Terse and to the point!

No zombies. No vampires. No angels. No self-help. No horror.



16 Tasks for the Festive Season --9
1421: The Year China Discovered America (Audio) - Gavin Menzies

Square 2: Book themes for Bon Om Touk: Read a book that takes place on the sea, near the sea, or on a lake or a river...


I love this book!!


In 1421, just before a period in their history of isolationism, the Chinese treasure fleet circumnavigated the globe, carefully mapping their progress. Shortly after their return, the emperor had the archives expunged of the now 'unnecessary' information that the fleet had gleaned. 



1421 is Gavin Menzies attempt to prove that the Chinese had already beaten Columbus and Magellan to the punch --and that in fact, they had used maps that were based on what the Chinese had found out. The tale of how he went about his painstaking research is interwined with what he has learned, and continues to learn, and both are absolutely fascinating. 



16 Tasks for the Festive Season --8
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett, William Dufris

Square 1: Dia de los Muertos

A book that has a primarily black and white cover













 Do I get extra points because it is a murder mystery?

Next in the re-read parade...
Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic - Marc S. Glickman

From now until January, it is all re-reads. My mind is just not up for processing new material. Besides which, I'm saving the new stuff for 2018.


For the next day or two, I will be immersed in the story of the discovery of the Cairo Genizah, its signficance, its value to scholarship, the problems faced (by librarians and the scholarly community) in cataloging and preserving what was in the genizah. Over one hundred years after the discovery of this trove of documents and books, scholars have barely begun to plumb its depths. 






I'm also adding this as ONE of my Hanukkah tasks for Square 8. The rest will have to wait for later. 


16 Tasks for the Festive Season --6

Square 12 --Book themes for Saturnalia:  OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover. –OR– a story where roles are reversed.


This is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. Of course, the whole premise is silly but GH pulls it off with such eclat and they all live happily ever after. A delightful romp, especially if you don't take it seriously in the least. 


16 Tasks for the Festive Season --5






Here's to International Human Rights Day !!!!   


Cook a dish from a foreign culture


Once a year or so, I cook a paella, a Spanish dish. I would do it once a month if it I didn't gain weight just looking at a box of Uncle Ben's!! 





Please excuse that fact that this is an old picture but I don't remember if I got a picture of this year's adventure and this one was already up on a server that I could link to.


And please excuse this avalanche of posts but I am trying to get as many of these done while I have the time to do them--although a couple of them will have to wait until later because named tasks actually coincide with things that I have on the docket already for December -- like baking ginger snaps (which is as close to gingerbread men as I get).


Found on Facebook

16 Tasks for the Festive Season--2
The Breaking Wave - Nevil Shute

Posting task 2-- Square 3


Book themes for Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction). 


A WWII story of a WREN ordinance officer and two Australian brothers, one a pilot and the other a frogman, in the lead up to the Normandy Invasion. 


Oddly enough, this book also counts for the Penance Day read in Square 4: ...where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).



16 Tasks for the Festive Season

This my first task of the season: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), 


We are at Nordcapp, Norway.  As far north as you can travel on the European Continent. It is 71 degrees north, just one third of the way to the North Pole. 



But, it was such an amazingly beautiful cruise up the coast of Norway, that I can't stop at just one photo, or even just two. Nordcapp sits on the same coastal island as Honnigsvag. 




Further south, on the Geirangerfjord:


Murrow at the Newseum
Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism - Bob Edwards

We did a very quick trip to Washington, D.C. to see an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art and knowing that we could not spend two days wandering around the NGA, we also went to the Newseum, where I kept wondering how come in the various exhibits there was not more mention of legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. That was, of course, until I finally made it into the BLOOMBERG INTERNET, TV AND RADIO GALLERY where there is an entire exhibit dedicated to the man. It includes a film narrated by Bob Edwards, author of the book seen pictured here, with dialogue lifted verbatim from the book. 

Reblogged Quote
“If sacred places are spared the ravages of war... then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war... then make all people holy.”

― J. Michael Straczynski, Silver Surfer: Requiem
Reblogged from Lora's Rants and Reviews
Today's Daily Deal
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Jeff Woodman, Mark Haddon

I might have passed this one by if it weren't for the $10 credit I earned last month that expires in a couple of days--use it or lose it! So, I suppose that this one should really be put on the "expanding my horizons" shelf because it really not within my (ab)normal range of reading.  :-)

Audible 2 for 1 Sale Pile
Evanly Choirs - Roger Clark, Rhys Bowen Evan Help Us - Roger Clark, Rhys Bowen

Tiresome bunch of choices this go round but I did manage to find two that I wouldn't mind having in my permanent library. 

Another re-read
Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio - Michael Prichard, Jeffrey Kluger

I grabbed this one out of the re-read pile to fill in time while I try to figure out what new book I want to read. I have read this one a couple of times already but not in the past five years, so it was time to trot it out again and give it a listen. Author Jeffrey Kluger is in the business of making science and recent events in the science world accessible to non-scientist (like me). He wrote this book in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the development of the polio vaccine in 2005. It is a well-crafted story that combines biography, history and even a little science. If you haven't read it yet, I do recommend it.

3.5 Stars
A geopolitical view of the world
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World - Tim Marshall, Scott Brick

All throughout this book I kept asking what he now had to say about this and that because it is three years since he wrote the book and Korea has a nuclear weapons capabilities now and the US has a new president and a number of other significant changes. Fascinating book. It will give you a whole new understanding of the world we live in.

I am abandoning this one
Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century - Jeffrey Rosen

Calling it quits on this one. I can't make myself go back to it. I got his point in lecture one and I don't need to hear it over and over again.

4 Stars
Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow

It has been a couple of years since I read this and it is time to read it again.


How long has it been? Since before I joined BookLikes!