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Robin M

Book a Week 2016 - BW3: Martin Luther King

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And to bring this to books...  The Wilmington coup d'etat enters into the storyline of John Sayles' novel A Moment in the Sun.  I believe Stacia has read it.

 

I have it here on my shelf. I started it a couple of years ago. It is a huge book & is one that will take me a long, long time to finish (w/ all the digressions, rabbit trails, etc... to look up). At the time, I couldn't devote the time to it.

 

But, what I read, I loved. I hope to get to it later this year.

 

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I will see your hand and raise by one. I do not like Georgette Heyer. I read The Grand Sophy and was bored out of my mind. I don't plan to ever read one of her bore me to tears books ever again. 

 

Dangerous confession to this crowd. I'll hide behind you.

 

Has anyone seen my pitchfork?  

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Mmm.  There's a chance Ode to a Haggis may have been, on occasion, trucked out. :leaving: 

 

 VC  may have Texas variations...

I can't find the original Burn's Night post but we celebrate it, sort of by accident but we do. Two of my best friends have a charity dinner for 40+ in honour of Burns that week. The dc's are their waitstaff and I do dishes. Lots of fun. Yes, haggis is served and ds discovered he really likes it, ate two heaping plates last year. It actually is better than I imagined.

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I can't find the original Burn's Night post but we celebrate it, sort of by accident but we do. Two of my best friends have a charity dinner for 40+ in honour of Burns that week. The dc's are their waitstaff and I do dishes. Lots of fun. Yes, haggis is served and ds discovered he really likes it, ate two heaping plates last year. It actually is better than I imagined.

 

That sounds like so much fun.  What else do you serve beside haggis?

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Given our recent discussions, an event in North Carolina history (well, American history) should be mentioned. 

 

Prior to 1898, Wilmington, NC, was the largest city in the state and in fact had a black majority.  It was home to many professional and middle class African Americans until the coup d'etat.  In 1898, a group of white supremacists formed a militia, destroying a black owned newspaper and driving thousands of African Americans from the town without their possessions. A mix raced city council that had been legally elected was tossed from office and in their place a group of white supremacists assumed their roles.  Because of the lack of record keeping, we are unsure how many died that day.

 

In the following year, a poll tax was instituted in NC.

 

On the one hand, we have people today who say that these events are of the past and those of us alive today cannot be responsible.  But my heart bleeds because I have met members of families who boasted artisans and professionals, who were reduced not only to penury but enslavement via Jim Crow after the events of 1898.

 

I don't have answers.  But I do think that the episodes in history--our shared history--should not be buried because they make us squirm in discomfort.  Silence does not help this situation.

 

And to bring this to books...  The Wilmington coup d'etat enters into the storyline of John Sayles' novel A Moment in the Sun.  I believe Stacia has read it.  Cape Fear Rising is another novel which tells the tale.

In the summer of 2008 I registered voters in NC. The one individual I will never forget was an older deaf African American woman who had never been registered before. She was so excited to finally vote.

 

Thank you for that post Eliana. It inspired me to find something MLK for the firsties dictation this week.

 

I'll have to check what I read this week, which probably tells you a great deal about the reading :D. I'm running away to a spa this weekend and bringing Utvandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg to try again.

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I re-read most of P.D. James when she died in 2014.  She's one of my favotite mystery novelists.  It might not be the thing to say, but I think especially in her later career, she was much better than Agatha Christie.

 

ETA - I gave up reading Atwood some years ago, because I always wished the main characters would just die.

 

:lol:  I agree with both statements.

 

I have always reallly liked P D James, I like the dark psychological mysteries, and I have to confess a bit of a crush on Adam Dalgliesh. 

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:lol:  I agree with both statements.

 

I have always reallly liked P D James, I like the dark psychological mysteries, and I have to confess a bit of a crush on Adam Dalgliesh. 

 

Of course.  Tall, dark, strong silent type, intelligent and literate, poet-policeman, with a tragic past.  Who wouldn't!

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Happy birthday!! The first book that popped into my mind was The Mists of Avalon but you may have read it.

 

 

 

 

I will see your hand and raise by one. I do not like Georgette Heyer. I read The Grand Sophy and was bored out of my mind. I don't plan to ever read one of her bore me to tears books ever again. 

