Bible Book Reviews! EXODUS today!

I have no authority to teach you about any of these wonderful books, so if you read on, please take what I say lightly. As a writer I find the Bible an interesting home for allegory, I could decipher every line for a lifetime of endless fun for me, but for you, I can only communicate what I learned. Perhaps you disagree and that’s OK!

Exodus is the story of Moses trying to convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites so they can worship in the wilderness for three days. The word ‘wilderness’ to me is very significant, but I won’t talk about that today. My first notes on this book are below… “Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” -Exodus 5:2 *First, you should understand my thinking that there are two lives we live. One life we live in the world (as a consumer for ourselves), one life we live in the spirit (a giver to others). We can choose to live in one life more than the other.* “To me Pharaoh represents the ‘world’ which constantly distracts us & pulls us away from God (life in the spirit) in every news report, in every advertisement, in every new ‘this’ and new ‘that’. We are perpetually distracted by a world that asks with blatant indifference, ‘who is the Lord?’. Moses here wants to ‘free’ the people who wish to live in the spirit, today we might think of this freedom as a freedom from addiction, freedom from selfishness, freedom from guilt, from arrogance, from pride and cynicism. The world perpetuates all of these qualities by making us blind to what is TRUTH & LOVE. 💕💕💕

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The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Finally finished this! Took me two months!! 🙄 Mostly because every time I picked it up I fell asleep. It didn’t help that I had Ennio Morricone film scores circling in my mind, as I’ve been listening to his arrangements with Yo-Yo Ma on repeat for two weeks. So that music perpetually in my head coupled with excessive imagery and a lack of stimuli completely relaxed me to dozing off in the middle of every chapter. I LOVE Virginia Woolf but this, being her first novel, just wasn’t as compelling as her other work though there were hints of her brilliant style throughout. .

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Pictured is the 1975 London Edition from Hogarth Press—her husband’s press that he owned until 1946. .

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The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself

Just started reading this. The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself. Heard she was very hardcore—visions and mystical occurrences. She was born in 1515 in Spain. She was a Christian mystic, like the monk Luis de Leon (I reviewed his work about a month ago), a category of Christianity under which my own theology falls. The definition has changed some since the sixteenth century. So here goes nothing. ✍️🧐 I’ll review it when finished!! .

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Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️On this rainy day I want to remember one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. It is very different from the film as the book is more like a journal of events occurring on the African farm of Karen Blixen. I think her friendship with Denys Finch-Hatton is the most touching, and the funeral she gave him when he died. In this book she describes rain as a blessing from God, because her coffee farm depended on rain, and they rarely received it. So thank God for rain and for the rainbows to remind us that beautiful relief will come soon after the storm. 🌈 .

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Pictured is a vintage paperback 1965 edition. .

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Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

I set a backdrop of all my previous versions of my first novel, which I could not get published, so I went the kdp route (though I have been traditionally published since). I think I’ve edited it 100 times now (including formatting) and being my first book I’m a little embarrassed by it (hence the pseudonym), but at the same time it is precious to me, because it was my first. Even though my writing style has advanced, changed, and has grown more concise, I love the story and could sit through it 100 more times! I think many authors feel this way about their first book.

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Lynne Truss’ book didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know, though I found it cheeky and entertaining. I was hoping more for advice on when to use an em-dash instead of a comma—stuff like that. I think this book is more for people who might not understand possessives, commas, and the like. Though when to use a comma is still a grey area for me, as I’m sure I use them more than needed. 🤷‍♀️ Anyone get anything good out if it?

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Bible Talk: Brief intro to Genesis

Enjoy these pictures of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit!

Part of Genesis is a lesson about diversity & inclusion.

It is 50 chapters. I have 20 pages of notes on it, but I will try to explain what I got out of it to the best of my ability. I hope I can do it some justice. I hope my words make sense. 😬☕️

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FIRST SENTENCE of the BIBLE:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” -Genesis 1:1-2

And at the end of each day, God saw that what he had accomplished was good. …………………..

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If you’re going to love others, love them with all your heart. If you’re going to work with others, work with all your heart. If you are going to help others, help with all your heart. Feed others with all your heart. Share with all your heart, etc.. You get it. .

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I put the words “(with)others” in there, because it is one way we can incorporate God into the conversation without mentioning His name.

But also, anyone can be a saint when they don’t have to interact with people. It is how we treat each other that really tests our patience, our courage, our strength, & our generosity, we change and grow this way. First line again: “Now the earth was formless and empty.” We too are formless and empty until we interact with other creatures/people and allow ourselves to be tried and tested (change and grow) by the interaction. Only then can we truly find love, find ourselves, and find God. 💕

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There are so many lessons in Genesis. We’d really need a whole week (or more) to discuss them all, and I know most people don’t read everyone’s posts. Consider this a basic summing up. VERY BASIC! If anything the creation story is about diversity and inclusion. .

Pictured is a portion of a Gwen Frostic poem.

Absalom, Absalom! By William Faulkner

⭐️⭐️ Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. Did anyone like it? Anyone? I felt as if I were in that dark shuttered-up parlor the whole time with that old woman character—like for real. That’s how the story was, very dark, not in feeling but rather in what I could see of the story and what I couldn’t. I had to excuse myself more than once from my usual reading spot to hide in a closet or my bedroom only to come away with the slightest gist of Faulkner’s meaning from one paragraph! One paragraph!! The lucidity if the story was as muddy as the window in this picture. (I’ll wash it later). I hated the whole experience. I’ll be honest. But Faulkner accomplished what he set out to do. I admire him for this, as his goal was to make the reader feel lost as they try to navigate the truth of a family’s history based on three 😬different stories told after the fact. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is how I remember it. Please comment below if you have any thoughts on this terrible, yet, brilliant piece. 😄

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I bought this 1951 copy in Brooklyn from a street vendor at which point my brother says, “oooh Absalom, Absalom!, I’ve heard that’s a hard one. He doesn’t use a lot of punctuation.” He was right. I couldn’t resist the vintage Modern Library cover art though.

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