Monday, February 26, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? - February 26

So my plan is each Monday to update anyone who reads this on what I'm currently reading and what I may have finished in the last week.

Currently Reading:

Title: The Catholic Youth Bible
Date Started: January 1
Note: Roof Beam Reader - Read the Bible as Literature Event

Currently Listening:

TitleAtlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Narrator: Christopher Hurt
Date Started: August 23, 2017
Note: On part 5 of 7

Finished Reading:

Title: The Little Prince
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Date Finished: February 24
Stars: 5

Title: The Immortalists
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Date Finished: February 21
Stars: 4.75
Note: February Book Club selection

Title: Furry Night
Author: Joan Aiken
Narrator: LeVar Burton
Date Finished: February 20
Stars: 4
Note: Episode 18 of LeVar Burton Reads

Title: Black Hills
Author: Nora Roberts
Date Finished: February 17
Stars: 4
Note: Reread

Title: So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced #2)
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Date Finished: February 13
Stars: 4

Title: The Baboon War
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Narrator: LeVar Burton
Date Finished: February 13
Stars: 5
Notes: Episode 17 of LeVar Burton Reads

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Exodus #2018BibleRBR


I  got really behind in my reading and my posting. So I'm going to do a quick rundown of Exodus today.   Two weeks ago I adopted a dog and he sort of took over my life. I got out of my morning routine of reading my daily passages. I'll have to get into a new routine.

Here's Pippin:

The Book of Exodus is broken down into four parts:
1. The Israelites in Egypt (1-12, 36)
2. The Exodus from Egypt and the Journey to Sinai (12, 37-18)
3. The Covenant at Mount Sinai (19-24)
4. The Dwellings and Its Furnishings (25-38)
The Israelites in Egypt:

We start out by getting another brief recap of the linage so show how much time has passed since Joseph has brought his people to Egypt.  As with many historical stories as time passes and power changes hand, those who thought they were safe are no longer so and find themselves enslaved or greatly mistreated.

The new Pharaoh, demands that all males born to them are killed at birth.  The midwives are horrified and defy him. This decree causes Moses mother to try to save him by sending him down the river in a basket.  He is found by the Pharaoh's daughter and she raises him as her own child. He his raised to know that he isn't Egyptian but Hebrew.  This knowledge directs his actions as an adult which will then bring the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses tries to help his kinsmen and ends up having to flee the city and ends up running to Midian. He helps some shepherdess whose father is grateful and gives Moses one of his daughters as a wife.  Things are going good and then Moses comes across a flaming bush and an angel who tells Moses he's got to go back and free his people.

Moses is very reluctant about his mission.  He's an introvert and the thought of having to go be the voice of the people is freaking him out. God comes up with a way to make it all work.  Moses will go get his brother Aaron and will relay God's message through Aaron who has no problem speaking in public.  Things don't start off smoothly and Moses is all why me?
Moses again had recourse to the Lord and said, "Lord, why do you treat this people so badly? And why did you send me on such a mission? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has maltreated his people of yours, and you have done nothing to rescue them." (Ex 6, 22-23)
God pretty much tells Moses to just trust him, he has a plan and it's going all workout. Moses is like if you say so but I'm not holding my breath on this one. So Aaron and Moses go back to Pharaoh, Pharaoh is like nope not doing it, so Moses tells him okay well God is angry and he's going to turn all the water into blood.  And so starts the plagues. This is followed by frogs, gnats, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and finally the death o the first-born.

Through all o this Pharaoh is like nope, well maybe, no never mind. What bothered me about all of this was that God was like you know what because Pharaoh won't let my people leave I'm going to punish everyone.  Then you get to the 8th Plague and you read:
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants obdurate in order that I may perform these signs of mine among them and that you may recount to your son and grandson how ruthlessly I dealt with the Egyptians and what signs I wrought among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord. (Ex 10, 1-2)
Um okay, is this your big plan? I guess so.

In chapters, 11-12,1-36 is the story and history of Passover. The final plague is the death of the first-born. In order to save his people, God passes on a ritual that must happen in each household in order for them to be passed over when he comes at midnight. This ritual has come down through the ages and today Passover is celebrated with lamb and unleavened bread, along with the retelling of the story of Passover.

The Exodus From Egypt and the Journey to Sinai

At this point, Pharaoh says that the Israelites can leave. So everyone packs up and God leads the way out of the area. As they start to near the Red Sea, Pharaoh decides that nope he doesn't want to let them go and sends his army after them.  God keeps his promise to his people and parts the Red Sea for them to cross, then as the army follows he takes them all out by releasing the water back.

