Sunday, April 18, 2021

BW16: National Poetry Month

 

National Poetry Month Poster by Bao Lu



April is National Poetry Month and it's time to build a rhyme.  Use a letter, use a vowel, write a ode to a towel, or write rhapsodies about an owl. From blank verse to free verse, from haiku to dodoitsu, from nonet to sonnets, from the abstract to the sublime, be it weighty or flighty,  anyone can do it, if you dare write a line.     

Ode to C

Big C 
Little C
What Begins with C
Thanks to Dr. Seuss
We won't end up in a Tree

Calliopes and carousels
chugging, chanting, caroling. 
Circling without a care. 

Courteous citizens
develop the knack,
Reaching, stretching.
Fingers to snatch
That colorful, oval,
 brass ring.



Homonyms

As the son walked in the sun, he couldn’t decide if he was right to write about the tale of the tail.  Who would believe it would affect him so and change the effect of the rain when he decided to reign. Nobody told him to fold his cards or fold his clothes.  He preferred to bail out the boat rather than to bail out his brother. She preferred to count out her cents and ignore all common sense while the scent of the horse made him hoarse. The whole time he dug the hole, she was at the inn, jammed in the door jamb. The knight came in the night to pick up the male only to discover it was only mail.  Who was she to meddle with the medal and allowed him to speak aloud.  He was awed even though she was odd, when she offered him cash and instead handed him her cache of keys.  The boy was rather coarse when he showed him the course.   
  

Okay your turn.  Are you drawing a blank? Sit with paper and pen and don't think, just write, let your brain play and see what you have to say.   If I can do it, so can you. 

 Blank

What do you see,
When you draw a blank?
Letters, foggy and fuzzy
 Roam and flee.

Words, simple.
Yet not.

Like butterflies about to land.
Do you catch them or wait?
As they sit on the tip of your tongue.
or the back of your hand.

Rhythm and rhyme,
Let it be.
Make you see.
Take your time. 

Words, simple.
Yet not.

Pens bleed
Across the page.
Strokes and symbols
Take on need.

Blank and blind
Thoughts and letters,
Illuminate and illustrate
What comes to mind.

Words, simple.
Yet not.


Do you dare????  Please share! 

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 31. Italy: Sinbad the Sailor
Chapter 32. The Waking
Chapter 33. Roman Bandits

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

BW15: 52 Books Bingo - Cloistered Life

 

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_cloisters,_st._guilhem_cloister.JPG">I, Sailko</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons
Saint Guilhem Cloister


Happy Sunday! Our next 52 Books Bingo category is the Cloistered Life. Years and years ago when I was a teenager...  Why does it sound like the opening crawl to Star Wars?   "In a galaxy far far away...."   *grin* 

No, I did not wish to become a nun when I was younger, but was always fascinated by the idea. Our high school religious class took a field trip to a cloistered convent and it was an interesting experience to say the least.  We were allowed to talk to the sisters through a screen in which they could only see us from the waist up, a privacy screen raised in case any outside visitor was inappropriately dressed. They were a giggly group of ladies who enjoyed their simple life of prayer and work inside the convent walls.  

The experience stuck with me which is probably why I enjoy stories about hermits and anchorites, monks and nuns, abbeys and monasteries, and lives lived in solitude.  Books such as historical fiction The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader, biographical stories such as And Then There Were Nuns by Jane Christmas and  Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain, and fictional books such as Dean Koontz's suspense story  Innocence in which a young man lives beneath a city in solitude and Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery in which Armand Gamache tries to solve a murder within a cloistered monastery. 

Delve into books about Cloistered LifeMonks,  Hermits Anchorites or recluses.  

Silence in Literature, Catharsis, and Internal Retreats

The Silent Protagonist

The top 10 loners in fiction

There are a number of ways to go with this category and you can interpret it anyway you like, so have fun following rabbit trails and see where they lead you.  

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 28. The Prison Register

Chapter 29. The House of Morrel & Son

Chapter 30. The Fifth of September

We are at the end of volume one which ends with chapter 27.  How has Dantes changed since the beginning?  He's gone from innocence to ...? What happened to the characters in his life during his imprisonment?  Who does he save?  How will he get his revenge? Share your thoughts and comments on what has taken place so far.  Also any favorite quotes if you'd like. 

