Tag Archives: bookreviews

History and B5 and Chanting, Oh My!!!

I’ve finally done (sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to prevent my backposted entries from showing up in the Reader.) sorting through entries in my old LiveJournal.  I hope that lessons I’ve tried to draw from previous ideas, plans and attempts at businesses, cooperatives and community organising can be of use to others.  I’ve tried just a bit to group some entries together from conception to fruition (and often failure, or publication, as the case may have been…) so that a few of my ideas sort of flow-chart a little, or at least show the evolution of how I first day-dreamed, then planned, implemented, and generally failed, but usually wrote up the attempt so that hopefully someone else with a similar idea can learn from my mistakes and go a bit farther than I managed.

As with my DC Black-Jewish Walking Tours, I started by melding the two histories, which was way too big, and looked at how other groups give their walking tours to try to cut down my tours while keeping the essential, and then shared that information (yes, I was severerly criticised by one advisor for not keeping my sources secret, but that goes against my principles), hoping to attract allies and build a cooperative.  That did not work as I’d hoped, but I have left the trail of bread-crumbs for others to build on.

2012-08-13 16:49:00
Loved giving 1st Underground Railroad of DC Tour!!
I loved giving the first tour of my Underground Railroad and Black History series Singing Community Cooperation tours here in DC.
2012-08-15 10:07:00
Interesting points in fascinating book on DC´s 1st race riot
Moreley, in his new book, Snow-storm in August : Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the forgotten race riot of 1835
not only puts together a sound context for the Snow Riots, but also draws together strands which began then, and still define, he claims, our politics today.
I found most striking his juxtaposing of property rights and individual vs. community as well as freedom of speech, and whether free speech is applied best for owners (elites) vs. the people (the 99%).
Excellent book.
http://www.worldcat.org/title/snow-storm-in-august-washington-city-francis-scott-key-and-the-forgotten-race-riot-of-1835/oclc/757466911

Am I the only leyner who has Negro spirituals running through my mind as I prepare my chanting!!?? Often times I feel like a schitzophrenic, trying to integrate the two major parts of my life, my childhood and ethnic background, recalling summers with Grandma at Mt. Zion UMC, juxtaposed against beautiful nigunim to which I felt little access, on the other side of the mechitza (divider between men and women) in Baltimore.
Peace,
“Wayfaring Stranger”

2012-12-02 11:15:00
Star Trek and B5 helped my Torah Chanting, come discuss more SF and ethical values, bring a TV!  Yesterday’s portion had lots of names in it, which I found easier to learn, I argue, because of my experience with words and names in Klingon, and then in Narn and Minbari!  Who says Science Fiction is not practical? 🙂
Kashering Party immediately upon move-in,  kitchen will be kosher pareve-dairy (milchigs …) : I use soy milk.
First Babylon 5 party to be held on the first Sunday in January, provided a TV arrives before then!
Peace,
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 February, 12016 HE

review/revista: Historia de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto Rico

Historia de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto RicoHistoria de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto Rico by Luis M. Soler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This extensive and not easy to read, but well worthwhile history of slavery in Puerto Rico, shows the importance not only of where we have been, but also what tools we have now and how to evaluate them in the light of past and present situations. The author comments that a Cooperative could have saved the small coffee producers of Puerto Rico, though not on whether that would have enabled the liberation of their enslaved workers. Yet this is a step forward in the analysis of both labour relations and the history of People of Color in the Americas.

I now also know that the family of my enslaved 5xGreat Grandfather Miles Manzilla could even have originated in Spain itself, potentially. Our shared origins are important to know, both for understanding why enslaved workers would have defended their masters during Indian attacks, and also in deciding how to relate to our history of enslavement today. What feelings remain to be resolved on all sides?

P. 15 del pdf = P. 21 del libro
La Corona y los esclavagistas se creaban liberales y generosos, evidentemente, pero sus

esclavos no compartieron ese sentimiento!
The Crown and owners thought themselves generous, but their slaves disagreed!

P. 25=32: Ya sabîa Bartolomé de Las Casas pero no de Fray Antonio de Montesinos a favor de los

indigenes.
Dominicans vs Franciscans ??

P.33 Las Ordenanzas No Fueron Cumplidas… (The Orders of the King to protect the

Indigenous/Indian/Native Population Not Obeyed…)

but “Como si los indios fuesen africanos!” -Nice, Thanks. Now I know which part of my blood

sits higher…

P.33=P.40: At least he admitted his error before he died; Al menos se admetîa su error antes

de su muerte.