 

Dangerous confession to this crowd. I'll hide behind you.

 

 

:lol:  No eggs from this direction. I thought I was going to have to go into witness protection last year when I confessed to not liking CS Lewis' Perelandra books.  

 

I will confess that my love for GH is largely nostalgic.  I grew up reading these books. I've only re- read a couple of them in the past 20 years, so I'm not sure how well they would all hold up for me.  But I do still love The Grand Sophy.

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That sounds like so much fun. What else do you serve beside haggis?

As I remember last year was:

 

Cockalechie Souphttp://allrecipes.com/recipe/16360/cock-a-leekie-soup/or alternate choice of a very plain broth

 

At some point a shot of whiskey, I think that was during the Haggis parade when dd had to carry about 15 pounds of haggis on a platter while a piper played.

 

Hagis with mash (both potatoe and sweed), lots of gravy available

 

Dessert was a rather spicey fruited cake with custard...dd loved it, similar to Christmas pudding but more of everything. She thinks it was called Cluny pudding but I have spelled it several ways and Google has failed.

 

Or a nice raspberry pudding (cake with raspberry topping)

 

 

It was a fun evening. Huge amount of work but people loved it.

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Warning to thread newbies!  In addition to talking about the non-book topic of food, I also like chatting about birds.  Today's update on the latter:

 

It is my day to do volunteer at the bird rehab center.  Imagine my surprise when I was greeted by an Eastern Screech Owl that had literally flown the coop!  We don't know how but this owl who has lost vision in one eye in a car entanglement managed to undo the hook on its cage and liberate itself from the "critical care" ward to the work space.  I invited it to join me at the desk where I was doing paper work but it preferred to be perched on a picture frame where it observed everything and everybody with its good eye.

 

Also, I saw three Red-throated Loons bobbing in the surf while I was walking this afternoon.  I immediately thought of Nan. :001_smile:

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OK, a little more MLK sharing:

 

Lin-Mauel Miranda (of Hamilton! fame) convenes a host of Hunter College (the confusingly named K-12 NYC public magnet that is most G&T of all them all, and where he attended as a kid) alums to sing the beloved school anthem composed by Mrs Ames, their music teacher...

 

... Mrs. Ames' daughter catches her response as she watches it.

 

Miranda tweets: Go thank a teacher.  You'll be glad you did.

 

:001_wub:

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I,ve been just hastily skimmimg the thread for a few days now as first I was working on returning kids to school and today, sorted all my clothes, Konmari style, having read the book awhile back. Ug. I probably reduced the volume by about a third, bit that still leaves SO many. Why on earth do I have so many clothes? Why on earth do I need more than a few sundresses, my sailing pants, half a dozen blouses, a pair of jeans, long underwear, and some sweaters? I have lots of coats but the outer layers don,t bother me, since they are occupation specific and mostly a matter of safety.

 

A few random thought from the posts that caught my eye...

 

Pam, In reading our syncopated discussion, I suddenly understood something you and Jane and Eliana have been trying to explain to me for awhile now - the need you feel to "witness" by reading certain books. I usually can,t do anything but listen when someone tells me their story, but having someone believe them who was born (comparatively) affluent seems to validate them and give them a bit of strength. This is what you are doing when you read those books, isn,t it? There is no sense in telling your story via book if no one reads it? So you read it? And about StarWars... Much as I liked Fin, thought he was acting as he would coming from where he did, and thought the actor did a good job, I couldn,t help being a bit bothered by the role of the only important African American character in the movie. Even my oldest, the child I didn,t give to the monks to raise, commented on it. He said all they would have had to do to correct this would be to make Ray African American. And in case you happened to be curious about why I let my children go walking, all you have to do is look at Maz. Jun-san, the Buddhist nun who said she wanted to take my two younger ones off walking, bears an uncanny resemblance to Maz. Lol. She,s pretty hard to say no to lol.

 

Lady Florida, I would love to let you explain Forida to me. : )

 

Jane, there were seven swans a not singing on the lake this morning and I thought of you. El nino? Stormy at sea? This is unusual.

