"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, November 19, 2017

Sunday Salon, Nov. 19

Part of the Summer Palace in Beijing. Photo Credit: Don Bennett
Weather: Novemberish

This week: I practically did nothing and hardly even left the house. First I think I was a little time warped after returning from China, then I came down with a humdinger of a cold and didn't want to go anywhere or see anyone. I'm home right now instead of at church for that very reason. Ugh.

Don and I on the Great Wall. Notice the poor air quality. 
Read. Read. Read: Because I was essentially house-bound I did a lot of reading, mostly as part of my role as judge for Cybils nonfiction. I didn't necessarily read all of each book but enough to judge the book properly for its award-worthiness

       Cybils candidates
  1. Earth Hates Me: Confessions of a Teenage Girl by Ruby Karp---written when Ruby was 16 years old. Fun and lighthearted, Ruby dishes out advise and wisdom for teens from a teen. (Read 50%)
  2. The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power by Ann Bausum. As the title suggests this book is about the last march of the Civil Rights era and about how Black P0wer emerged. It is a sad note on the inspiring movement and is not a remembered moment during it. Read my review by clicking the hyperlink on the title. (Read all)
  3. A Soldier's Sketchbook: The Illustrated First World War Diary of R.H. Rabjohn by John Wilson. Wilson was speaking at an event about WWI. Afterwards a woman approached and showed him her grandfather's diary which he wrote during his experiences as a soldier in WWI for Canada. This book has entries from that diary and the illustrations Rabjohn, who was a good artist, made of his experiences. (Read most)
  4. Geoengineering Earth's Climate: Resetting the Thermostat by Jennifer Swanson. Interesting and inventive ideas of ways that scientists are considering trying in an attempt to offset the effects of global warming. one idea is to launch little mirrors into the stratosphere to reflect back some of earth's rays. (Read 25%)
  5.  Game On! by Dustin Hansen. The history of gaming, starting with Pong. One could really geek out on this book. (Read 50 pages.)
  6. Far From the Tree, Young Adult Edition: How Children and Their Parents Learn to Accept One Another... by Andrew Solomon and Laurie Calkhoven. A rewrite of the National Book Award nominee by the same name. At 450 pages it is hard to see how this one qualifies as young adult, but the original is over 900 pages long! Topic: how we view ourselves and how to accept our children looking through the lens of deaf culture, dwarfism, homosexuality, etc. (Read 75 pages)
  7. To Look a Nazi in the Eyes: A Teens Account of a War Criminal's Trial by Kathy Kacer. A true account of a teen's experience attending the trial of Oskar Groening, the bookkeeper of Auschwitz. (Read 25%)
  8. How Dare the Sun Rise: A Memoir of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiymana. Sandra and her family were living in a refugee camp in Burundi when rebels came into the camp and slaughtered over 100 people, including her sister. After Sandra and her family relocated to the USA, she became an advocate for refugees worldwide. (Audio. Listened to all)
      Other books:
  1. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. A boy hops onto an elevator on his way to kill the person he think killed his brother, an honor killing, when he is met by ghosts of those people he has known in the past who were also killed by guns. Written in verse. Very impactful.
  2. The Book of Dust, Vol.1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. A prequel to The Dark Materials series. I am about 45% complete and racing to finish, as it is due back at the library in three days.
Outside the Forbidden City in Beijing with Ken and Carol. Mao was watching. 
Prayers for:
  • Mary, who lost her mother this week
  • Louise, who was hospitalized due to complications from shingles
  • Susan, who is receiving treatment for breast cancer and it is taking a toll on her energy
  • My father, he fell last week and is having trouble with dizziness and energy
  • Janet, who lost her father two weeks ago
  • For Bethel High School staff and students. Their principal died suddenly last week.
My China Update: I  published my last Sunday Salon on Tuesday and many of my friends didn't appear to see it. So I am trying again. Please click the hyperlink to read about our China trip. Thank you.
Statue guarding the Sacred Way, near the Ming tombs, China. Photo credit: D. Bennett

Terracotta Warriors in the Shaanxi Province museum. Photo credit: Don Bennett
Another cute Chinese kid. This guy was fascinated by Don.


  1. Oh dear! Somehow we caught the same cold. I skipped church today, too, and I’m not happy about that.

    I’m glad you’ve been able to use the time to read through your Cybils books. It’s a huge job.

    Thanks for sharing more China pictures. More, more, please.

    I hope your cold is gone soon.

    1. I am currently sucking on a throat lozenge I bought in China. I don't know what is in it but it makes me think I am taking some kind of ancient remedy.

    2. There seem to be lots of colds going around this time of year. Yours is probably related to your flight and the time changes. (very stressful on the body) Hope you are better soon!!

  2. Oh, sorry about that cold! I can relate to weeks of not leaving the house. This week was not one of them...so after three busy days, I have stayed completely at home for the past four days.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, one of SIX, which I change around a lot (themes, headers, etc.). Enjoy your week!

  3. I too have a nasty bug that I can't seem to kick. ON the plus side, I have an awesome excuse for napping constantly! China looked amazing. Happy reading this week.

  4. You are doing so well on the Cybils reading, too bad it's because you don't feel well. I am sure the air quality in China did not help! You're the second blogger I've heard about The Book of Dust from so now I've added it to my list.


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