...never judge a book by its movie

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry - BOOK REVIEW

The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry
Title:  The Whipping Club
Author:  Deborah Henry
Publisher:   T. S. Poetry Press
Release Date:  February 15, 2012
Hardcover, 345 pages
ISBN 13:  9780984553174
The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

Inspired by her heritage and research of the Irish Industrial School system, Henry’s auspicious debut chronicles a couple’s attempt to save their son from horrific institutions.

Marian McKeever and Ben Ellis are not typical young lovers in 1957 Dublin, Ireland; she’s Catholic and teaches at Zion School, and he’s Jewish and a budding journalist. The two plan to wed, but their families object to an interfaith marriage. And when Marian becomes pregnant, she doesn’t tell Ben. Coerced by Father Brennan (a Catholic priest who is also her uncle), Marian goes to Castleboro Mother Baby Home, an institution ruled by Sister Paulinas and Sister Agnes where “sins are purged” via abuse; i.e., pregnant girls are forced to mow the lawn by pulling grass on their hands and knees. Marian is told that her son, Adrian, will be adopted by an American family. The riveting storyline provides many surprises as it fast-forwards to 1967 where Marian and Ben are married and have a 10-year-old daughter. Marian’s painful secret emerges when she learns that her son was dumped in an abusive orphanage not far from her middle-class home and Sister Agnes is his legal guardian. Thus begins a labyrinthine journey through red tape as the couple fight to regain their firstborn child. Ultimately, 12-year-old Adrian is placed in the Surtane Industrial School for Boys, which is rife with brutality and sexual abuse at the hands of “Christian Brother Ryder.” Though unchecked church power abounds, this is not a religious stereotype or an indictment of faith. Hateful characters like Brother Ryder are balanced with compassionate ones, such as a timid nurse from the Mother Baby Home. Father Brennan deepens into a three-dimensional character who struggles to do what is right. Henry weaves multilayered themes of prejudice, corruption and redemption with an authentic voice and swift, seamless dialogue. Her prose is engaging, and light poetic touches add immediacy. For example, when Marian returned to Mother Baby Home after 11 years, she “opened the car door and stepped onto the gravel, wanting to quiet its crunch, like skeletons underneath her shoes.” Echoing the painful lessons of the Jewish Holocaust, Henry’s tale reveals what happens when good people remain silent.

A powerful saga of love and survival.


My Take: 

This is a tale of the injustices wrought by the Irish Industrial Schools and orphanages in the 1950's and 1960's.

Marian, a teacher at a Jewish school, is Irish Catholic and her boyfriend Ben is Jewish.  Shortly before meeting Ben's parents, Mariam finds out that she is pregnant. After a totally disastrous meeting, Marian decides to go to a Mother Baby Home to have her child, who, she is told,  is subsequently given up and adopted by an American family.

Years later, after Ben and Marian have married and become parents to a daughter named Johanna, a nurse from the home visits Marian to tell her that the son she had given up, Adrian, is NOT in America, but is at an orphanage where he is being mistreated.

This novel follows Mariam as she tries to regain custody of Adrian.  It speaks of horrific abuse at the hands of the system, a mother's heartache in having failed her son, and the bias and prejudice that contributes to what is already an unbearable situation.

My feelings:  The novel feels a bit rushed and jumpy at the start, and reads more intellectually than emotionally - the writing is rather detached, and, as a reader, I was not able to connect with any of the characters.  I felt as though I were a dispassionate observer almost through the very end of the novel. If this were a non-fiction title, that would be acceptable; however, as fiction, most readers expect some feeling to come from the pages, especially around the issues that this novel centers around.

Marian imagines prejudice where none exists, and seems very close-minded and selfish.  Her husband Ben rightly believes that there is something a bit "off" about Adrian (and that is understandable, given how he has been raised up to this point).   Adrian is a bit more of a puzzle; I felt more for him, imagining how much worse his life must have felt once he got a true taste of family.

I feel that this novel is a good start towards shining a light on a system which few were aware of, but it could and should have been so much more.

QUOTES (from an eGalley; may be different in final copy):

The girl closed the door behind them and invited Marian to sit down while she herself remained standing, hovering by the door. It was then that Marian realized that the nurse wasn't there for comfort, but to keep her from running.

