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review 2017-11-24 03:16
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #8; Book #1
The Jews in America: The Roots, History, and Destiny of American Jews - Max I. Dimont

Book themes for Hanukkah: Any book whose main character is Jewish, any story about the Jewish people –OR– where the miracle of light plays a significant part in the stories plot.

 

See also previous update here.

 

Disclosure:  I obtained the Open Road Media Kindle edition of this work when it was offered free on Amazon.

 

 

I had read Dimont's Jews, God, and History close to thirty years ago; the paperback copy is on the family room bookcase right now.  When Open Road Media offered three more of his volumes last year, I eagerly downloaded them.  This was the first I've read, however.

 

He traces the history of the Jews in America from the arrival of the first dozen or so in 1654 through the various waves of immigration and how those waves effected a unique transformation of the Jewish culture into the latter part o fthe twentieth century.  That much was to be expected.  What I found interesting was the fact that Dimont demonstrated how the experience of being American/Americanized contributed as much to that transformation as, and maybe even more than, just the influx of Jews from other backgrounds.  I recognized a lot of characteristics from my own family.

 

I learned a great deal and will try to make time to read the other Dimont books from Open Road.

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-11-24 00:22
Reading progress update: I've read 57%.
The Jews in America: The Roots, History, and Destiny of American Jews - Max I. Dimont

 

 

Whereas the communists viewed socialism as scientific materialism, the Jewish socialists thought of it as ethical humanism. They were impelled toward their social goals by moral indignation rather than by rational hate.

Dimont, Max I. The Jews in America (Kindle Locations 2134-2136). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.

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text 2017-11-23 22:00
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #2; Task #2

Tasks for Bon Om Touk: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you're living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture of your favorite spot on the shore / banks / beach / at the nearest harbour.

 

 

I live in the desert, so bodies of water larger than a puddle are few and far between.

 

Occasionally we have a torrential rain that turns a normally dry wash into a raging torrent.

 

People laugh when they come here and see signs on the road that say "Do Not Cross When Flooded."  This was the street in front of my house this past July.  The water is probably two feet deep; the current is strong enough to carry away a passenger car.

 

My kids live on opposite coasts, one in Seattle, the other in New Jersey. 

 

I hate to say it, but a lot of the water in Puget Sound is pretty, um, yucky.  It does have some pretty scenery, though.

 

 

This is the lighthouse at Lime Kiln Point State Park, Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, Washington, taken during a visit I made there in 2013.  We were on a little "whale watching" cruise, during which we saw no whales, but lots of seals and eagles. 

 

At the other side of the country is Cape May, New Jersey, the country's oldest seaside resort.  Its Sunset Beach on the western (Delaware Bay) side of the cape is the source location for Cape May "diamonds.

 

 

 

Not really diamonds at all, they are water-worn pebbles of remarkably clear quartz.  Fine specimens can be faceted for jewelry just like "the real thing."  After collecting some during a trip in 2012, I went walking further down the beach and ended up getting caught in the storm seen approaching in the previous picture.  I was about five steps from my car when the sky opened up and totally drenched me in just a few seconds.

 

 

 

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text 2017-11-23 21:23
16 Festive Tasks | Square 4 - Thanksgiving Day!
The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season



Square 4 | Thanksgiving Day Tasks:
List of 5 things you’re grateful for –OR– a picture of your thanksgiving feast; post your favourite turkey-day recipe. –OR– Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it.


Last year around this same time, I made use of a Top Ten Tuesday meme to post a list of things I am grateful for.  I went back to reread that list and found that not much has changed over a year.  I am, and continue to be, grateful for many of the items I listed in 2016: family, friends, books, food...

So coming up with a brand new list seems a bit repetitive.  But that doesn't diminish the fact that I am still thankful for all of those same things.

Instead of listing all of those lifelong "thanks," I mainly wanted to give a short ramble about some of the things I feel strongly about being thankful for, specifically related to this year, 2017.  In failing to actually come up with a list of 5 items, I am also going to post a picture of a new book I treated myself to, a la "Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book," at the end of this post.


