A madcap, rollicking adventure awaits readers in ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’

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They say you can’t judge a book from its cover.

I agree with that statement 99 percent of the time, after having finished The Girl Who Saved the King of Swedenby Jonas Jonasson — a book that I had checked out of the library simply because the title and cover design were intriguing.

In a nutshell, this was a fantastically rollicking book, sometimes hysterical and sometimes sobering, with a strong dose of bracingly sharp commentary on international affairs. In my opinion, it could be easily compared to A Confederacy of Dunces — but with actually likable characters — as well as the 2000 British movie Snatch. 

It’s a crazy tale, but it succeeds in the end because that’s the nature of a eucatastrophe type of story.  Continue reading “A madcap, rollicking adventure awaits readers in ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’”

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We plant because we have hope

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I hadn’t planned on doing any gardening this fall, much less planting dozens upon dozens of bulbs, but I guess my uncle thought otherwise.

I heard from my aunt in early September telling me that my uncle — an avid gardener — was ordering his lily bulbs for the year and wanted to see if I’d like some, too. I said sure, though I’d never planted bulbs before, and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  Continue reading “We plant because we have hope”

Thomas Merton in October

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I’ve wanted to read Thomas Merton’s “The Seven Storey Mountain” for some time now, so  I’ve finally picked it up and have been cruising along pretty steadily. His writing is downright gorgeous.

I am not quite halfway through, but I’ve already decided that I like this Thomas Merton individual.

Prior to reading this book, which is his autobiography, I’d attended a presentation about him, read a few of his reflections in spiritual collections, and heard lots of conversations about his apparently controversial life and spirituality. (He died in 1968.)

Anyone who visits this blog knows I’m a hardcore Flannery O’Connor fan, and I’ve read Dorothy Day’s “The Long Loneliness,” so I’m becoming a bit more familiar with modern Catholic writers/converts that have their own unique brand of oddness and/or peculiarity. Continue reading “Thomas Merton in October”

After struggling through it for nearly three years, I’ve finished ‘The Brothers Karamazov.’ Here’s how I survived a long, complicated book.

20170904_134618.jpgHere’s a personal achievement. Today I finished The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Gentle blog reader, you have no idea of the magnitude of that statement.

It took me nearly three years. Also, lots of griping and complaining; lots of encouragement from my husband; lots of patient and polite listening from my friends, relatives and social media connections who may or may not cared; and lots of re-reading passages since the thing was so darn long that I often forgot what was going on.

It was a self-imposed beast to conquer, but I conquered it.  Continue reading “After struggling through it for nearly three years, I’ve finished ‘The Brothers Karamazov.’ Here’s how I survived a long, complicated book.”