 

I am a fan of Georgette Heyer. It isn,t so much her plots as her funny way of describing things. I like her heroines. Well, mostly. And I like the way she has some of her mothers and sons interact.

 

Thank you, Eliana! I haven,t gotten to explore your links yet, but I will soon.

 

Aggieamy, (think it was you, anyway) I like The Blue Castle for the descriprion of life in a lake house. I have one of those. : )

 

Nan

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Still deciding what to read next. I'm turning 20 tomorrow; I feel like I should pick something special for my first non-teenage book.

Happy Birthday doll and welcome to your 20's.  I don't have any book suggestions since my 20's were spent with fantasy authors such as  Charles De Lint, Mercedes Lackey, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tom Dietz and Philip Jose Farmer , Larry Niven and Ray Bradbury to name a few. I may have missed it somewhere in the thread, but what did you ultimately decide on? 

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I finished Lorna Doone. It was an action-filled story, but like so many books of that era, the descriptions, while lovely, would go on for several pages before returning to the narrative. I can recall at least one sentence that went on for an entire paragraph - which I quite enjoyed! - but together with tiny font, it did make finishing take longer than I felt it should have.

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Happy Birthday, Sapientia! I vote you read a book about something you want to learn how to do, something that will help make you into the person you want to become. It doesn,t have to be The pervect book, just a book which will get you started down the path to becoming who you want to be.

 

Nan

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 but together with tiny font

 

Yeah, it's the tiny font that does me in these days. That's why I never started Frankenstein, limited to my old, cheap, small-print paperback, back in October for spooky books. And I'm having a bit of trouble with my similar old, cheap, small-print Mansfield Park. Have to use my reading glasses. That's a big advantage to the nicer library editions of books--nice, larger print!

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Still deciding what to read next. I'm turning 20 tomorrow; I feel like I should pick something special for my first non-teenage book.

 

 

:party:  :party:

 

Picking a book to read sounds like a great thing to do on your birthday! Happy birthday! 

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As I remember last year was:

 

Cockalechie Souphttp://allrecipes.com/recipe/16360/cock-a-leekie-soup/or alternate choice of a very plain broth

 

At some point a shot of whiskey, I think that was during the Haggis parade when dd had to carry about 15 pounds of haggis on a platter while a piper played.

 

Hagis with mash (both potatoe and sweed), lots of gravy available

 

Dessert was a rather spicey fruited cake with custard...dd loved it, similar to Christmas pudding but more of everything. She thinks it was called Cluny pudding but I have spelled it several ways and Google has failed.

 

Or a nice raspberry pudding (cake with raspberry topping)

 

 

It was a fun evening. Huge amount of work but people loved it.

 

Could the 'c' pudding be cranachan?

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I have finished reading I Capture the Castle. It's a light read, but very well written. My blog write up doesn't do it justice,  honestly. 

 

I've had The New Jim Crow on my reading list for several months now. Thanks to this thread, I will start it this week. 

 

I think we are impacting the Amazon "Frequently Bought Together" feature! I was reading the description of Cape Fear Rising and was informed that it was "Frequently Bought Together" with a book by Bill Bryson, though not the one about small towns that was mentioned up thread. 

 

A more serious question though - I noticed a few people posted book covers in this thread. Knowing that, according to board rules, we can't post magazine covers or other work with a copyright, is that an okay thing to do? I don't want our thread to get in trouble !

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I have finished reading I Capture the Castle. It's a light read, but very well written. My blog write up doesn't do it justice, honestly.

 

I've had The New Jim Crow on my reading list for several months now. Thanks to this thread, I will start it this week.

 

I think we are impacting the Amazon "Frequently Bought Together" feature! I was reading the description of Cape Fear Rising and was informed that it was "Frequently Bought Together" with a book by Bill Bryson, though not the one about small towns that was mentioned up thread.

 

A more serious question though - I noticed a few people posted book covers in this thread. Knowing that, according to board rules, we can't post magazine covers or other work with a copyright, is that an okay thing to do? I don't want our thread to get in trouble !

How strange that Philip Gerard is paired with Bryson!

 

I believe book covers are fine. We are essentially reviewing here and can also quote.

 

I love I Capture the Castle!

Edited by Jane in NC
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Could the 'c' pudding be cranachan?

