I’ve recently read that October 4th to 10th was Great Books Week!

So, do those who live off of cat piano recitals care about this? Probably, as well as those who read magazines and wonder when Wuthering Heights will be made into another movie. I remember Wuthering Heights as being a long conversation about things that happened in the past. And that certainly worked better — to me, at least, than with the constant gossip chatter I found hard to follow in Pride and Prejudice.

So is a Great Book one that is memorable, easy to read, with really unique characters? It is actually a combination of those things in my view. And also a bit of literary and other critical acclaim.  I mean, if you have read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, some of it seems downright silly/cruel (depending on your point of view of this Great Book for all ages), with runaway slave Jim chained to a wall and Tom Sawyer and Huck, like heroes from The Three Musketeers or some such older classic, planning to rescue him from a dank cell with spiders. But other parts of the book show Jim’s great humanity and kindness, making the reader really think hard about the issue of slavery, though the book “did” come out many years after slavery was abolished in the U. S.

But what is a great book now? There are “lots” of books, some even self published, that are worthy of being called great now. I read the book A Man is No Woman, by Etaf Rum, about a young woman with Palestinian parents, trying to break free of their traditions in the Arab, Muslim culture, a heart wrenching novel I’ll bet is based on real life and is “Great” in its own way. (As a second generation American, I know my own parents had to adjust to what their Italian and Polish parents expected them to do in  America.) It is quite an adjustment for immigrants and their families, and “their” choice of great books may be quite different from our own.

(GREAT AMER. IDEA)– As for plugging myself — was I? There is something great about the book Great American Women in Science and Environment, because finally, we are beginning as a society to recognize the strengths of women in these areas, and that science and technology and even nature “should” be studied more, whether the great women in question are Elizabeth Blackwell, C. J. Walker, Sally Ride, or even computer programming  whiz Grace Murray Hopper. (See an excerpt from Great American Women). See also my books.

So call your library today and tell them, I want to read a great book!

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