Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Read the Bible Chapter 3, by James A. Kugel

The Death of Abel, by Gustave Dore

Chapter 3 covers the story of Cain and Abel, who were the first sons of Adam and Eve. In a fit of jealousy, Cain killed Abel. Cain was scolded by God, who told Cain that as punishment he would wander the earth for life. (Thus he is interpreted to be the fore-father of the nomadic group Kenites.) Frightened, Cain told God that he, Cain, would be murdered by those who knew his deed. "Then the Lord said to him, 'Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.'" (Genesis 4:15)* This is why the Kenites, who were a brutal tribe, would kill seven people to avenge one of their own.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, by Robert Sapolsky

In this humorous and informative book, Robert Sapolsky explains how and why stress affects our bodies. The premise is that prey animals like zebras use a stress response in an evolutionary sensible way by upping certain hormones while they are being hunted, but then the zebras' stress levels drop again when they escape. Humans have the same bodily changes, only our stress tends to be small amounts for long periods of time, meaning the effects on the nervous system (lower digestion, higher blood pressure, reduced growth, etc.) remain continuously activated. Therefore, human stress is not sensible from an evolutionary standpoint. Each chapter in Sapolsky's book covers a different bodily system and explains in detail how and why stress affects it. He ends with a rather lengthy description of how lower socio-economic status affects our bodies. Although this section was interesting, it seemed a bit lengthy and out of place from the rest of the book. The subject could be a book all on its own. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How to Read the Bible, Chapter 2 by James L. Kugel

The Creation of Light, by Gustave Dore

The second chapter of Kugel's tome covers the creation of the world and the story of Adam and Eve (Genesis Chapters 1-3). 

Modern Biblical scholars theorize that the Pentateuch was actually accumulated from four sources: J (Jahwist or Yahwist), E (Elohist), D (Deuteronomist), and P (Priestly). Kugel discusses J and P in his second chapter. The P source is concerned with enumerating (for instance, counting the days of the creation in Genesis 1) and with priestly rules. It refers to God as "God" until the revelation of the name "Yahweh" to Moses later in the Pentateuch. The J source focuses on human corruption and the relationship between humans and the soil. It refers to God as "Lord God." For example: "Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground." (Genesis 2:7)*

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kitty's first vet appointment

It won't surprise anyone that knows me that I love cats. Sorry dear boyfriend, bunnies are just ok. And even less ok when they eat through the furniture. My precious little babies haven't destroyed anything yet. Except my bank account. This week I took all three of them to the vet. Boy is that expensive!

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, by Nancy Farmer

Tendai, Kuda, and Rita are the sheltered children of the chief of security of a futuristic Zimbabwe. When they decide they want to have an adventure, they manage to sneak off their property out into the underbelly of the city. There, they fall off the radar, and their father hires three detectives with special powers (Ear, Eye, and Arm) to find the lost children. The story jumps between narratives of Ear, Eye, and Arm and of the kids. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Read the Bible Chapter 1, by James L Kugel

I've decided to take Chapter notes on this tome because it'll help me keep everything in mind when I'm reading the Bible next year. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

So much, and so little

This is one of those weeks in which I feel I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, yet there's nothing much to say about it in my update! With my new job (with strange hours) ramping up, I feel over-committed to family, friends, and volunteer work so that I have very little free-time for myself. I ended up having to borrow free time, missing two events last week. But I've now rearranged certain aspects of my schedule - hopefully that will help.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2017 Bible As Literature Group Read - Signup!

I've read the Bible from cover to cover only once in my life, and I'd like the opportunity to do it again more meticulously - this time interpreting from a literary perspective. I'm going to dedicate 2017 to reading the Bible and related nonfiction. I will read and post throughout the year regardless of whether anyone joins me, but I'd love it if I had company. If you'd like to join, please sign up below. Or, if you don't have a URL, you can leave a comment, email me at hibernators.library at or tweet me @hibernatorslibr.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

R.eaders I.mbibing in P.eril XI - and weekly update

Hi All! I'm afraid not much has happened worth noting this week. Maybe that's a good thing. :) 

The Ren Festival was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed watching Willy Wonka and Blazing Saddles in the theater. 

This was my last week of hands-on-training for work, and I'll really miss some of the patients that I met at the facility I was training at. But I won't miss the negative attitude that the employees there have. They are downright mean to some of the patients, and tend to break HIPPA by talking about the patients in front of other patients. They are particularly mean to one patient who is the sweetest guy ever. I don't see why, since his only problem is that he has dementia and tends to ask the same question over and over. One of the girls said she doesn't like him because he "milks the dementia!" I felt really bad saying "bye" to him, since he seemed so genuinely sad that I was going and said "But you're so nice!" :( However, I'm happy to be moving on with work and becoming independent. I have one week of book-learning to do before that happens. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow struggles for survival in a world where there is a ruling class, the Silvers, who proudly proudly display their superpowers in order to make the powerless Reds feel belittled. The Reds are forced into poverty and are slaves to the Silvers' war. All Reds who don't have any special skills (like sewing, fishing, etc.) by the age of 18 are forced to fight and die in the war. Mare is approaching the age of 18 and is becoming increasingly disobedient to the laws of the Silvers. But she has a few lessons to learn. 

This is one of the better teen dystopias I've read in a while. The world-building is unique and the characters are engaging. It's unlike many of the dystopias lately in that it gives you the opportunity to see how the bad guys aren't all bad. But it does also has some typical aspects of teen dystopias with female main characters. I'd like to see more teen fantasy/sci-fi with male characters these days, as I find them more to the point and less about messed up romance. 

Overall, if you like teen dystopia, you'll like this book. If you don't, you won't.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I emerge from Hibernation (again)

Well, it's certainly been a while, hasn't it. I haven't been blogging lately because I fell into an interviewing / reading / blogging funk. Interviewing is such a draining process! But the good news is that I got a good job at a major dialysis company and have been training there for about two months. So it's time to re-emerge. That's my big news for over the last couple of months, so I'll just settle down to a weekly update now: