Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ten bookish questions

As seen at Kwizgiver:

Donated books  

1. Do you read during breakfast? no

2. How many hours a day would you say you read? It depends on what you mean by reading. If you're exclusive to books, then maybe an hour a day. But I'm on the internet constantly, reading and writing.

3. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago? I think more. Ten years ago I still had young children.

4. Do you consider yourself a speed reader? no.

5. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go? Does a Kindle count?

6. How old were you when you got your first library card? I think 3rd grade.

7. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? I have a couple of books on Rhode Island history that were published in the 1930s.

8. Do you read in bed? not usually

9. Do you write in your books? Occasionally reference books. Highlighting is another story.

10. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be? you'll find the world in books.

Tarot musings - 8 of Cups

A person walks away from eight stacked cups.

Leaving behind, moving on, retreat, emotional restoration, call of spirit, travel, abandonment.

This card is about letting it go and moving on. It's time to take some time alone to think about how you feel, and whether leaving your current situation is the right thing to do. You're tired of feeling disappointed and hopeless and ready for better things. It could indicate a desire for deeper spirituality.

Lookit the baby!

My daughter and her children have been following the feed of a Bald Eagle's nest in Hanover Pennsylvania. A nesting pair set up shop there a few weeks ago, and soon there were a couple of eggs. Now one has hatched.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper

What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper
What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was on my TBR pile challenge list.

It tells the story of how Henry James, the American/British novelist, his brother William, the noted psychologist and philosopher, and sister Alice, an invalid diarist worked together to solve the case of Jack the Ripper.

The siblings each use their particular expertise to find clues, and work together as a team to piece together the solution.

It's interesting that the sibling with the most to offer is left out of the title. William James, already a pioneer in psychology, is summoned to Scotland Yard to help build a profile of the killer.

Henry uses his entree into the art world to mix and mingle with upper-class suspects.

Alice, who seems mostly afflicted with the malaise that very sheltered women with bright minds are prone to, is the one with sufficient idle time and imagination to put herself in the killer's shoes.

The solution is interesting, the descriptions are good. The solution isn't among the usual suspects.

View all my reviews

More about Helen Keller

Longtime readers may remember that I have a fascination with Helen Keller. She's my hero. Her ability to overcome adversity as a person with a disability is made even more impressive when you realize she did it at the turn of the 20th century as a female. This was a time when women were expected to stay in the background, and disabled people were marginalized even further. Yet she became the darling of the world, and an outspoken activist.

One of the harder things on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days is to go to see her former home in Wrentham, and the Tewkesbury, Massachusetts Almshouse where Annie Sullivan lived. My 4th 101 Things list includes a trip to Tuscumbia, Alabama to visit Ivy Green, Helen's birthplace.

So I was excited and interested to find this documentary on her life.

Review: An Edible History of Humanity

An Edible History of Humanity
An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A comprehensive look at the impact that food has had on human society. From the earliest hunter-gatherers to the second Green Revolution, Standage demonstrates the influence of food and its availability in history. Communities form, wars are fought, people grow rich and poor, and governments rise and fall based on the availability of food to the people.

The book is long, but not dry. There's always a new change, or culture to examine. Although the story is about food in general, the most commonly mentioned are cereal crops. It's amazing to learn what they've meant to us as a species.

I read this for the TBR Pile Challenge. It had been gathering dust awhile, and now I'm sorry I put it off. The book ends around 2008, and I'm sure a lot more has happened since.

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 22, 2015

More on the 3rd 101 Things in 1001 Days

The race to the finish continues.

Yesterday I watched:

A Haunting in Connecticut  a moderately intense horror film about a boy dying of cancer who, because he's living in the "valley of the shadow of death," can see and be impacted by the supernatural happenings in the house his family is renting. The house was once a mortuary where strange seances and rituals were performed.

The Conjuring, another haunted house story. This one's about a house in Harrisville, Rhode Island that's haunted by a long-dead witch who has designs on a mother of five.

Both of those were from the list of 13 horror movies inspired by real-life events.

Then from the 100 Years, 100 Cheers list, I watched The Spirit of St. Louis, about Charles Lindberg's transatlantic flight. It starred Jimmy Stewart, and seemed to last as long as the 38 hours of "Lucky Lindy's" flight. Boring.

See what I did there?

World Poetry Day is a thing you should know.
If you can't write, you should at least read Poe

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring!

After a long, rough winter, I'm pleased to announce that Spring is here!

Snow in the forecast today. Your mileage may vary.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Movie review: Gunshot Stories

The story of three brothers in rural Arkansas, named Son, and Kid. Abandoned by their father and raised by a hateful mother, they're raised to hate their father and his new family. Seriously, what kind of parents give their boys these names?

When their father dies, it sets up an escalating war of hate between the boys and their step-brothers.  It's a story about loyalty, betrayal, and brotherly love.

I watched it for my 3rd 101 Things in 1001 Days. It's from Mark Hughes' 50 Movies Never Monimated for the Academy Award.