Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

GIVE A COPY OF THIS LOVELY LITTLE BOOK TO YOUR HOUSE OF WORSHIP TO SHARE WITH FOLKS WHO WANT TO SHOW THEIR LOVE,   2 comments

I just posted this review of “Now to Him”on amazon.com

May 27, 2017

This is a beautiful little book. Forty-five pages of honesty, love, and faith. “A Prayer of Hope through one family’s struggle with autism” just as the author says it is.

Yes, people who are struggling with the same problem may find comfort, but my hope is that people who have been spared will read it for kinder understanding of families faced with the issue. To know how one can give loving support just by avoiding judgmental criticism. To think twice before giving the dirty look when the family of an autistic child tries to enjoy an outing in a restaurant, for example.

This is a book for people who want to spread love in ways that cost nothing more than understanding.

I am donating my copy to my church library, with the hope that those serving the library will find a public way to encourage parishioners to stop by for a quick read, or even to sign it out.

Truly a book about love and faith that encourages the expression of faith-filled love.

In fact, I’d be very happy to see it ordered for the libraries in all houses of worship for those who seek ways to share their love.

 

 

 

MAYBE THIS 40th REVIEW WILL TEMPT YOU TO BUY AT REDUCED RATE?   10 comments

Yes, this is blatant marketing. But that’s the nice thing about blogging. You don’t have to do any face-to-face explaining. Just feel free to delete.

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and rich storytelling and character development
April 15, 2017
“Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses: A Love Story” is a beautiful novel unlike anything I’ve read before. I am a spiritual person as well as a lover of literature, and I have a special appreciation for the rich literary elements of Biblical narratives. I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this work, yet I didn’t know quite what to expect from this particular vantage point of the trials of Job. In retrospect, I don’t think I could have imagined just how rich and moving Dara’s story would be. While the reader is most likely to assume that the relationship between Dara and Job is the love story referenced in the book’s title, I believe that what makes this book so special is that Mona Gustafson Affinito has provided us with two other love stories. Those love stories are the long-running and often-tested friendship between Dara and Adah, and most importantly in my opinion, the story of how Dara learns to love the woman she becomes. Dara acknowledges the different and connected identities she has as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, and a mother. Yet what I enjoyed the most was the experience of Dara owning her identity as a questioner, and acknowledging both the strengths and faults that come along with that identity. I love that Dara never abandons her own personal growth. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the complexity of Biblical narratives, interesting interpretations and depictions of early feminism, and an in-depth look into the concept of unconditional love.”

AMAZON JUST PUT “FIGS & POMEGRANATES & SPECIAL CHEESES ON SALE.”   5 comments

 

ONLY $7.70. I DON’T KNOW HOW IT HAPPENED, BUT I JUST DISCOVERED IT. SO, READ THE 39 REVIEWS AND GRAB YOURSELF A COPY.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BIG SISTER   8 comments

You’ve seen my big brother and his wife as they were in their college yearbooks. Now, more richness for “My Father’s House,” I have my sister’s 1943 Connecticut College yearbook info. And this is a good day to have received it, because this is her birthday. (You do the math). Still a good looking woman.

Thanks to Andrew Lopez of the Charles E. Shain Library at Connecticut College for this selection from the 1943 Koine.

39th Review of Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses   8 comments

I’m excited to share with you the latest Amazon US review of Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses. Of course, I would love it if one of these days the book would catch on and I’d see something other than a flat line in the report of sales. But it’s good for the soul to know that someone else has appreciated it. And I certainly am made happy by Kerstin Volbrecht’s kind words.

“By Kerstin Volbrecht on March 26, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a beautiful book about love, friendship (a different manifestation of love), spiritual and personal growth, told by means of the story of Dara and Job. The book starts with Dara’s childhood in a nomad tribe, where she is raised with the values of respect, self-consciousness and the acknowledgement of the Other. The story is told as if one is reading a diary of her life, including her reflections about the occurring events and about how things just are.
Although I’m not inclined to the bible or any religion, I take the religious aspects as metaphors and lessons that are to learn.
The characters are described in a very profound manner, making it easy to get familiar with them and understand their reactions and thinking patterns. The way the book is written is very clear and precise.”

