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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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review 2018-04-12 13:05
1,001 Ways To Be Creative
1,011 Ways to Be Creative - Barbara Ann Kipfer

1,001 Ways To Be Creative is a charming little book filled with plenty of ideas, thoughts, reminders and projects to keep your creative juices flowing. The perfect size for the coffee table, desk or bringing along with you in a bag, 1,001 Ways To Be Creative offers a list of starting points, activities and new perspectives for when you are stuck in a rut, just plain bored or looking for a new approach.

When I first got this book I dug right in and started noting which things I wanted to try! I absolutely loved that the very first item on the list is simply "Play." Other items that I tagged included: "Make today the first day of your new hobby," I have a back-list of things I would love to do, "Volunteer for archaeology digs in your area...", this combines my love for outdoors, history and mystery! "Delve into the study of design in nature, called teleology," a new word and something that sounds fascinating, and "Lose your fear of being wrong," a good reminder to tell myself every day. These are not just ideas for artists, but ties to creativity in general, creativity in how you live, work and relate to others as well as nature. Aside from just the list, there are motivational quotes as well as "Inspirations" pages which asks questions as well as some fill in the blank spots. My only wish is that the book came in journal form so I could fill in more of the things that I tried or at least check them off and make some notes!

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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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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