Sister Agnes told them that it costs to raise the spawn of whores and that orphans had nothing to add to what the state provided for their upkeep.

Writing:  4 out of 5 stars
Plot:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters:  2 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion:   2 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING:   2.9 out of 5 stars

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.

Author page

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository,   and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary eGalley of this title from the publisher through Net Galley to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
Julie
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon - BOOK REVIEW

TLC Book Tours 
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Title:  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Author:  Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Publisher:   Harper Perennial, an imprint of Harper Collins
Paperback Release Date:  February 15, 2012
Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN 10:     0061732478
ISBN 13:  9780061732478
The Book Depository / Amazon

Book description:

Kamila Sidiqi's life changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan. After her father and brother were forced to flee, she became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Banned from school, confined to her home, and armed only with determination, she picked up a needle and thread to create a thriving business that saved their lives.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. A story of war, it is also a story of family, faith, and resilience in the face of despair. These women are not victims—they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation. Kamila Sidiqi's journey will inspire you, but it will also change the way you think about one of the most important political and humanitarian issues of our time.

My Take: 

When you think of Afghanistan under Taliban rule, what do you think of?  Reading this book may well change your thinking, especially about the women there, who, literally overnight, were forced to live under extremely oppressive conditions.

Kamila Sidiq is the second-oldest daughter of a family of 11 siblings.  Her mother and, most especially, her father, strongly believe in education for ALL of their children.  As the Taliban move closer to the city of Kabul, Kamila completes her teacher training, but ends up using it in a fashion that she never envisioned - teaching other young neighborhood women in her suburb of Khair Khana to sew in order to make enough money to feed their families.

In these pages, we are taken through the five years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, where the takeover was so sudden that women and girls in a modern culture where women went to work and school in Western wear, were, in one day, thrust into a world where they could not go outside without a chadri, or burqa, a head-to-toe covering with only a small mesh opening for the eyes.

 
Women and girls were no longer allowed to go to school or work.  Medical doctors were no longer allowed to work with male patients or even talk to their male counterparts. Hospitals became segregated, and women and girls were not allowed to talk to any male outside of their own family members.

As Kamila's father, followed by her mother, leave for the northern provinces for safety (Kamila's father had worked for Massoud, the leader ousted by the Taliban), and her brother Najeeb also leaves to try to find work, Kamila, a teenager herself, becomes the head of a household where funds are running dry.

Rather than giving up and giving in, which would certainly have meant even more deprivation for her family in a city where electricity itself is spotty at best, Kamila finds a way to earn a living selling the clothing made by the light of hurricane lamps.  In doing so, she opens the way for her sisters and for other women and girls in the neighborhood to help their families as well.

This inspiring story of a woman's will to DO something, when even a trip out of the house without a male relative could mean questioning, beating, detainment, or even death, is one that will fan a flame of hope inside everyone who reads it.

Written by Gayle Lemmon, a reporter who visited Afghanistan over a period of years beginning in 2005, this true story is uplifting and illuminating.  As the reader lives and works beside Kamila through these pages, there are moments when you will hold your breath at the dangers faced by her and her family in their attempt to simply make a living.  As Kabul and its outskirts are bombed after the events of 9/11, the dangers are different, but still very real. 

In short, this is a remarkable story; one that will have the reader thinking of it long after the pages are closed.

QUOTES

Kabulis watched helplessly as the Taliban began reshaping the cosmopolitan capital according to their utopian vision of seventh-century Islam.  Almost immediately they instituted a brutal - and effective - system of law and order. Accused thieves had one hand and one foot cut off, and their severed limbs were hung from posts on street corners as a warning to others. Overnight, crime in the monumentally lawless city dropped to almost zero.  Then they banned everything they regarded as a distraction from the duty of worship:  music, long a part of Afghan culture, and movies, television, card playing, the game of chess, and even kite flying, the popular Friday afternoon pastime.  And they didn't stop at actions alone:  Creating a representation of the human figure was soon forbidden, as was wearing European clothing or haircuts.  