I found it!!!http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_cloutie.htm Cloutie Pudding....lots of work! It wasn't bad but very heavy IMO, even for a fruit cake\pudding. Remember the general term for dessert is pudding no matter what it is.

 

I haven't accomplished much reading today. Several books going all at once with little progress in any!

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A more serious question though - I noticed a few people posted book covers in this thread. Knowing that, according to board rules, we can't post magazine covers or other work with a copyright, is that an okay thing to do? I don't want our thread to get in trouble !

Yes, we are allowed to post book covers.  To be on the safe side, just don't post book covers with a celebrities picture on it. 

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Aggieamy, (think it was you, anyway) I like The Blue Castle for the descriprion of life in a lake house. I have one of those. : )

 

Nan

 

The Blue Castle is on my to-read shelf.  My actual shelf that has been set aside with books to-read.  I have a few must read library books due back and then I think I'll tackle that one.  Possibly as a read aloud with DD.  

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I found it!!!http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_cloutie.htm Cloutie Pudding....lots of work! It wasn't bad but very heavy IMO, even for a fruit cake\pudding. Remember the general term for dessert is pudding no matter what it is.

 

I haven't accomplished much reading today. Several books going all at once with little progress in any!

 

Whoa.  I think I'd need a how to video to make that one.

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The Blue Castle is a great book - I read it last Sing because I was going on a trip to the Muskokas.  It's interesting because the heroine is older than many of her others.

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We were away for the three-day weekend, so I've only had a chance to skim this week's thread. I want to return later in the week to give Eliana's post the attention it deserves.

 

I finished Annihilation (the Nebula winner for best novel) and The Three-Body Problem (the Hugo winner for best novel). Each is the first book in a trilogy.

 

On the one hand, Annihilation was a short, easy read. On the other hand, it was a difficult read for me because there are parts that are very visual, and as a very Not Visual reader, I couldn't quite picture what I was supposed to be picturing. Also, the main character is cold and distant, which kept me at a bit of an emotional distance from the book. The author does a great job of setting the tone--horror that continues to grow--and the situation is intriguing. However, I am unlikely to pick up the second book in the trilogy. There are other worlds calling to me, and this one didn't grab me enough to make me delay visiting them.

 

The Three-Body Problem dragged a bit for me in the middle third. It's hard science fiction, and based in physics, to boot. In high school, I replaced physics with a second period of newspaper staff, and my adult attempts to fill in the resulting hole in my education have not gone well. I read the words, but the physics knowledge does not come. That said, the first and final third more than made up for the drag in the middle. The look at the Cultural Revolution was fascinating, and the problem posed is intriguing. The translation is first-rate. I am a little nervous, because the second book in the trilogy has a different translator, but I will definitely be finishing the trilogy.

 

I am currently reading Ancillary Justice on my own, and Watership Down with my youngest.

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re: acting as "witness"

...
Pam, In reading our syncopated discussion, I suddenly understood something you and Jane and Eliana have been trying to explain to me for awhile now - the need you feel to "witness" by reading certain books. I usually can,t do anything but listen when someone tells me their story, but having someone believe them who was born (comparatively) affluent seems to validate them and give them a bit of strength. This is what you are doing when you read those books, isn,t it? There is no sense in telling your story via book if no one reads it? So you read it?

 

_____

 

And about StarWars... Much as I liked Fin, thought he was acting as he would coming from where he did, and thought the actor did a good job, I couldn,t help being a bit bothered by the role of the only important African American character in the movie. Even my oldest, the child I didn,t give to the monks to raise, commented on it. He said all they would have had to do to correct this would be to make Ray African American. And in case you happened to be curious about why I let my children go walking, all you have to do is look at Maz. Jun-san, the Buddhist nun who said she wanted to take my two younger ones off walking, bears an uncanny resemblance to Maz. Lol. She,s pretty hard to say no to lol......

... Hmmm... for me, part of acting as "witness" is, as you say, making myself present to "hear" the story... but (again, for me -- I think this is a very personal thing) for some stories -- the essential and difficult ones that in one of our prior syncopations you put language on, you called them the ones with "sticky bits" (LOVED that, btw) -- just the listening is not sufficient.  