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

BW14: Fictional Librarians - Irene Winters

 


Happy Easter to all who celebrate!   Sharpen your pens and pencils and get ready to write some poetry, tell a joke or two, or plants some flowers, for April is upon us and with it National Poetry Month, National Humor month, and Lawn and Garden Month.

We're pulling up anchor and sailing through a worm hole to the secret world of Irene Winters, a librarian spy in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman.  The library is set in a secret dimension, and locations and time periods vary depending on which door Irene chooses to go through as she hunts for dangerous books.    The stories are pure fantasy with dragons, secret societies, detectives, magic and plenty of humor and of course, books. Mystery and adventure follows Irene where ever she goes.

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:

  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title.
Learn more about Genevieve Cogman through her interview with Fantasy Literature, and Penguin Random House video by Cogman.

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 25. The Unknown
Chapter 26. The Pont du Gard Inn
Chapter 27. The Story

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

BW13: Daughters of Mnemosyne - Kleio (Clio)

 

Clio - Muse of History

We are going to delve into our next Daughter of Mnemosyne, Kleio (Clio), who is the muse of history.  She is called the Proclaimer and her symbols are scrolls, book, or tablets.   

There are a number of ways to go with this week's challenge including, but not limited to reading books about: 

  • History, Historical dramas, poems, or biographies
  • Literary history or criticism
  • Historical retellings or alternative history 
  • Historical fiction mysteries, romance, or adventure.  
  • Books about books
  • Proclamations
  • Find a story with a scroll on the cover or in the title. 

Alternate History Fiction Books to Read Now

Five Books Recommends

11 Literary Historical Novels You Need to Read

12 Great Books to Read to Understand Periods in Literature

60 Best Historical Fiction Novels of all time

100 monumental novels from literary history

Have fun following rabbit trails!

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong 

Chapter 22. The Smugglers

Chapter 23. The Island of Monte Cristo

Chapter 24. The Secret Cave

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

BW12: A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost

 

Butterfly Princess by Josephine Wall

Happy Sunday, my lovelies. Today is World Poetry Day so I'll leave you with a poem by one of my favorite poets. 

A Prayer In Spring, 

By 

Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874)



Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong


Chapter 19. The Third Attack

Chapter 20. The Cemetery of the Château d’If

Chapter 21. The Island of Tiboulen

Share your thoughts on the previous events of the story. 

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Sunday, March 14, 2021

BW11: March Equinox

 



Happy Sunday, dear hearts. Those darn clocks jumped ahead again here in the U.S. leaving us feeling a bit forlorn and bedraggled with the loss of that extra hour. However, we have plenty to look forward to with Tea for Two Tuesday, the wearing of the green on St. Patrick's day, and the beautiful blossoming blooms of Spring arriving for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumn metamorphosis in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Now would be a great time to read a book with Spring in the title or to get you in the mood for Autumn,  maybe a life in transition, reinvention, books in bloom or blossoms

Check out Publisher Weekly's The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2021, or Glitter Guide's Spring 2021 Reading List or the Book List Queen Top 21 Book Club Books for 2021

What is your favorite color or flower or image of the season? Chose a book that reminds you of the beauty of Spring and/or Autumn. 

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there
To-morrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L. H. Bailey, "Miracle," Wind and Weather, 1916

Have fun following rabbit trails! 


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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong


Chapter 16. A Learned Italian

Chapter 17. The AbbĂ©’s Chamber

Chapter 18. The Treasure

What do you think about Villefort's deception in order to keep his secret hidden with Dante? Is the Abbe truly mad?  And poor Dante is on an emotional roller coaster.   Share your comments and thoughts on the story so far. 


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Sunday, March 7, 2021

BW10: 52 Books Bingo - Cunning Caper

 


Are you in the mood for a sting, a heist, a hold up, perhaps a little breaking and entering and a five fingered discount? Perhaps a cozy mystery that is clever and adventurous, maybe humorous or audacious. Then join me for our next 52 Books Bingo category,  the Cunning Caper.   

There are a number of ways to go with an ensemble cast, a bungling burglar, a devious dog or even a rat, or cat, or two.  Throw in a bank heists, train robberies, book swindling, or perhaps a supernatural, magical or real life event and settle in for the ride.  Oh the drama of it all.  *grin* 

Discovered some inspiration with the 35 most iconic caper movies before you dive into your read.  

