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A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was the other Apollo book to arrive today. I didn't want our son to only know the stories of the astronauts but also to learn about the work involved in getting them to the moon. This is a wonderful book with great art and fine content that gives Katherine Johnson's story while also highlighting math skills and their importance. Our son has enjoyed all of his space books, and I find him poring over them on his... Continue reading
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca My rating: 5 of 5 stars Since the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, our four year old has been fascinated by space, the moon, and specifically the Apollo missions. We have encouraged this fascination with toys and books. Two more books arrived today, including this gorgeous one by Brian Floca (we have two others of his). This book is beautiful art and good free verse poetry. And just the right amount of information and content for our son. I highly recommend it. View all my reviews Continue reading
A is for All the Things You Are: A Joyful ABC Book by Anna Forgerson Hindley My rating: 5 of 5 stars An excellent book for learning not just the alphabet but the traits of good moral character! Thanks to one of our friends for giving this to our son. View all my reviews Continue reading
I am Neil Armstrong by Brad Meltzer My rating: 3 of 5 stars Our son really enjoys this series (he now has six of them). And they do a very good job of educating him in some key figures and social movements. My only complaints with these books is they often have too much in them and lose focus. This one in particular could have used some better editing. View all my reviews Continue reading
24th & Glory: The Intersection of Civil Rights and Omaha's Greatest Generation of Athletes by Dirk Chatelain My rating: 4 of 5 stars A engaging, moving read. The story of significant American social movements told through the lens of one neighborhood in a Midwestern city and the prominent characters who lived there. A essential read for Omahans that will be enjoyed by many others. View all my reviews Continue reading
Writing in Foreign Policy, Michael Fuchs does not think we need a grand strategy. That, in fact, grand strategies have often gotten us in trouble. Continue reading
An excellent, and I think helpful, column in the Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf on what's going on with the Right. Even deeper than the racism currently being exhibited is a psychological temperament that seeks order and fears difference and change. He criticizes the Left for how they respond to the Right and provides insights on the best way to build coalitions to advance the nation. Continue reading
Heiwa Mark 12:28-34 by the Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones First Central Congregational Church 11 August 2019 Could you use help in figuring out how to live with challenging people? How to defend yourself and love yourself with integrity without bringing harm upon other people? How to speak truth in difficult times but still in a way that advances peace and love? Today’s Gospel lesson is a familiar passage, wherein Jesus engages in a conversation with a scribe about what are the core teachings of the faith. Mark 12:28-34 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with... Continue reading
Ubuntu I Corinthians 12:12-27 by the Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones First Central Congregational Church 4 August 2019 What are your summer camp memories? I first went to church camp as a preschooler when my parents were youth directors. Attending children’s or youth camp was an annual tradition in my upbringing. I have fond memories of the Grand Lake Baptist Association’s campground outside Grove, Oklahoma. I especially remember the giant weeping willow tree, sadly no longer there, which was fun to hide inside. And there was another tree, near the First Baptist Miami cabin, where I always sat for my... Continue reading
The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison My rating: 3 of 5 stars Good, the week after her death, to read Morrison's words speaking to the crisis of our times. My favorite part was this on the stranger: "Why should we want to know a stranger when it is easier to estrange another? Why should we want to close the distance when we can close the gate? . . . "It took some time for me to understand my unreasonable claims on that fisherwoman. To understand that I was longing for and missing some aspect of myself, and that there... Continue reading
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari My rating: 1 of 5 stars There were three places in the book where I felt an interesting idea was discussed. First was his claim that the Agricultural Revolution caused a decrease in happiness and freedom. Second was his discussion of the rise and dominance of capitalism and particularly how that tied with science. Third was his claim that Europe came unexpectedly to dominate the world because of its embrace of ignorance. But overall I didn't find the book very interesting. Most ideas weren't new. I didn't find the writing... Continue reading
Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman My rating: 3 of 5 stars A nice, simple, straightforward book about how every color is for everyone. View all my reviews Continue reading
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders My rating: 4 of 5 stars Another great Pride themed children's book to share parts of our story with our kids. View all my reviews Continue reading
Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World by Serene Jones My rating: 3 of 5 stars Serene Jones has written about the life of faith as a prominent theologian, combining personal and family stories and experiences with the intellectual concepts of the great theological thinkers. A beautiful exploration of how those of us who study Calvin, Barth, Kierdegaard, Cone, etc. make sense of our lives and integrate the intellect with experience. This book will be particularly good for those who don't understand theology, not because it is an intro to theological thinking for it is not, but becuase... Continue reading
I haven't posted anything really about the Democratic primary, so I thought I'd write my thoughts to date. I've mostly been following the campaign by reading profiles and articles and what I've heard on NPR. I pretty much gave up TV news after the election. I was camping during the first debates and this week's debates I saw snippets of each night, as household chores and child's bedtime routines were more important (and without cable tv I couldn't have it on in the background, since they were on CNN). Nor have I seen any of the candidates, though they come... Continue reading
Body Love “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver by the Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones First Central Congregational Church 28 July 2019 Today we conclude our series based on the poems of Mary Oliver, who died in January. And we are concluding with one of her most popular poems, “Wild Geese.” You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.... Continue reading
Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Sue Hamilton My rating: 3 of 5 stars A quick read and a good introduction, as I continue my effort to learn more about other philosophical traditions. Some sections of a few chapters got very technical and difficult to follow, but overall I think this was helpful. View all my reviews Continue reading
<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)" src="" /></a><a href="">Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay</a> by <a href="">Elena Ferrante</a><br/> My rating: <a href="">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br /> I am so engrossed in this series. The second installment wasn't as strong as the first but I really liked this one, the third. And now I'm salivating for reading the fourth, which I may have to bump up my list and read soon.<br /><br />I felt that this novel was very similar to Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook in... Continue reading
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo My rating: 3 of 5 stars When Notre Dame burned this spring, I realized that I had never read this novel, despite owning a copy since I was an adolescent. So it seemed time to finally read it. The novel took me a long time to get into. Like many nineteenth century novels there is so much else going on besides the central story and much development and scene setting before things really get going. When they finally do, the story is good, even if Hugo can go off on strange tangents... Continue reading
Knowing What to Do: Imagination, Virtue, and Platonism in Ethics by Timothy Chappell My rating: 3 of 5 stars First, I must correct a Goodreads error, for they have this book's author listed under her former and incorrect name. The author is Sophie Grace Chappell. I heard Chappell lecture at Creighton University here in Omaha a few years ago and put this book on my "list" to read because I was impressed by her creative thinking. I had wondered if this is a book I might use as a text in teaching Ethics. I think not, as it is more... Continue reading