 

In the "sticky bit" stories, acting as witness includes something more active, more akin to the role of "witness" in a legal proceeding, a willingness not just to listen but also to retell and amplify.  Sometimes listening is all that's called for; just the listening amounts to empathy and compassion.  Other times to stand by as witness, and no more, amounts to standing by.  So it depends on the story.

 

_____

 

Re: Star Wars -- I hear you.  Maybe they felt like going feminist AND rainbow coalition both at once would knock off too much of the audience.   :leaving: JK.  Sorta.

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In case anyone here likes both birds and mysteries,

 

Would these be appropriate for a 16 year old girl? My daughter is a birder, and I think she would enjoy them.

 

-Angela

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I finished The Control of Nature by John McPhee. I really enjoyed it.  The pithy take-home quote from the whole book seems to be, "We should stop building things where they do not belong, and leave some room for nature."  I really have nothing to add to that profound statement.

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Today I finished Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Series) which is the sequel to The Paper Magician which I recently read.  I enjoyed this book also.  I would definitely begin though with The Paper Magician as the story builds on what happened in that book.  I'm now looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

 

"Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.

 

When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Wait, are we talking about The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery? Oh, that was one of my very favourite books when I was about 20. <3

 

ETA: I scrolled back to take a closer look at Amy's picture and yes it is!

Edited by KathyBC
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My brother passed away eight years ago, and it has taken me all of these years to be brave enough to open the box of personal items that my parents hastily stashed away after his death. Among his photographs and letters was this book. I was so surprised when I saw (last week?) that he was a poet that someone else here is reading.

 

Magic of this thread, indeed. 

 

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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re: constructs of "restorative" versus "transitional" justice

Adding yet another thank you to Eliana.  What a wonderful summary and collection of resources.

 

In my small of corner of the universe, I do see a bright spot at the intersection of race, gender, incarceration, and treatment of mental illness in restorative justice programs.  Here is a link to a program not local to me, but close enough that I hear of the impact:  Restorative Justice for Oakland YouthHere is their resource list with endless bunny trails. 

 

Transitional justice programs seek similar goals but on much larger scales, for example, in cases of genocide or rampant human rights abuses.

 

 

shage, thank you for those links -- you're absolutely right; I did get lost in the bunny trails!

 

 

I came across the term "transitional justice" for the first time in an excellent, albeit deep-in-the-legal-weeds, book by Jeffrey Davis that I read last year, which traced the legal strategies that have been pursued in furtherance of justice for the human rights violations in Central America.  I'm wondering if I misunderstood the term... in the cases that Davis looked at (mostly in Guatemala and El Salvador), though the civil wars have wound down, the states are still fragile and the "new" governments still peppered with individuals who were involved int he time of the human rights abuses, so much of the legal strategies have been extraterritorial -- i.e., these murdered priests were Spanish, so Spain claimed jurisdiction; this officer has a house in Miami, so the US went after him for lying on his immigration form; this one has income in Canada, and so Canada pursued him for non-payment of taxes… etc.  Not Main Event stuff.  But between the fragility, and ongoing footdragging / witholding of evidence /complicity, of the states that's the best prosecutors have been able to accomplish thus far.

 

I ended up translating the term "transitional justice" in my own head as something along the lines of too little too late, mostly for less egregious offenses against people who are not the ultimate victims, but imperfect justice is still better than none at all... 

 

But perhaps I read too much into the particular circumstances of Central America?  Is there somewhere else you would point me for more on transitional justice?

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re: constructs of "restorative" versus "transitional" justice

 

shage, thank you for those links -- you're absolutely right; I did get lost in the bunny trails!

 

 

I came across the term "transitional justice" for the first time in an excellent, albeit deep-in-the-legal-weeds, book by Jeffrey Davis that I read last year, which traced the legal strategies that have been pursued in furtherance of justice for the human rights violations in Central America.  I'm wondering if I misunderstood the term... in the cases that Davis looked at (mostly in Guatemala and El Salvador), though the civil wars have wound down, the states are still fragile and the "new" governments still peppered with individuals who were involved int he time of the human rights abuses, so much of the legal strategies have been extraterritorial -- i.e., these murdered priests were Spanish, so Spain claimed jurisdiction; this officer has a house in Miami, so the US went after him for lying on his immigration form; this one has income in Canada, and so Canada pursued him for non-payment of taxes… etc.  Not Main Event stuff.  But between the fragility, and ongoing footdragging / witholding of evidence /complicity, of the states that's the best prosecutors have been able to accomplish thus far.

