Babas Welt
Bücherliste 2021

42, NG15, F17, E40 / WG27, M23, MF2, D2, B1, C0, NA1

Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart

Anfangs tat ich mich zugegebenermaßen etwas schwer in das Buch einzusteigen, aber nach ca. einem Drittel hatte mich die einmalige Story gepackt. Witzigerweise ging es hier auch um Transplantation, aber natürlich unter völlig anderen Gesichtspunkten - das einzige, was in beiden Geschichten am Rande angesprochen wird, sind vielleicht die Bedenken der Organempfänger einen Teil von einem fremden Menschen in sich zu haben. Picoult geht - wie immer - noch ein paar Schritte weiter, bis die Story wieder diese typische Intensität und fast unerträgliche Problematik erreicht. Das ist auch der Hauptgrund, warum ich ihre Bücher nur in längeren Abständen lesen kann, jedes für sich nimmt mich einfach zu sehr mit, so dass ich danach immer erst eine Pause brauche.
Wie fast immer bei Picoult gibt es jede Menge zitierenswerter Sätze. Vor allem wenn es um Religion geht, fühlte ich mich immer wieder angesprochen.
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I knew exactly how she felt. When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the one person who doesn't.
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Here's my take on it: I don't think religions are based on lies, but I don't think they're based on truths, either. I think they come about because of what people need at the time that they need them. Like the World Series player who won't take off his lucky socks, or the mother of the sick child who believes that her baby can sleep only if she's sitting by the crib - believers need, by definition, something to believe in.
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Religion gave hope to people who knew the end wasn't going to be pretty. It was why inmates started praying in prison and why patients started praying when the doctors said terminal. Religion was supposed to be a blanket drawn up to your chin to keep you warm, a promise that when it came to the end, you wouldn't die alone - but it could just as easily leave you shivering out in the cold, if what you believed became more important than the fact that you believed.
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Why would God choose to inhabit any of us?
What if it was the other way around ... if we were the ones who inhabited God?
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The rabbi laughed. "And you were around the first time to know this for sure?"
"I know what it says in the scripture."
"I never understood people - Jewish or Christian - who read the Bible as if it were hard evidence. Gospel means good news. It's a way to update the story, to fit the audience you're telling it to."
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Some once told me that when you give birth to a daughter, you've just met the person whose hand you'll be holding the day you die.
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Out of the blue I remembered the Latin words that had been combined to create religion: re + ligere. I had always assumed they translated to reconnect. It was only when I was at seminary that I learned the correct translation was to bind.
Back then, I hadn't seen a difference.
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"You know why I think we still execute people? Because, even if we don't want to say it out loud - for the really heinous crimes, we want to know that there's a really heinous punishment. Simple as that. We want to bring society closer together - huddle and circle our wagons - and that means getting rid of people we think are incapable of learning a moral lesson. I guess the question is: Who gets to identify those people? Who decides what crime is so awful that the only answer is death? And what if, God forbid, they get it wrong?"
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(Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart, 2008)

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Bücherliste 2020

132, NG67, F67, E121 / WG65, M65, D11, NA12, C2, B10

Jodie Picoult, The Book of Two Ways

Irgendwie hatte ich noch garnicht mit einem neuen Buch von Picoult gerechnet und war völlig überrascht, als ich auf dieses stieß und feststellen musste, dass es schon im September erschienen ist. Und es faszinierte mich vom Fleck weg, der Themen wegen - Äygypten natürlich vor allem, aber auch Todbegleitung, Paralleluniversen, Flugzeugabsturz - und das erste Kapitel mit der Ankunft der Erzählerin in Kairo nahm mich vollends gefangen. Da war soviel, was ich wiedererkannte und das mich anrührte. Bis etwa zum letzten Drittel interpretierte ich die parallele Konstruktion des Buches als eine Art zwei Leben die parallel liefen (möglicherweise war das auch so von Picoult gedacht) und konnte einfach nicht entscheiden, welches der beiden Leben sich als das unwirkliche, unwahre herausstellen würde, und Picoults Plot Twist kam dann doch sehr überraschend. Ein rundum gelungenes, reiches und vielfältiges Buch, das "Leaving Time" wahrscheinlich den Rang als Lieblingsbuch streitig machen wird.
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Leave everything behind.
For someone who makes a living through death, I haven't given a lot of thought to my own.
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I once read that every story is a love story. Love of a person, a country, a way of life. Which means, of course, that all tragedies are about losing what you love.
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In every fairy tale, the only way out is to keep running forward. To never look back.
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I know it feels crass to talk about death in such mercenary terms, but that's the very problem with death in the first place. We don't know how to talk about it. We use euphemisms and discuss pearly gates and angels while glossing over the fact that we have to die to get there. We treat it like a mystery, when in fact, it's the one experience all of us are guaranteed to share.
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You can argue that all fear is related to death. Fear of spiders? You're really afraid of being bitten and killed. Fear of heights? Falling to your death. Fear of flying? Crashing. Snakes, fire - you get it. Jerry Seinfeld even says that people are more terrified of public speaking than dying, so if you're asked to give a eulogy, the person inside the coffin is better off than the one giving the talk. Why are people so afraid of dying? Well, that's easy. Because it's hard for us to conceive of a world without us in it.
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Maybe Wyatt is not the only one who's wrong about the point of life. Maybe it's not about accumulating knowledge or accumulating love. Maybe it's just about collecting regrets.
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"No. I think that you can love more than one person in a lifetime. There's the one who teaches you what love is, even if it doesn't last." Wyatt. "And then there's the one who makes you a better human than you were, even as you do the same for him." Brian.
"And then there's the last one," Alberto adds. "The one that you never get enough time with. But who sees you through to the end."
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(Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways, 2020)

