Suggest A Book To Read! (Part 1)

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One of the parts of life that I miss intensely during the lockdowns due to the pandemic is the ability to browse in bookstores. Books are a main part of my life; I read constantly, teach English Literature courses at college, and I write novels. One of my great pleasures in life is spending times exploring books in a store. Where I live, the Lehigh Valley, PA, is blessed with having more bookstores than many other areas,  but like most businesses, they are not open for in-person browsing.

So, let us help the readers out there. Let us suggest one book for others to consider reading.

I will continue this book suggestion as a weekly series, and that is the reason for only one recommendation per post.

Here is my suggestion:

A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. I consider this book to be one of the very best novels ever written.  This magnificent novel requires a commitment of time and thinking as you read it.

“Exceptional . . . a mammoth, elegaic, moving exegesis on love, beauty,  the meaning of life, and the meaninglessness of war . . . a compelling vision of humanity . . . ” (From the inside cover quotation from the Washington Post Book World.)

I consider this novel to stand with Cervantes’ Don Quixote as one of the essential books to read in a person’s life.

A Soldier Of The Great War

Remember to Honor Memorial Day

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I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday exists.  The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.

This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America.  Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day.  I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and  thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.

They deserve our thanks and our honor.

Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.

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Be Sure To Vote!

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Be sure to vote! As Americans, we have a precious gift and an awesome responsibility to take part in our Democracy. Be sure to go tomorrow and vote!

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This right to vote is enshrined in our constitution and has been fought for in many ways, both by soldiers in war and by civil rights activists. Honor their achievements and efforts.

Go vote!

Happy Independence Day!

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I wish all a happy and safe 4th of July.  Please celebrate safely, have fun, and take a moment to remember all those who sacrificed to bring freedom.

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Let us also remember that freedom includes everyone of all races, religions, ethnicities, backgrounds, classes, sexual orientations, creeds, and neurodiversities–and any others I may have forgotten.  Freedom demands inclusion, not exclusion. Let us remember that freedom for all is the basis and the promise, if not always the reality, of the United States of America.

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Let us keep The United States of America a shining light to the oppressed of the world. Let us remember the words on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Emma Lazarus

 

Let us remember that we, as human beings, are connected, that we all have a place in the world. Let us remember the value of freedom and democracy. The fourth of July is more than a day of fireworks–it is a day of the celebration of freedom. Let us never lose that freedom.

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We must always remember that. We are all connected. We, all of us, are the people.

Please Remember the D-Day Invasion

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Please let us all take a moment and remember the sacrifices of those men, often little more than boys, who took part in the largest military invasion in the history of humanity: Operation Overlord. Thanks to their courage, they were able to begin the end of Hitler’s reign of terror in Europe. The invasion began on June 6, 1944 and lasted until the middle of July in 1944.

Many soldiers from a variety of countries lost their lives during this campaign, and today several cemeteries exist to honor those who fell. One such sacred place is the Normandy American Cemetery.

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To all who fought to defeat Fascism, I give my thanks.