 

I ended up translating the term "transitional justice" in my own head as something along the lines of too little too late, mostly for less egregious offenses against people who are not the ultimate victims, but imperfect justice is still better than none at all... 

 

But perhaps I read too much into the particular circumstances of Central America?  Is there somewhere else you would point me for more on transitional justice?

 

Let me preface by saying that I my profession is in mental health and when I work either with the incarcerated (and their families) or victim/witness (and their families) my idea of what a favorable outcome looks like is very different than the judicial system's.  I would make a terrible judge or juror because I am far less interested in the principle of justice than I am in the principle of healing.  Not that justice isn't important, it very much is, just that I would prefer to put my time and energy more towards the goal of healing and let the attorneys, judges, and juries sort out the justice piece.

 

My very biased perspective is that your working definition of transitional justice is in the ballpark of most judicial systems, even the most structured.  There are a few instances where crimes can be halted before irreparable harm is done, but generally crimes worth prosecuting are already "too little too late" for the victims.  In terms of which crimes are prosecuted, within our own system it is surprising how much is determined by who the victim is.  (Death penalty cases, for example, generally though not always proceed with the consent of the victim family.  DA's are more reluctant to pursue the ultimate punishment if the victim family has strong philosophical objections to the death penalty and are more willing to forge ahead if family and local fervor is strongly in favor.)  Imperfect justice is still better than none at all:  yes. I cringe at some of the law enforcement practices near me.  In one town/county the police may be very invested in a community approach, orienting themselves as servants to the public.  Several miles over in largely minority communities, the police are oriented more as occupying forces:  based on the tactics and equipment, they view themselves with a more military mindset of "taking back the streets" and are blatantly neither listening to nor cooperating with community leaders.  Those 2 very different law enforcement orientations lead to very different judicial outcomes.  It's an imperfect system, sometimes helpful and sometimes destructive.

 

I hope this does not make light of the situation in Central America because I recognize the level of chaos and trauma in post war countries is very extreme.  There are fewer resources and means for serving justice.  There is a collective desperation and sadness, and I deeply respect the community efforts at rebuilding.

 

What is happening in corners of our system is serious on a different scale, and hidden if you are not part of certain subcultures or certain careers. 

 

I have read precious few books on transitional justice, but the one that sticks out in my mind is by Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness. Keep in my mind that I do have a somewhat skewed perspective on these topics.  (Also, I am fuzzy on Minow's details and I have a vague recollection that she was more pro-psychotherapy in terms of healing mass trauma than I would be.  I don't think psychotherapy is a particularly effective response for mass trauma because of the scale, and there are ways you can achieve similar outcomes with community based interventions. Ugh. Now I want to reread this after tackling the one you linked.) 

 

 

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Thanks shage.  I will look for the Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness. ...

 

... and will think more about what you are saying re: healing vs. justice.  I guess I've tended to think of the two as working in tandem; that knowing justice is being pursued facilitates the healing process... but it's certainly complicated when justice systems are in essence Separate Not Equal as in your adjacent community examples.

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Thanks shage.  I will look for the Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness. ...

 

... and will think more about what you are saying re: healing vs. justice.  I guess I've tended to think of the two as working in tandem; that knowing justice is being pursued facilitates the healing process... but it's certainly complicated when justice systems are in essence Separate Not Equal as in your adjacent community examples.

 

And I need to ponder more your statement of "working in tandem."  I realized as I was typing out my response the degree to which I now think of justice and healing as being disconnected, and I wonder how much of this is accurate versus an unhealthy cynicism on my part.

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I just finished another of my British village cozy mysteries. I have no idea if I have ever read a mystery by Veronica Heley before because she is rather prolific. I know I haven't read one in her Ellie Quicke series and I started at the beginning with Murder at the Alterhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2206504.Murder_at_the_Altar. To say it started slow and a bit depressing is being kind.

