Happy Birthday Roald Dahl

An unforgettable children’s book lasts generations. With every new generation, new readers discover the joy of the same book that their forebears read as children.

The late Roald Dahl’s birthday was last week. He is among one of the giants of children’s literature. From his pen and his imagination came Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Boy, James And The Giant Peach, etc.

I remember reading Boy more than twenty years ago. Dahl has such a unique perspective on childhood that it feels like through his characters, he is speaking directly to his young readers. When a writer is able to speak directly to his or her readers, they have a gift that many wish they had.

Wherever you are Mr. Dahl, thank you for inspiring multiple generations of children. Your name and work will never be forgotten.


Jane Austen at Home: A Biography Book Review

The womb to tomb narrative is the standard format for a biography. While it’s fine for a standard format, it can, depending on the person writing the biography, be as dull as a college text-book or as alive as if the reader was watching a film of the biography’s subject.

Earlier this year, historian Lucy Worsley released Jane Austen at Home: A Biography. While Ms. Worsley goes over the basic facts of Austen’s life that any Janeite would be familiar with, she focuses on the places that the Ms. Austen lived throughout her 41 years and the possessions in those houses colored her world.

I’ve been fan of the author for a short time, and I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because there is life, color and vibrancy to what could be a very dull narrative. There are also Easter eggs, connections between Austen’s life and her novels that a newbie Janeite might miss, but a Janeite who is well steeped in Austen lore would understand.

I recommend it.

Rosh Hashanah-A Chance For Renewal

We all need a break from life every once in a while. It’s crucial to take a step back and simply breathe.

When the sun sets tomorrow night, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins. Ending Friday night, many within the Jewish faith will take a break from their daily schedules to pray for what will hopefully be a sweet new year.

For me personally, these two days are about renewal and a chance to take a step back and evaluate the past year. No one is perfect, we all have faults and we all make mistakes. The holiday is about accepting our faults, looking at our mistakes and seeing where we can learn from those mistakes going forward. It’s not easy, but the process is well worth the struggle.

To those celebrating, L’Shanah Tovah, have a sweet and happy New Year.

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