Pithy quotes from our current reading which give us pause to reflect

Found it. And I see I had marked the same passage in my copy! If only I could remember all the great things I’ve read!!

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It only gets worse. But be sure to read on to the next blurb on Will for contrast. Funny I didn’t do so right away. This book requires time to digest.

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Last night when I woke early to use the bathroom I reached for The Chosen. I can see now it will not be a book which is content with a relationship consisting only of a chapter per night to send me off to sleep. Read the first section and I’m hooked. A whole other world with compelling, even fascinating characters. Great story! More later, my wife is ready for our morning walk.

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Thanks! Come to think of it, I think it would be a good one for my sons to read with me. maybe I’ll break that out again

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I thought about you and your sons and your father. The way the more orthodox friend (with the more secular interests) feels duty bound to accept an inherited religious position struck me as being an exaggerated representation of the duty any son must feel to preserve the faith of his much loved and religious father. That the less orthodox friend also has secular interests but is more drawn toward taking on the role of rabbi puts me in mind of how coercive parenting can have the effect of driving their kids away from what they want too desperately. Makes wonder how often fathers over-sell that faith, covering over their own doubts.

Also, interesting to see that even Judaism has its denominational fracturing.

Well now I am mourning the end of The Chosen, @Randy. That book pulls you in and drives you forward. Only once did I put a tiny dog ear on a page (217) I thought I might want to quote; but wouldn’t you know it, that was exactly what you had already quoted.

Wow, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be raised in such a careful, intensive way as both the friends had been in Jewish faith. The degree of effort and focus the fathers put into it is amazing. I’m sure this is not a uniform experience for everyone in that faith but still, how inspiring.

While I can’t directly relate to that sort of upbringing there was another theme I could relate to, the value and importance to the soul of listening to silence and not depending on having everything put in words. Language and rational analysis doesn’t require any input from the soul. Sometimes pain is required to discover there even is something greater to know than what can be decoded in language. That was true for me as well. Fortunately hard knocks were there when I needed them or I would have missed everything.

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Thoroughly enjoyed the graphic memoir The Best We Could Do which Thi Bui wrote and drew. I’ve never been so taken or moved by this genre before. Story of a young woman who apparently lives and teaches English and Art in my city and many of the drawings placed here were immediately recognizable. The tale of how her family escaped from Viet Nam after the North took over. Interesting to get this personal point of view of that period of history through the eyes of a young girl. But even more so I found watching her acquire the insight to admire what all her parents went through to save them, and forgive them for the ways in which the experience damaged them.

The other book that became available for me is David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Read the first few pages and liked the writing. In reviewing it, Steven King said there were two great books written here in the last 50 years, Vonnegut’s Catch 22 was one of them and this the other. We shall see. But the book is so heavy I worry about holding more than 1000 pages up with my arthritic hands. I’d better load up on Turmeric and Valerian cream.

@Mervin_Bitikofer, I never got around to writing anything about A Canticle for Leibowitz. I enjoyed it but found the huge span of time over the three sections off putting as it forced me to abandon one cast of characters after the next. My biggest take away this time was to note how the “great simplification” which erased the state of learning and technology after the first nuclear apocalypse in the story reminded me of what we are going through now with so many rejecting the level of expertise that is available to us for their own gut appraisals of everything from masks to vaccines to rejecting the political practices which allow for a peaceful transfer of power. It as though we no longer want to conserve much of anything. Everyone’s offhand opinion is valued equally with anyone’s accumulated learning. We should only hope that an early simplification doesn’t somehow trigger the erasure of culture which in the book was caused by fear and tribalism that triggered the use of weapons of mass destruction.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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