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A Great Story 10 Novels Everyone Should Read
This year, I have been slowly creating my list of “100 Fundamental Books.” These are the books that I believe can help someone become a more well-rounded person. A fewmonths ago, I identified 10 books on history, philosophy, and economics that belong on my list. But being a well-rounded person isn’t purely academic. Works of fiction in the form of great novels also help open our minds to new experiences. This month, I’m chronicling my top 10 novels — not including “Don Quixote” which is already on my overall top 10 books list. “The Tale of Genji” byMurasaki Shikibu I can’t have a list of the best novels of all time without including what is considered to be the world’s first novel. “The Tale of Genji” was written in the early 11th century by Japanese poet and noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu. This novel paints a picture of a societywe’re not used to hearing about in the United States, but while the culture is different, the people really aren’t that different. When you boil it down and look at the issues theywere dealing with, it’s all very familiar. No matter where you are in the world or what time period you’re in, people are still people. The thing I love most about Henry Fielding is he is so stinking funny. Fielding was a popular writer in the 1700s, and “Tom Jones,” which chronicles one man’s outrageous adventures, is considered his best work. Books like “Tom Jones” transformed writing from the styles of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, to the prose style we’re familiar with today. “The History of TomJones, a Foundling” by Henry Fielding
“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy Plenty of people rank Leo Tolstoy’s other famous novel “Anna Karenina” over “War and Peace”, but I think you should read “War and Peace” first. By chronicling the French invasion of Russia through the stories of five aristocratic Russian families, Tolstoy gave us the epic story that introduced the world to what a novel can be with a sprawling picture of action and drama. What Tolstoy did with drama and epic, Fyodor Dostoevsky did with psychology. “The Brothers Karamazov” explores free will, morality, and God in a story about estranged relationships between a father and his sons. “Crime and Punishment” might be his most famous book, but “The Brothers Karamazov” is Dostoevsky’s best. “Pride and Prejudice” by JaneAusten Jane Austen has always been a popular writer, especially among women, and it’s not hard to see the reason why. Her writing is exceptional. Just by reading her novels, you learn how to write better. Any of Austen’s books could be on this list, but I’ve chosen “Pride and Prejudice” because “it’s a truth universally acknowledged” that this novel remains her most popular. “Middlemarch” by George Eliot George Eliot was a pseudonym used by Mary Ann Evans, one of the most prolific writers of the Victorian era. Her best novel is “Middlemarch.” Set in the fictional English town of Middlemarch, this novel deals with marriage, religion, and education, and is considered one of the greatest novels in the English language. “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald If you only remember “The Great Gatsby” as a book your high school teacher made you read, I encourage you to revisit this classic. Set in the Roaring Twenties, Fitzgerald’s story of a mysterious, obsessive millionaire really explores the harsh truth of the American Dream. It’s a great book, and really short — you could read it over one weekend! “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien When I’mworking on this list, I sometimes feel pressured to choose the “right” books. But then I remember that this is my list; these are the books that have been essential in my life. Of course, I have to include the story of a little hobbit and a band of dwarves that ignited my lifelong love of reading. “1984” by George Orwell I covered “1984” a fewmonths ago in another article, so I won’t spend too much time on it here. Let’s just say this book belongs on the list of top 10 novels for a reason. “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller There aren’t many funny stories to be found inWorldWar II, but that’s part of what makes Joseph Heller’s satirical novel “Catch-22” so great. It’s very entertaining and created a lot of idioms we still use in our language today. A good book stays with us long after we turn the last page, and I can saywith certainty that these are all very good books.
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Staying Connected How to Keep Your Family Close in a BusyWorld
If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. Americans are way too busy — from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s a problem so pervasive that it has a name: time scarcity. Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. But all hope for close ties isn’t lost; there are ways to stay connected with your spouse and kids, even in an increasingly busy world. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists who claim to have mastered the art. Remember Your Rituals Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some. Make Every Moment Count As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship. Hug It Out Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!
