Sunday, November 1, 2020

Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City by Adina Hoffman; 1000 Tattoos ed. by Henk Schiffmacher; The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice by Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh

 Here are the Complete Harpsichord Concertos by J.S. Bach.




I came across this old photo of me with my baby boy.  Baby boy is now 6'2 and living in China.  Thank God for WeChat.  I can talk to him every day and he sounds like he's in the next room, not on the other side of the world.


So far this year I've read 218 books.  I set a goal for myself to read 300 books before January.  Not that numbers are a worthy aspiration, but I was hoping to decrease the number on Mount TBR.  It has not worked because a big chunk of these books are from the library.  These three, however, are my own and you may be getting a lot of reviews of multiple books in one post from now until 2021 in an effort to make my goal.

I love architecture and this time last year I toured Israel for three weeks. So I was interested to read a book about its architecture, although it seemed to me that most towns were made up of white washed square, stone apartments.

This book kind of explains that as we learn of the German Jewish architects who traveled to Jerusalem during the height of the Bauhaus movement and left their imprint on the buildings there.

We get biographies of various European architects, many Jewish, but not all, along with Middle Eastern architects and how they arrived in Jerusalem, their philosophy of building, and how they impacted a city that is holy to so many cultures.

Along with the architecture we get a history of a pre-born and newly born Israel and the political tensions that developed along the way. 

 If you're interested in tons of photos of people's tattoos through the ages, this book is for you. There are, well, probably a thousand, ha, ha different tattoos. You can see the development of the art, how it changed throughout the years and also the forms of tattoo art from different countries.

I wish there was a little more information on the photos, especially the photos of tattooed women from the thirties, forties and fifties, when it was unheard of for a woman to get a tattoo. Who were these women that bucked the contemporary culture? Were they women from questionable, " not respectable" backgrounds, or bored housewives that liked having a naughty secret?

I have always found tattoos interesting, even though I don't have any.  But I think after a while, they all start to look the same. Still, I like asking people how they came by their tattoos, because there's always an interesting backstory involved. 
If it's not personal, I'd like to know if any of my readers have a tattoo, what it looks like and the story behind getting it.

This book was not exactly what I was expecting. I thought I was going to get more information on the missing illuminated manuscripts of the Bible from Armenia. There were very few pictures.

However, there was a history of the manuscripts and the mysterious artists who created them. This history is intertwined with the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman government. From 1915-1917 an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were murdered in an effort to ethnically "cleanse" the western part of Turkey and other regions of Armenian Christians.

The author also describes the area of Armenia under Soviet rule and also how the illuminated manuscripts ended up in museums, one of which was the Paul Getty Museum in California.

The author does her best to make a case for museums creating stricter measures and criteria for museums fielding possible artifacts and making sure that they are not buying priceless works from a source that pilfered the works.

I fully understand the need for not buying stolen artwork, but where Watenpaugh goes too far is when she begins demanding that all land or work sacred to a certain ethnic group be returned, such as land sacred to Native Americans or work of art that was stolen over a hundred years ago. How can you return work to someone no longer alive?

Also, it seems to me that museums are in the best position to preserve priceless works of art, which is why the owners of so many works loan them to museums, it staves off the tax man while letting the taxpayers maintain your priceless art.

The book was OK, but I'd like to read other, less slanted sources of Armenian history and especially a source more focused on the Bible manuscripts with a greater number of photos.



Brian Joseph said...

Hi Sharon. I look at old pictures and wonder where the time has gone.

You have read an impressive number of books this year.

I know almost nothing about architecture but it seems like an interesting subject.

I have no tattoos but some of them seem interesting. It is surprising to know that there are so many people older pictures of women’s tattoos.

Have a great week.

mudpuddle said...

i love these concerti: tx... pretty diverse set of books; i've wondered what could possibly be the mind set of someone who sets out to murder a million people... sometimes i think i don't understand humans at all... i like architecture also, "like" is not perhaps the correct word, but i find it an interesting form of expression...

Carol said...

That first bool sounds fascinationg. I'm reading H.V. Morton's 'In the Steps of the Master; written in 1934, so I expect much has changed in the country since then.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Brian!

Time stops for no man. Sometimes that's bad, but it's also good, depending on the circumstances.

I don't really know anything about architecture, except that I love to look at buildings and read about architects.

I was also surprised at how many women had tattoos and I'd like to know how common it really was.

Hope you're having a good week.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi mudpuddle

I love those concerti as well.

To me the human heart that can kill other humans is deranged. It's why I could say I'm almost a single issue voter. If our leaders won't respect life at its most innocent and vulnerable, why should I believe they would respect my life or any life at any level of development?

Sharon Wilfong said...

HI Carol, nice to hear from you. Your book sounds like something I would like to read as well. I love to read stories that trace the life of Christ.

Debbie Nolan said...

Hi Sharon architecture is not something I have ever studied. I am sure this was a good book with interesting history. As for tattoos-I have none. Just was never inclined to get one. Hope you have a wonderful day. Hugs!

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Debbie!

I'm sure you have many interests that I don't have, but I bet I would like to learn about them.

Take care and God bless!

Ruth @ with freedom and books said...

I'm impressed with how many books you read, and the variety of topics you cover. I'm going to fall short of my usual goal of 50. :( I really lost interest in reading, and instead did bookish related activities. I hope someday I can read at least 100 books in a year.

I have a tattoo story. I was 22 (maybe), working at a leather shop. One day my manager and I worked a Harley Davidson run out in the middle of the desert, and brought all of our leather to sell. There were other sellers, including tattoo artists. My manager dared me to get a tattoo, and I rose to the challenge. At the time, I had a stupid obsession with frogs, and I drew quickly a little cartoon frog and handed it to the artist. And now for the rest of my life, I have a stupid frog on my back.

If you ever come across a good book on Armenian history, I'd like to know about it. I'd like to read about Armenian history. My father says his mother may have had Armenian in her ancestry. Plus I know very little about their history, especially how the Christian Armenians were almost exterminated while the rest of the world was distracted by WWII???

Sharon Wilfong said...

Thank you, Ruth.

Of course, I'm an empty nester. I wasn't able to read like this when my son was younger, although he and I read quite a bit of books for him. My reading something other than books for young people took off a few years ago when I got married and did not need to work so many hours.

That's a great tattoo story. Is it colored in or just a blue or black outline? I always thought that if I got a tattoo it would be of one of my birds.

I am certainly looking for a good book on Armenian history. If I find it, I'll let you know.

Ruth @ with freedom and books said...

My tattoo is green with a little color bc he is holding a flower, and I think it is yellow.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Ruth,

It reminds me of a teacher I once worked with. She had tattoos of frogs on each of her feet. She had to keep them covered while she taught, I think.