Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: Ripper

Ripper Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Entertaining read, with a worthy, movie-of-the-week twist for the end. Orphan child strives to find his father, during the late 1800s, where a murderer runs afoot, killing winsome women from lofty social places. A disgraced? or humiliated once-crown-prince of respected detective skills now finds himself in need of the winsome and quick-thinking ally in our young protagonist to help accomplish his goals. If you allow yourself become completely engaged in this heady, steampunkish atmospheric ride, you will have a good time. Enjoy!

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review: Ripper

Ripper Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Entertaining read, with a worthy, movie-of-the-week twist for the end. Orphan child strives to find his father, during the late 1800s, where a murderer runs afoot, killing winsome women from lofty social places. A disgraced? or humiliated once-crown-prince of respected detective skills now finds himself in need of the winsome and quick-thinking ally in our young protagonist to help accomplish his goals. If you allow yourself become completely engaged in this heady, steampunkish atmospheric ride, you will have a good time. Enjoy!

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday, Good Day

     I have been wondering a lot about my faith. I have it. I believe in God. I know there's a powerful presence in the universe, and I believe it is sentient.

   I am a little disappointed in myself, as  I sit here, on Good Friday, with no plans of attending church with my family. I would love to, but I get tired of the arguments. Teenagers. I should just go by myself, and when I do, I feel good that I am there, but I feel sad that I am alone. So to speak. "We are never alone". 

   It is not enough to pray or to believe. I have to be stronger, to be tougher about this. I hope one day, I am.




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kristie Wolfe builds underground home & sets rural WA hamlet



 I have a fascination with living sustainably, greener living, eco-conscious lifestyle, whatever you want to call it: I think it is so important to take care of the earth, and each other. 


Woman Builds Breathtaking Sustainable Dome Home

 Can you imagine building with just earth? 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Do Not Say We Have Nothing Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Haunting. Not for the faint of heart or mind. It explores the complexities and veils of love, politics, and music in Communist China. The language is rich and layered. Each page is a thick slice of nuance. Be prepared to sink into a thick pool of metaphorical language and emerge, tired but triumphant.

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Review: Breath Of Earth

Breath Of Earth Breath Of Earth by Beth Cato
My rating: 2 of 5 stars



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Review: Between Friends

Between Friends Between Friends by Kristy Kiernan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How close are you, with your best friend? Close enough to lie? To betray? To die? This book about a deep, abiding friendship between two very different women is a multi-layered exploration of human emotion and ethical decisions.

Infertile Ali had a child with the egg of her best friend, Cora. Now, she wants to do it again, but time has passed, and Cora's health now may affect their future, and Ali's loving husband is troubled by some decisions of his own.
In the midst of all the adults rushing about, fourteen-year-old Letty, the "miracle child" embarrassed and pressured by her mom's near-mythic appreciation of her birth, wrestles with her own fateful decisions.

The alternating viewpoints make the story even more interesting as we enter the minds of the characters, chapter by chapter.

This story was very touching! Some unexpected turns and twists... grateful the author didn't take the easy, movie-of-the-week way out!

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Beloved Leis

Plumeria with Purple flower (Ribbon Lei) designed by Tracy Harada 
The following is a section, taken from Na Mele O Hawai'i Nei, 101 Hawaiian Songs, collected by Samuel H. Elbert and Noelani Mahoe, published by the University of Hawaii, Copyright 1970.


This is a name song composed by Mary Kawena Pukui for her grandson, La'akea, shortly after his birth on November 8, 1949. The "many birds" are admiring people.


'Ohu'phu wale au iku'i leo
   
   onaona

[I wear my fragrant lei]
                               _
Ku'u lei oh;ohie o na kau a kau.

[My lei cherished in all seasons]
              _
Au mai na maka o ka nui manu

[The eyes of many birds behold]

I ku'uy wehi nani e lei mai
      nei


[worn forever as a lei]



Please forgive any errors, as this is 1) a transcription to Blogger, which does not have a supporting font for Hawaiian and 2) I am not fluent in Hawaiian. I copied the symbols such as the 'okina and the macron (__ above the letter) as best as I could. I also added the bold and the brackets. The layout is slightly different than what you find in the original publication.

Why did I do this post? I needed to test some posting services, and I thought, do something interesting. SO... yeah, I naturally ended up doing something more challenging than probably what it is worth. At least I got a chance to read some beautiful Hawaiian songs, and it reminded me that one day, one day I should as least try to learn more.

If you come from a heritage which has a language other than English, I think you should try to reconnect or explore it. I encourage you. 

I regret not having encouraged my children earlier than now. They are both in high school, and they are, to me, a little disconnected with their grandmother's, and my, culture. My daughter is at least thinking about taking up hula. She would be beautiful at it. I can see her, in my mind's eye.

For now, they are both, still, my special leis, which I wear in my heart.




Bless Me, Rudolfo Anaya


Bless Me, UltimaBless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sensual, graceful tale of memory, mysticism, mythology, and deep love, between a six-year-old boy and an elderly woman healer, who comes to stay with him and his family. Rich in imagery and magic, this tale will haunt you with its beauty, long after you turn the last page.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

You are Not Wrong to Be You


The Good LionThe Good Lion by Beryl Markham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truly beautiful, truly a miracle in picture books. It is the tale of "becoming" and "being". I read this aloud to my middle schoolers, and they loved it. It truly resonated with them, the idea of being considered wrong, but you are only being yourself.

I read the origin of the story, West with the Night, by Beryl Markham. She does write beautifully as well, but the lyrical, almost mystical flow of this picture book, I suspect, has to do something with the illustrator, Don Brown, or the editor, who is unnamed.

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