Here's what my five senses have been experiencing...
Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliott
Somehow, I managed to read a review of this book early enough that I was one of the first at my library to request it! Score! This was a great book. If you liked The Red Tent, you'll love this one. This novel takes the Garden, Cain and Abel, and Adam and Eve and puts them in a perspective that you've most likely never thought about before. They were real people, with real emotions, thoughts, actions. I found this book fascinating and an easy read. Once I picked it up, I didn't want to put it down.
Picture yourself as Eve, mother of all, and the one that everyone blames for the banishment from the paradise of the Garden. The angst! The guilt! I think this is where all our mother guilt comes from. (Yes, dear Eve another thing for people to blame on you. As if painful labors weren't enough!)
Would make for great discussion for a women's group or church group.
Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell
I thought this book would scare the crap out of me. The manuscript was found in McDowell's effects after he died. Apparently, I was too scared to read any of his work before. His genre is horror and while I will delve into the occasional Stephen King, somehow this guys work scared me. I picked up this book at a library book sale. I thought D would enjoy it, but somehow it worked it's way into my hands.
And I loved it.
Written from the perspective of Calley Carroll Dakin, the unfortunate daughter of Roberta Ann Caroll Dakin and Joe Cane Dakin. Calley can hear the dead, but according to her, they aren't really worth listening to. But, they are. Calley's father is murdered and her horrible mother takes her to live in Pensacola Florida where they live in a small inn on an isolated island with a cast of odd characters. Calley's gift of hearing the spiritual world helps her to solve her father's murder, but the justice that is found isn't what you might expect.
Mesmerizing, with characters that stick with you long after the book is done, you have to wonder how Tabitha King was so well able to seamlessly end the book that McDowell left unfinished with his death.
The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It by Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar
I'm fascinated by this family. I think, because they are the absolute opposite of me. Eighteen kids and I have one. Extremely conservative and I'm liberal. She's a subservient wife and I'm a full partner in my marriage.
I think the title would best be changed to Blind Faith. For that's what the Duggars live on . I admire that wholeheartedly, for I'm often the Doubting Thomas. No, not doubting in the sense that Thomas was, but I'm much more likely to use the free will and thought that God gifted me with. I often wonder how they can so blindly follow. I've found using scripture for your own needs to be quite dangerous and controlling. Any church or person that asks for blind faith is frightening.
I've studied both the Old and New Testament at the college level. Both of these classes were some of my most difficult (until nursing school, chemistry, etc.) My Bible is dog eared and written in. It's well used. So, I could match verse for verse just about anything that these people hand out. That's not my point, though. My point is that I've noticed that they pick and choose scripture to fit their needs. That they isolate themselves and their children from the world, which they consider evil and filled with temptation.
That's fine, I guess, to each their own, but I often wonder which one of those children will be the one to escape the confines of their family and venture out on their own. I wonder what will happen when they realize that the world really isn't this evil place after all. I wonder if their family will shun them. I wonder how they would see their parents through these new eyes.
If we raise our children up to be good, decent people then they must be challenged. They must be out in the world, evil or not, to find out if our guidance has led them to the right path. If you don't allow them that, then that's your issue. Not theirs.
Like I said, I'm fascinated by these people. I enjoy watching them on TV. I enjoyed reading their book, for to me, it was eye opening. This is important for us all to do. Reach outside ourselves to try to learn more and understand more about others. Unfortunately, I doubt that the Duggars would ever step outside their world to look into mine.
As a side note, the recipes contained within the book are an unbelievable tribute to the power of the can. Cream of whatever soup, pasta, heavy cream, ground meat, canned vegetables. Heavy, rib sticking food, but not necessarily healthy. I'm sure that the point is to fill aching stomachs, but my hope is that these kids are getting more than just filling. I'd love for the Duggars to touch on that in future episodes. Man cannot live on cans alone.
Books on my iPod and the vacuum. I hate to vacuum, so listening to books on helps keep me motivated.
Pansies. I planted my Spring planters last week. Pansies were my Grandpa Hank's favorite flower. It takes me almost an hour, every Spring, just to decide which ones I want to bring home from the garden center. Their little faces are very endearing to me and as I plant them and watch them grow, I remember my Grandpa. His sweet smile and gentle manner still guide me.
Experimental brownies. I'm trying to make a mix more Weight Watchers friendly. I'll post as soon as I get it right.
Lots of junk in the basement. I'm clearing out in preparation for a garage sale. Yuck. I can't believe how much stuff we need to pitch or sell.