Sunday, June 13, 2021

BW24: 52 Books Bingo - Different Cultures


 

Happy Sunday! It's time for another round of 52 Books Bingo and our category this week is different cultures. According to livescience.com:

"Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.

The Center for Advance Research on Language Acquisition goes a step further, defining culture as shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization. Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group."

From historical fiction to contemporary fiction to non fiction, there is a wide variety from which to choose to read and learn. As we all know, literature opens our eyes and minds to different places and times, cultures and ideals. 

Finding culture and identity through books

Reading while Bilingual: How Translated Books Helped Shape My Cultural Identity

Experience New Things with These 21 Books About Cultures That May Not Be Your Own

10 Cross-Cultural Novels that Illuminate the World We Live In

Around the World in 27 Books: Travel Writers’ Recommendations

Become a Multiculturalist with These 11 Books About Different Cultures

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 55. Major Cavalcanti
Chapter 56. Andrea Cavalcanti
Chapter 57. In the Lucern Patch

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

BW23: Chanson d'Automne by Paul Verlaine

Courtesy of World War Media

 

Today is the 77th Anniversary of the D Day invasion when allied forces launched operation Overlord to free northwest Europe from Nazi occupation. 156,000 United States, British, and Canadian troops stormed five beaches that day in a large amphibious assault.   One historical tidbit is the French Resistance had been told the invasion would begin shortly after the first three lines in Paul Verlaine's Chanson d’Automne was read on BBC's Radio Londres in a real time radio broadcast 

Chanson d'Automne

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur
Monotone.

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure;

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.
 
Autumn Song

translated by Arthur Symons

When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long

Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours toll deep.
My thoughts recover
The days that are over,
And I weep.

And I go
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro,
As the winds blow
A dead leaf.

We honor those soldiers who fought and died in service to our countries.

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong


Chapter 52. Toxicology
Chapter 53. Robert le Diable
Chapter 54. A Flurry in Stocks

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Sunday, May 30, 2021

BW22: Fictional Librarians - Cheshire Cat


 

My heavens, June is upon us and it's time to climb back aboard our airship, the 
Pum Deg Dau o Lygrau and weigh anchor.  Join me as we set sail for Jasper Fforde's world of  alternative history in the Nextian Universe. We are off to join literary detective Thursday Next as well as our fictional librarian of the month, Cheshire Cat who makes his first appearance in Lost in a Good Book as head librarian for the Great Library.  He goes by many names including the Cat Formerly Known as Cheshire, Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat, or, Archibald which is what his mother calls him.  He appears in books #2, 3, and 4 in the Thursday Next series.  

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.

Jasper Fforde is a British novelist who resides in Wales and has a great imagination as well as a fun and fact filled website. Today, May 30th, marks the 17th year of the Fforde Fiesta, a weekend of silliness with Jasper Fforde and is virtual this year. Be sure to check it out. 


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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong


Chapter 49. Haydée
Chapter 50. The Morrel Family
Chapter 51. Pyramus and Thisbe

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

BW21: World Turtle Day

Courtesy of Troy Mayne World Wildlife org

 

And now for something completely different.  Today is World Turtle Day.  Did you know that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises?  What's the difference?  So glad you asked. The key difference is where they live: Tortoises are exclusively land creatures, while turtles live in the water or at least spend most of the time in the water.  Physically their shells, legs, and feet are difference and turtles stay away from water unless they are drinking or bathing because they can't swim.  

The turtle has been around for millions of years and symbolizes many things for different cultures and is a big part of myth, native American folklore, fables.  He is considered the old wise man who moves through the world slowly and there are lessons to be learned from the popular fable The Tortoise and the Hare.   

So read a book with turtle in the cover, set in a place called turtle, or with a character by the name of turtle, or about a fictional or nonfictional turtle. 

Have fun! Slow and steady wins the race. 

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Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 46. Unlimited Credit
Chapter 47. The Dappled Grays
Chapter 48. Ideology

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Sunday, May 16, 2021

BW 20: 52 Books bingo - High Adventure

 


Happy Sunday!  This week we are going to go on a High Adventure for our next 52 Books category. Where will our daring do's take us on our nonfiction and fictional literary adventures this week?   Perhaps we'll climb the highest peak, dive to the bottom of the sea, hike narrow pathways and suspension bridges, brave the elements in the Antarctic or take an impossible quest that stretches the imagination.  

