Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Name is Mary SutterMy Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book to be compelling. At the time I was reading two other books. This one I could only read for short periods because of the subject matter. I would get so caught up in the war or the surgeries that I would forget to breathe. I had to put it down and walk around.
It was wonderful to find a book in which the protaganist was not tall,thin, blonde with voluptuos lips,and hair the color of honey.I like that Mary was sturdy, determined and had uncontrollable hair.
I found her struggles and determination extraordiary. Yet she was caring and vulnerable. Her way of seeking the fulfilment of her ambition in defiance of the times is amazing. The history of nursing, the unpreparedness for war of the United States, the lack of surgical knowledge all fascinated me. The wildness of Albany New York and Washington DC shocked me. The lack of knowledge about the role sanitation plays in health made me shudder.
I learned so much from this book but mostly I felt the horror of war. Oliviera's juxtaposition of midwifery and amputation made the latter all the more horrible. By leaving out the details of the battlefie, Oliviera concentrates on the chaos of the battlefield and the aftermath of the battle.

I wonder if more of us read the horrors of actual combat, would we be so blase when the President sends our young men to war? Would we have more compassion for presidents if we understood how Lincoln fretted and felt that he was losing his mind? Would we tolerate the way our injured are cared for? Would we have more compassion for our soldiers that return from the battlefield?
Good book............

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The words that come to mind are : haunting,violent,cruel,captivating. I cannot believe this is YA.

A movie is already cast. No, no, not Woody Harrelson..............Some books should be left to the imagination.....

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Paris WifeThe Paris Wife by Paula McLain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not know what to think when this book was chosen by my book club. I do not like Hemingway's writing and often question why he was chosen to represent the best of American authors in so many classes I took in college.

I do not usually like non fiction books. But then I found out that this was a fictionalized account of their marriage; so that made it a little easier to read.

The discussions at book club started as everyone came into the room Many conversations were carried over from the car rides to the meeting.

It was interesting to see the different attitudes members had toward Hadley. The words traditional, over her head, and not included were used often.Almost to a one no one cared for Hemingway as a writer but each of us was captured by his personality from beginning to end.

We were all disgusted by how much the characters drank, how totally self involved they were and how rich the rich could be.

We did think that this book gave a good contrast of definitions of the word "hedonism" and "victorian".

A lively discussion broke out over who needed whom the most-Would he have been as dedicated had he not had Hadley. Would she ever have left home had she not had Hem.And also over him leaving her out in his novel....

I loved the book.It is a good book for discussion. Plus now I think I want to read his short stories to see if I can find her influence in his writings.

It also lead me on a two hour internet search about Hemingway and Pauline, Hemingway and Spain,and literary criticism of his works.

I think he would be furious to find that she has become a person of interest.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why would anyone want that?

Usually I lose things. You know...can't find my keys, can't find the knit pattern I was just looking at. Normal everyday irritating things. Things that by tomorrow I will have forgotten and moved on to more things I have misplaced,ike my glasses or my drink.

But today I walked out my front door with the dogs and my planter with red petunias is gone. I did not move it. I know I saw it yesterday. Who would want it?

 The petunias are holding on my their last root. We had such hot weather a couple of weeks ago they almost fried. Bedraggled would be the word to describe them. I had not pulled them up and thrown them out because I felt they were strong and brave to withstand the heat and depend on someone like me to take care of them.Next to them is a planter with nice green ferns.Why not take that one? Why not take the stand they were on? Weird.

This one of those "life puzzles" that will never have an answer.

 These little annoyances are what keeps life interesting I guess. You know the pitiful thing? Our dogs that we got so they would make noise, made noise and we ignored them.

So we went to the back patio, found the red petunias in the same kind of planter that was taken and placed it, bedraggled petunias and all, on the planter stand on the front walk. Like it never happened.........

Life goes on at our house minus one planter of brave red petunias.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter at St. Matthews

We attend a beautiful Lutheran Church in downtown Charleston. I never really realize how much its beauty impacts my worship life until we go to a different church. Other churches, although beautiful in their own way do not inspire the tranquility and peace in my soul that  this one does.
I don't know if it is the high ceilings of the Gothic design that makes me feel that my prayers go higher, or the ornate windows that serve to keep out evil, the memories, or what; but St. Matthews bring peace to my soul. Long ago when we lived here the first time, I often came early to choir rehearsal  or a service just to sit in the sanctuary and reflect.

We moved back here and spent months going to other churches looking for a church home. Then I realized I was looking for St. Matthews closer to my home. At first I thought it was the music that I missed, but no other churches had organs, choirs and hand bells. then I thought it was the windows that I missed, but no all churches have windows. Maybe the pastor? No we have been through numerous pastors and St. Matthews is still St. Matthews.
I finally decided there is a particular smell, a unique light and a sense of well being that is here that resonates within me. Here is my church home.

Saturday, January 8, 2011