 

Ellie is a very recent widow at 50 something who is dragged into a murder inquiry. The murderer also thinks she saw him and wants to silence her. The old helpless lady at 50 thing bugged me hugely and this book dragged it's way through the first third. The only thing that kept me going was a series review saying this book was dreadful compared to others in the series. I started off one last time this morning and the story improved. Actually improved enough that I gave it a four star at the end.

 

I would start further in the series but not bad. Ellie does start acting her age and I think her friends are going to be fun sidekicks in later books.

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I finished Countdown City, the 2nd book in the Last Policeman trilogy.  I had my typical 2nd-book-in-a-trilogy response: I liked it, not as much as the first, not sure where we are going with this, may revise my opinion upward when the story arc is completed.

 

Last year I began the year with the Ancillary Justice trilogy, which I absolutely loved. I need another book like that! I'm re-reading the Belgariad by David Eddings at my dd's great insistence - this is her favorite series of all time and she wants me to remember more so she has someone to talk about it with - and I still like it, but not with the love I felt when I first read it when I was in college. I need something fabulous, I'm feeling a winter lull coming on in the fiction/reading for fun department.

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Rose, I suspect you have already read Angelmakerhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12266560-angelmakerby Nick Harkaway but if you haven't it is a great book. Lots of BaWer's read it a couple of years ago and I think everyone liked it. ;) I have actually been contemplating a reread.

 

I have not read that, I will have to check it out - thanks for the suggestion!

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While I'm asking for suggestions - what is your favorite Arthurian book?  I'm hoping to try something new and great for the Bingo square.

 

Here's what I've read:

-Mary Stewart's Arthurian series (The Crystal Cave et al)

-The Once & Future King

-Sir Gawain & the Green Knight

-The Mists of Avalon

 

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Over the weekend and more recently, I've read the following all of which I've enjoyed ~

 

Come Home to Me: A Homefront Novella by Jessica Scott

 

This is novella is currently free to Kindle readers. 

 

"From USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott comes an all new novella about a woman who came back from war changed and the man who loves her enough not to let her go.

All Major Patrick MacLean wanted was Christmas with the woman and child who were his family in everything but name. But Captain Samantha Egan has come back from the war a different woman than the one who left - and she doesn't know if she can love him anymore.

But neither of them counted on the determination of a little girl they both call daughter and if Natalie has her wish, her parents may have no idea what's coming for them. It's going to take Christmas miracle to bring these two wounded warriors back from the edge of a broken heart."

 

***

 

The remainder of these all have adult content.

 

***

 

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal  by K J Charles

 

"A story too secret, too terrifying-and too shockingly intimate-for Victorian eyes. A note to the Editor: Dear Henry, I have been Simon Feximal's companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide. You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told. So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death. I dare say it may not be quite what you expect. Robert Caldwell September 1914 Warning: Contains a foul-tempered Victorian ghost-hunter, a journalist who's too curious for his own good, villainy, horror, butterflies, unusual body modifications, and a lot of tampering with the occult."

 

 

 

First Strike (The I-Team Series)  by Pamela Clare

 

This is currently free to Kindle readers.

 

"This is a 17,400-word novella, the sensual prequel to Striking Distance (I-Team 6). It ends with a cliffhanger.

Just a weekend…

Laura Nilsson knows what she wants: a successful career as a broadcast journalist—and a little fun between the sheets now and again. What she doesn’t want is marriage or kids. When a ripped and sexy stranger intervenes to stop a couple of drunks from harassing her in a hotel bar in Dubai City, all she can think about is spending the rest of the weekend with him—in her bed. There’s just one little problem. Unmarried sex is illegal in Dubai.

… of no-strings sex …

Navy SEAL Javier “Cobra†Corbray is on his way home from a rough deployment in Afghanistan when he finds himself having dinner with “the Baghdad Babe.†What she wants from him—sex with no strings—could land them both in prison. Still, he’s more than happy to oblige her. She’s confident and sexually assertive, and he’s secure enough to lie back and let her make the first strike. But, as she’s about to find out, he’s more than her match.

… or the beginning of something more?

