Tuesday Teaser (March 22)

Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Then slowly she thrust her wet wrinkled hand into her bosom and she drew forth the small package and she gave it to him and watched him as he unwrapped it; and the pearls lay in his hand and they caught softly and fully the light of the sun, and he laughed.

This author definitely has a way with words, wouldn’t you agree?

Stacking The Shelves (March 19)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

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Our bookshelves are overflowing and we’re already several books behind, so what did my hubby and I do last weekend? We went to a second hand bookstore. And what crazy thing did we do there? What any average, run-of-the-mill book lover would do, of course…we bought more books! Seriously, I think we need help :).

Here are a few of our newest additions:

Which one do you think I should read next? Tell me in the comments below.

The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck Chapters 11-17

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a rich and vivid portrait of a man and his family who live through times of both upheaval and security. In these chapters we see them weather adversity and upheaval and emerge stronger than before.

Summary: Wang Lung and his family leave their village and take a train to the city in the hopes of finding food so they won’t starve to death. However, once they arrive they discover that city life is a completely different world. Here, they need to figure out how to survive in this new environment with its own distinct form of struggle and toil. City life will also expose them to unrest and revolution, and they will encounter an event that will not only allow them to return home to the land that calls and comforts Wang Lung, but will prosper them and change their lives forever.

Observations:
At the end of chapter 10, as Wang Lung and his family begin to make the journey South, he discovers that they will take a train to the city. Although Wang Lung had heard of these “firewagons” before, he never took the time to experience this new mode of transportation for himself. In fact, we read that “Then there was always distrust of that which one did not know and understand. It is not well for a man to know more than is necessary for his daily living.” (P 91). He seems to be ignorant to much of what was happening outside of his village and farm. In many respects this allowed him to live a simple and honest life, but in other ways, it limited his exposure to new ideas from which he could learn and grow.

Life on the streets:

Here Wang Lung finds even his most basic values and principles challenged. He witnesses how city life turns men into beggars and thieves in order to survive, but Wang Lung wants to work and to live an honest life. However, although he works tirelessly, he just can’t get ahead. More than once he thinks long and hard about selling his daughter in order to return home to his land.  Thankfully Wang Lung has a tender heart for his children and doesn’t succumb to the temptation that would so easily return him to the land he longs for. On one hand, I really dislike Wang Lung for even thinking about selling her, but then I remember that at that time a father was well within his rights to do such an awful thing. The fact that he chose not to sell his child like he would sell an animal, for necessity, made me like him more. I wonder though, if that was the only way he could have returned home, would he have sold her? There is a harshness to life in the city and an almost primal sense of desperation as the people struggle to survive. Wang Lung, however, maintains his values and priorities knowing that one day he will return to his land. His values and simple ways isolate and guide him; they reflect his way of life. When others speak of what they would not do if they had money, Wang Lung talks about what he would do: buy land to work. Also when he hears revolutionary talk about the oppression of the rich, he only wants to know how the rich can make it rain so his harvest won’t be lost. He is ridiculed into silence by his comments and questions but he maintains an honest life. His desire to return to the land prevent him from getting caught up in revolutionary activity or zeal. However, when the walls of the rich fall, even Wang Lung finds himself caught up with the multitude who are rioting; he leaves the rich man’s palace with certain “spoils” which will secure him and his family indefinitely.

Going Home:

Then in the evening he stood in the doorway of his house and looked across the land, his own land, lying loose and fresh from the winter’s freezing, and ready for planting.  It was full spring and in the shallow pool the frogs croaked drowsily.  The bamboos at the corner of the house swayed slowly under a gentle night wind and through the twilight he could see dimly the fringe of trees at the border of the near field.  They were peach trees, budded most delicately pink, and willow trees thrusting forth tender green leaves.  And up from the quiescent, waiting land a faint mist rose, silver as moonlight, and clung about the tree trunks. (p. 140)

What a beautiful picture! No wonder he wants to return to his land so badly. His land and his life on the farm give him a sense of purpose and pride. Rather than merely surviving, he is living life with both hope and anticipation.

Wang Lung is about to begin the next chapter in his life as a rich man and we will see how this affects him and his relationships.

What do you think of Wang Lung and his family while they were living in the city? Tell me in the comments below.

Stacking The Shelves (March 12)

Here is a new book meme that looks like great fun because I get to share a few of my newest additions! My current read sparked an interest in Asian religion and Confucianism in particular. I’m not sure if I will read all 3 of these books from cover to cover, but I have no doubt that I will learn a few new things from them! 🙂

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Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!
  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!

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Here are my newest additions-borrowed from my local library:

Teaser Tuesday (March 8)

I have decided to join the fun and participate in a weekly book meme. This one looks like a lot of fun and I get to share a ‘teaser’ from my current read. So here goes!

Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

There were such a mass of jewels as one had never dreamed could be together, jewels red as the inner flesh of watermelons, golden as wheat, green as young leaves in spring, clear as water trickling out of the earth. What the names of them were Wang did not know, having never heard names and seen jewels together in his life.

Jewels galore! Oh my.  🙂

Today in History 1973

Pearl S. Buck passed away when she was almost 80 years old.

She is most famously known for her Pulitzer prize winning novel The Good Earth, but she wrote many other works as well, both fiction and non fiction, including biographies of her parents: The Exile and Fighting Angel.

She also ardently supported adoption and went on to adopt 6 children in her lifetime. She fought injustice and racism by opening Welcome House, an interracial adoption agency.  At that time mixed race children were not considered “adoptable” and she brought attention to the needs of those children by openly criticizing the adoption process at that time. She did more than talk about it though and provided real help in real ways with the formation of Welcome House. At that time this was probably a bold and difficult move, but she was determined and didn’t give up. Interestingly, Welcome House, which became the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, still exists today and continues to support children in many different ways.

She was a writer and humanitarian who raised both awareness and support to the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. You can read more about her life here, or better yet, sink your teeth into a good biography of her.

She did so much more in her life than pen The Good Earth, although definitely a work to be proud of. Hers was a life well lived in giving  and service to others.  What greater legacy can someone leave behind?

What do you think of Pearl S. Buck? Did you know of her humanitarian work? Has she helped you or inspired you in any way? Tell me in the comments below.