4 the other reviews as well.

Susanne said...

Oh, I'm glad you are reading the book! I hope you are enjoying it. :)

It's always nice hearing from you. I hope you are doing well!