Author: Irris Makler
First copyright date: 2012
Type of book: Jerusalem, Judaism, culture, dogs, living, news-reports, 2002, 2004-2006, Islam, Israel, ordinary life, May/December relationship
General subject matter: Moving to Jerusalem and beginning a life there with a mischievous dog as well as portraying a culture mixed of three viewpoints and religions.
Special features: N/A
"I feel that Raphael and Mia are my joy and my fate. I thought I had come here to be a journalist. I could not have predicted that in this burning land it wasn't suffering that was waiting for me, but love. There are days still when I don't believe it, or don't know what I've done to deserve it. But Raphael has taught me that when your prayers are answered you say thank you. This book is my thanks." (312)
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
Thinking about it, I think she is trying to give some humanity to the region that's always on the news either about suicidal bombings or wars or others. Her book ultimately explores and shows how ordinary people live in these trying times. I also personally loved the dog stories, but then its because I have two dogs, one a sneaky miniature dachshund and another a sweet corgie/chihuahua mix so I loved reading the dog parts as well as seeing how some Jewish people see them.
b. From what point of view is the work written?
Its written in first person narrative completely from her own point of view.
I think she was trying to give information and paint a picture of what its like to live in Jerusalem as well as show a fascinating culture that most people aren't familiar with and won't see on news or newspapers. While doing that, she does delve a little into the politics surrounding that time such as withdrawal from Gaza or death of certain leaders.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
Its obviously a memoir, but it covers a short period of living in Jerusalem as well as having a lot of dog stories for those that are dog owners/dog lovers. Along with that she presents believes and possible lives of the inhabitants of Muslims and Jews. What I was impressed is that the book is two-sided and not one and she doesn't claim to have a solution for the problems.
e. Who is the intended audience?
The intended audience would be people who are dog lovers or for those that would want to see an ordinary life in such a complex and vital city.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
The author adopts an informal style of writing and she focuses a great deal on her own life in Jerusalem Israel instead of being completely focused on depressing news. I think the writing and and stories are pretty universal because a lot of countries have dog lovers as well as work, love, food, beliefs, superstitions and so forth.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
The story is about 312 pages long with 21 chapters. I think the chapters are chronological, ending at just either end of 2006 or beginning of 2007 before the 21st chapter which reads like an epilogue. Basically she begins with moving there, working, meeting a guy, getting a dog and then trying to adjust to the unpredictable rhythm of the city.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
What I found cool was the Jewish belief in dog, which I've shared with a friend and my family members. When we got miniature dachshund, my dad said that there was a connection with her, thus we wonder if she might have been related to us in someway. While unintentional, the memoir reminds me a little of a Yiddish saying which translates to "Humans make plans while G-d laughs."
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
I think the author has done a good job of accomplishing the goal because I got interested in Israeli culture and how people live there, if that was her goal in writing the book. I also loved the dog stories.
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I think I would recommend the book to dog lovers or those who are looking more for culture rather than politics because it shows a fascinating life in Israel.
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
There is more to Jerusalem Israel than meets the eye
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
One has to be grateful for life no matter how its lived
This is for TLC Book Tour
Irris’ Tour Stops
Tuesday, February 25th: Kelly’s [Former] France Blog
Wednesday, February 26th: WildmooBooks
Thursday, February 27th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Tuesday, March 4th: Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Thursday, March 6th: My Bookshelf
Monday, March 10th: Lisa’s Yarns
Tuesday, March 11th: West Metro Mommy
Thursday, March 13th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, March 14th: The Book Wheel
Wednesday, March 19th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)