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Thread: (So is it ok if I kick off the...) Mom's Book Thread Week 19, May 6-12

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    Cool (So is it ok if I kick off the...) Mom's Book Thread Week 19, May 6-12

    I hope it's ok if I get this thread rolling. If someone had already agreed with Negin to manage this thread while she's gone, I'll gladly step aside. I saw some pictures on her Facebook from Italy (green with envy! ) so this thread is probably not foremost in her thoughts at the moment. And I'm sure I won't be nearly the lovely hostess she is, but here goes...

    I read Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. It is YA, and has some elements that I would normally say would turn me away from a book. Yet, I was drawn in and really did enjoy this book. It starts out rather dark, and the main characters are dysfunctional. One of the big themes of the book is the struggle with self-loathing. I liked being in the thoughts of two central characters, and their stories were told in a way that did not come off as sappy of contrived. I especially appreciated that there was depth to peripheral characters and that many of them showed development as well - they were not just props. Best of all was the hopeful and optimistic turn of the novel.

    ETA: Although this book is YA or youth fiction (don't remember which exactly), this is not a book I would encourage a teen to read. There are some dysfunctional aspects, especially in terms of sex, that I wouldn't want to offer to a teen to read. Happily, healing from these situations does take place in the story, and the book is not full of details about these situations, or I wouldn't have stuck with it. I would also advise a trigger warning for anyone who has ever been assaulted in some way. Now the book sounds worse than it actually was, but thought I should throw in those details!

    So what did you read?
    Last edited by KathleenM; 05-06-2018 at 02:16 PM.
    ~eclectic homeschooling mom of 3

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    Thanks for starting this thread, Kathleen!

    I haven't had much time to read. I have three books out from the library, and I started all three -- very unusual for me! But the one I chose to try to finish first is another Lamplighter book, On the Edge of a Moor. It's good - not as good as The Haunted Room (or at least not yet), but I'm enjoying it. I like interspersing these very old Christian titles with more modern reading, and with nonfiction. It keeps me on my toes in many ways.
    "Ree-bee," Mom to United States Marine ds 21 * artist dd 19 * motion-loving ds 16 * piano-playing ds 11
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

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    Thanks, Kathleen!

    This past week, I read:



    Colonel Lágrimas by Carlos Fonseca. Apparently it is loosely based on the life of mathematician Alexander Grothendieck. (I had never heard of him & had to look him up on wikipedia, but then again, I'm not a mathematician.)

    I felt like this book was similar to looking at a kaleidoscope. Lots of little bits, some pretty or nice, which sometimes seemed to form a cohesive whole & sometimes not. I am guessing there were some parts that zoomed straight past me & I didn't know enough to notice or note them. The book itself is not magical realism or surrealism, but you are examining a mind that is disintegrating so it feels a little bit like that...? I liked it well enough, but it also never truly pulled me into the story. I was a little on the fence about this one.

    A dazzling debut about the demented final project of a brilliant mathematician, recalling the best of Bolaño, Borges, and Calvino, Coronel Lágrimas is an allegory of our hyper-informed age and of the clash between European and Latin American history.

    Holed away in a cabin in the Pyrenees, the world-famous and enigmatic mathematician Alexander Grothendieck is working furiously on a final project. But what exactly is this monumental, mysterious undertaking? Why did this man, one of the greatest geniuses of the century, a politically militant man himself, suddenly decide to abandon politics and society altogether? As the reader pursues the answer to these questions, two layered narratives emerge. One is a series of unforgettable characters that have transfixed the mathematician’s imagination: Chana Abramov, a woman obsessed with painting the same Mexican volcano a thousand times, Vladimir Vostokov, an anarchist in battle with technological modernity, and Maximiliano Cienfuegos, a simple man who will nonetheless become the symbol for the Colonel’s as well as Europe’s restless political conscience. The other is the protagonist’s life story: a picaresque journey that traverses the 20th century: from the Russia of the October Revolution to the Mexico of the anarchic 1920s, from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam, all the way back to France and from there to the Caribbean islands. Out of this Borgesian web emerges a tragicomic allegory for the political arch of the past century, one that began addicted to political action and ended up hooked on big data.

    Loosely based on the fascinating life story of the eccentric mathematician Alexander Grothendieck, Colonel Lágrimas is a world-spanning tour de force of history, politics, literature, mathematics, and philosophy that wears its learning lightly, forming an appealingly human story of the forces that have created the modern world.
    And, I also read A Dark Dividing by Sarah, Rayne. It was a creepy, gothic thriller.