Go to amazon to see this review and all 38 previous.

Thanks, Mona

REMEMBERING HELEN DOYLE WHO WOULD BECOME MY BROTHER’S WIFE — 1940   8 comments

I am thrilled every time I get concrete data to enrich the writing of “My Father’s House.” Here’s more, starting with the graduation photo of Helen Doyle.

Helen graduated from Upsala college in 1940, as did my brother. If Harvey was a busy man on campus, Helen’s record certainly equaled his. Among other things, she was Campus Queen in her junior year, and she was also active in a number of organizations. So many that I’m taking the lazy way out and posting a copy taken from the yearbook. It’s not as legible as I would like, but then, the point is just to show how long the list was.

Notice that her plan was to go on the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. As best I can find from reading about it, the goal was to provide a dignified and profitable occupation for women who were discouraged at the time from going on to higher education. Some doctors even warned that too much education would shrink the uterus. It also led to the kind of jobs where women wore white gloves at work.

In later years it went through a number of changes, finally closing, I believe, in 2011. (Upsala closed its doors in 1995)

Thanks go to Lisa Huntsha, Archivist/Librarian, Swenson Swedish immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, Il

Remembering my big brother – 1940   8 comments

Working on “My Father’s House” feels like writing another Ph.D. dissertation with all the research that goes into it daily. When I started, I thought it would be easy. After all, I’m a member of the family, so I should have the facts at hand.

The truth is, I came along eleven years after my brother Harvey and eight years after my sister Thelma, so I guess I can excuse myself for being unaware of lots to things.

By 1940, the year my brother graduated from Upsala, you’d think I’d have established some firm memories. The truth is, I’m living proof that memory is a fragile process of constant creation and revision. So, like a good Ph.D. candidate, I search out the facts wherever I can find them. What I’m posting here is an exciting discovery that came in yesterday from Lisa Huntsha (see citation below)

I guess there’s no good reason why any of my blog readers should find this interesting, but it does give a taste of the 1940s, just before life for people like my brother was shaken by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

And I would love to imagine that somewhere my big brother is watching and pleased with what I’m doing.

So here’s what they said about him in the yearbook, followed by an article in the school paper.

UPSALA COLLEGE, EAST ORANGE, NEW JERSEY

YEARBOOK 1940

***

C. HARVEY GUSTAFSON

187 Stafford Avenue, Forestville, Conn.

BACHELOR OF ARTS

Major: English                                                     Minor: German

Theta Epsilon

 

ACTIVITIES

Student Council 2, 3, 4, Treasurer 3, Vice-President 4; Class President 1, 3; Gazelle l; Upsalite l, 2, Christian Brotherhood 1.2; Footlight Club 1, 2, 3, 4, President 4; Symposium 3, 4, President 4; English Literary Society 3, 4, Secretary 4; Alpha Psi Omega3. 4; Blue Key 2, 3, 4; Glee Club I. 2; Gold U 3; President of Theta Epsilon 3, Zeus 4; Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.

Many of us will remember Harvey as the collegian who always twirled his keys on a chain – somehow we were fascinated by his never once slipping or letting the keys fall. When we consider all the offices he held. although we can’t help admiring his capability and energy, we wonder how much dignity that hair cut lent to his offices. His record leads us to believe that he’ll make good in the world, and what we know of his personality confirms such an opinion. Goodluck. Harvey, in everything!

AND FROM THE UPSALA GAZETTE, MAY 16, 1940

Harvey “Gus” Gustafson is one of the most active men on the campus. He needs no introductory description; everyone knows him and he knows everyone else. For three years he was president of his class and the seat he now holds on the council has been his since his freshman year. He is Zeus of the Theta Epsilon fraternity, president of the Footlight Club, a member of Alpha Psi Omega, English Lit., Symposium, and many other student organizations. His activities speak for themselves; he is really a Big Gun.

With thanks to Lisa Huntsha, Archivist/Librarian

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center 

639 38th Street | Augustana College | Rock Island, IL

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