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review 2018-04-19 05:23
New beginnings
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

These are four loosely connected but independent short stories set at the start of Yeowe's independence from Werel, after 30 years of revolutionary war. They are the stories of people as different as they can possibly come, coming to terms. With loss, with cultural differences, with a place in society, with the past. They are all also big on starting anew. And, of course, feminism. The right to freedom, to a voice, to vote, to an education, to not be raped. These are all discussed and are an important part of the book, given the planet's recent upheaval and it's heavy history of slavery and male-dominated environment.

 

I found it bittersweet and lovely, and ended up with a huge bunch of quotes saved and a lump in my throat that I know not what to do with. There is so much wrong with this planet, so much hurt, and yet... it is so hopeful. I guess forgiveness is a kind of hope. Another chance. Much like love; another thing that permeates the book and is ever-present in every story.

 

I have closed it, as so many stories close, with a joining of two people. What is one man’s and one woman’s love and desire, against the history of two worlds, the great revolutions of our lifetimes, the hope, the unending cruelty of our species? A little thing. But a key is a little thing, next to the door it opens. If you lose the key, the door may never be unlocked. It is in our bodies that we lose or begin our freedom, in our bodies that we accept or end our slavery. So I wrote this book for my friend, with whom I have lived and will die free.

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text 2018-04-19 04:54
Reading progress update: I've read 270 out of 304 pages.
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

“I was sick to leave my books, and I’ve thought about them, missing them, as if they were my family. But I think maybe I’m a fool to feel that way.”
“Why a fool?” he asked. He had a foreign accent, but he had the Yeowan lilt already, and his voice was beautiful, low and warm.
I tried to explain everything at once: “Well, they mean so much to me because I was illiterate when I came to the City, and it was the books that gave me freedom, gave me the world—the worlds— But now, here, I see how the net, the holos, the neareals mean so much more to people, giving them the present time. Maybe it’s just clinging to the past to cling to books. Yeowans have to go towards the future. And we’ll never change people’s minds just with words.”
He listened intently, as he had done at the meeting, and then answered slowly, “But words are an essential way of thinking. And books keep the words true. . . . I didn’t read till I was an adult, either.”
“You didn’t?”
“I knew how, but I didn’t. I lived in a village. It’s cities that have to have books,” he said, quite decisively, as if he had thought about this matter. “If they don’t, we keep on starting over every generation. It’s a waste. You have to save the words.”

 

“Talk goes by,” I said, “and all the words and images in the net go by, and anybody can change them. But books are there. They last. They are the body of history, Mr. Yehedarhed says.”

 

These speak to the book-lover soul in me

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text 2018-04-17 00:48
Reading progress update: I've read 180 out of 304 pages.
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

Under the Bosses, I ran this hospital. Now a man runs it. Our men are the owners now. And we’re what we always were. Property. I don’t think that’s what we fought the long war for. Do you, Mr. Envoy? I think what we have is a new liberation to make. We have to finish the job.”
After a long silence, Havzhiva asked softly, “Are you organised?”
“Oh, yes. Oh, yes! Just like the old days. We can organize in the dark!” She laughed a little. “But I don’t think we can win freedom for ourselves alone by ourselves alone. There has to be a change. The men think they have to be bosses. They have to stop thinking that. Well, one thing we have learned in my lifetime, you don’t change a mind with a gun. You kill the boss and you become the boss. We must change that mind. The old slave mind, boss mind. We have got to change it, Mr. Envoy. With your help. The Ekumen’s help.”
“I’m here to be a link between your people and the Ekumen. But I’ll need time,” he said. “I need to learn.”
“All the time in the world. We know we can’t turn the boss mind around in a day or a year. This is a matter of education.” She said the word as a sacred word. “It will take a long time.

 

Like always, Le Guin being brilliant, passionate and compassionate at the same time. The context makes this dialogue so damn poignant.

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text 2018-03-28 05:21
Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 304 pages.
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

I've been working like crazy and reading little lately, but I'm slowly listening to this to unwind. It's quiet, and melancholy, and the slow, subtle way feelings change and acceptance comes is oddly lovely.

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review 2018-02-06 07:58
All She Ever Wanted
All She Ever Wanted - Lynn Austin

I didn´t get a change to review this when I finished it.  I think the site was down for maintenance or something.  

 

This book was so good that I have been feeling out of sorts since finishing it.  I miss it.  It is a Christian Fiction that wasn´t a flimsy romance story.  It wasn´t even just ONE story.  It started with one story and then gradually unfolded into several stories that intertwined and slowly revealed a total picture of one family.  No one knew all of the story but when they got together the pieces all fit.  

 

The story starts out with a mother who is having a very bad day.  She argued with her boss and walked out and now thinks she may be fired for it.  She was sitting in her car when she got the call that her teen daughter had been caught shoplifting at the mall.  Her husband decided to send her daughter to a counselor to see if they can help.  The counselor discovers that the daughter is acting out because she wants a closer relationship with her mother.   She said her mother never talks to her and she knows nothing of her mother´s family.  She wishes she knew her grandparents and aunts and uncles but her mom won´t speak of them.  One day in therapy the counselor wants her mother to join in on the session and the daughter pulls out a birthday invitation that had been crumpled up and tossed in the trash.  It was a party her aunt Annie was throwing for her grandfather.  She asked her mother why she doesn´t know her aunt or her grandfather and why she won´t go.  Finally, in an effort to repair her relationship with her daughter she decides to go.  She and her daughter go on a road trip and as they drive she tells her story, the story of her childhood.  

 

That is just the beginning though and as they arrive and meet more people they hear more stories and slowly begin to understand why people behaved the way they did.

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