"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, October 22, 2017

Sunday Salon, Oct. 22, 2017

Fall is definitely here.
Weather: Raining. It has been a windy, rainy week. The weather station says we've had three separate storms. The word "storm" is relative, of course.

Super Sad/Worried/Distressed: I don't know about you but the state of affairs in our country is really, really making me distressed, or worried, or sad, or angry. I don't even know what to focus on anymore---the news is always so bad. // The other day a friend posted a comment on Facebook about how progressives are just like Nazis and just as violent. What? // Another friend said that after the horrific shootings in Las Vegas that killed 59 people that citizens of our country feel the same about guns as they did before the shooting. How can that be? // Our president doesn't think that the people in Puerto Rico need more assistance than they have. Yet, some still don't have drinking water and most don't have electricity. And there are more people from FEMA in Houston still than in Puerto Rico. Argh! // After the conference Trump attended this week, it appears that Evangelical Christians are aligning themselves with white supremacists in terms of support and ideals. Will this be the end of the church as we know it? // And don't even get me started thinking or talking about the possibility of a nuclear war. Our president seems unhinged enough to imagine that he could start such a war...one to end all of mankind. // Psychologists are diagnosing Trump with Malignant Narcissism. Click on the hyperlink if you want to know more about that disorder and to make yourself more terrified.  // I could go on, but I will stop.

Today in church: I was thinking about these quotes from Jim Wallis

 "Why did 81 percent of white evangelicals support Donald Trump? The polling shows it was not mostly about abortion, gay marriage, and religious liberty, as some of their leaders suggest. ...But those “moral issues” were not the main motivators for the white evangelical vote. Instead, it was guns, taxes, how much they would make from the economy, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment, and anti-terrorist and anti-Muslim visions of national security.

Fox News seems to have set the white evangelical political agenda, more so than the Bible all evangelicals claim to believe."
“When Christians ally their faith with bias and exclusion, they are influencing how the public sees Christianity itself. "

     Fortunately, our scripture lesson and the sermon were based on Psalm 145, which has some strong reminders that God is bigger than Trump and God's precepts are stronger than the unloving ones espoused by some of his "believers" today. It was good news I needed to hear.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does. -Psalm 145:13
Cybils Nonfiction Judging: I have been a reading fiend.  I am attempting to read, or judge, five books a week. As a judge I am allowed to stop after 50 pages if I can adequately evaluate the book at that point. So far I haven't evoked the 50-page rule but I am sure I will i the future as I try to read all 55 of the books by the end of December. So far I've read 15. Not bad, huh? So far I've read two books on Alexander Hamilton, four others on rights for women (past and present), three books on animals (extinct and living), one on weather, another on a space flight to Pluto, and few biographies of famous people. I find it all fascinating. I love learning new stuff.

Books completed in the past two weeks:

  • Eyes of the World: Robert Capa and Gerda Taro and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson
  • When the Sky Breaks: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World by Simon Winchester
  • Almost Adulting by Arden Rose
  • Alice Paul and the Fight For Women's Rights by Deborah Kops
  • Girl Rising: Changing the World one Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt by Mary Kay Carson
  • Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel by Nancy Castaldo
  • De-Extinction: The Science of Bringing Lost Species Back to Life by Rebecca Hirsch
  • Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of a Legendary Nurse by Catherine Reef
  • ----------------------------------------------
  • The Beatles: All My Yesterdays by Jason Quinn---a graphic biography of The Beatles. Print.
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green---a favorite author and his new book. Audio.
  • You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins---a multi-generational immigration story. Audio.

(Can you tell what I have been doing in my retirement?)

Carly meets Ian. Ian meets Aunt Carly.
Carly met her nephew: And it was love at first sight from both sides. They just seemed to have that really special "something" right away.  It was good to have her home for a few days!

Movie: "Battle of the Sexes." It is excellent. (The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs became the most watched televised sports event of all time. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With her husband urging her to fight for equal pay, the private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past.) 


  1. I can’t bear to hear the news. I can’t bear to not hear the news. No way out of that one.

    I feel like I’m in the trenches of a war as I fight for rigor in the schools. I’m worn down, though, and it won’t be long before I’ll be worn out.

    1. I feel worn out, too. I can't seem to stay away from the news either. I keep thinking if I could just stay away from it I would feel better, but staying away just makes me more anxious wondering what I have missed.

  2. I also experience the same range of emotions you listed about the state of our country. Escaping to Canada is not even a realistic plan...if Trump carries out his agenda, there will be no safe place.

    I hate the news...and can't seem to steer away, just in case there is something hopeful. Like impeachment.

    Even some people I know and care about have blinders on about this man.

    What to do? Bury myself in books...unless someone can show us an action that might work.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

    1. I wish someone who is still supporting Trump could explain to me what it is they see in the man. Egads.

  3. Thanks for reading BEASTLY BRAINS!
    Agree - the news is scary and upsetting. I try (and try) to focus on the positive stuff -- Like the story of the young lady who just won the inventor's award for a lead testing kit! There is hope! And I look out at the faces of the children during my school visits and I feel it! #STEM

    1. I really liked Beastly Brains and learned a lot for it.

  4. I agree with you about the news, and reading and cooking have been my solace. Because of my pulled hamstring, I can't run or walk which would be my normal stress reliever. I am gobbling up the new Pullman book, and loving it. Glad Carly could meet Ian--what a precious photo!

    1. Thanks for the Pullman tip. I just put a hold on it at the library.

  5. sigh...I hear you on the news lately. To be honest, I mostly avoid it. I catch the 10-minute news update at 8 am on the Today show so I know what's happening in the world, and I read the Sunday newspaper, and otherwise, I try hard not to get caught up in it - it's just too upsetting. The last thing I need is more stress in my life. I know it's a head-in-the-sand approach but I have to take care of myself.

    Wow, 55 books by the end of the year? That's amazing! I'm impressed - glad you are filling up retirement with good books! :)

    I'd like to see Battle of the Sexes, too.

    Enjoy your books this week, Anne! And give yourself a break from the news.


    Book By Book

  6. I honestly don't get Christians support of Donald Trump and think the quote from Wallis is spot on. Even though my father claims he only voted for Trump because of the abortion issue, especially The Supreme Court, he now seems to support him on everything else and defends him for ever, I believe, thanks to Fox News.

  7. It's great to hear about your Cybils progress knowing that I will read the books that you narrow it down to! I agree that the state of our country is beyond depressing these days. My parents have begun the conversation of moving back to the UK for part of the year. Wow!


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