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.

Reedsy takes us to the heart of the jungle, across and under the sea, through the desert, sky, and space with 100 Best Adventure Books of All Time.

The Art of Manliness talks about what every man should read during their lifetime in The Essential Man’s Library: 50 Fictional Adventure Books Edition and Trail and Kale talks about women who inspires us with Best Women's Adventure Books.

When I think of high adventure I always think of westerns for some reason.  Outdoor life brings us a fictitious roundup of 19 Best Western Books of all Time.

And of course, I can't leave out Goodreads major list of High Adventure Novels.

 
Have fun! 

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Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 43. The House at Auteui
Chapter 44. The Vendetta
Chapter 45. The Rain of Blood

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Sunday, May 9, 2021

BW19: Motherhood by Katherine Dykstra

 


Happy Mother’s Day, my lovelies. This week is dedicated to you and all mom's everywhere including our angel moms. She who goes by many names including ma, mama, mum, mother, mumsy, mamman, mutter, mathair, mor, madra, majka, maji, mater and my favorite, she who rules the roost. 



Motherhood

by 

 Katherine L. Dykstra


Baby dolls and dinosaurs-
one that cries, one that roars
The pitter patter of little feet-
a bike race in which they want you to compete
Fruity Pebbles, pancakes, no wait! a pop-tart-
those daily moments that steal your heart
One throws tantrums, the other just pouts-
ahh, the joys of motherhood- what life is all about
Another birthday - two paychecks in all-
but, it is so worth it with smiling memories on the wall
From late night tears to early morning grumps-
through all the bruises, scrapes and bumps
The kisses and hugs, the encouraging words-
from nursery rhymes to the bees and the birds
The laughter, the memories, those looks in their eyes-
never trade it for anything - never compromise
The toys left out, the clothes on the floor-
these are the moments we mothers live for
For we are the ones who are there through it all-
to always make it better and pick them up when they fall
From kissing their boo-boos and making sure they're fed-
passing down stories while tucking them into bed
Through the weight gain, cravings, labor and more-
to that one special moment we spend 9 months waiting for
Eighteen years is what they say, but our work is never done-
a lifetime of tears, laughter, sadness and fun
Nothing in the world can even come close-
to the one special bond God made matter the most
A relationship only two certain people can share-
a mother and her child, nothing will ever compare...

Happy Mother's Day

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong


Chapter 40. The Breakfast
Chapter 41. The Presentation
Chapter 42. Monsieur Bertuccio

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

BW18: Fictional Librarians - Beatrice De Nova


Welcome to May and our celebration of mysteries, mothers, Memorial day, macaroons, and much much more including all things Star Wars.  May the fourth be with you!  We are climbing back aboard  the good ship Pumdeg Dau o Lyfrau and floating through our interdimensional portal to Texas to begin our librarian adventures with Beatrice De Nova.  

Beatrice is the assistant librarian in the Special Collections reading room at the Houston University Library and her adventure begins when she meets Giovanni Vecchio, an Italian bookish vampire who loves whiskey, in A Hidden Fire, the first book in the Elemental Mystery series written by Elizabeth Hunter

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.


Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!!!!

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 37. The Catacombs of Saint Sebastian

Chapter 38. The Rendezvous

Chapter 39. The Guests

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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, April 25, 2021

BW17: Bookish miscellanea

 



Happy Sunday!  Did you know today is World Penguin Day? My favorite documentary is March of the Penguins narrated by Morgan Freeman, and the movie Happy Feet always makes me want to dance and sing along with Mumble, and Mr. Poppers Penguins makes for a  charming, amusing read as well as a wonderful movie.  This week's odd holidays include taking time out this week to eat a pretzel or a steak, tell a story, kiss your mate, read a poem or dance by the light of the moon, to the music of a sax or trombone, while the horses race a mile and we have fun with a new hairstyle.  I'm sure we can find a book theme in there somewhere. And we segue from April's world of the poetry into May's land of mystery. 











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Count of Monte Cristo readalong 


Chapter 34. The Colosseum
Chapter 35. La Mazzolata
Chapter 36. The Carnival at Rome

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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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