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Gesammelte erste Sätze

My calendar is full of dead people.

(Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways, 2020)
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Bücherliste 2019

Neu gelesen: (als E-Book)

Jodi Picoult, Picture Perfect

Ich versuche mir die bisher noch nicht gelesenen Picoults einzuteilen, nicht nur weil die meisten mir einfach noch zu teuer sind, oder so schnell keine neuen zu erwarten sind (für "A Spark of Light" hat sie ja schon fast drei Jahre gebraucht), sondern mir die Geschichten einfach zu sehr unter die Haut gehen. Bei diesem im Hollywood der 90er und Pre-Internet angesiedelten Beziehungsdrama fragte ich mich zudem noch ständig, ob und wie sich die Story auf heutige Zeit übertragen lassen könnte. Zumindest Cassie's Verschwinden im Lakota-Reservat wäre wohl etwas problematischer zu bewerkstelligen. Aber es war auch fast erschreckend zu erkennen, wie viele Sachen sich nicht geändert haben.
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'You know that after the accident, Zack let go because of you,' Dorothea said aloud. 'He wouldn't have lived without you.' She knew it would be that way with herself and Cyrus, too - once one of them joined the spirit world, the other would die quickly so they would be together again. It had taken Dorothea years to understand, but now she was a firm believer: love was that way. You could not render it in black or white. It always came down to the strange, blended shades of gray.

Alex's voice dropped dangerously low. 'You people lie in wait like animals and make rumors fester until they take precedence over the truth. Did you ever think about the lives of the people you're ruining? Did you ever think about the kind of damage you're doing when, in order to guarantee privacy, you force someone to take their family away? My career already makes me a public figure. You don't have to.' Alex took a step toward the silent group of reporters. 'Before you go pleading the first amendment, think about the rest of us who are pleading the fifth.'

(Jodi Picoult, Picture Perfect, 1995)

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Bücherliste 2019

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Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

Eine ungewöhnliche und erschütternde Geschichte einer Mutter, die für ihr Kind Dinge tut, die sie selber für unmöglich gehalten hätte um es vor (weiterem) Schaden zu bewahren, und die bis zum Ende fesselnd bleibt, selbst über die Verurteilung hinaus. Ich sollte wohl die restlichen Picoults nicht zu schnell hintereinander weglesen, es braucht echt eine gute Portion Nerven. Bei allen.

"I wish I could tell you I never would ... but that wouldn't be true. I thought I knew this world. I thought I could control it. But just when you think you've got your life by the reins, that's when it's most likely to run away with you.
"I killed someone." The words burn on my tongue. "No, not just someone, but a wonderful man. An innocent man. That's something I'm going to carry with me, forever. And like any burden, it is going to get heavier and heavier ... except I'll never be able to put it down, because now it's a part of who I am." Turning to the jury, I repeat, "I would like to tell you that I'd never do anything like this again, but then, I never thought I was capable of doing anything like this in the first place. And as it turned out, I was wrong."

(Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match, 2001)

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Bücherliste 2018

Neu gelesen: (als E-Book)

Jodi Picoult, Harvesting the Heart

Wie alle Picoult-Bände fand ich es anfangs schwierig hineinzukommen, bis die Charaktere und die Story mich nicht mehr losließen und ich das Buch am Ende nicht mehr aus der Hand geben mochte. Und danach war ich einmal mehr beeindruckt wie verständlich und nachvollziehbar Picoult Verhaltensweisen darstellt, die zunächst unerklärlich erscheinen.

