Sunday, April 14, 2024

BW16: P stands for .......

 


Happy Sunday! P stands for Paint.  We’re still prepping our bathroom since we had the bathroom disaster and we’ve been scraping and scrubbing and sanding, redoing the old orange peel left over from the days we used to rent before we lay linoleum, and shop for replacements for the old medicine cabinet and mirrors, and light fixtures. Hubby and I have different methods for getting some things done and we are both passionate about how to do so but we have fun in the process since both ways work well. Things goes faster when we work together as a team. Which brings me to our letter of the week.

P not only stands for paint but also poetry,  plot, prose, personification, protagonists, proverbs, puns, as well as pool.  Ha! 

"Trouble (oh, we got trouble)

Right here in River City (right here in River City)

With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool (that stands for pool)

We've surely got trouble (we've surely got trouble)

Right here in River City (right here)

Gotta figure out a way to keep the young ones moral after school

(Our children's children gonna have trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble)"

Ya Got Trouble by Robert Preston


April is National Poetry Month and the poster above represents the poem Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton. 

may the tide

that is entering even now

the lip of our understanding

carry you out

beyond the face of fear

may you kiss

the wind then turn from it

certain that it will

love your back may you

open your eyes to water

water waving forever

and may you in your innocence

sail through this to that


Why the poem has no punctuation is beyond me, but it's another p word.   So read a book of poetry or punctuation.  Read about Robert Preston, or Prince or Pedro Pascal.  Read a book about painters, or pets, or penguins.  Read a book about passion or peace or prosperity. 

Find your pleasure, find your prize, as you participate in our favorite pastime.  

Peace out! 


*****

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Sunday, April 7, 2024

BW15: Onomatopoeia

 


Happy Sunday!  Our next 52 Books category meshes well with our letter and word of the week: One word titles and onomatopoeia.  


Weather

by

Eve Merriam

1916 –1992

Dot a dot dot dot a dot dot
Spotting the windowpane.

Spack a spack speck flick a flack fleck
Freckling the windowpane.

A spatter a scatter a wet cat a clatter
A splatter a rumble outside.

Umbrella umbrella umbrella umbrella
Bumbershoot barrel of rain.

Slosh a galosh slosh a galosh
Slither and slather a glide

A puddle a jump a puddle a jump
A puddle a jump puddle splosh

A juddle a pump a luddle a dump
A pudmuddle jump in and slide!



Have fun! 

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Sunday, March 31, 2024

BW14: N is for Non Sequitur

 

“The glass-blower's cat is bompstable,” said Mr. Parker aloud and distinctly.” ~ Dorothy L. Sayers


Grandpa Joe: "I used to work for him, you know."
Charlie: "You did?"
Grandpa Joe: "I did."
Grandma Josephine: "He did."
Grandpa George: "He did."
Grandma Georgina: "I love grapes."
~Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 



Hi! Happy Sunday and Happy Easter for all who celebrate!  April is upon us and with April showers bring May flowers so let it rain.  April is also Stress Awareness Month, National Humor month, and National Card and Letter Writing Month. So send a funny card or send a humorous caring letter to someone this month and make their day, week, or year. 

As we all know, Easter Sunday is always followed by Dyngus day in Poland on Monday so have fun and follow it up with Tuesday's Children's book day, then Wednesday's National Walking day and explore somewhere new. Follow it up with Thursday's Walk around Things day since you're probably lost by now. Then Friday's Read a Road Map day which is necessary when traveling with your hubby.  After our last road trip, I purchased National Geographics Adventure Edition U.S Atlas, a paper map of the United States California, and Arizona.  Eventually we'll buy a map of all the individual states in the U.S. because hubby doesn't trust electronic maps. They like to send you weird places. 

And why is it when I look up Non Sequitur on the Internet, I found The Non Sequitur Survival Guide for the Nineties but no other decade?   What happened in the nineties?  I guess we all lost logic and reason in the 90's.  Something to think about. 

And our April author  and book of the month is Bonnie Garmus and her debut novel Lessons in Chemistry." 

"Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo."


It's different, it's maddening, it's unusual, it's heart wrenching, it's all the feels. Proceed with caution. 

Big N, little N, what begins with N: Nudge, nurture, noteworthy, and nuance. 

Nanu nanu!!!


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Sunday, March 24, 2024

BW13: 52 Books Bingo - Musician

 



Happy Sunday! The musical earworm stuck in my head today is Lady Gaga's Million Reasons which if you'll notice also starts with M and is our letter of the week, which leads me to our next 52 Books Bingo Category - Musician.  Don't you hate run on sentences. I was helping my son with his philosophy class today and the text for the philosopher of the week used long run on sentences with double and triple negatives making it so convoluted, you had to read it several times to figure out what he was trying to say.  Thank goodness musicians make songs easy to understand with their repetitive melodies or story telling in musical form.  

There are numerous directions we can go with the category of Musician whether you wish to learn about music or an instrument; read a biography about a famous or not so famous musician;  read a fictional tale involving a musician or musical event; or read a book with music on the cover or in the title; or whatever your imagination conjures up for the letter M. 

Have fun and enjoy! 

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Sunday, March 17, 2024

BW12: Happy St. Patrick's Day

 




St. Patrick’s Day

by

Jean Blewett


There’s an Isle, a green Isle, set in the sea,

     Here’s to the Saint that blessed it!

And here’s to the billows wild and free

     That for centuries have caressed it!


Here’s to the day when the men that roam

     Send longing eyes o’er the water!

Here’s to the land that still spells home

     To each loyal son and daughter!


Here’s to old Ireland—fair, I ween,

     With the blue skies stretched above her!

Here’s to her shamrock warm and green,

     And here’s to the hearts that love her!


L is for luck of the irish, love, and laughter!


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Sunday, March 10, 2024

BW11: Knowledge versus Wisdom


 

Happy Sunday!   Are knowledge and wisdom the same thing?  Not exactly. Knowledge comes from education, learning about different subjects, getting the facts, acquiring the skills, an understanding of how things work.  Wisdom is knowing what to do with those facts, skills, and information.

"Knowledge is love and light and vision." ~- Helen Keller

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it." - Thomas Jefferson.

Which brings us to our next 52 Books Bingo category -  Wisdom. - and our letter of the week - K - which brings us to Knowledge. 

Inspiring books such as the Tao of Pooh to the thoughtful wisdom books of the bible to the fictional tales of inspiration and thought, Wisdom and Knowledge presents us with a very broad category from which to choose. 

28 Books that Will Open Your Mind, Expand Your Knowledge & Transform the Way You Live

Novels for thought

What Books Would You Recommend Someone Read to Improve their General Knowledge of the World?

50 Short Books Packed with Wisdom


Don't forget to change your clocks tonight - We are springing forward. 

Happy reading! 

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Sunday, March 3, 2024

BW10: March Author of the Month - Rebecca Yarros


“I am the sky and the power of every storm that has ever been. I am infinite.” ~ Fourth Wing

Happy Sunday! Welcome to March and National Irish Heritage month as well as Women's History Month. Today is also Namesake Day in celebration on the history of our names.  Years ago, when we were thinking of names before our son was born,  our relatives managed to turn every name into a nick name, prompting us to change our minds several times. We settled on the name that meant to most to us historically, musically, and personally.  Remind me to tell you the story one of these days.  

Our author of the month is Rebecca Yarros, a military mom with six kids who writes stand alone contemporary romance, military romance, as well as has a new fantasy series.  Her stories will make you laugh and cry and cheer and give you all the feels.  Yarros was a new to me author when I read The Last Letter and her writing and the roller coaster of emotions experienced while reading the story made me want to read all her books. Which leads me to the first two books in her  young adult fantasy series Fourth Wing and Iron Flame all about dragon riders. 

"Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away...because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die."

It is the year of the dragon after all. Join me in reading Fourth Wing. 

Our post is sponsored by the letter J for justice, juggernaut, juxtaposition, and journaling. 

