Posts tagged America

BOOK REVIEW– The remains of the day.

Hello-o.
I’ve had quite some people just glance through the blog and later ask me about reviews. Here is the link to all book reviews on the blog. Read and share. 💕💕
Title: The remains of the day.
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Pages: 168(e-book)
First Publisher/publication date: Faber and Faber limited London/ 1989
Blurb
In the summer of 1956, an ageing butler has embarked on a six-day motoring trip through the West Country. But his holiday is disturbed by the memories of his past service to late lord Darlington, and most of all by the painful recollections of his friendship with the housekeeper, Miss Kenton. For the first time in his life, Stevens is forced to wonder if all his actions were for the best after all. A sad and humorous love story, and a witty meditation on the democratic responsibilities of the ordinary man.
Review
Do you even know why I wanted to read this book? Kazuo Ishiguro won the 2017 Nobel prize for literature and that was the first time I was hearing of his name. He however appeared popular with other readers, I needed to get to the bottom of the matter. I developed the desire to read one of his books. And so when I got this one, you know it, it was a dream come true.
The remains of the day is a telling of a butler’s perspective. Yes, butler as in 1937, big fancy houses in England.
The main character, Stevens, is in his later years having worked all his life trying to be a great butler and learning valuable life lessons in the process.
His character flaw in spite of his many virtues is revealed in his inability to admit his feelings, even to himself.
We also given some great insight into lord Darlington’s life and the events rounding up the Second World War; And the delightful miss Kenton.
What I admire in Stevens is, he tries to adapt as the need arises along the line, in his professional tasks; just as he did on the issue of learning how to banter with his new American boss, Mr Farraday.
I suspect one reason why I favour this book is because it preaches, on a broad platform, good character. I mean can you fully be English and live in 1934, without having learnt the finesse of being a lady or a gentleman?
There’s core focus on humility. There’s also highlighting the beauty of integrity in each person’s work and how it upholds the system in the long run. I think this is a good read when you want something quite light yet not searching for something that would crack you up every five seconds.
I joyfully rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
It’s a win for this book that it hooked me and made me think I may have had a part in organizing banquets for important figures!
Excerpts

‘’ it is quite possible then, that my employer fully expects me to respond to his bantering in a like manner, and considers my failure to do so a form of negligence. This is, as I say, a matter which has given me much concern. But I must say this business of bantering is not a duty I feel I can ever discharge with enthusiasm. It is all very well, in these changing times, to adapt one’s work to take in duties not traditionally within ones realm; but bantering is of another dimension altogether. For one thing, how would one know for sure that at any given moment, a response of the bantering sort is truly what is expected? One need hardly dwell on the catastrophic possibility of uttering a bantering remark only to discover it wholly inappropriate.’’

Stevens is such a prim and proper English man that American jokes elude him inspite of his best efforts.

‘’we call this land of ours – great Britain,… just where and in what does it lie?…but if I were forced to hazard a guess, I would say that it is the very lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of our land apart. What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, of its own greatness and feels no need to shout it. In comparison, the sorts of sight offered in such places as Africa and America, though undoubtedly very exciting, would, I am sure, strike the objective viewer as inferior on account of their unseemly demonstrativeness’’

😀😀 hard to deal with this guy.

’The purpose: for we were, as I say, an idealistic generation for whom the question was not simply one of how well one practices one’s skills, but to what end one did so; each of us harboured the desire to make our own small contributions to the creation of a better world, and saw that as professionals, the surest means of doing so would be to serve the great gentlemen of our times in whose hands civilization had been entrusted.’’

(If you want this book, I can e-mail it to you on the condition that when you’re through, you give your thoughts on here. Ey? And don’t be scared into thinking it’s some boring English book, its not.)
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Yours faithfully,
Debby.

The abolitionists did a good work?

He that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.
I had just completed viewing the movie – AMAZING GRACE and I couldn’t but think about the countless number of times Christians sing the hymn without knowing it’s history. It’s a song borne in the deep throes of slavery; a song also of bravery; and importantly, a song of surrender to God.
I’d write a recommendation blog post for the movie soon. It’s a true life story.
Wilberforce surrendered to God. ‘Old man’ did too.
The movie inspires the viewer to be better. To do better. To be brave, to fight for the voiceless around them. Most of all, to GIVE for causes worth giving for. I moved to shut down my laptop so I can work on rearranging my books, then I saw my screensaver. On it was displayed a scripture passage. This:

Anyone who is not for me is really against me; anyone who does not help me gather is really scattering.” Matthew 12:30.

The great feat accomplished in that movie as regards slave trade was only on account of Wilberforce’s partnership with God.
I once read a book on the abolition of slave trade which has some reflection in that regard. So then when you read of it all, know that some of those who played vital roles did that when they chose to ‘gather’ with God.
No matter what I do friends, no matter what it is, once I do it in my own strength, once I don’t do it with God (even if I’m not deliberately out against him), what I really am doing is against him. If I don’t gather with him, what I’m doing is scattering.
Scattering. I can advocate a million times on this blog for right living in hopes that somehow I’m changing one person’s mind-set, of which if just one person gets changed all of the time I put up a post, we may indeed discover we have a better world. But then, if I advocate for right manners, human compassion, human rights, all outside of the one in whom all things consist, I’m scattering.
Scattering. If I speak the tongues of a thousand angels and have not love I’m like a clanging cymbal*.
Love. What is love? Is it speaking up against slave trade? Talking about genocide?
GOD IS LOVE. His will is that all these things which I want to stop, indeed stop. But if I advocate for all these things(synonymous with having the tongue of angels) without God who is love, it equals to ”clanging cymbal”. And how I’d hate for this blog to be just another source of noise. Screeching, grating, awful noise to the hears of the God of all flesh. Just a clanging cymbal in the grand scheme of things.
Friends, clothe yourself with compassion and seek to be a better person, but any betterment you aim for outside of Christ; you’re scattering the very things he’s gathering. Otherwise put, you’re doing the reverse of your good works because all he does, are good works, and all he’s ever done before you were conceived is good works.
My submission: let everything you do be in him. What does that mean? Let him be the boss of you. If he says no concerning decision A, it’s no. If he says yes to decision B, it’s yes. To know for sure what he says no to and what he says yes to, you need to study the scriptures.
I, for one, am not out to scatter. Nor to be another source of noise. I’m out for real change, and that, through this blog.
I pray none of my blog readers, scatters. Lets gather with him. Team up with him. Follow him.
Let’s continually affirm that ”Jesus, you’re the boss”.
*1 Corinthians 13:1. AMP
If I can speak in the tongues of men and even of angels, but have not love(that reasoning, intentional, spiritual, devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
With great love,
Debby.
What do you think? Ever read about the abolition? P.S I reviewed a book on slavery in Africa here.