Teaser Tuesday: Jacksonland

The school year and basketball season have hit their stride and should remain there until sometime in mid-March.

With that in mind, the Wheel of Time has turned to

Teaser Tuesday

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week’s book is Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross. and A Great American Land Grab written by NPR’s Steve Inskeep. For those that listen to him on a daily basis, one can’t help but hear him narrate his own words.

The Truly Random Number Generator send us to page 199:

But in the summer of 1829, Evarts was exactly what 
Ross needed: a genuine ally who was willing to fight 
alongside him as an equal. Evarts was different than 
Henry Clay, who supported Indian rights but also 
thought Indians were doomed. While Clay thought 
Indians' "disappearance from the human family would 
be no great loss to the world," Evarts placed them 
on the same level as white men. 

Jacksonland Goodreads cover

In Retrospect

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Founding Brothers Goodreads CoverAuthor: Joseph J. Ellis.

Although this book adds little new (if anything at all) to the historical record, it is both enjoyable and mostly readable – two qualities which may have helped it win the Pulitzer Prize.

My only fault is the author’s overuse of adjectives and certain phrases – after some time it felt I was reading a fluffed-up report.

4 Stars


 

The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic Goodreads coverAuthor: Terry Pratchett

This is both the first published Discworld novel & the first novel in the “Rincewind Cycle” – the series of Discworld books detailing the misadventures of the “wizzard” Rincewind.

If you picked up this book after seeing the film The Color of Magic, be aware that this book only covers the first part of the film; for the complete story, you’ll also want The Light Fantastic.

As this is the first book in the series, Pratchett spends a good deal more time (comparatively) discussing the actual mechanics of the Disc. Some may find this dull, while the more science-and-math minded may find such discussion downright enjoyable.

I personally find the Discworld series both witty and funny, but such accolades depend greatly on the individual. Much of Pratchett’s humor is dry and his wit relies on the readers’ knowledge of Earth’s workings and/or mythology.

The Color of Magic is fun as pure fantasy, but also contains splendid nuggets of joy for the more cerebral-minded.

5 Stars

Coming Soon

Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan by Douglas C. Waller

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

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Teaser Tuesday: Founding Brothers

Winter break has ended and school has started again.

The New Year hit the ground running, and the Wheel of Time has turned to

Teaser Tuesday

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

I’ve currently read six books out of the 100 in my Goodreads Challenge.

I’ve actually settled down a bit, and [gasp] I’m only reading one book this week – that’s right, I’m not reading multiple titles at the same time. What is this New Year coming to?

This week’s book is Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis. The Truly Random Number Generator send us to page 37:

But the looming threat of possible injury and
perhaps even death did tend to focus [Hamilton's]
mind on the downside of his swashbuckling style.  
He was less suicidal than regretful, less fatalistic 
than meditative. 

Founding Brothers Goodreads Cover

In Retrospect

Since I read quite a few books this week and wrote a review for each one (part of my goal for 2016, remember?) I won’t waste space by repeating it here. Simply follow the link to see my rating and review.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Lee Miller in Fashion by Becky E. Conekin

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World by Thomas Cahill

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Mouse Muse: The Mouse in Art by Lorna Owen

Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World’s Great Graphic Designers by Steven Heller

Coming Soon

Jacksonland, by Steve Inskeep.

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

Have a suggestion for a poem, photograph, or future post?

Drop a note in the prompt box!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Teaser Tuesday: Mouse Muse

I’m on my second day of the second week of Winter Break, and although my To-Do list is just about as long as it was when break began, I’m ready to start second semester.

As books have helped keep my sanity, it seems only fitting the Wheel of Time has turned to

Teaser Tuesday

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

In terms of reading, this screenshot of Goodreads updates will suffice:

Currently Reading December 28 2015

Remember how I decided to read but not finish several books during the break, only finishing them after the 2016 Goodreads challenge starts? This is my progress.

Since I’m reading several books this week, let’s go with Mouse Muse: The Mouse in Art by Lorna Owen. The book is unique, with a different artist and work per spread with no artists repeated. She highlights paintings, sculpture, photography, and even modern art installations.

I’ve abandoned the Truly Random Number Generator for this week, choosing instead to highlight one of my favorite passages. From page 7:

Painters and stained-glass makers honored Saint 
Gertrude of Nivelles - who had expunged the rodents 
from seventh-century Francia, earning herself the 
awkward moniker Patron Saint of the Fear of Mice - 
with numerous portraits that included a mischief of 
penitent mice at her feet ("mischief" being a 
collective noun for mice.)

Mouse Muse Goodreads Cover

Those poor, poor mice; hopefully they will find redemption through humanity’s great artists.

In Retrospect

Although I’d intended The Relic Master to be the first book I finished in 2016, I didn’t realize the last few pages were acknowledgments. Thus, I finished it earlier than intended. However, Relic Master was such an engrossing tale I don’t mind the slight disappointment at all. Five stars and added to my “To Purchase” list.