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

BW9: I is for imagery

 



Happy Sunday!  I am in the midst of reading In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helprin who uses a great deal of imagery in his books.   From Winter's Tale to A Soldier of the Great War to In Sunlight and In Shadow, Helprin's use of imagery tickles your senses - what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, as well as emotion, and even employ the use of metaphors or similes.  All chunky books, Helprin brings not only the stories of the characters to life, but the settings as well.  

Winter's Tale is an historical, magical realism, romance story about a middle aged burglar and a young girl dying of consumption and how their paths crossed in a city consumed by an arctic winter.  The imagery in the story took my breath away. 

“Winter then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described, considering that it iced the branches of the sycamores on Chrystie Street and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells.” ~ Winter's Tale

A Soldier of the Great War is one of those books that once finished, you have to let yourself ponder what it is you've just read, let it sit with you for a time, while you formulate your thoughts. After being immersed in Alessandro's world for three weeks, took me a while to surface. It's epic, poetic, heart wrenching, funny, scary, breathtaking, maddening, and leaves you with much to ponder.

“And then one morning the soldiers grew suddenly still as the heavy latches were lifted and turned. Just before the doors slid apart, a man from Pisa took the opportunity to say, "The air is thin. We're in the mountains." Alessandro straightened his back and raised his head. The mountains, unpredictable in their power, were the heart of his recollection, and he knew that the Pisano was right. He had known it all along from the way the train took the many grades, from the metallic thunder of bridges over which they had run in the middle of the night, and from the white sound of streams falling and flowing in velocities that could have been imparted only by awesome mountainsides.”  A Soldier of the Great War

Which brings me to In Sunlight and In Shadow, a novel set just after WWII, is a romance set in New York between Harry who has just returned from the war and Catherina, a wealthy aspiring actress. 

I had to stop and read my husband a passage when the narrator of the story was describing the female character as he watched her rehearsing on stage. 

"The lenses, plumb-set and perpendicular to the plane of the floor, were a foil to the sharp assertiveness of her nose, which was small, perfectly formed, gracefully projecting.  Her upper lip was larger than her lower, which suggested imminent speech protected nonetheless by careful reticence.  Her teeth, unnaturally white in the glare of the spotlights, were even straight, and large, in alluring palisades that cried out to be kissed."

And his thoughts as he sat across from her at a restaurant: 

"He wondered if women understood that their apparently insignificant attributes often have a power greater than that of armies. It was what he had meant when he had said that the war had been fought for her. Like the atom, which in its internal bonds contains the essence of matter and energy, in her glance, the sparkle of her eye, the grasp of her hand, the elasticity of her hair in motion, the way she stands, the blush of her cheek, sweep of her shoulder, tone of her voice, and snap of her locket, a woman is the spur and essence of existence." 

Helprin's imagery makes me slow down and read the story slowly,  makes me stop and think, takes my breath away, and yes, makes me laugh at what one could consider absurd but also beautiful.  These stories aren't full of purple prose, but descriptive imagery which is very much part of the over arching story.   

What authors or stories come to your mind that are full of imagery that tickles your senses and adds to the story? 

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Sunday, February 18, 2024

BW8: Hubert Horatio Hornblower


Happy Sunday! Some of you may be too young to remember when in 1980 President Jimmy Carter during a speech, in an effort to laud political champions of the past, said "a great man who should have been president, who would have been one of the greatest presidents in history: Hubert Horatio Hornblower,"  then quickly added "Humphrey" when he realized his mistake.  Hornblower was a fictional naval officer in a series of novels by C.S. Forster.  It must an amazing gaffe to say the least.  

Which brings us to Monday February 19th which is President's day in the United States honoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who were both born in February. 

Tuesday, February 20th is a little know holiday called Hoodie Hoo day in which you must put on a hat, go out at noon, wave your hands all around and yell Hoodie Hoo. If it's too cold, call your family and friends and yell Hoodie Hoo.  

Thursday, February 22nd is Be Humble day in which you must have a piece of humble pie, as they are all humble. 