Brave young women complete heroic acts every day,with no one bearing witness.  This was a chance to even the ledger, to share one small story that made the difference between starvation and survival for the families whose lives it changed. I wanted to pull the curtain back for readers on a place foreigners know more for its rocket attacks and roadside bombs than its countless quiet feats of courage.  And to introduce them to the young women like Kamila Sidiqi who will go on. No matter what.


BOOK RATING:   4.5 out of 5 stars

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.

Other Reviews:

Book Fan Mary (her review is what made me want this book!)



Author Website



Follow Gayle Lemmon on Facebook and/or Twitter!

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository, through the publisher's website,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary copy of this title from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
Julie
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Memes - In My Mailbox, Mailbox Monday, It's Monday - What are YOU Reading? - March 26, 2012


"Mailbox Monday" is the brainchild of Marcia at The Printed Page.  Martha has closed The Printed Page effective December 18th and set up Mailbox Monday on it's own blog here:  http://mailboxmonday.wordpress.com/

March's host is Anna at Diary of an Eccentric!   Hop on over, link up, and join the fun!

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren

Every week we'll post about what books we have that week (via your mailbox/library/store bought)! Everyone that agrees to participate will try to visit each other's list and leave comments!  Everyone is welcome to join! You can join at anytime and you DO NOT have to participate every week.

I guarantee that you will add to your reading list by visiting the participating blogs in both of these memes!

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by  For review through TLC Book Tours -  (The Book Depository / Amazon) - this is one that I've wanted since it came out in hardcover last year, so I was happy to receive it for review on its release in paperback.

Goodreads description:

For fans of "Three Cups of Tea, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," written by a former reporter for ABC News, tells the story of a fearless young entrepreneur who brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Afghanistan.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - Won from New York Journal of Books -  (The Book Depository / Amazon) - Another that was on my to-buy list!

Goodreads description:

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.




What Are You Reading?

"What Are You Reading?" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  Click over to see what other readers are into this week and add to your TBR pile!

The past two weeks have been super busy, with not a lot of reading and/or blogging being done, but I have determined to use this week to catch up and maybe even get a bit ahead!

READ:

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
 Review Upcoming
The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry
Review Upcoming
The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly 
Review Upcoming
All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann
Book Depository
 Amazon
  Review Upcoming
Shadows Walking by Douglas R. Skopp
Book Depository
 Amazon
Review Upcoming 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Book Depository
 Amazon
  


REVIEWED:  (click the cover to go to the review):

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
3.4 of 5 stars




CURRENTLY READING:
(Click on the cover for the Goodreads page)

The China Gambit by Allan Topol
Hard copy
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2011 edited by Paula Guran
Nook
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Hard copy
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
Kindle


Next to be read on the personal pile (click cover for Goodreads page):

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zukoff
Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess



Next to be read on the hard copy review pile (click cover for Goodreads page):

The Ocean and the Hourglass by Dan O'Brien
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Bitten by Dan O'Brien


FAVE OF THE (TWO) WEEKS:


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

A bit gothic, with two different, yet equally compelling, stories and timelines.  Definitely a must-read!

How was YOUR reading week?  Please leave a link to YOUR "What Are You Reading/In My Mailbox/Mailbox Monday" post(s) in the comments (I'd love to come visit) or simply comment with what your reading week was like!

Julie



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Carry the One by Carol Anshaw - BOOK REVIEW

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
Title:  Carry the One
Author:  Carol Anshaw
Publisher:   Simon and Schuster
Release Date:  March 6, 2012
Hardcover, 253 pages
ISBN 10:     1451636881
ISBN 13:  9781451636888
The Book Depository / Amazon

Indie Next List
March, 2012 Indie Next List
Goodreads description:

This stunning, break-out achievement has already been hailed by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, for presenting “passion and addiction, guilt and damage, all the beautiful mess of family life. Carry the One will lift readers off their feet and bear them along on its eloquent tide.”

Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark, country road. For the next twenty-five years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, connect and disconnect and reconnect with each other and their victim. As one character says, “When you add us up, you always have to carry the one."

Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest tragedies and joys of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to each other than we’d expect. Deceptively short and simple in its premise, this novel derives its power and appeal from the author’s beautifully precise use of language; her sympathy for her very recognizable, flawed characters; and her persuasive belief in the transforming forces of time and love.