    Journalist Harry Fitzglen is less than thrilled to write up the opening of some glittering new art gallery. But the boredom falls away when he meets Simone Anderson, whose oddly compelling photographs are on display. Harry loves a girl with a past, and Simone's is a doozy: What exactly happened to her long-disappeared twin sister? And what is her connection to another pair of twins, born nearly 100 years ago? Every question points to the Welsh border and a ruined mansion called Mortmain House. As Harry delves into Mortmain's grim history, he finds himself drawn into a set of interlocking mysteries, each more curious - and disturbing - than the last.
    I'm currently reading Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.



    'One of the most important books of 2017' Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant

    A powerful and provocative argument on the role that race and racism play in modern Britain, by award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge

    In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren't affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race'.

    Her words hit a nerve. The post went viral and comments flooded in from others desperate to speak up about their own experiences. Galvanised by this clear hunger for open discussion, she decided to dig into the source of these feelings.

    Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

    (Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.)
    Celebrate your freedom to read! Read a banned book!

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    I hope Negin is having a great time! The photos on FB look like she is! Thank you, Kathleen, for starting the thread.

    I’m a fast reader, but for a whole week I’ve been plodding through A Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge. It’s 700+ pages and I’m only around 450. I’ve read a lot of her books and loved them all until this one. Are there authors you love except for that ONE book?? This book is rambly and it’s taking forever to progress through the story. I keep wondering if I should stop reading but I read the end and I sort of want to know how the main character made it there. I keep watching movies or reading other things because I’m just not RIVETED. I got this one from the library and I definitely won’t buy my own copy.

    Rebe, it’s been years since I’ve read a Lamplighters book, but now I’m intrigued!

    On a happier note, I have several books I’m excited about waiting in my queue! Happy Reading!
    Wife to David, mom to 9, homeschooling Thomas (19), Abby (15). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 2 grandsons! Homeschooling since 1986, Rowing since 2000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy in Alabama View Post
    I hope Negin is having a great time! The photos on FB look like she is! Thank you, Kathleen, for starting the thread.

    I’m a fast reader, but for a whole week I’ve been plodding through A Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge. It’s 700+ pages and I’m only around 450. I’ve read a lot of her books and loved them all until this one. Are there authors you love except for that ONE book?? This book is rambly and it’s taking forever to progress through the story. I keep wondering if I should stop reading but I read the end and I sort of want to know how the main character made it there. I keep watching movies or reading other things because I’m just not RIVETED. I got this one from the library and I definitely won’t buy my own copy.
    I read A Child From the Sea several years ago and just loved it! But books can all be about timing, so I may not be as patient with it now. I loved the writing and was just along for the ride. I also enjoyed the historical context. I would say that if you are impatient or bored with it now, it probably won't improve for you. I actually have it on my read-again-some-day list.
    Last edited by KathleenM; 05-06-2018 at 03:36 PM.
    ~eclectic homeschooling mom of 3

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    Finished Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

    It's a series of seven essays, all related to different facets of race. Her essays are:

    1. Histories
    2. The System
    3. What is White Privilege?
    4. Fear of a Black Planet
    5. The Feminism Question
    6. Race and Class
    7. There's No Justice, There's Just Us

    In terms of relating personal experience, this book felt similar in level of personal experience to Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me. And, as such, I have a hard time rating it. She's sharing her life, her guts, her experiences. How can you really rate that?

    Instead, I will say it challenged me & opened my mind to some new areas that I had never really considered. I think it's a great starting point if you're wanting to learn more about race, race-related issues, & things to ponder & then work steadily & faithfully to change.

    (Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.)
    Celebrate your freedom to read! Read a banned book!

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    I read A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea Masaji Ishikawa. This is the first time I've read a book by someone who has escaped from North Korea.

    Wow. Tragic sounds like such a tiny adjective in comparison to what is described.

    I have to wonder what he (the author) & others like him (who have managed to escape) think of the current state of relations between North/South Korea & America's involvement in it? Are they hopeful? Cynical? Burned?

    This is yet another book I can't give a star rating to because of the intensely personal nature of the narrative.

    (Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.)
    Celebrate your freedom to read! Read a banned book!

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    Just popping in to wish everyone a happy Mother's Day. I haven't done a lot of reading not for school (having three in high school requires a LOT of reading) but I'm hoping to read something for myself soon. Stacia, I've wanted to read Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race and your review makes me want to read it even MORE. Kathleen, while I haven't read that particular book, I have read quite a few excellent books which happen to fall under the YA genre. YA lit has certainly improved since the Pretty Little Liars days. Have a wonderful Mother's Day everyone. Hugs to all of you.
    IN THE END, ONLY KINDNESS MATTERS
    Mom to 5 girls and 5 furry kids too
    20 Years Homeschooling and still learning

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