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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love

Written by Dava Sobel, this is an account of the lives of Galileo Galilei and his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste, based upon the remaining correspondence between the two as well as other biographical sources. Galileo, a man of genius and of deep religious faith, spent a lifetime battling the Roman Catholic Church over his controversial astronomical theories. Maria Celeste, one of his three illegitimate children who eventually entered a convent in Florence, was of a similar bent to her father, described by him as "a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me.”

Through the reading of this book, we become acquainted with the historical events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including Bubonic Plague outbreaks and the Thirty Years’ War. We learn of Galileo’s introductory works in the science of physics and his inventions which included the telescope. We are able to observe the actions of this era’s men of politics, religion and science and how they influenced the future. Most of all, we are witness to the expression of deep love and friendship between a father and a daughter.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Friday Night Knitting Club

This novel, written by Kate Jacobs, offers the reader in-depth character development, drama, sorrow, joy and more. It is the story of Georgia Walker, a single mother raising her biracial child in Manhattan, fighting the odds to achieve financial security through the growth of her yarn store business. We are witness to Georgia’s nurturing of her daughter Dakota through the difficult years of early adolescence and the return of Dakota’s father in her life. We see how Georgia’s friendships, old and new, sustain her in her personal life and how she in turn supports these friends with their circumstances. There is romance for a few of the characters, adventure for others, and a growth of independence for all. Knitting rules are placed throughout the book, intended as metaphors for life management.