Updates online… (Courtney, Richard H., Ruth A., Michelle, Thomas and Mel will certainly like

this book, and Akshat Liked an early update…)

P.77pdf=P.86 del documento: The author thinks that a Cooperative would have saved small

producers in PR from the falling coffee prices (due to Cuban overproduction)…

P.109pdf=P.119 book: Pardos must be like me: morenos claros ?

P. 111pdf=P.119 book: Alot of English testimony from ship captains: 14 British citizens sold

into slavery by contrabandists, apparently never freed (though 7 were identified!!).

P. 126 So France had a Black Code, too? Of course, where did the southern colonies/states

(USA) get them from…

3 November, 1839: Pope Gregory XVI condemned the Slave Trade? and Baltimore, and Maryland…

In summary, there was not only lots of Mestisage, but a good bit of back-and-forthing of slaves between PR and the English and French-speaking colonies. Thus, entirely possible that Miles Manzilla, Sr’s family was of Spanish colony origin.

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
18 February, 12016 HE

View all my reviews

Revu/Review: Ma Bible des Huiles Essentielles

Ma Bible Des Huiles EssentiellesMa Bible Des Huiles Essentielles by Danièle Festy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Huiles Essentielles, huiles végétales qui viennent avec et même les voies d’administration pour chaque maladie ! On ne peut pas terminer de lire ce livre, cars c’est trop bon, trop plein et trop utile !

Essential oils, vegetable oils that go with them, and even the best ways to take each oil for every illness! One can never finish reading this book because it is too good, packed full, and useful!

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
12 February, 12016 HE

View all my reviews

Rev: Jour des Fourmis, and Lesson: Biblical Hebrew

First, the review of

Le Jour des fourmisLe Jour des fourmis by Bernard Werber

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found this book disappointing due to the increased spiritualism and preachiness, which his first book in this series touched on, but not nearly as heavily. He also gets a few things wrong that begin to become annoying by the end of the book.

J’ai trouvé ce livre pas a mon gout parce que le spiritualisme et ses efforts de nous dire quoi penser m’ont gêné. Ce n’était pas si lourd dans son premier livre. Aussi, il a raté quelques chose qui me commencé à gêner par le fin du livre.

4 Janvier, 12016 èH

View all my reviews

Now, the Biblical Hebrew lesson:


Look up the Hebrew for the first verse of Genesis (“Bereishit” in Hebrew, which is not even remotely the correct translation!!), here is the first sentence (will find image of where Hebrew keyboard letters are located):

Bereishit/B’reishit/B’reshit 1:1

Bereishit bara Elohim ( et ) haShamaim ve(Et) haAretz.
In Beginning created God (vrb-obj) theHeavens and(vrb-obj) theEarth.

Ok, vrb-obj is what I use for the “word” ET. You’ll notice that it always comes between a verb and the word HA (HA = the, and sometimes the word HA becomes HE in front of words like Harim=Mountains, or other words that also start with an H), the definite article, which, yes, is the object of the verb.

ET is a ‘filler’ word that only tells you ‘here comes a noun which is the object of the verb you just saw’ -so many folks consider the word ET to be useless (the inventors of Modern Israeli Hebrew actually wanted to drop the word ET from Israeli Hebrew grammar!! 😦 For me, ok, yes that does simplify the grammar, but it also means you lose the connection with ancient Hebrew, and also lose an important grammatical indicator, imho…).

I’m sure you can find long comments on the use or lack there of the connector-word ET online probably. I was glad to have ignored my first Rabbi’s advice (ok, the conversion failed, so maybe not so glad back then) and studied both MIH and biblical Hebrew, because now you can see the difference that a little non-word word can make! 🙂

If one has had time to chew on Bereshit 1:1, now it is time to learn by heart the entire Alef-Bet, or just start by learning the letters you need to read that first verse:
Bet,
Resh,
Shin,
Tav (BRShT),
Aleph,
Lamed,
Hei,
Mem Sofit (the final version of the letter Mem: 5 letters change when they come at the end of a word),
Mem, and
Tzadi Sofit (final Tzadi).

