Tag Archives: livres

5 reasons to learn a language

1.) Sihirli Annem: my favorite family TV series -fights racism and class-based prejudice in Turkey,  (as well as Yabanci Damat which promotes Greek-Turkish friendship…),

2.) Corazon Salvaje 1993 for Mexican Spanish,   and

3.) El Ministerio del Tiempo for Castilian Spanish, as a formerly dominant world language, now building awareness of racism, and fighting hatred on both continents.

4.) Astérix for French, because it is the other dominant world language, and shows European ways of thinking (to some extent, from a Gaulois point of view…).

and  5.) The Bible, because Hebrew is quite simple, and even when we do not know the origin of many phrases we use every day, this book set the framework for the way modern Westerners think today, even if it was, ironically, based on Bablyonian sources to a large extent. (later addition: Here is a bit of help for Soprano leyners(chanters) .. Read, Write, Dream, Teach ! ShiraDest, 8 March, 12016 HE)


Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

27 February, 12016 HE


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 !

12 February, 12016 HE

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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

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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:
Tav (BRShT),
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.


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 !

22 Decembre, 12015 HE

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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…)

1st December, 12015 HE

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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,


21 November, 12015 HE

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Review/Revu: Purgatoire des innocents, Karine Giebel

Purgatoire des innocentsPurgatoire des innocents by Karine Giébel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(English after French…)

Honte d’avoir survécu, haine contre soi même de n’avoir pas su se protéger, envie abandonner. Effrayant, vachement important à lire.

Guilt for surviving, self-hated for being unable to protect yourself, just wanting to give up. Gut-wrenching, horrifically important to read.

Shira HoloceneHuman Era Destinie
2 Septembre, 12015 èH (HE: Universal Holocene Calendar)

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Review/Revu: Ne Lache Pas Ma Main, Michel BUSSI

Ne lâche pas ma mainNe lâche pas ma main by Michel Bussi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Busssi shows us a world within another world ; that of people of color and the prejudices which the tourists do not see. He describes the island so well that you feel as if you were there, and finishes with a final word so moving it demands thought, and even an immediate re-read. (Also may go well with Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, many thanks to Ruth for her review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show….

Shira HoloceneHuman Era Destinie
24 August, 12015 HE

BUSSI nous montre le monde dans un autre monde, celle de gens de couleur et les préjuges invisibles aux touristes. Il décrit l’île si bien qu’on se sent la-ba même, et fini la dernier mot si jaillissant qu’on ne peut pas s’arrêter de y penser, et même le relire tout de suite.

24,8,12 015 èH( ère Holocène ou ère Humaine)

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Pourquoi je hais l’indifférence Gramsci, Antonio

(English below…)

Même s’il écrivait in 1917, plusieurs pages m’ont frappé

comment toujours pertinentes aujourd’hui:

P. 34: Fable d’Ésope “L’aigle, le laie et la chatte”

P. 35 “le comprendre pour tenter de le modifier.”

et “La colère, instrument des puissants, arme des faibles”

P. 38 Il faut:

1. Sentir l’indignation (pour l’injustice)

2. Penser aux causes fondamentales, et

3. Imaginer les solutions

P. 55 “L’indifférence … les décourage jusqu’à les faire

renoncer parfois à leur entreprise héroïque.”

P. 196 “Trois années de guerre… Nous voyons des hommes …

là où hier nous ne voyions que des états ou des individus


P. 200 “Nous avançons par intuitions plus que par

raisonnements;” Oui, ça fait difficile coordonner les efforts.

P. 204 Est-ce que c’est vrai: oublier les mots -> oublier

les choses?

Des Pages 110-112, Gramsci faisait l’éloge d’un roman par

H.G. Wells, chose qui m’encourage. Malgré mes usages des

travaux de Gramsci dans ma thèse et dans ma vie perso, je

m’avais demandé, en lisant ce livre, comme puis j’apprendre

inspirer les gens d’aider aux autrui atteindre leur plein

potentielle au lieu de railler contre eux qui n’aident pas.


Though he wrote in 1917, several pages struck me as

still relevant today:

P. 34 (Aesop’s fable),

P. 35 (understand to convince),

P. 38 (Feel, Think and Imagine),

P: 55 (indifference discourages great projects),

P. 196 (how WWI -> feeling in addition to abstract thought),

P. 204 Does forgetting words -> forgetting events?

From pages 110-112, Gramsci praises a novel by H. G.

Wells, and from that, I take heart. Despite my use of

Gramsci’s work in my thesis and in my personal life, while I

was reading this book, I found myself wondering how I could

learn to inspire people to help others reach their full

potential, rather than rail against those who harm others.



8,8,12015 ère Holocène/Human Era