There have been a lot of changes this past year, ranging from my younger brother getting married, to my father retiring, to my youngest brother soon-to-be graduating with a Master's degree status...  My cousin also graduated from Pharmacy school.  More cousins are getting engaged.  And my cousin's little boy turned one year old a couple months ago.

I will forever be thankful for family, and all the joy and activity that family brings to my life.  There are so many things to be proud of this year!


In my own personal life, I have made changes that will hopefully benefit me in the long run.  A new job, a new lifestyle, a new chance to get myself and my life on a new journey.  A new set of coworkers who are wonderfully nice people.

I am certainly thankful for opportunities, and the freedom to have opportunities and choices.

 

 

Some recent events make you think about life and how fragile life can be.  We've had a lot of natural disasters reported about this past year, ranging from tropical storm and hurricanes to fires.  We've had some not so natural tragedies as well.  And while not on the same global level of devastation, my own personal life came upon an event that was quite jarring, in itself.

I am grateful for life, for the little things that life affords you, for the small bits of luck, or even any greater power that may or may not keep us in good health.  I will continue to thank each day that passes, and not take the little things for granted.


Along with changes and events, the people in my life have always been wonderful about being supportive.

I'm thankful for my friends and coworkers, former coworkers, for being understanding and supporting of my most recent job change.  I'm thankful for my family for being there to get me through any and all scary events.  I'm thankful for wonderful relationships, online and off, when you really just need words of encouragement in order to move forward.  I am thankful for all the great listeners and the sincere advice I get from everyone when I'm feeling a little lost or trapped.


And finally, I'm thankful for the fur babies, the little ones who don't ask questions and accept you for who you are, and who will always just want to love you and cuddle and play, and all-in-all, just make a long, stressful day worth it when you come home and see them waiting for you, always happy to see you, always ready to bring joy.

Silly Baby is silly.

 

Tired Baby is tired.


Well, look at that!  I DID come up with five things after all.


Nonetheless, on a less sentimental and less serious note:

Being thankful for myself, I went and bought a book!  Obviously!

 


Using some of that e-book settlement money everyone was granted a while back (mine totaled somewhere in ~$5!), I went to the bookstore and bought Laura Griffin's newest Tracers release!  I probably could have bought more books, but I usually try not to go on book buying sprees anymore... unless they involve such niceties as "Fill a bag for $5.00!"

I had been planning on buying this book anyway after it's release, to add to my collection of Laura Griffin paperbacks.  So it's money well spent!

And yes, I may be popping open a bottle of wine this week for the holidays... or just because.  And also, please ignore the little liquor bar our family has going on in the background there...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Hope you all have a great holiday!

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/11/16-festive-tasks-square-4-thanksgiving.html
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review 2017-11-23 20:56
A haunting we will go, a haunting we will go...
Love Wanted - John Inman

What I thought would be a sweet and different story for me just turned out to be a train wreck.  I thought the concept for this one sounded different and interesting but when I got to it...for me this just didn't work. I really couldn't buy into the whole concept of why Mr. Stanhope was doing what he did...even suspending my disbelief my brain still said..."Nope, not a chance...this is so bogus." I just couldn't get my brain around it and then there was the ghost...I've read a few books with ghost in them and I knew there was one in this book but damned if I could buy into all the stuff that this ghost could do and quite honestly I really didn't care for him...nor did really care for most of the characters in this story...so in a nutshell, this one just wasn't working for me on a whole lot of levels.

 

What it comes down to for me is that sometimes a story can be hit or miss and this time around it was definitely a miss but on the upside I got to listen to a new narrator and....

 

Truthfully for me the best part of this book and probably the reason I finished it was that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by new to me narrator Eziekiel Robison who did an awesome job with the narration on this one and I honestly enjoyed listening to him as he read this book. I liked his voices and the fact that he kept them unique, clear, expressive and consistent all combined to give me an enjoyable listening experience and even thought the story didn't work well for me...the narrator did just fine and I look forward to enjoying future books narrated by Mr. Robison.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Love Wanted' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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