Let me start with a story (you can undoubtedly find it online as well):
Aleph, the first letter, wanted to know why the Torah starts with a Bet. If you look at the letter Bet, you see that it is open on three sides, while Aleph is sort of like a slanty H: closed. Bet is also the word that means ‘House’ so starting the Torah with the letter Bet means that the entire Bible is like a home: open and welcoming.
🙂

Also, on YouTube, if you can see videos, The Moshav Band had a video with the words sung pretty slowly, so easy to learn.
My first lesson is to find that video and sing the first verse of the song: Bereshit, Bara Elohim (In Beginning, Created God)
and the next day, or when you have learned those first 3 words, move on to the next verse of the song: Et HaShamaim.

Shira

4 Jan. 12016 HE

Review/Revu: Les Fourmis

Les Fourmis (La saga des fourmis, #1)Les Fourmis by Bernard Werber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don’t kill any more ants!!
This book is worth learning French to read. Honestly. It had me worrying for the fate of an ant by page 40! Fascinating swap of perspectives, and hair-raising cliff-hanger ending. I have the 3rd book in this trilogy, but am anxiously waiting to get the 2nd from the library!

Ne tuez plus de fourmis !
Ce livre vaut la peine d’apprendre le français pour le lire. Vraiment. Il m’a fait soucier pour le destin d’une fourmi avant la 40e page ! Changement impressionnant de points de vues et fin incroyable. J’ai déjà le 3e tome mais j’attends avec impatience le 2e de la bibliothèque !

ShiraDest
22 Decembre, 12015 HE

View all my reviews

Review of Invisible Children: A must read for all American Citizens of voting age

Invisible ChildrenInvisible Children by Mike Tikkanen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Check it out at a library, via Worldcat:
https://www.worldcat.org/title/invisi…

First, “States will also discover that investing in children pays big dividends for better schools, safer streets, and happier communities.”

This is the real problem:
“Because so many of us accept snippets of TV coverage of complex stories as the story, we are unable to understand and evaluate what needs to be done to solve the problem that caused it. We don’t take the time to investigate, and it’s easier to assign blame than to solve complex problems.”

Actionable take-home message:
1. “Draw attention to the importance of adequate mental health services for abused and neglected children in your community.”

2. “It is only learned coping skills and behavior modification that will keep children out of the Criminal Justice System, not medications without therapy.”

and
3. “Let your political leaders know you expect them to provide mental health services in your schools and for abused and neglected children.”

Note: “we would rather build prisons than libraries or playgrounds” yet “countries with the lowest rates of poverty and illiteracy have the lowest crime rates.”

KARA founder presents evidence of what has always been obvious to abused kids:
“Our standards for success in dealing with abused and neglected children are too low. Small achievements seem to warrant a stamp of success. Too soon the state decides: that’s enough of the state’s resources for that one. ”
but
“Pre-school programs are affordable, well run, and common throughout the rest of the industrialized world. Only the U.S. makes early childhood learning and day care unaffordable to poor people.”

Result(s):
“UNICEF found that the teen pregnancy rate in America is twice that of the industrialized nations.”

Children need far stronger community protections, partly because:
“unless a parent kills them, a care-giving perpetrator is not likely to suffer any consequences”
yet:

“If you look, you will see that children are protected, cared for, and educated better in the rest of the industrialized world. … Our systems are not functioning to solve these problems. Many of our institutional policies exacerbate the problems. A lack of resources leads to poorly trained providers and inadequate services. To ignore the inter-relatedness of the issues is to guarantee continued failure”
and on race, see: “Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, “Special Ed: The New Segregation,” Rosi Tavf, February 12, 2004).” and “a convict in China makes about twelve cents an hour compared to eleven cents an hour paid to a Minnesota convict. About 50 percent of the prison population is African-American, while African-Americans make up under 13 percent of the general population.”

and on poverty: “Americans have agreed (by voting) that incarcerating vast numbers of poverty stricken uneducated people, mostly for non-violent offenses, is a better alternative than anything else we can think of.”

Let’s think of better.
This is a book that all citizens, particularly of the USA, need to read. Then, do your part to support early and continuous learning for All, please.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
4th of December, 12015 HE

View all my reviews

short story of December: encouragement pls?

update during Covid-19: Hubris and Hemlock is now up for beta reviews on Wattpad, and also I think on my GoodReads profile, if you are a member there…

I was amazed by Stephen King’s memoir on writing, but am having trouble taking his advice. It’s not easy, getting into my short story for December while I let my NaNoWriMo2015 practice novel Rough Draft rest for 6 weeks (ala Stephen King: On Writing).

So I hope you all, dear readers, will help hold me to account:  This Week I want to finish planning the 10k words in large: Setting, Conflict(s?), Master Scenes and Protagonist character-building.

