Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Battle for Home by Marwa Al Abaquni and a few light reads I've been amusing myself with.


 Listening to Schubert's last three String Quartets.

 It was my birthday and hubby cubby brought me flowers!!  I love birthdays, they make me feel loved.


 I've once again been reading books faster than I can write in depth reviews, so here are blurbs on the last couple of books I've read:

The author poses an interesting theory that architecture can bring a community together in harmony or create strife and division.

She asserts that before the government decided to tear down traditional, historical buildings and demolish neighborhoods, Christians and Muslims lived together in peace and with respect. After different government leaders decided to glorify themselves by destroying these buildings, and create horrible, lifeless, soul-less structures, it divided people and ushered in the war that has now ravished Syria.

She does not make it that simplistic, but that is the gist. Our living space matters in affecting how we think and live our lives.

I get that, but I also think that Isis and the government have other reasons for fighting each other. I think the destruction of the architecture was a symptom of a corrupt government that maintains power through terror. Isis are religious radicals who believe they have a God-given right to oust the leaders of Syria. The problem is their motives aren't to provide the people with liberty and opportunity, but to impose radical Islam on the country.

The people of Syria are caught in the cross fire. I wonder how it will conclude? After all of Syria is lying in ashes?




This is my second in Schweizer's liturgical mystery series. His mysteries are well constructed and he's as funny as all get out. Kind of a Mark Twain, if Twain were a mystery writer.

I just read the author died last year. A pity, because he's only written about twelve of these mysteries.

To complain: he hurls too many cheap shots at other denominations, but he does not spare the Episcopalian church and he lets his opinions be known about Nazi Feminists who become priests.


Willy, the curator is found dead in the choir loft. At first it looks like a heart attack, but then poison from the Oleander plant is found in his blood stream. Oleander is the plant that one of the choir members has been using to kill her neighbor's pet hedge hogs because they keep escaping into her yard. Then she cooks them into a stew to serve at pot lucks. Yuck.

But, the cook did not do it and it takes quite a bit of circling before we find out who did. 
The following stories are on Hoopla and I listen to them on my phone while in my car or while I'm cleaning.
Agatha Raisin's new detective agency is just starting out. She's invested in an office, hired junior detectives and a secretary. So far their only client is a woman who wants them to find her lost cat.

However, things slowly pick up (a man wants to find his son, but only because he wants his car back) another woman wants evidence her husband is cheating on her and a young woman about to be married has received a death threat.

The last case is when things really start to escalate. Agatha and her secretary, Emma Comfrey, arrive at the engagement party and help the lady narrowly avoid getting shot at by a sniper.

Why would anyone want to kill this girl? Agatha is determined to find out. Meanwhile her friends, Ron and Sir Charles arrive to help.

The secretary Emma, starts out as a good ally, but she begins to show signs of instability as the story progresses.

In this book, the relationships Agatha has begun to cultivate in her Cotswold village are beginning to ripen and blossom.

Another fun read.


I enjoyed this story for the same reasons I enjoy all of Beaton's Agatha Raisin series. Agatha is so human. The dialogue is hilarious. And also I very much enjoy the narration by Penelope Keith. I have been listening to these novels while painting and cleaning my house, getting it ready to sell. It makes the time go so much faster.

After listening to Keith's wonderful voicing of all the characters, I don't think I want to read them anymore.
 Poor Agatha. She's a middle aged over weight woman who has the same notions of romance as a teenager who devours pulp novels.

She's recently married, but her husband disappears. Not only that but the last woman he was seen with has been murdered. Did he do it? And where did he go?

Another great psychological study of psychopaths, but with the warmth and humor that makes me enjoy Beaton's novels.


Brian Joseph said...

Hi Sharon - Happy belated birthday.

The architecture theory is interesting, but I agree that it is not the root cause of strife. I think that Different groups living side by side and interring socially and economically does help to reduce strife but there are so many things at play in Syria and elsewhere.

The situation in Syria is terribly tragic. I think Isis will be defeated, but there are other bad actors around and as you say the country is in ruins and so many have died.

Sandi said...

To me it seems there is more going on with Syria and these other wars than meets the eye. It's all connected. But Jesus brings peace to all of us. Soon, I hope.

Happy Birthday!

Regarding your comment on my post about Japan. That's a good question. I read recently Christianity appeared there as early as 600-700, but they had many years after that when it was outlawed. Did you know Pyongyang in North Korea was once known as the Jerusalem of the East? I don't recall hearing this about Asia in church history, but maybe I wasn't paying attention. In light of these things, it is no surprise South Korea has such a vibrant church. God moves and who can stop Him?

God bless.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Brian,

That's what I think a lot of people do not understand: that Muslims and Christians and also Jews, were living side by side in Middle Eastern countries for centuries and this past century events have divided them and caused internal conflict and warfare.

However, I do believe the space we surround ourselves in can affect our spirits, but I don't think, unfortunately, it can prevent war or persecution.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Sandi!

I really need to read more about the history of evangelism in Japan because I would be very interested to achieve a greater understanding as to how and why the Japanese became believers or why they did not.

I did read the first Korean dictator, the present dictator's father, was the son of a Presbyterian minister. Makes you wonder what happened there, doesn't it?

But, as you say, all historical events are explained in the Bible and we look toward the final goal.

mudpuddle said...

that makes some sense: that architecture can effect civic ethos, i mean... cozy little nooks vs. monumental soulless monstrous concrete piles closing one in: i can see what a difference it would make in just going out for a snack... Agatha marches on; i have to get back to her adventures some time, soon, i hope...

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi mudpuddle!

I agree. I had read that the Bauhaus movement produced apartment buildings that actually caused depression to the point that they had to tear down the structures.

The space in which we dwell most definitely has an impact on our spirits.

I am reading a lot of Agatha because I have her on audio and it helps the time go by when I am cleaning. Ironically I am catching up with my number of books thanks to listening around the house and in the car.

Debbie Nolan said...

Wishing you Sharon a belated Happy Birthday. Your hubby's precious gift of flowers is wonderful. Enjoyed seeing the collection of cards too. Always enjoy your taste in music. I admit you have me intrigued into reading MC Beaton. They sound like something light and enjoyable. Take care friend and don't work too hard. Selling your home?? Are you staying in the area or making a far away move? Hugs!

Carol said...

Hi Sharon, loved your flowers! Happy birthday that’s gone. 🙂 I’ve also been reading and not writing much but it’s actually been good for me I think. My husband & I celebrated our 33rd Wedding Anniversary yesterday. I can’t believe it’s been that long! Almost a blink of the eye now that ai look back. I noticed our library had the Rebecca Tope mysteries you write about but I didn’t get them as I have too many books already that I haven’t read. But I will keep them in mind. Hope you are all keeping well.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Carol!

Happy 33rd anniversary! How many kids later? You all truly have a quiver full.

You'll have to let me know what you think of Rebecca Tope. She and I actually exchange e mails. It's been interesting getting to know her.

I know what you mean about too many books. Our next door neighbor had a garage sale. Josh and I went to "just look" and I came back with fifteen books.

Thank you for the birthday wishes!

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Debbie!

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a blessing. Every new year of life is a blessing.

I don't know if you'll like Beaton or not. She writes well, but she uses some language and has a little bit of casual sex I'm not thrilled with. But it helps doing chores faster as I listen and I've checked them out of the library on audio, so they're free.

Hope you're having a beautiful autumn. I'm sure you are.