Autumn Apple September LaborDay
Football Quarterback Touchdown Homecoming
Harvest Cider Leaves Sweater
What Kind of Bankruptcy Should I File For?
2. Time – Individuals are only allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years.
Chapter 13 – Debtor’s Court
This is another form of bankruptcy for individuals overwhelmed by debt. Chapter 13 is a method of debt consolidation/repaying your debts through debtor’s court. Unlike Chapter 7, you aren’t discharging your debts. As a general rule, individuals who file for Chapter 13 are trying to pay their debts back over the course of five years. In some cases, you may only have to pay back a portion of your debts before the rest is discharged. It all depends on your situation.
3. Debts – Certain debts cannot be discharged. If all your debts are due to taxes, student loans, or child support, filing for Chapter 7 will not help you because these debts cannot be discharged.
Bankruptcy is complicated, to put it mildly. There are a lot of rules about who can file for bankruptcy and what kind of debts bankruptcy can erase. Most people are familiar with three types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11. Here’s a brief overview of what each of those terms really mean.
Chapter 11 – “Big” Business Reorganization
To put it simply, Chapter 11 is bankruptcy reserved for big businesses. Mom and pop shops can’t file for Chapter 11. If you are thinking about bankruptcy, it helps to know what kind of bankruptcy you can file for. Got more bankruptcy questions? Call 205.705.3590 and learn if filing for bankruptcy can help you get out of debt and enjoy a fresh start.
Why would someone file for Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
There are strict rules on who is allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on income, time, and the nature of your debts.
Chapter 7 – Personal Bankruptcy
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are trying to get rid of, or “discharge,” some or all of your debt. This bankruptcy is for individuals. The process is relatively quick and takes about three months.
1. Income – If you make “too much” money, you might not qualify for Chapter 7.
Cacio e Pepe
Italian for “cheese and pepper,” cacio e pepe is like a refined version of mac and cheese. It’s crowd-pleasing enough to satisfy the pickiest eaters and refined enough to sate the foodies.
6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup finely grated pecorino Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
“Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.”
1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.
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Inside This Issue
100 Fundamental Books — Part 3 Page 1 How to Keep Your Family Close in a BusyWorld Take a Break Page 2 What’s the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13? Cacio e Pepe Page 3
Recognizing What We Have Page 4
‘Gulag: A History’ by Anne Applebaum A Page FromMatt’s Bookshelf
It looks like I have a bit of a theme going, because this month, we’re back in Russia with Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag: A History.” Much like “Darkness at Noon,” which we covered last month, “Gulag” deals with oppression in the Soviet Union, except Applebaum’s book is nonfiction. Applebaum used Soviet-era archives as well as diaries and writings from people who survived their time in the camps to write her book. The Soviet Gulag was a system of prison camps set up beneath Vladimir Lenin and increased while Joseph Stalin was in power. For over 35 years, these camps were part of Soviet life. Anyone from petty criminals to political prisoners could be thrown in a camp, often without trial. Even just mocking the Soviet government could get a person and their entire family shipped off to one of these camps, where they were rarely heard from again. It’s
estimated that around 14 million people were imprisoned in Gulag camps from 1928 to 1953. At least 2.3 million people died in these camps, though many historians believe the death toll to be higher.
wrote about the everyday lives of prisoners, the hardships they faced, and the millions of people who never left the camps. “Gulag” won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.
These last few books I’ve written about have been
“Gulag” is a tough read because it’s so
really sad stories. I don’t read these kinds of books to be a downer. I believe we should read books like “Gulag” and “Darkness at Noon” so we can better appreciate the freedoms we have. The Gulag camps are far from the only example of government oppression in history. It’s important to recognize how something like that happens so we can see the warning signs and protect our own freedoms.
unbelievably tragic. It’s hard to think about how many people had their lives turned upside down after being suddenly arrested and thrown in jail. The government used these camps as a fear tactic while Stalin worked to gain more power and keep it through any means necessary. In “Gulag,” Applebaum
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