Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Reading 3: Yes a saint book finally!

As in little 's' but his cause has begun:

My mom gave me Martyr of Brotherly Love: Father Engelmar Unzeitig and the Priests' Barracks at Dachau. Its a tiny book for such a long title! The book centers on Fr. Engelmar who died young when he offered to work the typhus ward at Dachau. In fact he died not long before the Camp was liberated by the American forces. It's a painful story told with genuine care for those lost and the future of humanity. It has a very different feel as you read-- not an American story. It was translated from a longer book by Adalbert Ledwig Balling and Reinhard Abeln by Vergil Heier, CMM. Hs story is one of always putting God's people first and self second.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Reading 2- LOVE BEES!

The Secret Life of Bees is amazing! I stayed up past midnight Friday to get past the climax and finished the book on my break at work. ( I did not wear mascara in case I cried just as a patient showed up.) What and amazing story!
The author, Sue Monk Kidd, was a young teen in the south during the Civil Rights era and set the story in the year the Civil Rights Act was signed. The young heroine is with her nanny as she goes to register to vote but instead ends up in jail. Our heroine has vague memories of her mother's accidental death and definite knowledge that her father does not love her. She helps her nanny escape and they search out scraps of knowledge about her mother.
The woman who takes her in is August. She is a beekeeper and head of a home church combining the best of AME southern black churches (including the hats!) and Catholic devotion to Mary. As you read listen for the voice of Queen Latifa who played August in the movie; love that sound. But-- I can't believe Dakota Fanning played the girl--I haven't seen the movie yet. But the girl is on the cusp of womanhood and it is the strong but gentle voice of August that draws her to finding peace.
Its intended as a coming of age novel but it connects all the age old confusion about fathers, mothers, love, race, and God. And you will love Mother Mary more than ever:
"I feel her in unexpected moments, her Assumption into heaven happening in places inside me. She will suddenly rise, and when she does, she does not go up, up into the sky, but further and further inside me. August says she goes into the holes life has gouged out of us."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Reading Part 1

I was very good this summer and worked on buying school books and even ordering my college books first. I even started reading the books I was able to save from closing kid libraries. I want to include them in the curriculum this year.
(Did you know about the book purge-- end of the 80's early 90's -- books that still presented minorities and women in a childish or 'second class' light began to be purged. Unfortunately this left a huge void especially in Non-Fiction. This included vast quantity of Catholic books that were once a staple of the history and biography sections. Many homeschoolers however had befriended librarians in those days before the Mass marketing to homeschoolers and were rewarded. I purchased probably 100 books at a quarter each.)

But now I'm reading in earnest!
First-- scanned and made notes from Eating Right for Your Blood Type and The ER4YT Encyclopedia. Its a very interesting concept based on very basic science. People with different blood types have different tissue types as well and react to certain chemical agents. These chemical can improve or block our bloods ability to bring nutrients from food to our tissues or our tissues ability to turn food into energy rather than fat.
Unfortunately my husband and I have opposite blood types so a change in diet may be difficult. However for his blood type especially the changes could mean weight loss, lower blood pressure, better sinuses and less reactivity to allergens and stress.  My goal is to increase the foods that are good for him, drop the foods that are bad for him and get us to exercise. We'll see..... committed we are not!

Second-- Started reading the books my teens need to read over the summer for high school. Somehow we did not get the message that there was required reading for Sarah and the local library does not have the books. I'll have to get them somewhere...

I was able to get the ones for David. The first is Into the Wild  by Jon Krakauer. I appreciated the idea that as a reporter for Outside magazine he had told of the death of Chris McCandless in the Alaskan wilderness with a strict word limit and time deadline. After reactions began streaming in after publication, as well as more information Krakauer felt he owed Chris and his family the effort to do a fuller account of Why? Why did Chris feel the need to disappear into first the West and then the North? As Chris was highly intelligent and well educated and left behind his books filled with notes, underlines and highlights the tiny book takes us on a literary journey as well. Muir, Tolstoy, London: imperfect but inspired men who have drawn many men out into the wilderness and up countless mountains.
Its a fascinating tale.

Now I'm working on The Secret Life of Bees. Already I love it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th

4th at my sister's: here are the cooks!

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