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Old 09-05-2019, 06:58 AM
 
4,724 posts, read 4,417,821 times
Reputation: 8481

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
I just minutes ago finished reading Wanderings by Chaim Potok.

This book was a history of the Jews, from Ur (Abraham's birthplace) to Entebbe. I gave the book three stars despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found large parts of it worthwhile. Several reasons:

1) The treatment of the last 170 years of Jewish history was overly compressed;
2) Very short shrift was given American Jewish history;
3) The treatment of Islam focused on its "golden era" in Spain, not the far more representative periods of extreme violence and bloodshed. Think September 11; and
4) The author thoroughly trashes the period of history known as The Enlightenment.

The book, as it must, focuses heavily on the ups and downs of pre-Diaspora life in the Levant. That portion of the book was extremely good. Potok seems to take the point of view that Jewish life, at that point, transferred to Europe, and at that point Jewish life died at first a slow, than an accelerating death. He views the Enlightenment era as a disaster.

That is problematic. The pre-Enlightenment period was horrific. And when the Enlightenment first spread to England and then America, the results were extremely positive for the Jewish people. There is no question in my mind that the European interlude was a barely mitigated tragedy and disaster. He does give very good, even humorous examples of the totally crazed nature of Catholic religious belief and other fringe Christian beliefs of the Middle Ages.

Inexplicably, he barely mentions the Protestant Reformation and does not at all mention the Gutenberg Press. Overall, the book was well worth the month I spent in reading it. Was it perfect; hardly.
Thank you for this. I don't think I have it in me now to tackle this but it really looks so interesting.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,025,722 times
Reputation: 28903
I read The Rules of Inheritance: A Memoir by Claire Bidwell Smith. Oh boy. She cried. I cried. She cried some more. I cried some more. Suffice to say that it was heartbreaking and it definitely spoke to me in a big way, especially the relationship that she built with her father after her mother died. I didn't love how she skipped around in ages but that's a small complaint and mostly only a (slight) problem for me because I didn't read it in huge gulps (there are just so many tears that I can shed in one go). At times it was a bit repetitive but I get it -- there were points that she wanted to hit home. They did. Her story is terrifically lovely and terribly sad.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:59 AM
 
Location: New York Area
35,045 posts, read 16,995,362 times
Reputation: 30168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayvenne View Post
Thank you for this. I don't think I have it in me now to tackle this but it really looks so interesting.
It is. In the nature of full disclosure it took me exactly 30 days to read its 516 pages so it is a commitment. I was originally going to read it in segments because the book so lends itself but I decided "what the heck" and finished it. I am now reading The Imam's Daughter by Hannah Shah. This is a book written in pseudonym form about a Pakistani 16 year old who fled her parents in Great Britain to avoid being stuck in an arranged marriage in Pakistan. A very similar story is Infidel byAyaan Hirsi Ali. In that book the protagonist Somalian fled from an arranged marriage in Kenya, where the family was already taking refuge, to West Germany, then to Netherlands, then to U.S.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:21 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV, U.S.A.
11,479 posts, read 9,141,481 times
Reputation: 19660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
Darn library, Machines Like Me came in, so I'll need to read in double time.
Loved it.

...
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,254,661 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
Darn library, Machines Like Me came in, so I'll need to read in double time.
I really liked this one.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,254,661 times
Reputation: 3809
I'm reading The Yellow House, a memoir by Sarah Broom set in New Orleans before and after Katrina. I'm hooked.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/b...rah-broom.html
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,025,722 times
Reputation: 28903
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerlily View Post
I'm reading The Yellow House, a memoir by Sarah Broom set in New Orleans before and after Katrina. I'm hooked.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/b...rah-broom.html
Thanks for mentioning this. It's now on my "to read" list. I am certainly devoted to memoirs.

On this rainy and cool day, I'm going to start The Hotel Neversink by Adam O'Fallon Price.

I absolutely LOVED his earlier book The Grand Tour so, although a novel, and although a novel that wouldn't typically appeal to me from its blurb, I still have high hopes for The Hotel Neversink just based on the author's writing style alone.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Southwest Suburbs
4,593 posts, read 9,194,898 times
Reputation: 3293
Reading The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, and their race to save the world's most precious manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer

Last edited by Chicagoland60426; 09-07-2019 at 01:42 PM..
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,254,661 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Thanks for mentioning this. It's now on my "to read" list. I am certainly devoted to memoirs.

On this rainy and cool day, I'm going to start The Hotel Neversink by Adam O'Fallon Price.

I absolutely LOVED his earlier book The Grand Tour so, although a novel, and although a novel that wouldn't typically appeal to me from its blurb, I still have high hopes for The Hotel Neversink just based on the author's writing style alone.
I have The Hotel Neversink on hold.
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:06 PM
 
829 posts, read 411,855 times
Reputation: 940
Thought I would like this one more than I actually did "The Library of Lost and Found" by Phaedra Patrick https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...lost-and-found

I'm only giving it 2 stars.
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