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Review: Men Without Women

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Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While not quite as fantastic as some of the other works, this small smart collection of stories is precious and succinct. I continue to be amazed at how Murakami draws you forward as a reader, wanting to read the next and the next page, even when seemingly so little is happening. The details are little little lamps along the road of shared humanity, familiar and encouraging, faulty and reassuring.

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Review: King Henry VI, Part 2

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King Henry VI, Part 2 by William Shakespeare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have just now gotten to part 2 of the Henry VI plays. the first had amazing speeches and frickin' Joan of Arc and I thought it couldn't get any better. THAN this one's got conjurors who evoke prophetic specters, multiple beheadings, and a mad rebel named Cade who just starts to try to take over the whole country, no Empire for like no good reason then gets killed after hiding ten days without food in a hedgegrove. The language is extraordinary from the get go where pious Henry says, "O Lord, that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!" I am going to make that my motto!

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The importance of government funding to SJMA and you

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Dear members of SJMA’s community,

Community and advocacy are at the heart of the Museum’s work. With that in mind, I wanted to write with a few updates and to keep you apprised of the Museum’s accomplishments, especially at this time of change in our nation.
Government support is so important to the San Jose Museum of Art. The Museum has received critical support from the  National Endowment for the Arts’ Artworks program for several of our recent major exhibitions—including Border Cantos: Richard Misrach| Guillermo Galindo(2016) and Postdate: Photography and Inherited History from India (2015).
These competitive NEA grants support opportunities for the public to engage with “diverse and excellent art” across the country. They play an instrumental role in enabling mid-sized, community-based institutions like SJMA to develop and present ambitious original projects.  
It is similarly thanks to a 2015 generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services…

Review: Silas Marner

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Silas Marner by George Eliot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The language and psychology of this classic were extraordinary, felt like Joyce at its best; but at the same time it was pure treacle. Still, I am proud to say I've "read" George Eliot: maybe someday Middlemarch.

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Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Performed by Michele-Denise Woods, this classic work flows so smoothly read aloud, like it was meant to be. Strangely the last disk broke, so I had to read the last portion from the novel itself: a perfect mixture of how to take in this book like true nourishment. There is so much truth to Hurston's observations about men and women, primal like old testament source material and wielding metaphors new and timeless. Kind of amazing to think how many ships this books set to sail, as short and simple as it is.

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Review: Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana

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Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana by Osamu Tezuka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

...and I'm done! Buddha, too. The lesson (no spoiler, really...): it's about us, y'all; the divine is in each and everyone of us. So proud to have done this Tezuka Saga.

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Review: Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu

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Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu by Osamu Tezuka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The trials of middle age and bureaucracy.

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Review: Ayako

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Ayako by Osamu Tezuka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was reading one of the Buddha books when waiting at the DMV and a Japanese man younger than me, got really excited saying "TezuKAH, he is the greatest. Very great. You must read more." He described Ayako as one of the artist's best, a classic that deals frankly with great problems for Japan after the war. His enthusiasm and intensity was so sincere and well received by me. I went right out to Kinokuniya and bought it. After page 200 or so I could not keep myself form reading the rest of the book in one sitting. When Tezuka does his adult works, there are illustrations that are so exquisite. His pacing is extraordinary, and his storycraft completes with great literature. Concurrent with this I am listening to Gogol's Dead Souls. There are parallels in the change from agrarian to modernist society, the pitfalls and tragi-comic themes.

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