On My Mind – June 2016

Monday Author: Susanne Skinner

It’s hard to ignore the news, although I had a shot at it last month. I was working in our Israeli headquarters with the gift of no US politics for a full week. It was out of sight, out of mind media bliss.

But things are heating up here, and it’s not just the weather. There’s a lot on my mind this month.That’s not to say Israel does not have its own troubles, because they do, but it was such a relief to lose the political drama and gain perspective on our world through the eyes of a foreign press. America is not the Center of the Universe.

I stayed in Herzlia, Israel’s Silicon Valley. My hotel was on the beach and it was 104 degrees when I arrived. I put in a hard week of work but enjoyed the local street cuisine, a visit to the spice market, amazingly good coffee and some serious wine tasting. Israel has a climate similar to Napa, producing wonderful small batch wines.

But things are heating up here, and it’s not just the weather. There’s a lot on my mind this month.

What Does the Internet Say?

We live in an ever-changing world and I say Welcome to It. While you were busy in your real life and wondering if The Donald’s hair is a style, the internet stored up things for us to read. We can’t keep pace with the real news, never mind the nonsense, so we look to the on-line world to keep us informed, entertained and educated. It never disappoints us. We live in an ever-changing world and I say Welcome to It. While you were busy in your real life and wondering if The Donald’s hair is a style, the internet stored up things for us to read. We can’t keep pace with the real news, never mind the nonsense, so we look to the on-line world to keep us informed, entertained and educated. It never disappoints us.

According to the WWW:

Climbing the highest mountain in the world is a very dangerous undertaking. On May 27th five climbers lost their lives in yet another attempt to conquer Mount Everest, adding their names to a long list of fatalities. Because it’s there is not a good reason.  Author and Everest mountaineer Jon Krakauer gives us a front row seat without the vertigo.

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.  He fought for his beliefs, in and out of the boxing ring. Rest in peace Mohammed Ali, you were The Greatest.

Sometimes you feel like a French butter cookie.  Here’s how you do it.

The Wild Unknown is the place to look next time you need a children’s book and you’re pretty sure someone already bought Goodnight Moon.  These are books for children of all ages.

Albert Woodfox spent 43 years in an isolation celll as the longest-standing solitary-confinement prisoner in America. This is what the absence of human interaction does to a person. Required reading.

And then Brock Turner happened. Convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus, he excused his actions as the product of a culture of drinking, peer pressure and sexual promiscuity. Isn’t that special?

The idiot sitting on the bench, aka Judge Aaron Persky, compounded the offense by sentencing him to six months in prison because six years is too harsh “for twenty minutes of action.” His mother wrote a manifesto claiming “my once happy boy is distraught, deeply depressed, terribly wounded, and filled with despair.”  There are no words.  #nojustice.

On My Mind: Read

On my mind: Every year I pick a summer reading project. My challenge this year is the same one I had last year – all eight books in the time traveling Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I am on book seven, and let me just say if the characters had been on the Oregon Trail they would have all died by the middle of book two. Every year I pick a summer reading project.  My challenge this year is the same one I had last year – all eight books in the time traveling Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I am on book seven, and let me just say if the characters had been on the Oregon Trail they would have all died by the middle of book two.

It’s more serial reading than I’m used to, and I have struggled with the meandering story line in more than one book, but I will see it through.  A good portion has been done on CD during my commute but each book is 40 discs. Even in Boston traffic that’s a slow read. Once in a while I have to step away and read something without a Scottish accent.

If boat-anchor books are not on your radar dinna fash yersel. Starz has done a fantastic job bringing this story to life with amazing casting and attention to detail. Season one is on DVD in the library. Treat yourself and get your Scots on.

In between the trials of Jaimie and Claire, here are three summer reading recommendations:

  • The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran and a convicted rapist and murderer. He has been medically paroled to a nursing home where he meets Joe Talbert who is going to interview him for his college English class. Things are not as they seem.
  • Letting Go by Deborah Wallis. The third book written by my gifted friend and SHAPE alumni. Told in letters that span four generations they heal the woman who discovers them by connecting with her past and shaping her future. Read with Kleenex.
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbury. Set in a Paris apartment on 7 rue de Grenelle, this is the story of the people who live there, told in part by the concierge Renée and a twelve-year-old resident named Paloma. Get the audio CD—the voice actors bring this story to life.

On My Mind: Watch

  • Tarzan gets a Remake. I’ve always been a fan, and I can’t wait. If you aren’t a fan, go for the eye candy.

On My Mind: Listen

  • Grace VanderWaal. America does have talent and she’s a twelve-year-old original in a line-up of pretenders.
  • Secret Garden is Irish violinist and singer Fionnuala Sherry and Norwegian composer and pianist Rolf Lovland. Center yourself.

And finally, this beautiful Melon Sangria is just the thing. Let’s all have some and stay cool while things around us continue to heat up.

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