Coming Soon

I’m reading quite a bit [see above] so it could be any one of those – – except Er Ist Wieder Da, with which I’m taking my time [it being in German and all].

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

Have a suggestion for a poem, photograph, or future post?

Drop a note in the prompt box!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Teaser Tuesday: King John

Yesterday, high school basketball officially began.

Today, the turning Wheel of Time turns to

Teaser TuesdayJust in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

I’m full steam ahead on my Goodreads challenge: 5 books ahead!

I left present-day Discworld for Roundworld in the 12th and 13th centuries with Marc Morris’ King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta.

Yes, this book has two subtitles!

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 191:

Yet the impression, from both the chroniclers and
the official records, is that John indulged his whim
in this way a great deal more than any of his
predecessors.  With increasing frequency, men and
women, great and small, were deprived of their lands
simply because they had somehow incurred his
displeasure. 

King John coverSounds like John will live up to his nickname:

John the First and John the Worst

In Retrospect

The Shepherd’s Crown by Sir Terry Pratchett earned 5 stars.

When Books Went To War by Molly Manning also earned 5 stars, and in my opinion should be required reading for anyone who doubts the value of the printed word. It is by far the best book about books I’ve read.

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

Have a suggestion for a poem, photograph, or future post?

Drop a note in the prompt box!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Teaser Tuesday: The Shepherd’s Crown

Like a centuries-old Spanish church emerging from the depths of drought-ridden Mexico, the turning Wheel of Time has brought up

Teaser TuesdayJust in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

Given my hectic schedule, I’ve fallen slightly behind pace on my Goodreads challenge; I am now only four books ahead of schedule.

In an attempt to salvage victory, I’ve decided to finally read The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett. I received it on release day, but haven’t had the heart to read it . . . yet.

This week, the Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 192:

They brought actual terror, and horror, and pain. 
. . . And they laughed, which was bad enough
because their laughter was actually musical, and
you could wonder why such wonderful music
could come from such unpleasant creatures.
They cared for nobody except themselves and 
possibly not even that.

Shepherd's Crown Cover

In Retrospect

I’m slowly working my way through Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America by Eric Jay Dolan. The story is interesting, but the prose is lacking. I may abandon it . . . or not.

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

Have a suggestion for a poem, photograph, or future post?

Drop a note in the prompt box!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Teaser Tuesday: Empire of Sin

Mother Nature knew I needed to catch up on my TBR.

Just as Hurricane Joaquin has turned out into the Atlantic – creating “a hurricane without the hurricane” as Krystal call it – so the turning Wheel of Time has brought

Teaser TuesdayJust in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

Somehow I continue to keep ahead of my Goodreads challenge – 5 books ahead of schedule! – which is just as well since NaNoWriMo lurks just around the corner.

Last night I started reading Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist. I found the book while wandering the stacks and became intrigued by both the title and the font. Perusing the chapter titles and reading the introduction, I know “the Axeman” will make an appearance or two (maybe more?) – you might be familiar with his character from American Horror Story: Coven; speaking of which, AHS: Freak Show comes to Netflix today – should school be cancelled, I know what I’ll be doing!

But, since you came for a Teaser, the Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 133:

Joseph La Menthe . . . was a Creole pianist who 
affected a casual disdain for the music of what he 
called "Uptown Negroes."  A musician of stunning 
individuality himself, he was busily developing his 
own unique blend of piano-based ragtime, dance 
music, and blues - a "Spanish-tinged" style that 
would eventually have its own claim as the prototype 
for the kind of music still a decade away from being 
known as "jazz."  

Empire of Sin cover

In Retrospect

You might recall Banned Books Week 2015 focused on YA Literature; you might also remember I read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison as part of that observance. Perhaps the books was shocking once; in my opinion, no more. It has some value in portraying life in a bygone era, but little in the way of actual literary value. 2 stars.

I also read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. It found it at times to be enjoyable, philosophical, entertaining, and preachy. It made me ponder what I want for my earthly remains. Losing steam halfway through, this memoir fell to 3 stars.

Favorite Line:

Ignorance is not bliss, only a deeper kind of terror.

For the first time since college I listened to an audiobook – at least, something listed as an audiobook on Goodreads. I won a copy of The Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour from NPR. It contains ten of the best or most popular episodes of the show chosen from the over 200 episodes in the show’s history. I have never listened to the actual podcast before; that may change after listening to this audiobook. While I generally care little for pop culture “news”, I would highly recommend the podcast based on these ten episodes. 5 stars.

Finally, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes proved a fun, lighthearted anecdotal recounting of how The Princess Bride was made. Although Elwes (Westley/The Man in Black/The Dread Pirate Roberts) is listed as author, there are many sidebar recollections from surviving members of the cast. Some of the tales have already been passed around the internet, while others may be new – at least, they were new to me. Highly recommend to any fan of the movie! 5 stars.

 


 

What have you been reading?

 


 

Have a suggestion for a poem, photograph, or future post?

Drop a note in the prompt box!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

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