As they are walking the people are singing. We get the text of the song they are singing and that Miriam, Aaron's sister is leading the other women in singing this song.  She is referred to as a prophetess and discussed in a very position manner.  This was nice to read since women are portrayed in a negative light in most of what we've read up to this point.

Miriam can only do so much to keep morale up. The Israelites start to complain and Moses asks God to send a sign to the people.  So He does this thing with the dew in the morning and provides the people with manna and rice. As with everything He does there are rules to be followed. There are other signs like striking a rock and getting water.

The Covenant at Mount Sinai
So they get to Mount Sinai and make camp. Moses gathers the elders and they head up, with the elders stopped midway so Moses can continue on his own. Once up there God gives Moses the Ten Commandments.  These are the big rules, but now God has laws about all kinds of things:
Law Regarding Slaves, Personal Injury, Property Damage, Trusts and Loans, Social Laws, Religious Laws.  These sections just discuss things like, if someone does this then they must do this to make amends. But if they do this and they don't have this then they must do this.

In the next section things get crazy (Golden Calf) and Moses has to go back up the Mountain and gets the Ten Commandments inscribed on the stone tablets.

The Dwelling and Its Furnishings
This part was really boring to read.  God gives Moses specific instructions for building an altar and the tent and all the stuff that goes along with it. Then we get the really detailed description of them building everything.  It really read like when you have a word count you need to reach for a paper and started to really describe everything to meet that word count.

God says:
You shall also make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. Plate it with pure gold and make a molding of gold around it.

What the people did:
The table was made of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and one and a half cubes high. It was plated with pure gold and a molding of gold was put around it.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Peek Inside a Book - Black Hills

Linking up to both Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader and The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week the book Black Hills by Nora Roberts caught my eye.

It Begins: 
South Dakota
June 1989

Cooper Sullivan's Life, as he'd know it, was over. Judge and jury -- in the form of his parents -- had not been swayed by please, reason, temper, threats, but instead had sentenced him and shipped him off, away from everything he knew and cared about to a world without video parlors or Big Macs.

On Page 56 (56%):
Lil's first look at the cat took her breath away. Sleek, muscular, her eyes tawny glints, Cleo sat in her travel cage like royalty on a throne.

She eyed the humans, with what struck Lil as a gaze of pure superiority, and let out her coughing roar in case they didn't fully understand who was boss.

This is a reread for me. I originally read it sometime before 2011, possibly when it was first released. I just got myself a Kindle Paperwhite and wanted to try it out so I checked this out from the library.

I remember thinking how great wild life rescues were and soon discovered Single Vision Inc. an animal sanctuary in Florida. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? - February 12

So my plan is, each Monday to update anyone who reads this on what I'm currently reading and what I may have finished in the last week.

Currently Reading:

Title: So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2)
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Date Started: February 10

Currently Listening:

Title: Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Narrator: Christopher Hurt
Date Started: August 23, 2017
Note: On part 4 of 7

Finished Reading:

Title: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1)
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Date Finished: February 9
Stars: 4

Title: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Date Finished: February 7
Stars: 4
Comments: eBook ARC from Netgalley, book is due out in late March.

Title: I Am the Cheese
Author: Robert Cormier
Date Finished: February 6
Stars: 2
Comments: Read Harder Challenge - An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

Title: Mrs. Perez
Author: Oscar Casares
Narrator: LeVar Burton
Date Finished: February 6
Stars: 4
Comments: Episode 16 of LeVar Burton Reads

Title: Red Clocks
Author: Leni Zumas
Date Finished: February 3
Stars: 5
Comments: January Book of the Month selection

Title: Unassigned Territory
Author: Stephanie Powell Watts
Narrator: LeVar Burton
Date Finished: January 31
Comments: Episode 15 of LeVar Burton Reads

Title: The Blacksmith's Lover
Author: Heather Massey
Date Finished, January 29
Stars: 2

Friday, February 9, 2018

Peek Inside a Book - How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

When I was deciding to come back to the blog I was looking through all the blogging memes that the blogs I read follow. I had done Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 a handful of times, but over at Mixed Book Bag, JC merged them together and I really like that idea.  So borrowing from her I'm going to start linking up to both Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader and The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week the book How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks caught my eye.

It Begins: 

In another time on another world called Aerthlan, there are five kingdoms. Four of the kingdoms extend across a continent. There, the four kings thirst for war. 

On Page 56:
Luciana spun around to find Tatiana smirking at her. She glanced around quickly to make sure they were alone, then whispered, "What are you doing here?"