If you haven't guessed by now, our letter of the week is H and full of hyperbole, history, haiku, handwaving, and hedgehogs. 

Read about a fictional or real president.

Read about a seagoing character.  

Read a book with a character named Humphrey, George, Abraham, or any president's first name. 

Read a book with Hoodie in the title. 

Read a book with Humble in the title or about humility. 

Read any author whose name begins with H. 

Have fun! 


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Sunday, February 11, 2024

BW7: 52 Books Bingo - Earth also known as Gaia

 


Happy Sunday.  Our next 52 Books Bingo category is another element of nature - Earth. 

The Anglo Saxons named her Erda and the German named her Erde which was changed to Old English Ertha, meaning the ground upon which we walk. The Greek's named her Gaia, the mother of all life. The Roman's named her Tellus Mater, the goddess and physical personification of earth. Chi or Tsuchi in Japanese or dìqiú in Chinese.  The planet has many names.  Share unique names you have discovered or read about for the planet Earth. 

The synonyms for earth, the celestial body on which we live include globe, planet, sphere, microcosm. Earth can also mean the surface which include the synonyms land, ground, soil, dust, and landmass to name a few.  

The spiritual element of earth relates to the Chakra that relates to feelings of safety and security. The phrase 'what on earth' relates to surprise and questions of why. 

Read a book set on the planet earth or the discovery of earth. Read a book about foreign lands or wanderlust.

Read a book about the natural world or the element of nature. 

Read a book with Earth or related synonym in the title. 

Read mythological retellings or environmental books. 

As you can see, Earth is a really broad subject in which we can go many different ways or narrow it down to the tiniest grain of sand.   

Our post is sponsored by the letter G and Gaia, globe, ground, and genius. 


*****

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Sunday, February 4, 2024

BW6: February Author of the month - Ben Aaronovitch

 


Welcome to February and Creative Romance Month, An Affair to Remember Month based on the 1957 film, Black History Month, American Heart Month, and as well as Valentine's Day, Ash Wednesday, Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon. 

Our author of the month is Ben Aaronovitch who was born on February 22, 1964. Once upon a time, he was a writer for Dr. Who, Casualty, and the soap opera Jupiter Moon.  While working at Waterstones in the Crime and Fiction sections at Covent Gardens, the Rivers of London series was born.  

The series involves Peter Grant, a mixed race detective, for the London Metropolitan Police who works for Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale, the head of a magical and supernatural Special Operations Unit.  A combination mystery, fantasy, and police procedural, the series is both serious and hilarious. 

There are nine primary books in the series, as well as comic books/graphic novels, and numerous short stories.  I fell in like with Peter Grant in the first book Rivers of London in which the rivers are ruled by water Gods and Goddesses, Peter is trying to solve a murder with a ghost as an eyewitness, and learn magic at the same time.  I'm currently reading the second book, Moon over Soho, in which something or someone is killing jazz musicians.  The stories are creative and entertaining and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 


Happy February! 

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Sunday, January 28, 2024

BW5: E is for Epic

Courtesy of NTP012419


Happy Sunday!  I have an affection for long novels, probably because I read so fast.  Books of 200 to 300 pages go by in a flash leaving me wanting more.  And for some strange reason, I tend to read books of 500 pages and up much slower.  Maybe there is more to savor, to absorb, to ponder.  Maybe it's the world building or the ensemble cast of characters, or the scale and detail of the story itself.  

What makes a novel epic versus just being a chunky book full of story? A story is full of narrative, generally focusing on a single event.  An epic is a quest, or a series of quests, a mingling of stories and characters, told on a grand scale, encompassing years and years of history, mythology, or fantasy. 

My favorite epic stories have been a variety of historical fiction, to fantasy to westerns with Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, Stephen King's Gunslinger series, Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove,  Marian Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Aragon, J.K. Rowling Harry Potter Series, to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy.   

From the ancient epics to modern epics, there is a wide variety to tickle your reading palate. 

What books would you consider epic? Share the most epic story you have ever read.  What stories set in the modern day, besides fantasy or paranormal, would you consider epic? 


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