Florida Crime Fiction: A Guide to Madness

19 Heist Books That You Won't be Able to Put Down

Johnson County Library's the truth is stranger than fiction with nine real life heists

Genrify's Capers and Heists

Goodreads Listopia:  Speculative Fiction Heist/Caper Stories

Tor's Crimes, Capers, and Gentleman Thieves: 5 Must Read SFF Heist Novels

Read a book with caper, heist, sting, or robbery in the title and Have fun!

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong:

Chapter 13. The Hundred Days

Chapter 14. The Two Prisoners

Chapter 15. Number 34 and Number 27

Share your thoughts and comments on the story so far

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Sunday, February 28, 2021

BW9: Fictional Librarian - The Librarian once known as Dr. Horace Worblehat

Courtesy of Discworld Wiki
 

Goodbye February, it's been fun.  Grab ahold of the rope ladder and climb back aboard the good ship Pumdeg Dau o Lyfrau for our March travels through the parallel universe of  Terry Pratchett's Discworld.  Our guide is our fictional librarian of the month - The Librarian, once known as Dr. Horace Worblehat. He was changed into an orangutan by a beam of magic, decided he liked it and didn't want to be changed back to a human so had his name excised from all records. 

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:


  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title.


 
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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong:


We all got off to a slow start, so I'm throwing in a week to catch up and finish reading through Chapter 12. I'm enjoying the story so far.  The characters are fascinating, the imagery and emotions so vivid.  I'm reading it slowly, absorbing the nuances and tidbits, the  politics, the footnotes to history. The narrator's similes and metaphors add character to the settings.  What do you think about Villefort and his father.? The reasons why Villefort throws Dante in prison? Dante's reaction to Chateau d'IF?  I'm reminded of Sir Walter Scott's quote - "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive."  


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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

BW8: Bridge to Nowhere

 

Happy Sunday, my lovelies.  Did you know Monday is Walk your Dog day, National Margarita day, and International Thinking day.  So grab a drink, take a walk with your fur baby, and ponder life, the universe and everything.  And don't forget to buy some Girl Scout Cookies since thinking day was created in 1926 during the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference Plus. And the 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale day so read a fairy tale or make up one of your own.  


Bridge to Nowhere 


On a bridge to Nowhere

To see No One,

Who could be Anyone,

Who has traveled,

Happy and safe,

Everywhere and somewhere.

Music leads Them

From near to far

Across the bridge

to Nowhere.

The sky is full of light

Sparkling and clear.

The air is full of love,

Plenty and dear.

There, They sing

And dance and play,

Making up lines

And have plenty to say.

Past the bridge that Leads 

to Nowhere.

They live to the rhythm

Of bass, cymbals, and drums

And maybe

A horn or flute or two.

Feet stamp, hands clap

And hips sway

To the beat

Of the drum.

Who laughs, What sings

And Baby laughs with joy.

And all the voices ring,


Welcome to Nowhere.


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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong 

You might have noticed I messed up the chapters last week (fixed the count in previous post) and repeated 7 and left out nine. I'm a bit behind myself so no worries and will add in an extra week to catch up if needed. 

X Little Cabinet in the Tuileries
XI The Corsican Ogre
XII Father and Son 

What things stood out in the last chapters read? Share your thoughts on the characters and their actions so far. 

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

BW7: Daughters of Mnemosyne - Erato

Courtesy of Greek Boston

 Happy Valentines Day! We are going to dive into the world of romance literature this week as well as love poetry.  Our next Daughter of Mnemosyne is Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry. Her name means the Lovely One and her symbol is the Kithara and she wears of wreath made from myrtle and roses. 

How do I love thee, let me count the ways!  

Dip your toes into Shakespeare's Sonnets, love poems of Rumi or Pablo Nerudaancient love Poems from Japan by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu to contemporary poetry written by Rupi Kaur

Romance novels come in all shapes and sizes and ratings from G to XXX, from the Victorian to the Contemporary, from the simple boy meets girl, to musically inclined heroes and heroines to those set in a fantasy world to the magical and mythical  to the not so lost in space

Read a book with Erato in the title

Read a book with roses on the cover or in the title.

18 Feel-Good Books That Will Make You Believe In Love

22 Books to Read on Valentine's Day—Before, After, or Instead of a Hot Date

Quiz Yourself on These Romantic Literary Quotes


Share your favorite love poem and have fun exploring rabbit trails. 