With a shrug. Tatiana glided up to the railing. "Did you expect me to stay where I was buried?"

"Well, yes, actually."

This is book on in the Embraced series. I started with book 3 (which is due out end of March) as an ebook ARC from Netgally and really enjoyed it so I decided to come back and start with book 1. I'm only a chapter into the book, but can tell I'm going to enjoy this just as much as book 3. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Genesis 37-50 #2018BibleRBR


I'm doing this chronologically my posts will be grouped a little differently than weekly check-in posts that Adam is doing on RBR.  I started off with Genesis 1-11 and then chronologically the story moves to Job.  We are now back in Genesis and this post will cover everything up until the story of Joseph.

As I mentioned in the first Genesis post this book of the bible is broken down into four parts:
The Book of Gensis is divided as follows:
1. The Primeval History (1-11)2. The Patriarch Abraham (12-25:18)
3. The Patriarchs Isaac and Jacob (25:19 - 36)
4. Joseph and His Brothers (37-50)
This is the final section of Genesis.  This is the story of Joseph who is much beloved by his father and hated by his older brothers. You may know this story because of the Broadway show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I, however, have never seen it, and only kinda like a song or two from the show.

There are a lot of lessons in this story. The story of Joseph and his brothers reinforces the concept of forgiveness especially when you've been greatly mistreated. His brothers threw him down a well and then instead of killing him, they sell him to Egyptians.  Then poor Joseph gets arrested because some woman takes a fancy to him and he's too upstanding to do anything with her.  (Women get a really bad rap in the Bible.  We'll talk about this more in future chapters.)

While in jail Joseph interprets two dreams for two men Pharaoh sent to prison. They both come true so when Pharaoh is struggling with a dream he had, Joseph is brought in to interpret. He is so on target Pharaoh is like you know what, I'm going to just be a figurehead and you're going to run things.

One of these dreams was about a famine. This affected Joseph's brothers and they went down to Egypt. Joseph knows these are his brothers and gives them what they want, but sets them up. He puts them into a moral dilemma as a way to teach them a lesson. They prove that they aren't horrible men, they love their father' they do show remorse over what they did to him, and they are men of their words.

This is the start of the migration of the people to Egypt.

So now an interesting part:

GN 38, 8 - "Then Judah said to Onan, "Unite with your brother's widow, in fulfillment of your duty as brother-in-law, and thus preserve your brother's line."
First GN 38 feels like it's kind of just shoved into this story. It has a purpose, to show the passage of time between Joseph being sold to a courtier of Pharaoh and when he gets sent to jail.  This chapter covers this law where if a married man dies without an heir, his brother must marry his wife and produce an heir for his brother.  So Onan would father a child but in the eyes of the law the child would be considered his brother's son.  This is call Levirate Marriage.

I laughed when I read this chapter because it reminded me about this really bad movie I saw as a child. The movie is Holy Matrimony with Patricia Arquette and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Patricia plays a woman involved with a man who left the Amish life/faith. They rob a store/bank/something and hide out back with his family where he hid the money.  They tell everyone they are married. He dies and because of Levirate Marriage is something they believe in the man's much younger brother, JGL, must marry her.  This is awkward and makes for some bad comedy.  However, I can imagine similar age difference might have been common in the time of the bible story.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Peek Inside the Book - Red Clocks

When I was deciding to come back to the blog I was looking through all the blogging memes that the blogs I read follow. I had done Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 a handful of times, but over at Mixed Book Bag, JC merged them together and I really like that idea.  So borrowing from her I'm going to start linking up to both Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader and The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading Red Clocks by Leni Zumas 

It Begins: 
Born in 1841 on a Faroese sheep farm;

The polar explorer was raised on a farm near

In the North Atlantic Ocean, between Scotland and Iceland, on an island with more sheep than people, a shepherd's wife gave birth to a child who would grow up to study ice. 

On Page 56:
Those days at the Perfects' are probably a little different from those days on the hill.
On top of making dresses, Jessica knits sweaters out of local Shetland wool for all four children.
Cans jam from the wild berries they pick.
Home-cooks their wheat-free, dairy-free meals.
Chicken nuggets and string cheese never cross her threshold.

Before each chapter we get these snippets from the biography one of the characters is working on while she is working as a teacher in this small town.  The other main characters are a mother of 2, a high school student, and the crazy woman who lives in the woods.  It's a story about a version of the US where women can be charged with murder for a miscarriage, they can't get abortion and IVF is no longer allowed. There's a Pink Wall so don't think about trying to get to Canada. These are stories about these four women and how they are dealing with pregnancy in a country who has laws condemning women