Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday for July 26!!

I have really been getting into Top Ten Tuesdays lately, 
and this week is no exception!
This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I may have mentioned before that I LOVE to LEARN!
Truly, if I had the money and thereby the time 
I would probably have amassed many degrees by now!
But I didn't have either the time or money, so...I hold only one undergraduate degree. 
But...that is better than not having had the opportunity or ability to obtain that one! :)

This week's topic:
Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do 
or Learn About After Reading Them

I realize you are probably tired of seeing these next two titles on here, but they are both such rewarding and enlightening reading experiences!!

The one book I've read most recently that made me truly curious and wanting to know more about the subject matter was 
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. 

I have the Social Justice Book Club (#SJBookClub) 
to thank for this one!
This book club is hosted by 
Kerry of Entomology of a Bookworm
and was founded by herself, 
Shaina of Shaina Readsand Shannon of River City Reading.

Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiativeheadquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.
Though this book is absolutely heartbreaking, each person in this country should read it! 
He is proving there can be hope, love, and mercy, by creating a measure of true justice and fairness. Our first positive contribution is to be educated and informed...only then can we truly advocate for a better world, starting by working for those unfairly accused, or worse, unfairly incarcerated and/or sentenced to death. Many of these convictions are obtained by ignoring often irrefutable evidence that would exonerate these "victims" of the U.S. 'justice system,' which is many times anything but...just. :(

The second book read for the Social Justice Book Club was 

by Laura Tillman.
I admit to a bit of trepidation about this book and exactly what it 
would entail, mainly because I do NOT like to read true crime...
But this was so very much more than that!
I could personally relate to so many aspects of John's and Angela's lives, since I worked as a mental health professional 
advocating for clients' care and maintenance.
Many of the clients with whom I worked dealt with many of the same issues these two people faced... It is gutwrenching and hopefully, for those unfamiliar with such challenges and the people in our society who wrestle with them, very eye-opening. As Tillman notes, we all participate in an execution, by virtue that we, as citizens of a representational democracy are responsible for such.
Dr. Sarat, a professor of political science at Amherst College, author of 
Since 1973, one person has been exonerated 
for every nine executed. (205)
...don't I and every other American have a personal stake in every execution that occurs?
How can any of us discover our position on such a law without comprehending its full weight, 
as we might if we saw it enacted? (208)
Though I have personal experience advocating for people facing such challenges, I would like to do more to advocate for political and policy change to not only increase services available to those who need them, but particularly convenient and reasonable access to services. 
**Lynn now steps down off her social service soapbox...everyone breathes a sigh of relief!**
Image result for the confession grisham cover image

To continue with discussion of the death penalty and social justice, 
I read The Confession by John Grisham about 5 years ago. 
I was caring for my mother, advocating for her medical care in her 
later years, and I associate some rather poignant memories with this title. It was when I first realized just how impaired her cognitive functioning was in some ways. Much as Will Schwalbe 
did in The End of Your Life Book Club, I was hopeful that mother 
and I could read and discuss the same book, helping to keep her 
active in some way and to connect with each other. 
(A task which was always virtually impossible for my mother and 
myself to accomplish throughout my lifetime.) 
Although mother selected this book, she was unable to track well enough to read it.
This was the first (and last) full-length novel I have read in electronic format. Ebooks are just not for me--I am evidently old and set in my ways! :)
Though this was a work of fiction, I felt in many ways it most likely reflects reality. 
Prosecutors and other legal 'professionals' are unwilling to set aside their own success in obtaining convictions to consider the last-minute possibility of a confession by the actual perpetrator of a crime, even if it means an innocent man 
(a teen at the time of his arrest) is unjustly and unfairly executed...

