Skip to main content

Virtual Book Club: The Outside World by Tova Mirvis


The Outside World by Tova Mirvis is a sweet story about two Orthodox Jewish families join together as their children get married, and how family dynamics, religion, tradition, and purpose It is a very clear, concise, and well-written book.
I learned a lot about the Orthodox Jewish culture from this novel, and found appreciation for the Hebrew words interspersed within the writing. To be honest, I have no knowledge of Orthodox Judaism, and I would assume most people who are not of that religion don't as well, since so many of their traditions and reasons for doing things are within the context of their worship, texts, and from rabbis past.
Something I found hard to digest in this book, though, was the mother and father of the main character, Tzippy. They are constantly chasing either a pipe dream or trying to keep up with the Jones', and therefore, couldn't really connect with their characters, or empathize with them. That may have been the point, certainly, since these are people that only "follow the rules" so that others, looking in, may not see their true selves, but it still made the book go very slowly for me. The main characters, Baruch & Tzippy are themselves fine characters; true to each other, honest to themselves about who they are, and just generally good kids.
I probably wouldn't have picked this book up if I hadn't had it for book club (each member chooses one book to read), because I found it to be very average.
One can glean many things from any piece of literature, and this is no exception. We will talk about motive & intentions regarding money & material possessions, and what true reverence to God looks like, but I will lean a lot on the person who chose this book for other discussion.
Up next: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner.


Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

Snapshot Story of Malibu, Lake Louise Inlet, British Columbia

top photo: The Blainiacs; self-titled, our group from bible study

There are too many words to share everything about Malibu, so I'm going to share a few pictures, and some words in this post. Malibu is a Young Life camp that is it's own little village in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia, or at least it feels that way--very isolated. It's right at the top of Lake Louise Inlet (right before Lake Louise) but really, there is nothing out there. It is what a leader called "The Thin Place"; the place right in the middle of heaven and earth. It's beautiful, welcoming, joyful, and raw, pristine.

This lodge is where "Club" happens. This is where the large group of the 220+ women who were present for Women's Weekend  would get together twice daily for skits, singing, and hearing speakers before breaking out into small group time. The Women's Weekend follows the Young Life way in how they structure the retreat. Everything we did resembled what t…

Subscription Boxes as Homeschool Curriculum

Ani painting her first diarama
The subscription service business sector is exploding the online retail market. You can now buy toys, pet products, clothing, stationary, beauty products, eco-cleaning supplies, and even organic snacks all in monthly packages with excellent branding. While print magazines are slowly fading away, a new type of subscription purchasing is taking place in droves--for those who are too busy or depleted to run one more errand (hand raised here), you can get a fun surprise on your doorstep for a decent price. These are excellent as curriculum because all the work of planning and gathering has been done for you! Now it's just up to the child to execute and enjoy the process. 
I have tried a few subscription services as either birthday gifts or a trial run for homeschooling, and let me tell you there are some awesome businesses going up! I want to highlight a few of them for you that can be used as homeschooling curriculum for elementary grade kids. With each…