My Take: 

In 1983, Carmen, who runs a suicide hotline, is pregnant and newly married to Matt Sloan.   Leaving the wedding in the wee morning hours, Alice (Carmen's sister - an artist), Maude (Matt's sister), Nick (Carmen's brother - a grad student), Tom (a folk singer - married - boyfriend of the wedding hostess Jean), and Olivia (Nick's new girlfriend, also the driver of the car), all doped up and/or drunk, hit a 10-year-old girl on the road and the little girl dies.

This story follows this disparate group of characters and others in the years following the accident.  Although it purports to be about how they "carry the one" (the young girl who was killed) with them in their memories afterwards, as I read, other than one particular character, I didn't get this feeling from them at all.

The main focus is on Carmen and her siblings, children of a famous artist who seems to resent any artistic success had by Alice.

Carmen is actively involved in many social issues. Alice is an artist who falls madly in love with Maude.  Nick is a perpetual student who can't get away from drugs.  Their lives are basically a train wreck, not because of the accident, but because of their own poor choices.

I could not really identify with the characters, but the writing and what I thought would be the storyline did keep me reading to see what happened.  In the end, for me, it didn't feel substantial.  Maybe it was the shifting perspectives in time and/or character, or maybe it was that I simply couldn't find a character to bond with, but I was never fully caught up in the novel.

MAYBE it was because nothing really good happens.  I realize that all of life has bad moments, but life isn't ALL bad, and in this novel, there isn't a bright spot to be found.   Every time I came across what I THOUGHT would be one, my hopes were dashed to the ground.

The writing, however, is impeccable.  For me, the story itself just wasn't enjoyable or compelling, and the wonderful writing style couldn't make up for that.  It will, however, appeal to many other readers, as attested by the fact that the reviews for this one are all over the board.  Readers seem to either love it or feel "meh" about it.

QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy):

For a few years after she came out, Alice essentially got dumped by Loretta, who couldn't see the point of being a lesbian.  In her scheme of things where men were everything, if you weren't one, or attached to one, what was your value?  

Carmen said, "I guess I was looking at everything from the wrong angle.  I didn't think we were breaking up. I thought he and I were just having this interesting conversation about how to be married in the late twentieth century.  And how to go forward, together.  It was kind of like when I had all those parking tickets I was contesting with the city.  I thought that was a lively back-and-forth, too, and then I came out of the house one day and my car was booted."

In order to keep liking Nick (as opposed to loving him, which was non-negotiable), Alice sometimes had to look at him obliquely, or with her eyes half closed, or through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard. Straight on would burn her retinas.

On 9/11:

By mid-afternoon, Carmen was sifting the text for the subtext. "We're through the information-gathering part. The information is now in.  Now they're shaping this for our consumption, imposing a story line. The brave passengers taking the last plane down in the field.  The firemen rushing in heedlessly, answering their call to duty. And pretty soon, they'll get the president ready for his close-up to congratulate us for being Americans.  This huge unprecedented, unmanageable mess, and all the complexity behind it - they're already starting to manage it.  They're making a theater piece out of pure horror so we can watch the unwatchable then get back to the mall."


Writing:  4.5 out of 5 stars
Plot:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters:  3 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion:   2.5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING:   3.4 out of 5 stars
 
BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.

Sensitive reader:  This book contains sexual scenes and references.

Browse Inside


BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository, through the publisher's website,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
Julie
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another talk to have with my son, who could easily find himself in Trayvon Martin's shoes

This is a book blog.  It didn't start out that way, but that's what it evolved into, and I love it.  Sometimes I will relate stories about my children or things that we do (see Prom and Earth Day).  Sometimes I will do a product review and/or giveaway; sometimes I will post an article about a cause or event that I think is worth drawing more attention to. 

NEVER have I posted any sort of political or societal piece; I firmly believe that those types of writings belong on a different sort of blog. But the shooting of Trayvon Martin:

Trayvon Martin
has caused me to search my soul and has revealed fears that I wasn't fully aware that I harbored for my own Bebe Boy James:

Bebe Boy James

I am cross-posting an article that I first wrote as a diary on Daily Kos (link to original diary), because I think that it's important for everyone to get some sort of understanding of the visceral fear that has been stirred up by Trayvon's killing for those of us who are parents of young black males.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a young teen who was shot while walking back to his father's girlfriend's house from the store in Sanford, Florida, I must now figure out how to have "that talk" with my own son.