Yet, neither Laura nor Javier has any idea what lies ahead—or how this weekend of mind-blowing sex will impact their emotions. Will they act on their new-found feelings in time, or will they let something special slip away… perhaps forever?

Warning: This story ends with a cliffhanger."

 

 

Winter Wonderland by Heidi Cullinan

 

"Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he's the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch. Kyle is tired of being the town's resident Peter Pan. He's twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he's nothing but the boss in bed. He's loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they're both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance. But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan's rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul's love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone's happily ever after, including their own."

 

 

Venomous: Science Fiction Romance (Alien Warrior Book 1) by Penelope Fletcher

 

 

Valentine: An On Dublin Street Novella by Samantha Young (this one is currently free to Kindle readers but won't make much sense if you haven't read others of the author's books.)

 

Regards,

Kareni

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And I need to ponder more your statement of "working in tandem."  I realized as I was typing out my response the degree to which I now think of justice and healing as being disconnected, and I wonder how much of this is accurate versus an unhealthy cynicism on my part.

 

I daresay there is a big difference between the criminal courts and civil courts...

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I daresay there is a big difference between the criminal courts and civil courts...

Yes, and I am less familiar with the civil courts.

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Yes, and I am less familiar with the civil courts.

 

Civil courts promote trauma.

 

 

Maybe they'll make it all better at the end. I don't know. We haven't got that far yet.

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Civil courts promote trauma.

 

 

Maybe they'll make it all better at the end. I don't know. We haven't got that far yet.

I am so sorry and hope for you the best possible outcome.

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Would these be appropriate for a 16 year old girl? My daughter is a birder, and I think she would enjoy them.

 

-Angela

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

I haven't actually read them, sorry!

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I'm always happy when people like Georgette Heyer! I feel like I was raised on her, she taught me to be the reader that I am.  I giggled when I clicked on the "most read authors" on goodreads and found that my #1 author was GH - with 49 entries!!!  Next most read was Robert Jordan with 15, and David Eddings with 12, but those were both series.  My next non-series author has only 10 entries, but it's Shakespeare, so I feel ok about that! But yes, you could say that I'm a Heyer fan!

For two people who are so radically different, we sure have a similar favorite author list!   :laugh:  I'm guessing that Eddings would come out on top for me, though!  

 

This year I wanted to make a shelf of books I wanted to read this year so when I was looking for something I would make myself pick from that shelf.  DH liked the idea so he did the same.  We pulled books from the family bookshelves and added them to our personal "to read' shelves.  Whenever I pick up a library book for DH or myself it goes onto our "to read" shelf.  I also made one for DD in her room.  

 

 

And I just had this cute picture of DS doing puzzles that I wanted to share.  Because he's cute!

What a great idea!  That might help me remember what I wanted to read!  And Chews on Books is just getting more adorable  ;)

 

 

 

I suggest The Grand Sophy, it's always been my favorite.

 

Then, she has a series of books with very young heroines - Arabella, Friday's Child, The Talisman Ring, Cotillion for example, which are very lighthearted and funny.  She also has a whole set with older, more mature heroines, like Venetia, The Reluctant Widow, Lady of Quality, and Bath Tangle.  And she even has a few with male protagonists, like Sylvester, Devil's Cub, These Old Shades, The Nonesuch.  She does the male characters just as well as the female characters. They are all wonderful, but I think I appreciate the older, more mature heroines even more than the young ones.

 

But then, I like Elizabeth and Elinor more than Marianne!  So maybe you should take that into account, too - which Jane Austen heroine do you prefer?

 

See how I kept that going from last week?  ;)  :D

The Grand Sophy is my favorite but it IS hard to top  :laugh: Cotillion and Sylvester and Venetia and Arabella are other favorites!

 

I feel like the BaW curmudgeon....

 

I like, perhaps even love, Hemingway.

 

I found Mansfield Park so boring & agonizing to read I never made it very far before quitting it. I have absolutely no desire to ever try it again.

 

 

Are any of Hemingway's books banned?  I've never read him.  It'll be your year to pick  ;)

 

I haven't read Mansfield Park in 4 years.  I may pick it up in February and see if I feel different about it this time.  I can see Fanny's virtues but I think Edmund annoyed me.

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