"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Salon, July 24th

Chihuly glass. Photo by A. Bennett. All rights reserved.
Weather: Beautiful blue skies, warm but not hot.

"Surely you must know, I did it all for you": This was the title of the sermon I preached today in church. Our pastor is on vacation. He asked me and I agreed to preach in his stead. The themes of the message were MERCY and JUSTICE. Of course, I referenced two books besides the Bible. The above quote is from Pride and Prejudice. I used the example of Mr. Darcy as a Christ-like character who, through sacrifice on his own part, saved the Bennet family. I also quoted and used material from Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy. In his work with EJI, Stevenson and his team have helped represent individuals on death row, have argued in front of the Supreme Court, and attempted to represent as many poor and underrepresented people. In his efforts 152 innocent people on death row have been released. In all his work he has had to be brave and strong. Christians need to work for justice or there will never be peace. And they need to be brave to do their work for the kingdom of God.

Three bags down: Carly has begun the arduous task of sorting through her things in preparations for her move to New York. Two garbage bags for Goodwill, and one half each for garbage and recycling. She hasn't really gone through her things since she moved home from college two years ago. We'll toss a lot more stuff in the next few days,

Reading homeostasis: At book club on Tuesday evening somehow the conversation turned to how many books I can read at one time. I don't actually do a good job when reading five books at once, the situation for the last two weeks. I end up feeling all fractured and out of sorts. This week things back into balance, a reading homeostasis, of sorts. By finishing five books, three of them from my original list of five, starting two others and making good progress on them, writing reviews for four books, and mapping out my reading plan for the rest of the summer, finally, for a minute, balance.

Books completed this week. Click on hyperlinks for the reviews.
  • Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff...the first half of this YA part fantasy/part romance book was slow going but the pacing in the second picked up and I really ended up liking the ending. Print.
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson...part autobiography, part history of the 1950s by a favorite author. Audio.
  • We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman...a YA/Junior nonfiction book about the White Rose movement led by Hans and Sophie Scholl in Germany in 1942. Print.
  • Bubonic Panic by Gail Jarrow...When the Bubonic Plague came to San Francisco in 1900 and what it means to us today. An interesting history of the disease. Another YA/Junior book. Prnt.
  • Splendid Outcast: Eight Beryl Markham Africa Stories by Beryl Markham...more from a new favorite author. Print.
Currently reading:
  • Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley...a YA murder mystery set in a Victorian-type South Africa. It seems a little like steam punk. Print. Progress: 75%.
  • They Great American Whatever by Tim Federle...A YA realistic coming-of-age novel. Topics depression, and LGBT. Audio. Progress 30%.
Book Club discussions:
  • The Secret Life of Mary Bowser... a freed slave and a spry against the confederacy. We had a great discussion and everyone liked the book. (RHS Book Club)
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie...this classic murder mystery. We all enjoyed it but it didn't really generate a good discussion. (SOTH Book Club)
This is what I thought of the RNC Convention this past week: Follow this link to the Doonesbury Strip for 7/24/16. Let's just say, it was not good.

Recipe of the day: Brownie Scones. They are the best of both scones and brownies. Yum. Thanks Carly for the treat. 

Today's scripture: Micah 6:8: "What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God."


  1. It sounds like a wonderful sermon. Way to go! My dad loved the Bowser book, although I got it for him in the large print edition and he could barely hold it.:)

    1. Oh man, how many pages was the large print edition of the Mary Bowser story? It must have been huge.

      Yes, the sermon went well though, of course, afterwards I remembered all the things I meant to say but didn't. Sigh. Not perfect. Never is.

  2. I'm so impressed. You delivered a whale of a sermon there. Maybe you should take it on the road. Goodness knows, America needs to hear it!

  3. ha ha - I thought Doonesbury summed it up well, too! Unfortunately.

    I think that is true of most mysteries - fun to read bit not great for book group discussions. Our local book store has a monthly Mystery Book Group & I wonder how their discussions go.

    Wow, very impressed by your book juggling! One at a time for me (plus one on audio). I wish I could read faster - I always feel behind, but that's the way it is!

    You were right on my blog earlier - Jamie almost always re-reads the books in a series before reading the latest one! Even if they are 1000+ pages! Don't know how he does it. His reading these days comes in spurts - in between college semesters when he has more time.

    Sounds like a great reading week for you - hope you have another!


    2016 Big Book Summer Challenge

  4. Glad to hear the Mary Bowser book is good. I have a copy of it but I havent read it yet.

  5. You talked about so many things I wanted to comment on. But then you mentioned Brownie Scones and I went into my mind bakery and lost my entire train of thought :)


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