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text 2020-07-18 19:38
John Lewis, R.I.P.
March: Book Three - John Lewis,Nate Powell,Andrew Aydin
I had planned last night to start reading Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism for my buddy read with T-A and BT, but news of John Lewis's death pushed me instead to finish reading his great March trilogy. I was broadly familiar with its outlines, but reading and re-reading the volumes gave me an opportunity to reflect on what his life meant.

John Robert Lewis was born in Alabama in 1940. His parents owned a farm, yet still struggled to make ends meet. Young Lewis grew up in a South still fully governed by Jim Crow laws; the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education did nothing to change the impoverished and segregated school he attended. Much, much more needed to be done.


And this is what Lewis did. While attending the American Baptist Theological Seminary he participated in the Nashville Student Movement, taking part in their sit-ins at local businesses to pressure them to desegregate their facilities. In 1961, Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders, and he and the others were attacked repeatedly for engaging in perfectly lawful activity. He was also arrested numerous times, and was even imprisoned at Parchman Farm for a month. Yet his sacrifice and the sacrifice of his fellow protestors had an effect. People everywhere were paying attention.


In 1963, as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was one of the “Big Six” who organized the famous March on Washington. He spoke that day, though he toned down his speech under pressure from the others. The following year, he organized as well the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and in 1965 participated in the march at Selma, where he and hundreds of other protestors were attacked by state troopers. He carried the scars he received on his head from their beatings for the rest of his life.


When I consider everything he went through, I cannot helped but be moved by the enormous moral strength and personal courage that he demonstrated. It was a fight that he never gave up on waging personally, even after he won a seat in Congress. Just this year he shared his lessons with the BLM protestors, who have experienced much the same treatment he did six decades ago. Instead of despairing about the slow pace of change, he expressed his optimism for how others were exercising their moral power, saying to one interviewer, “It was so moving and so gratifying to see people from all over America and all over the world saying through their action, ‘I can do something. I can say something’. And they said something by marching and by speaking up and speaking out.” His words reminded me of the lesson contained in Dr. King’s famous quote about the the long arc of the moral universe bending towards justice. Fighting for change is a lifelong struggle and we may not enjoy its fruits, but we will leave our world a better place than it was when we were born into it. That is certainly what John Lewis showed us.

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review 2020-06-20 10:57
Right With Me (A With Me in Seattle Universe Novel) by: Stacey Lewis
Right With Me (A With Me in Seattle Universe Novel) - Stacey Lewis




Right With Me by Stacey Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's funny to me how kid's change the dynamic of a story. My personal opinion is that children give more depth to the emotional aspects. They bring out a vulnerability that is sometimes overlooked. Lewis invites hearts into the captivating moments with unforgettable characters that are as intriguing as they are irresistible.

View all my reviews


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review 2020-04-13 02:03
This was sweet...but it just didn't pack the feelz that I was expecting...
Change of Address - Jordan S. Brock,Daniel James Lewis

After months in a VA Hospital in Washington, Michael Baldwin and his service dog Kaylee head to his families summer home on Hartsbridge Island to try and get on with his life. A head injury sustained during his enlistment has left Michael with PTSD, aphasia and other cognitive issues.


The last thing he needs is a father who wants to cash in politically on what happened to his son during his deployment overseas by parading him around like a show pony. Ironically it's because of his father's machinations that Michael encounters what he truly does need...a kind and gentle man who wants to feed not just his body but his heart and soul. 


Josh's life hasn't exactly gone according to plan...but then for Josh the plan was never very clear to begin with. Dropping out of high school to care for his father and help run the family business was only suppose to be a temporary thing but somehow it's become Josh's life and he's ok with that. Josh doesn't consider himself to be much of a cook unless it's bagels and breakfast on the menu. Add in the fact that Josh has a couple of issues of his own and you'd almost wonder how these two came to be. 


There was a lot about Michael and Josh that worked for me. In general they both felt like someone that you meet out there in the real world they had their good traits and their bad. They were flawed like any average person.  But they also saw the best in each other. For me the characters had a very genuine and real feeling about them. 


The other thing that stood out for me in this story was the dichotomy of Michael's relationship with his father versus the relationship between Josh and his father. Ironically the one thing that also didn't work as well for me as it could have is that the issue between Michael and his father felt like it needed a bit of a clearer resolution although when it comes to family issues the resolutions are often not as clear as we would like them to be. So while this needed more clarity in it's own way the resolution felt realistic enough to be believable.


Unfortunately in spite of the fact that overall I enjoyed this story and I liked both of the MCs as well as some of the secondary characters and while the narrator...Daniel James Lewis is a new to me narrator who really delivered voices that for me matched and suited each of the characters helping to bring them to life.


While everything worked in theory and the story held the potential to pack such an emotional punch somewhere along the way things just fell short and what I had thought would be an 'I love it!!!' story turned out to be a case of 'This was a sweet story and I enjoyed listening to the audio book.' so all in all still not a bad thing by any means.' 


"Change of Address" was originally intended to be the first book in the 'Heartsbridge Island' series, however, it's been four years since it's release so I'm not sure whether there is more to come with this series or not but this story can easily be read as a standalone with a solid HEA ending, so if there's more to come that's cool but if not readers can comfortably stop at this story and not feel like they're left hanging with unanswered questions.



An audio book for "Change of Address" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-04-02 00:00
The Screwtape Letters
The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis I read this in two sittings. It would have been better to read a letter a time I think. Makes you think about how you live and have lived. Good for Lent
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review 2020-03-31 08:21
O Frabjous Day!
O Frabjous Day! - Lewis Carroll

I am not overly familiar with Lewis Carroll's work since I never liked Alice in Wonderland too much (the movies, never read the books). His poetry was completely new to me, but after I recently read Edward Lear's nonsense poetry (which was being compared as similar to Lewis Carroll) I was not looking forward to reading O Frabjous Day!. But, every week a Little Black Classics means reading one every week, so here we are.

My expectations were really low for this one, but I found it made at least way more sense than the Lear poems. Some of them still didn't resonance with me at all. But the hunting of the Snark was kind of nice, even though the rhyming was very nursery rhyme-y.

~Little Black Classics #106~

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