It was against my parents’ principles to talk about death… Nor would they discuss religion beyond a most superficial level. “I’m Jewish. Daddy is Jewish. You’re Jewish. End of story.” (said my mother). Asking too many “spiritual” questions meant that you had too much time on your hands.
AN ACT Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled "An act concerning elections, including general, municipal, special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates, primary and election expenses and election contests; creating and defining membership of county boards of elections; imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth, courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners; imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying, revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to elections," as follows:
June 8, 1691
11 Sivan of the Hebrew year 5451
Let me begin afresh. Perhaps, this time, to tell the truth. For in the biting hush of ink on paper, where truth ought to raise its head and speak without fear, I have long lied.
Chapter One: They Notice
Frankie was the first to know. Frankie was the first to know most things—but since he hadn’t spoken since he was eight years old, it didn’t matter what he knew.
Look at the man and woman in the foreground of this photograph.
I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. I called him Beloved and he, laughing, called me Little Thunder.
The titles and authors revealed:
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast. Graphic memoir.
My second time reading this. I read it because the library Summer Reading Bingo had a square for “book with a blue cover.” The story seems more pointed, reading it at the same time as Being Mortal.
HOUSE BILL No. 1300 Session Of 2021, By Republicans Of THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Referred to committee on state government on JUNE 10, 2021
As a reading experience, terrible. As a potential law, not as awful as some state election bills already signed into law in other states (Georgia). My state rep supported this bill and tried to say it would make voting easier, but it would not make it easier. The law was passed in the Republican-controlled legislature, but the Governor vetoed it.
The Weight of Ink, by Rachel Kadish. © 2017. 587 pages
Dual stories, one of historians fighting over recently found documents from the 1600s, and the other the story of the person who penned those documents. That person was Ester Velasquez, a Jewish woman, an orphan who moved from Amsterdam with the blind rabbi who took her under his wing and made her his scribe. She eventually takes on various false names in order to correspond as a man with philosophers, including Spinoza and Hobbes. I found the 1600s story interesting, but didn’t much like the story about the historians. I did not like the writing style, and felt the book did not need to be such a huge tome. But other reviewers gushed over this book.
The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill. Y.A. Fiction. © 2011. 345 pages.
A tale of magic that takes place in Iowa. Enjoyable.
Pianos and Flowers: Brief Encounters of the Romantic Kind, by Alexander McCall Smith. © 2019. 149 pages. Short stories.
I’m not usually fond of the short story genre, but I greatly enjoyed these stories, especially after reading the torturous prose of Rachel Kadish and the mind-bending magic of Kelly Barnhill. McCall Smith spins stories from photos in the archives of The Sunday Times.
A few excerpts from different stories:
She missed the ladies’ nights at the Club; she missed the tea parties where she was able to condescend to the wives of junior officials; she even missed the things of which she disapproved. Disapproval may provide as much a raison d’être as wholehearted endorsement; who amongst us does not enjoy at least some of our animosities?
If life is dull—as it often is for teenagers—then the presence of a cultural anthropologist might be just too much of a temptation.
He could have made life easy for me, but he realised that this would not give me the best start. Things that you have not achieved yourself are always less rewarding than the things you have earned through your own hard work. All I ever received from my father was a gift of four thousand pounds when I turned twenty-one—and a share in the shops, of course. But that came later, and by that time I had already built up my own business.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. © 2020 432 pages.
My reading of this book suffered from having read it right after reading The Weight of Ink. This book was another book about a woman wanting to write, but being suppressed by the Jewish culture of her time.