1st question:  is a short story long enough to have both external and internal conflict??

2nd q:  do people bother classifying the genre for a short story?

 

Public Service Announcement (mostly for American citizens of voting age living in the USA at the moment)  from my GoodReads book in (reading) progress:

“Call, write, and visit your government officials and educators and share your insights. Let them know there are better answers. Stand up and tell them it is time to invest in the lives of poor and abandoned children.
Work in your community to reach out and help Invisible Children live among us as productive and healthy citizens.
Visit our website:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org
Use our ongoing web dialogue to post
your interests and findings:
http://www.invisiblechildren.org/weblog
Share …   Most importantly, be active and concerned for the abused and neglected children in your community.”

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People and PhD ( PhDresearch journal )students who share notes,

(like author Trice, JrROTC friend Tammy, loyal friend Elaine, loyal activist friend Felice, and an allied Librarian)
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
3rd of December, 12015 HE

(later addition: )
(this one was published in Concrete Wolf but the magazine is now defunct…)

“Lost in a Rose”

smooth hand touches silk
on the curved red petal
hibiscus scented nectar
within conical perdition


this one got good comments in the poetry workshop, but needs polishing…
…originally written wed. 21 june 2000

A scream shatters the still night
shrill peal, reverberating off the hills
look at me it cries
react
remove this agony
the sword under which I labor
to see and not be heard
warn and watch chaos befall
strike in defense yet named a traitor
ever teh thorn in your side
I am the gadfly of Athens,
reborn…
(edited 29 march 2001, but where???)


a favorite horse riding poem I wrote in 2002 has been lost, originally entitled ‘Steed’
later retitled ‘Motorcycle Mare’
sent to two magazines and posted on LJ but all seem lost now… oh well…
-hair flowing in the whipping wind
pressing forward together
flowing ever faster
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
8 March, 12016 HE

Your fundamental problem is that you do not really believe that you deserve to have good things happen to you. if you marry when under duress

Publication: “Lost in a Rose”, Concrete Wolf Poetry Quarterly
Issue Number 2

And because abused children become abused adults. FinancialAbuse

Review of Jour de silence à Tanger by Tahar Ben Jelloun

CheckOut This Book on WorldCat

Jour de silence à TangerJour de silence à Tanger by Tahar Ben Jelloun

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating read, with a beautiful ending. It touched on relationships between generations, races, friends and family. A short yet complex read, very well-written. It is making me re-think the reasons that a person might appear to mistreat those around him, even those upon whom he depends. More than once, I wondered if I may have been unjust toward some of those close to me whom I had expected to ‘see’ or intuitively understand my feelings. Perhaps for some people, it is just not possible, yet those same people can want to understand. For me, this was an impossibility, prior to reading Ben Jalloun. How could a person not understand that his words have power, and that his words can and do indeed do harm? Yet perhaps some simply do not see it, even if they want to. Time for me to learn to be more understanding?

(Too tired but will translate into French soon…)

ShiraDest
1st December, 12015 HE

View all my reviews

Review of Loup, by Nicolas Vanier

LoupLoup by Nicolas Vanier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(la traduction français est on bas…)

This was a very interesting and well-written coming-of-age story. (I’d like to see the 2009 film version.) Vanier manages early on to build reader sympathy for a predator which he show as such, in detail. He also surprised me by showing the shame of a man being willingly taken advantage of sexually by a woman (something I will grudgingly admit to never having believed possible). Never mincing his words, you feel the harshness of both worlds, human and wolf, while also feeling (for me, at least) connected to both. An excellent job emotionally and also from an ecology standpoint.

Cette histoire de devenir adulte faisait plaisir à lire. (J’aimerais voir le film de 2009.) Vanier a réussi très tôt de faire sentir de l’empathie pour un prédateur qu’il montre tel comme il est, et avec des détails. Il m’a réussi d’étonner, aussi, côte émotionnelle chez les hommes, en montrant qu’il est bien possible qu’an homme aussi peut se sentir abusé sexuellement par un femme, même après avoir faite l’amour volontairement. Jamais trop douce, on sent la dureté des deux mondes, humain tant que lupin, en sentant aussi (pour moi, au moins) connecté avec tous les deux. Du bon boulot émotionnelle et aussi d’un point de vue écolo.
(Si vous avez, les Amies, des corrections pour mon français, j’accepte volontiers…)

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

21 November, 12015 HE

View all my reviews