I first heard about Trayvon Martin when an acquaintance on Facebook put up a video link to a televised interview.  The woman being interviewed was Sybrina Fulton.  Her son Trayvon was visiting his father in Sanford, FL when he was shot and killed on his way home from the store.  In the interview, Ms. Fulton was describing her son as a "regular kid" who liked to play sports, eat ... the female interviewer interrupted with "chicken?".  The male interviewer tried to clean it up with "anything and everything", but the racial overtones were insensitive at best.  I rolled my eyes at yet another person showing their ignorant side.

But I decided to read up on the incident that led to this interview.  I Googled, I listened closely to the 911 calls - the one made by the shooter himself as well as the ones made by people who heard some sort of altercation and those who only heard someone calling for help, then whimpering, then a shot.  I listened to the background noise on those tapes.  I wasn't there, but it definitely SOUNDS as though a child is calling for help and then whimpering in the background.  After the shot, that voice is silenced.

My youngest brother was murdered four years ago on his way home from a club (he was 38).  He was giving a girl he didn't know a ride home because one of his friends asked him to (apparently, her boyfriend was very intoxicated and she didn't want to ride home with him).  While he was stopped at a red light, another car pulled up behind him. Four people got out and they pulled my brother out of the car.  There was a fight, one of the guys pulled a knife, and my brother was stabbed.  He managed to get back into his car and drive for almost two blocks before he had to pull over.  He died and we still don't know who his killers were.  We DO know that, according to witnesses,  his killers were white.

I relate the story of my brother's murder only because I want to emphasize that not every white person who kills a black person is someone I would consider a racist.  I have my own suspicions about what happened, but nowhere in my suspicions does race play a part (my brothers are both brown- ... well ... caramel-skinned). He was killed by bad guys who happened to be white.

This is NOT, however, a diary detailing what I think happened and what reason leads me to believe happened in the Trayvon Martin case.  My strong hope is that the shooter is charged and brought to justice.  The heartbreak of these parents demands it.

I'm bi-racial, but fair-skinned, so I have managed to escape many of the assumptions that certain people make on sight about black people.  This also means that I've borne personal witness to the kind of statements that certain people make when they don't realize there's a black person in the room.

I'm also a parent.   I have three girls - 28, 23, and 18, and a boy who is 11.

We parents have many talks with our children - the "birds and the bees" talk, the "people who do drugs are stupid" talk, the "guys who wear pants down to their knees are stupid" talk, the "kids who walk around saying 'mf', 'ho', 'n', and 'b' sound stupid" talk (well, maybe those last two talks are just me).

There are some talks that only parents of black children have.  For me, those talks have been "you can't have C's, because you have to be better than average to get ahead" talk, the "no, you CAN'T walk around talking like that because people will think you're uneducated and ghetto" talk.  My girls used to tell their friends that if they called the house, they had to speak "proper" or I would tell them, "Call back when you learn to speak English" and hang up (yes, I AM that kind of parent).  Right or wrong, I think that there's a certain way to speak to authority and grownups.

If I manage to find another job anytime soon, we'll move right back out of our current neighborhood into a better one, but right now, I live where I can afford to live, and the neighborhood is not the greatest.  I keep my son close to home, and my worries for his safety are easily explained by "we live in the city; I want him safely in sight or calling distance".

All of that aside, I now have to debate whether or not to add another talk to my retinue:  the "how to properly walk through white neighborhoods without being shot" talk or maybe simply the "how to not look suspicious" talk.