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

VII The Interrogation

VIII The Catheau D'If

IX The Evening of the Betrothal


When we practice to deceive... Danglers makes sure Caderousse is drunk enough not to interfere while he entices Fernand by writing a letter and throws it in the corner where he knows Fernand won't be able to resist retrieving and delivering it to the authorities.  Once Caderousse understands what Danglers and Fernand have done, why do you think he agrees to stay quiet?  Do you think Dantes is a bonapartist or innocently delivering a letter because he promised the captain.  Is the scene with Monsieur de Villefort, Marseille's Deputy Crown Prosecutor, a foreshadowing what's to come when Dantes is brought before him. What do you think he'll do?  Share your thoughts and comments about the story so far. 


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Sunday, February 7, 2021

BW6: 52 Books Bingo - Alternate Reality

 

A Universe in Bloom by Kevron2001

I enjoy reading books set in alternative worlds which leads to our next 52 Books Bingo quest - Alternate Reality.  For argument sake, we could debate that any book of fiction is considered not true and based in an alternate reality. A reality not our own.  
However, alternate realities could be viewed as an alternate universe, worlds that may or may not co-exist with our own, perhaps parallel, where the laws of nature or totally different, or encompass the past or the present or the future, in which stories bend or fold around our reality and create or recreate  or toss history on its ear with what if's.   

What do you think the differences are between alternate reality, alternative history, parallel universes, or multiverses? How are they the same? 

Physicist Brian Green Explains Why Parallel Universes May Exist and how quantum mechanics and general relativity play a part.   

SyFy Wire in the Science behind the fiction talks about What's the reality behind multiverses and alternate realities.  

I was surprised to find that the very first science fiction book to delve into alternate realities was written by the Duchess of Newcastle in 1661 - The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish.  Which Sam Leith recommends as one of his top 10 outstanding alternate reality stories

Joanna Kavenna on Five Books, the Best Books on Parallel Worlds, recommends five books she doesn't consider well known.  Athough, I think we all are quite familiar with Philip Dick, Lovecraft, and Borges. 

Philip Dick's Man in the High Castle, which I have on my shelves and have been meaning to read for quite some time, but never quite gotten around to it,  has appeared multiple times during my internet wanderings today, which probably means the universe is telling me to read it now.  *grin* 

An eclectic mix of books to check out: 





Have fun following rabbit trails! 

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Count of Monte Cristo: Realalong 

IV The Plot
V The Betrothal
VI The Deputy Crown Prosecutor 


Did you finish chapters one through three?  My, my. We have an interesting group of characters.  What do you think of Dantes?   Danglars is quite manipulative, isn't he? Why do you think Danglars dislikes Dantes?   What's up with Caderousse taking advantage of the Dante's father while his son was at sea? Does it speak to the type of person he is and what can we expect from him in the coming days?  Does Mercedes think she has Fernand, who she considers to be "her friend, her cousin and her brother" wrapped around her finger and can control him? Dantes immediately sees to the heart of the man and sees an enemy.  Something else to take into account. Do you think their ages affect how they react? Share your thoughts and comments about the story so far. 


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Sunday, January 31, 2021

BW5: Fictional Librarians - Aurora Teagarden

 



Happy February, my lovelies. Continuing our year long celebration of librarians, this month's fictional librarian is Aurora Teagarden. Created by Charlaine Harris,  the cozy mystery series stars Aurora, a small town librarian in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She is involved in the Real Murders society, a group of crime buffs who love to study and discuss historical murders. 

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:

  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title

The series was also adapted into a tv series for Hallmark with Candace Cameron Bure portraying Aurora Teagarden.  Charlaine Harris is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse series and has written other series including Lily Bard Shakespeare, Harper Connelly, Midnight Texas, and her latest Gunnie Rose.  

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Count of Monte Cristo readalong:

  • I Marseille - Arrival
  • II Father and Son 
  • III  The Catalans
Things to think about while reading the story and the first three chapters:  The setting and context of French history and politics when the story begins.  How the setting plays a role in the story. How the narrator's description of events and imagery and references to literature, history, myth, politics, art, and religion. provides foreshadowing and subtext.  Have fun checking out rabbit trails along the way. 


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