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

Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Books

Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg -- I think Amazon recommended this book "how a Jewish perspective can transform your understanding" based on things I've looked up in the past, and I put it on my Wishlist and got this book for Christmas. I enjoyed some chapters very much; "Painting in Hebrew," and "Greek Brain, Hebrew Brain" and the two or three after that were my favorites.

Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France by Karen Wheeler -- I read book one from this lady and enjoyed it more than I thought I would so I put two more books by her on my Amazon Wishlist and got this for my birthday. It was interesting to read more about this Englishwoman's life in a small village in rural France, the friends she makes, the people she meets, the line dancing she ends up practicing with folks she meets there, and her life with Biff, the dog, and dealing with her super-loud Portuguese neighbors.

Smokescreen by Iris Johansen -- this is a book my mom checked out before the library closed for covid-19, and I don't think she ended up reading it, but I did. It was ok, nothing great. Eve agrees to go to Africa in a ruse to reconstruct skeletons of children who were murdered in a massacre near the Congo. Once she gets there, the real reason that Jill and Novak wanted her there is made known. Will she stick around to help despite the trickery? Not my favorite "thriller."   (And, yay, the library announced on Facebook today (May 6) that they will restart curbside pickup of books on Monday, May 11!)

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman -- finally I read book 1 in this midwife series because I got this for my birthday; great story introducing us to Patience Murphy and her background. I enjoy these books!

Tout Soul by Karen Wheeler -- This book starts with Karen rushing back to her small village in France to meet up with her boyfriend (introduced in book 2) only to find things have changed. In this third book which is "the pursuit of happiness in rural France," we learn more about this Englishwoman's life as an expat. Fairly entertaining if you like reading this sort of thing...and since I read books 1 and 2, I'm glad I went ahead and got this one as well.

My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry -- I've read a couple books by this author that my library had, but they didn't have this one so I got it for my birthday. It was a pretty good story about Lily and Ed in England, and their neighbor Carla, the 9 year old who struggles in school since she's different (she's Italian and the kids bully her.)  Later in life Carla comes back into their lives and what a tale that turns out to be. When the book starts, Lily is headed to prison to represent a convict who is appealing his sentence (of murdering his girlfriend by pushing her into scalding bath water when she was drunk.)

Stitches in Time by Suzanne Woods Fisher -- the library is back open for curbside pick up and this was a book that was waiting for me from a few weeks ago when I put it on hold. I accidentally read book 3 before this one, and I didn't really enjoy book 3 very much because there was stuff that didn't make sense. I hesitated to read this one, but I actually enjoyed it and now wish I'd read the books in order. Anyway, this Amish community helps the local foster children by taking in some older children for a couple months. I know several foster families so this one was a good read.

Assad Or We Burn the Country by Sam Dagher -- "How one family's lust for power destroyed Syria." This book was recommended by Bridget and her mom, and I got it for my birthday, started it that day, and finished it today (May 14). Interesting tale of the Assads and the Syrian conflict in the last few years, and some of the history of the family as they rose to power.  I wish so much that this book ended with Bashar and Asma's demise. God willing, one day.

A Long Way From Home by Connie Briscoe -- A story about enslaved women (mostly) on the James Madison plantation and later as Susan is sold to another house in Richmond, Virginia. An interesting story through the eyes of enslaved women.

The Runaway Midwife by Patricia Harman -- Usually her books take place around the Great Depression era, and I thought this was part of that series. Instead it's a modern book about a nurse-midwife who leaves her practice and disappears onto a small Canadian island and takes on another identity. I didn't like this book as much as her others, but it was still good.

No Rest For the Dead by 26 authors -- I ordered this book from the library thinking it was one of the two Lisa Scottoline books I had left to read. Instead I found out it's a book by 26 authors each one writing a short chapter or two in this mystery concerning a lady who some say was wrongly executed 12 years prior. The lead detective is among those thinking an innocent lady was put to death. An OK story; pretty good, but not the best. 

The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon -- Mariella travels to Crimea in search of her cousin Rosa, who left to nurse British soldiers wounded in the conflict. A pretty good story.

The Moonshiner's Daughter by Donna Everhart -- Jessie Sasser's mom died in a moonshine accident when Jessie was 4. Jessie grows to resent the family business, but she's at odds with her dad, brother, aunt, uncle, and cousin who all get the good things "shine" money brings to the family. Pretty good story.

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler -- this was an easy read which I read in a couple of hours; it's about the Tech Hermit, Micah Mortimer, who is visited by his college girlfriend's son and his woman friend faces eviction. Micah is used to routine and these things disturb his routine. Rather cute, simple story. Reminds me of similar stories written in recent years about people on the autism spectrum.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout -- at first I was confused about this book as it seemed disjoined, but when I finally read that it was a collection of short stories, it made a bit more sense. I do like how it portrays Olive as "ferocious and complicated and kindly and sometimes cruel. In essence, [she is] a little bit of each of us," according to the author in the last pages of this book (see author interview, pg. 276).

