Page Turn Episode 023

Hello and welcome to Episode Twenty Three of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 12:48 and ends 19:09 at
The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Twenty Three is Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner. If you like Mrs. Everything you should also check out: Lucky Us by Amy Bloom, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

My personal favorite Goodreads list Mrs. Everything is on is 2019: What Women Born in the 1970s Have Read So Far This Year.

Today’s Library Tidbit is about table etiquette in the Middle East.

In January we had series of events called “Feast from the Middle East”. In these programs we taught you to make falafel & hummus, pita bread, yogurt & labneh.

Before I go into table etiquette it’s worth defining the Middle East, because the region covers a large amount of cultures, lots of land, multiple different countries and two continents. There are a few different definitions of the Middle East. The most exclusive include the areas of Western Asia, all of Turkey, including the European part, and Egypt. The most inclusive definition is called the Greater Middle East and adds the Maghreb, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, and Transcaucasia.

Inside the Middle East, and back when civilizations were much smaller, there is a portion of the land that is known as the Fertile Crescent. This area covers a geographic area spanning from Egypt to Turkey to Iran. It was in this geographic area that grains and cereals were first cultivated and where cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and horses were domesticated. Civilization as we understand it would not exist if the Fertile Crescent did not exist.

Most of the countries in the Middle East are part of the Arab world, but not all of them, for instance, Iran is not an Arab country. Iranians are descended from Indo-Europeans. The majors religions of the countries include Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

From here on out we are going to be talk in generalizations as these rules of etiquette differ to various degrees from country to country. Always check and understand the rules of etiquette for any culture before butting into that culture.

Basic dining etiquette in Middle Eastern countries include the following. Food is often served off of a communal plate in the center of the table. To get food use only your right hand and with your fingers, or with a piece of bread, scoop up food from that plate. Never, ever, use your left hand to eat or touch food.

In some places, utensils will be used. Sometimes you may use these in the continental style (with the fork in the left hand with tines pointed downwards and the knife in the right hand), but sometimes you will only use utensils in your right hand switching out which utensils you need as needed. If you are in doubt observe how the local people eat and follow their example.

Try everything offered to you and remember to compliment the host on their food and their hospitality. If you clear your plate your host will fill it as an empty plate indicates that the guest has not been fed appropriately.

In most places wait until your host seats you before taking a seat. The oldest man in the room will be shown the most respect. They will be seated first, eat first, and in some countries, it will be expected that everyone will wait until they have entered or left a room before they themselves will do so. The rigidity of the social status and acts of deference differ quite widely in the region.

It is always a good idea to learn the basic phrases of hospitality before traveling to any region or intimately interacting with people from different cultures. Some examples include saying “Al Hamdu Li Lah” after a meal in Jordan, “dasta shoma dard nakone” in Iran, before a meal in Saudi Arabia say “Sahtain” or “Bismillah” and after the meal “Daimah”, and “Elinize sağlik” to your host after a meal in Turkey.

Traveling abroad can be a really great experience. However, it can also be too expensive for the majority of people to get to do. By respectfully interacting and experiencing different cultures here in America, though, everyone can broaden their world. The best founding feature of America is that the United States is a melting pot of different cultures. Unless you are Native American what you have brought to this country came because either you or ancestors of yours immigrated to this country. Our language itself shows this dynamic. American English has picked up words and grammar from every single country it has come into contact with. It’s my favorite thing about it. It’s also the most annoying thing for people attempting to learn the language.

We have a similar melting pot of culture customs and food. We hope you enjoyed the Feasts from the Middle Easts and that you try food and research customs from more areas of the world as well.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Intro: Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am the Community Outreach Librarian here at the Largo Public Library. In this segment I am going to talk about a book we have in the Spanish collection. It is a biography titled An Education by Tara Westover.

Synopsis: An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Opinion: The Westover family lives in a secluded Idaho valley. Faye and Gene Westover are parents of seven children, the youngest of them is Tara. None of them go to school, nor to the doctor, they don’t even have a birth certificate or know the exact date of their birth. Tara’s life is spent at his home in the country where her father Gene and her older siblings are in charge of scrapping, while her mother Faye is dedicated to mixing herbs to make medicines and ointments that she uses in her work as a healer and midwife.

Gene is convinced that at any moment the end of the world will come, so he dedicates his efforts to getting money to store food and prepare the house to be self-sufficient when that time comes. He rejects everything that comes from existing power structures such as government, for him they are nothing more than representatives of Satan. These thoughts will condition his life and that of his family.

The novel is divided into three parts that cover different periods of the author’s life: her childhood and youth until she arrives at the university, her life there and her stay in Cambridge. The title of the novel cannot be more thematic since all of it revolves around education and its consequences.

Tara firmly believes in the precepts of her religion, she does not question them although from a very young age she suspects that some of the things her father does and says are something “exaggerated”; Even so, she obeys and respects him. When one of her brothers decides to depart from the path marked by her father and start higher education, the world of Tara begins to change: she is curious, wants to learn, know more about the world that waits outside the small environment in which she moves and decides that she also wants to study. This decision will mean great sacrifices and inner struggles; sacrifices because she has never been to school, she doesn’t know anything about math, history (she arrives at the university without knowing what the Holocaust was) and she has to learn alone in the few spare time her work leaves her at home. This also causes her a great inner struggle since following the path she wants is to deviate from the path marked by her father and this path has her so marked on fire in her body and in her mind that she starts doubting her decision.

With 17 years of age, she manages to enter the university. She is aware of her shortcomings although she tries to overcome them with much effort and dedication. She cannot help feeling a great inferiority complex and thinks that she will never be like others. At age 19, following a visit from her parents, she realizes that the “weirdos” are them and everything they have taught her begins to falter until she makes the decision to start from scratch. She wants to be able to judge for herself, to be able to decide on things, to leave behind the yoke that her father has imposed all her life with his beliefs and for this she knows that there is nothing better than receiving an education to be an independent person both in their actions and in their thoughts. This causes her to break up with most of her family that remains anchored to her father’s opinions. She only receives the support of her brother Tyler who has already made a similar decision in the past and has always encouraged her to live her life as she wishes to live it.

An Education is a novel that speaks of self-improvement, of the effort made by the author to change a life that does not satisfy her. A novel told in an honest way that does not force the reader to position themselves on one side or the other (although you cannot avoid doing so). It is a life story that will push the reader to reflect on many things, an unforgettable novel for me that I can not stop recommending.

Outro: That is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Goodbye.

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
March 2nd Abstract Watercolor Painting at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
March 2nd Animals of the Arctic at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
March 3rd Sew a Geometric Top at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is Required
March 4th Female Ancestors at 1:00pm in the Local History Room
March 5th Taste the Flavors at 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
March 9th eBooks, Movies, Music & More: Lean hoopla at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room C
March 10th Eastern European Research at 6:00pm in the Local History Room
March 12th Make a Bookmark Booklight at 10:30am in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
March 13th Pi Day! At 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
March 14th Anime Saturdays at 1:00pm in the Teen Room
March 17th Liquid Clay Pendant at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
March 19th Intermediate iPhones at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room A
March 21st Lecture Series – Who Were the Passengers on the Mayflower & Meet the Pilgrims at 11:00am in the Jenkins Wing
March 23rd Crafting for a Cause at 3:00pm in the Teen Room
March 24th Give Them the Pickle! At 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
March 26th Rainbow Storytime: Families Are About Love at 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
March 27th Family Trivia Night: Disney at 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
March 30th Enamel Jewelry at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
March 31st Healthy Waterways in Your Community at 6:30pm in Jenkins Room B

Have a great day everyone we hope to talk to you again soon!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.