In October, Ben turned 15 and when contemplating what he wanted to do, he decided he wanted to spend an evening putt-putting and eating pizza with his pals. He then decided that in lieu of birthday gifts, he'd suggest that his friends bring a donation for an Operation Christmas Child box. Donations he received! Between the six fine fellows below, they managed to fill 4 boxes!
Ben is in orange. And yes, these guys are as fine and fun as they look!
On that beautiful autumn evening in October the boys enjoyed pizza and putt putt before returning home. And tomorrow we finally take the filled boxes to church where they will be gathered with many other boxes, prayed over, taken to a collection center where they will then be sent on their way to be received by children possibly on the other side of the world.
Hope for a Merry Christmas and a little bit of love is enclosed in each box.
This book took me into the life of southern America during the early 60's. I would have been the age of the children in this book, but growing up in the midwest the life that is described in this book is completely foreign to me. It is an important book to me on that count alone.
I would give the book 5 stars, but I do believe it slipped a couple times trying to be "politically correct". Firstly, by occasionally expressing some ideas that were unlikely expressed (at least in the way they were) during this time period. And secondly, by idealizing black women (particularly domestic help during the time period portrayed). It tried to look like it didn't do these things, but it did. In the end black women were the only heroes, white women the only villians, and everyone else was a puppet or victim. People are much more complicated than this, but perhaps the book would have become too unweildy had the author attempted to show so many dimensions of the characters.
All that said, I do highly recommend the book. It is a good read that you'll likely feel ended far too soon. But more importantly, it can provide fodder for discussion that many of us would likely never have.
Be sure to read the author's notes at the end of the book (very easy to miss as they are behind the acknowledgments).
They loved him. Then they hated him. Then they loved him.
We recently wrapped up our reading of Shakespeare's Julius Caesarand topped it off with viewing the 1953 classic version of this play. We all agreed that James Mason made an excellent Brutus and Marlon Brando was awesome to watch as Mark Antony when he manipulated the Roman citizens to first accept that Caesar's murderers acted in the best interest of Rome and then (within minutes) turned them into a vindictive mob onto the same men.
It was also amazing to see the actors speak Shakespeare's Elizabethan English so smoothly after we had stammered and stuttered through our reading. As much as we stuttered, we did enjoy it, though.
In the end, we concluded the play had been mis-titled and should have been called "Brutus" for it was more about the valor and honor (if you can call a murderer honorable) of Marcus Brutus than about Caesar.
So....I'm curious who knows that the following lines are straight out of the play Julius Caesar? Bonus points to the smarty pants who know who said them. (without looking it up)
"Friends, Countrymen, lend me your ears!" "It's Greek to me."
and while they may not be famous, aren't these some great lines?:
"Th' abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power." "...lowliness is young ambition's ladder, whereto the climber-upward turns his face; But when he attains the up most round he then unto the ladder turns his back, looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees by which he did ascend."