The Secret Orphan by Glynis Peters -- this book started out rather well, but fell apart for me in places. I struggled with Elenor being with her aunt, housekeeper Victoria and her odd husband "for years" in a couple places in the book, yet Elenor later was back on her farm fixing to turn 20 when she'd just turned 19 while living with her aunt. Also, I felt like the end was just the author couldn't figure out how to end things so it all wrapped up in a few pages. Which is OK, I guess as I was ready for the book to end. It wasn't a bad book; it just could have been better.

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones -- Emily is thrilled to meet Adam and within months they find a flat together. Unfortunately as Emily and Adam plan their wedding, Adam's mom, Pammie, makes things very difficult. Why does Pammie dislike Emily so badly? A pretty good thriller.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout -- another Olive book, and I'm glad I read her earlier one to see who Olive was. This is like a sequel to her other book, but written over a decade later. I grew to really like (and somewhat understand) Olive in the first book, and this book was similar in style. I also noticed some characters from other books by this author (the Burgess siblings, Isabelle and Amy) which was kind of neat. One chapter of this book had me like "eh," and then other chapters had me crying as a lady struggles with cancer treatments and Olive deals with getting older and missing folks.

Have You Seen Me by Kate White - before the library shutdown, I had put a bunch of their new books on hold online, and this is one of the first from that batch that finally came through. Several others are still On Order. I picked up this suspenseful book the other day and decided to read it first since it's new and others might want to read it. It was a good, fast read, and I enjoyed the mystery and suspense of it. Ally is shocked to realize she walked into her old workplace thinking she was back from vacation or somewhere, but she'd not worked there in five years. Come to find out, she can't remember a couple days of the last week, and she wonders what caused her to disassociate with her life: did she have an argument with her husband? And was that bad enough to cause this? Did she witness something horrific? Even worse, did she do something terrible?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Book from Bill

My dad knew he had a book that his Air Force friend Bill gave him when the two were leaving the base where they had become friends. In this book is the most thoughtful inscription. I typed it up because it's hard to read these pictures, and I wanted to keep the words in memory of William H. Zahrndt, my dad's friend.

To David B. Fuqua, a unique and exemplary man in every way, as a token of my esteem, I give this book to you and the very act of giving it becomes a salutation for all that you are.

Never in the Air Force or in civilian life have I met one with such admirable qualities and traits which I, frail human that I am, have tried and failed to achieve. You are living proof that the goals I sought can be attained.

Thus, knowing you has served, in a rather unorthodox manner, as an inspiration to me.

(continued on back flyleaf)

While some may show scorn or derision for your dedicated and sometimes ascetic manner, I can only praise you for it.

All your admirable qualities, e.g., your incurable optimism, your patient and understanding manner,  your staunch resistance to worldly temptations and all the other outstanding traits with which your Creator has so richly endowed you, these I can only stand by and admire and, yes, perhaps even envy. But be that as it may, my only words of advice to you is to persevere and not be influenced by the ways of the crowd.

Knowing you has been a pleasure, an honor and yes, a privilege. May you continue to walk with God throughout your life; and most of all, as we have helped each other, may God help us both to attain the faith "to move mountains" and overcome the world as Christ did on the Cross.

Your war-ravaged
life-weary pal,

Friday, May 1, 2020

Selfies and USAF pics

Yesterday was my birthday, and I was a bit sad about not having Michael or Zach and Sophie around to take selfies with me as we've done occasionally in past years (not every year, but some.) I was walking around the property behind our house which belongs to Andrew's parents who live beside us, and enjoyed seeing these clouds from the west. They later gave us a half inch of rain, and we'd already had nearly 2 inches earlier in the day (thankfully, most of it in the wee morning hours so it didn't make the whole day rainy.)

I was in a bit of a silly mood and decided if the kids weren't around for pictures, I'd take some with the horse. Only I'm not really brave around animals so I wouldn't get super-close to Skip in case he decided to bite me. I did manage a couple, and was so amused by this one that I doctored it up with text and graphics, and shared it on my Facebook story.

When you hit the fire on your phone, it kind of sparked like you were getting burned which I thought was cute.

Thankfully, Sophie and Zach did call later, and Sophie stuck around for about 40 minutes of Messenger games and these: 

It was a joy to hang out with her! I miss taking her places and watching her interact with all the "best friends" she makes at parks and museums. 

I was visiting my parents today, and my dad showed me this picture of his Air Force friend from when Bill was back home in South Dakota after their military days. He's the one I mentioned a few posts ago. I took a close-up of the small picture in order to focus on Bill.

I also saw this newspaper clipping of my dad which I wanted to save and compare to the yearbook picture I found at Ancestry earlier this week.