He said that most of those Harvard types thought the diner's name was some kind of philosophical statement, and anyway, that kept them coming in. He wandered off, leaving me to wonder why white people named girl babies things like Hope and Faith and Patience - names they could never live up to - and black mothers called their daughters Mercy, Deliverance, Salvation - crosses they'd always have to bear.
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I was starting to see that the past might color the future, but it didn't determine it. And if I could believe that, it was much easier to let go of what I'd done wrong.
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I thought of all the magazine articles I'd read on mothers who worked and constantly felt guilty about leaving their children with someone else. I had trained myself to read pieces like that and silently say to myself, See how lucky you are? But it had been gnawing at me inside, that part that didn't quite fit, that I never let myself even think about. After all, wasn't it a worse kind of guilt to be with your child and to know that you wanted to be anywhere but there?
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But on the other hand, Nicholas couldn't help but remember that marriage was a man-made thing, a statute created by society itself. Two souls that were meant to be together - and Nicholas wasn't saying that was the case with him; he was too scientific to be so romantic - well, two people like that could just mate for life with no need for a paper certificate. Marriage didn't really seem to be about love; it was about the ability to live together for a long period of time, and that was something completely different.
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Still, no matter what, leaving home had to do with more than just me. It may have started out that way, but I was beginning to see how many chain reactions had been set off and how many people had been hurt. If the simple act of my disappearance could unravel my whole family, I must have held more power - been more important - than I'd ever considered.
Leaving home was all about us. I realized this was something my mother had never stopped to learn.
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(Jodi Picoult, Harvesting the Heart, 1993)

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Bücherliste 2018

Neu gelesen: (als E-Book)

Jodi Picoult, A Spark of Light

Picoults neuestes Buch behandelt wieder ein überaus kontroverses und problematisches Thema - Schwangerschaftsabbruch - und mich wundert eigentlich nur, warum sie es noch nicht viel früher angegangen hat. Außerdem präsentiert sie es auch noch im Rahmen einer Geiselnahme, und als ich nach dem ersten Kapitel feststellen musste, dass die Geschichte rückwärts erzählt wird, und das auch noch nach einem richtig gemeinen Cliffhanger, der erst im Epilog aufgelöst wird, raufte ich mir schon die Haare. Im Nachhinein erkannte ich aber, dass die hergebrachte Erzählweise hier nicht so gut funktioniert hätte, viele Sachen, die in den letzten Kapiteln zutage kommen, hätten zuviel vorweggenommen. Das Buch muss ich auf jeden Fall noch einmal in Ruhe lesen, beim ersten Mal sind mir durch die nervtötende Spannung einfach zuviele schöne Stellen durch die Lappen gegangen.
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There was, of course, the history, too. Women had been property. Their chastity had always belonged to a man, until abortion and contraception put control of women's sexuality in the women's hands. If women could have sex without the fear of unwanted pregnancy, then suddenly the man's role had shrunk to a level somewhere between unnecessary and vestigial. So instead, men vilified women who had abortions. They created the stigma: good women want to be mothers, bad women don't.
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What she would miss were these details. She wondered if, when you left this world, you got to take a certain number of them deep in your pockets, clenched in your fists, or tucked high on the roof of your mouth, with you forever.
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He looked into the eyes of each of the women. Warriors, every one of them. Every day, he was reminded of their grit, their courage in the face of obstacles, the quiet grace with which they shouldered their troubles. They were stronger than any men he'd ever known. For sure, they were stronger than the male politicians who were so terrified of them that they designed laws specifically to keep women down. Louie shook his head. As if that could ever be done. If he had learned anything during his years as an abortion doctor, it was this: there was nothing on God's green earth that would stop a woman who didn't want to be pregnant.
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Today he was reading the research of a team from Northwestern University, who had recorded a zinc flash at the precise instant a sperm fertilized an egg. A rush of calcium at that moment caused zinc to be released from the egg. As the zinc burst out, at attached itself to small, fluorescent molecules: the spark that was picked up by camera microscopes. Although this had been seen before in mice, it was the first time in humans. More important, certain eggs glowed a little brigther than others at the moment of conception - the same ones that went on to become healthy embryos.
(...)
As a resident, he'd sat with his share of terminal patients, and what you heard was true: people who were dying talked of a tunnel, with a warm glow at the end.
It stood to reason that both life and death began with a spark of light.
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She had come to the clinic because she didn't want to be a little girl anymore. But it wasn't having sex that made you a woman. It was having to make decisions, sometimes terrible ones. Children were told what to do. Adults made up their own minds, even when the options tore them apart.
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(Aus dem Nachwort)
The woman who had come in to have that abortion at fifteen weeks had three other children under the age of four. She could not afford another child without compromising the care of the ones she already had. Did coming to the clinic make her a terrible mother, or a responsible one?
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Laws are black and white. The lives of women are a thousand shades of gray.
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Honestly, I do not believe we, as a society, will ever agree on this issue. The stakes are too high, and both sides operate from places of unshakable belief. But I do think that the first step is to talk to each other - and more important, to listen. We may not see eye to eye, but we can respect each other's opinions and find the truth in them. Perhaps in those honest conversations, instead of demonizing each other, we might see each other as imperfect humans, doing our best.

(Jodi Picoult, A Spark of Light, 2018)

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