Sunday, May 1, 2016

Due Diligence (Rachel Gold Mysteries #5)Due Diligence by Michael A. Kahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this for a book club but I'm so glad I did. Rachel Gold and her friends are a delight. Michael Kahn has fashioned a complex yet totally understandable and believable thriller/mystery. A simple story woven with delightful characters. I really enjoyed the dialogue and the action. I may want to go back and read some more of the Rachel Gold mysteries. There are nine of them to date with several other books to his credit.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Man Without Breath (Bernard Gunther, #9)A Man Without Breath by Philip Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is quite a book. Bernie is trying to solve some seemingly simple murders with a backdrop of mass murder and genocide. Actual characters, actual locations real historical events make for a real page turner that is exciting until the end. The internal turmoil in Bernie's mind is well matched by the schitzo nature of the German leadership during WWII. Read past the end into the Author's notes at the end.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Counting The Omer.... Why?

As a child, holidays came and went. Each had its own rituals and foods. Some I didn't even notice, others were pretty much good for a day off from school. Now that I am older, and have time to think about these things, I spend a little more time wondering what it is all about.

When my dear daughter asked me to write her an Omer counter I had to look it up to find out what it was. I find the idea interesting for many reasons. Most of which it makes the counter, if you choose to be one, cognizant of the passage of time and the season more than ever. It gives us a chance to prepare for the holiday that celebrates G-d giving us the Torah.

The Torah, everything you need to know about life in one easy to handle scroll, is an amazing gift and however you believe it came to be, it certainly has had a profound impact on Jews and non-Jews alike.

I found a couple of interesting articles on Counting the Omer. The first is from the blog PunkTorah regarding the counting:

So, what does this all mean to us now? Well, it can mean many things. Counting the Omer can be used as a tool of self reflection. We can take this time to recognize the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt, from the gift of our freedom. The Sages tell us that G-d freed us from slavery in order to give us the Torah on Shavu’ot, so this should be a time of preparation. Counting the Omer gives us the time to learn from the gift of freedom G-d has given us and incorporate it into our lives, to grow one day at a time, taking a spiritual accounting, to make sure that we are heading in the right direction, to look at what we are doing that is right or wrong and to try to make ourselves ready to receive the honor of the Torah.
Counting the days is another way of directing our mindfulness to the passage of time. Be aware of the days as they pass, count them, give them meaning. We have been freed from slavery, rejecting the confusion and idolatry (philosophically, literally, and spiritually) of our own Egypt’s and are being made ready to re-focus our lives.
I guess a good take-away from all of this is that one must make each day count. Make each day worth living for you and the people you love. 

(This is a repeat of a post from last year)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very delightful book. Strong characters and a plot that crept up and grabbed me. I could almost see the characters probably because I've watched so much British tv. Can't wait to read more of these.

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