Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kosher Sex

by Shmuley Boteach

Rating: 4/5
Grade: D - 18 and up

I am just starting the book kosher Sex by Shmuley Boteach. We picked up the book from my late father-in-laws library. It is written by a celebrated Rabbi, looks to be an interesting read about sex in the bonds of marriage.

From the forward, page 5, "...irrespctive of whatever sacrifices marriage entails-and it involves many-marriage and the family are man and woman's greatest source of happiness. No one who marries will ever find someone perfect. In this respect marriage is a statement of deep-seated love for humanity, whereby we love companionship more than we love perfection. Those who hold out for years, dating and discarding people, find perfection more tantilizing than human company. God created each of us missing and essentail component, thereby establishing a lifelong dependecy among us for someone who is prepared to love us despite our flaws and complement our deficiency.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Two-Part Invention; The Story of a Marriage

by Madeleine L'Engle

Rating: 4/5
Grade: C - 14 and up (for cancer, death, drugs)

I have just started Two-Part Invention; The Story of a Marriage by Madeleine L'Engle. It is a memoir about her marriage with her actor husband. Enjoying the read so far, and just wanted to write down bits of it I especially liked:

pg. 18:
"We do not know, and can not tell when the spirit is with us. Great talent or small, it makes no difference. We are caught within our own skins, our own sensibitlites; we never know if our technique has been adequate to the vision."
pg 100:
"The growth of love is not a staight line, but a series of hills and valleys. I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seems to be over. Sometimes those desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing than it could possibly have been without it."
pg. 103:
"But the wonderful thing, whether we are together or apart, is to know that he is in the world, and we belong together. And what I must learn is to love with all of me, giving all of me, and yet remain whole in myself. Any other kind of love is too demanding of the other; it takes, rather than gives. To love so completely that you lose yourself in another person is not good. You are giving a weight, not the sense of lightness and light that loving someone should give. To love wholly, generously, and yet to retain the core that makes you you. "


Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Pearl Diver

by Jeff Talarigo
Rating: 4/5
Grade: D - 18 and up (for suicide, and graphic images of abortion death and disease)

The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo is my most recent read. And yes, I realize that it is not non-fiction. My excuse is that it is for a book club that I am a part of, though I have never actually made it to one of the book discusions. If my husband gets home from work in time to watch the kids, I will go to discuss this book tonight.

The other reason I decided to go ahead and read the book is because it is heavy, no fluff here.

The story is of a young woman, nineteen years of age, who is a pearl diver. Even this aspect of the story I found fascinating; the author describes very well the lifestyle of a pearl diver in the days when it was still done without special equipement. Even in the 40's, which is when this book begins, pearls were harvested in much the same way they must have been for centuries. The girl learns that she has leprosy, and the rest of the book is set in a leprosorium on an island, which has no conctact with the world outside.

I enjoyed the author's writing style, and the way the book is set into sections by artifacts. The story line is laid out by each of these items, and even when years and years of time are skipped, the life of the colony is highlighted well. The horrors of the disease are illuminated with out being dwelt on; as are the deprivation, and inhumane treatments of the patients.

This book is set in Japan, but I assume the life of the leper would be the same pretty much wherever you were. The shunning, the misunderstanding of the disease, the fear. Even when scientific studies, and new medication, would have made it possible for many of the leper's to be reintroduced into society, society was not ready, and according to this book, many of the patients were not able to readjust to life in 'the world' again.

Would reccomend this book without hesitation; though because of the subject matter, and some of the gruesome details - including: abortions, and late stage abortions preformed on the unwilling; suicide; sexual references; death and disease - give it a mature rating.

Quote from the book:

Spoken by the character, Mr. Shikagawa, page 150: "Words are the most important thing we have. A few words, one word, can change history. Imagine the correct words had been spoken by those people who are in charge of our lives. A few well-thought-out words and things might have been different. Unfortunatly they have chosen all the wrong words."


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