One of my favorite reads ever was 
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin.
This was the fourth book read for the 
Prior to reading this book I knew little to nothing 
about either Charles or Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
This was eye-opening, to say the least.
He supported the Nazi Regime?
He also supported multiple 'families' in various worldwide locations while simultaneously being married to Anne?
She was an established writer and though Anne edited his book,
The Spirit of St. Louis, which won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography or Biography, he never acknowledged any contribution made by her. Though he might have been a brave and talented navigator, 
in my humble opinion, he was an asshole in his personal life and political beliefs.
Amazingly, Anne never appeared to harbor any ill-will against him for all this (and more), 
but rather she helped him as she could, even as he lay dying. 
Image result for the gift from the sea lindbergh cover imageI was gratified to learn that she did make a life for herself 
once her children were self-sufficient adults out on their own!
I want to read so many other books as a result of having read 
this one to learn more about both of these people, but 
especially Anne. I have read and greatly enjoyed 
Gift From the Sea by Anne, though I've yet to complete 
a blog post about this book, it is definitely one I will keep 
to reread bits and portions of throughout the 
remainder of my lifetime. 
I found it to be reflective and spiritually uplifting.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Though I have recorded notes from this book, 
I have yet to distill my thoughts into a blog post.
(In fact, there may be multiple posts for this one!)
This was the first read for 
Emma Watson's Feminist Book Club on Goodreads 
and it was so enlightening!
I enjoyed this book so much and was grateful for this 
reading and learning experience!
Again, I knew next to nothing about Steinem and was so happy to learn more about her, her life, her experiences, her insights,
and especially her work as a "community organizer"!
This makes me want to learn more about feminists' 
efforts and opportunities to advocate for equal opportunity.

A truly scary read, 
Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist 
by Sunil Yapa, 
raises some real questions concerning the validity of 
some global organizations such as 
the World Trade Organization (WHO) 
and the World Bank/World Bank Group. 
Additionally, this novel leads us through the 
individual lives of several protestors, 
an estranged father who leads 
the Seattle Police Department, two of the SPD officers, 
and finally, an international diplomat.
One thing that impressed me most about this book was the way Yapa depicts the duality of human nature: Each human being can be kind, gentle, and compassionate, even risking our own life to save that of others, and yet, in a different situation/role, we can be crueler to others than can perhaps be imagined. Much as we might imagine these global organizations are 'doing good,' they might actually reflect this same duality...
I definitely recommend reading this one!

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
This series is one of my absolute favorites. 
What does it make me want to learn about?
I would love to visit and explore this vast country. 
The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony 
and Circling the Sun by Paula McLain, 
both excellent books in very different ways,
have served to only further peak my interest in this country.

I know I have mentioned this one before, 
but really, it is an amazing reading experience! 
Two Boys Kissing is just so much more than 
"two boys kissing"!
And while you might expect me to state that 
reading this book made me more curious 
about homosexuality, it did not. 
I long ago became comfortable with 
that concept as well as other 'variations' 
upon gender assignment issues. 

What it did make me want to do is read more 
of David Levithan's writing! 
Though I have yet to follow-up on that desire, 
it is very strong and I'm sure I will read more of his books!

Image result for finding jake bryan reardon cover imageI read Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon 
last year and LOVED it! 
Reardon's writing resonated with me so very well!
Though I am not a fan of 'true crime' in the least, 
and despise sensationalism in the mass media, etc., 
this book gave an alternative POV to 
a school shooting than I've ever read before--
truly unique and thought-provoking!
It was reminiscent of One Mississippi by 
Mark Childress in that it explored a school 
shooting from an adolescent's perspective. 
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb is 
another book that explores a school shooting from a unique/often overlooked perspective. It explores the life of a person only involved in the periphery of such a catastrophic event in the aftermath of that event. The repercussions can be life-altering to so many...

On a bit lighter note, I would love to learn more about penguins, specifically their relationships with humans, 
after reading 
The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned From a Remarkable Bird 
by Tom Michell. 
I loved this poignant yet uplifting memoir! 
As did all the other members of the Borders Book Club! 

What book has motivated you to learn more?


  1. I read Steinem's Revolution From Within when I was much (much) younger and feel like I not only need to revisit that book, but also read this new one. It sounds really good.

    1. I would highly recommend it. I'll check out Revolution from Within. That sounds like something I would really like. Thank you for the recommendation! And thanks for stopping by!