Here are the first lines of the seven books I finished
reading in May.
(A son mari qui est dans la boutique.)
elle est fiè
Elle ne veut plus acheter chez nous.
that woman gets on my nerves!
stuck-up to buy from us nowadays.
The revelation of
Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take
place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified
to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he
That day the four of them went to the library, though at
“Matrimony was ordained, thirdly,” said Jane Studdock to
herself, “for the mutual society, help, and comfort that the one ought to have
of the other.”
She had not been to
church since her schooldays until she went there six months ago to be married,
and the words of the service had stuck in her mind.
Marriage equality in Washington state.
Gun legislation in Massachusetts.
Housing homeless families in North
Better working conditions for
tomato pickers in Florida.
What do these
causes have in common?
their communities and this country through civic engagement.
I am the keeper of my family’s stories. I am the guardian of
its honor. I am the defender of its traditions. As the first-born son of a
Kurdish father, these, they tell me, are my duties. And yet even before my
birth I resisted.
In the six months since the November day that his wife,
Nola, was buried, Arthur Moses has been having lunch with her every day.
The titles and authors revealed:
ne Ionesco, first produced in Paris in
A stage play in which people turn into rhinoceroses.
about 5 pages of it in French,
surprised to find I remembered the colloquial expression for having a
“une gueule de bois”
(literally ‘mouth of wood’ with the mouth
being an animal’s mouth).
But then to
actually finish the play before the next decade, I reverted to the
This play would be a challenge for the costume
I did a speed read.
This book is high on images of angels, trumpets, scrolls, blood, eyes, and
Dire events such as plague and
Dudes have got swords projecting out of their
There are some curiously
specific time frames given: 3 ½ days, 1,260 days (which works out to exactly 45
lunar months), 5 months, 42 months.
of course, 1000 years.
recommendation is to not overanalyze (or even analyze), but just to experience
It’s rich with references
to other parts of the Bible.
is the book of the Bible with the highest word
count, out of all the books of the (Protestant) Bible, of
“angel” (75), “beast” (34), and
There are zero uses of
the words “forgive” and “cross” in Revelation
count is using the NRSV)
It’s a different sort of Jesus that we encounter in this
book than the Jesus we meet in the Gospels.
The Jesus of Revelation
seeks to reassure us that it will be okay in
the end. (
If it’s not okay, it’s not the
It might have been quite convincing
to the 1st
Quartet in Autumn
by Barbara Pym © 1977.
I love Barbara Pym.
This one is beautifully sad and comical, about four lonely people
approaching old age.
That Hideous Strength
by C.S. Lewis © 1945
For the first few chapters, it was hard to stay interested
in this dystopian novel.
Who ever heard
of a dystopian novel that takes place at a British college? But then something
happened (maybe it was the mention of Jesus?) and I got interested and read till
Good triumphs, but there is no
question that this is a weird novel, the third in the trilogy.
It might have made a bit more sense if I had
recently read the other two recently.
book reinforces how much the need to belong
can lead humans astray.
How Civic Engagement is Good for Synagogues, Jews, and America
, by Rabbi
Judith Schindler and Judy Seldin-Cohen, © 2018.
The question every Jew asks is, “But is it good for the
The answer in this book is yes.
My Father's Paradise:
A Son's Search for His Family's Past
, by Ariel Sabar.
This memoir is by a journalist about his father, a Kurdish
Jew who left Iraq with all the remaining Kurdish Jews in 1950s.
The father, Yona Sabar, became an
internationally known scholar of Aramaic – and he was also a speaker of
Aramaic, also the language of
Jesus, is now a nearly-dead language.
found this book fascinating, both for how the people in the book value
language, and for the story of how the family managed to deal with its fate. I
read it for book club.
The Story of Arthur
, by Elizabeth Berg. © 2017
I read this one because my Mom said she enjoyed it.
It is a sweet book, with amusing moments and
descriptions of delectable baked goods. A fair amount of this book takes place in a cemetery, which is just fine.