I've canvassed with different groups and in GOTV efforts in various areas and suburbs, and I know from personal experience that my brown-skinned co-workers have had the police called on them for walking around the neighborhood going from door-to-door; they've had people call them the "n" word while being told to go away; they've been stopped and even frisked by the police simply for walking around these neighborhoods.  They weren't doing anything wrong; we weren't selling anything, so we weren't violating any type of "no soliciting" laws, but they were still stopped by the police and made to submit to a search, even though the police are always notified ahead of time that we will be in the area door-knocking.  This hasn't happened to me or to our white co-workers (although, to be fair, an elderly person DID call the police saying someone was knocking on their door at dusk and when the policeman responded, he told me "just be careful; we have a lot of older people who worry about strangers at their door when it's not full daylight" before he moved on). Common sense says that this equals racial profiling.  It has its own injustice and is, in its own way, very disheartening.

Trayvon's case now highlights another concern that I have for my young son.  How do I talk to him about this without making him think that ALL white people are going to look at him as suspicious if he's in certain neighborhoods?  What do I say to him to keep him aware without making him dislike people who, to be fair, are half of my own racial makeup?  What do I say?

I keep mulling this over and over in my own head.  Do I tell him, "if someone you don't know is following you, run?".  In Trayvon's case, running made the shooter backtrack, get out of his SUV, run after him, confront him, and then shoot him.   Do I tell him, "call 911 and keep them on the phone as you're trying to get home?"  Do I tell him, "Always keep your hands in plain sight?".  I don't know; I don't know; I don't know.  What do I tell him?

When my daughter was 17, she was walking home from about 10 blocks away when someone in a car started following her for a different reason, catcalling and asking her if she wanted to "party" with him.  She called me and stayed on the phone with me as I ran down to where she was.

Do I tell my son, "Call me and I'll call 911 as I'm on my way there?"

What kind of world is this where I even have to ask myself these kinds of questions?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I just had to share this with you; it's so hard to articulate the "wrongness" I feel when trying to figure out how to warn my son of the dangers inherent in the color of his skin.  I don't know if I'm looking for advice so much as looking for some "reasoning" to give Bebe Boy James that won't make him feel "other" or "worth less".

What a sad state of affairs this is.

Julie

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winning Wednesday - Winners of Ocean Spray Fruit Flavored Snacks!

Ocean Spray Fruit Flavored Snacks
The four winners of 6 boxes (3 of each variety) of Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks as chosen by Rafflecopter:


31 Shannon Baas "Like" the Blog Post  
90 A Ann Casson Leave a Blog Post Comment

Congratulations, winners!  Look for an email from me soon!  Once you reply, I can pass your information on to the sponsor for fulfillment!

Julie




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Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Monday! What Are YOU Reading? - March 12, 2012

What Are You Reading?

"What Are You Reading?" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  Click over to see what other readers are into this week and add to your TBR pile!

Once again, I believe I skipped this meme last week, so here we have two weeks worth of reading and reviews :)

READ:

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Amazon
  
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw 
Amazon 
Review Upcoming
Ivan and Misha by Michael Alenyikov'
Book Depository  
Amazon 
Review Upcoming
The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon
Amazon
Review Upcoming
In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood'
Book Depository 
 Amazon 
Review Upcoming



REVIEWED:  (click the cover to go to the review):
     
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
4.25 of 5 stars
Raised Right by Alisa Harris
3.5 of 5 stars
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
4.3 of 5 stars




CURRENTLY READING:
(Click on the cover for the Goodreads page)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles 
Dickens
Kindle
The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry
eGalley
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Physical copy
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2011 Edition edited by Diane Guran
Nook



Middle Bebe Girl Jasmine got a Nook for me for my birthday at the end of the month, but was so excited about it that she couldn't actually wait until my birthday to give it to me :)  It's very cool in that I've been able to pull my NetGalley books over from Adobe Digital Editions on my PC and read them curled up on my couch instead of sitting in front of my PC, so I'll be getting through them faster!  I still have The Whipping Club on my PC, however, and that just makes it a slower read for me.


Next to be read on the personal pile (click cover for Goodreads page):



Dracula by Bram Stoker

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell ZukoffThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon



Next to be read on the hard copy review pile (click cover for Goodreads page):



The China Gambit by Allen Topol

Shadows Walking by Douglas R. SkoppThe Ocean and the Hourglass by Dan O'Brien


How was YOUR reading week?  Please leave a link to YOUR "What Are You Reading" post in the comments (I'd love to come visit) or simply comment with what your reading week was like!

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