Sunday, September 19, 2021

BW38: September Equinox


 
Climb aboard our good ship Pumdeg Dau o Lyfrau and let us sail over the trees and seas and look upon the leaves for the September Equinox is upon us with Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  Let's follow the breeze and celebrate the changing of the season and fall into reading with a book about the seasons, the changing of the guard, the passing of time. Maybe even get an early start on something spooky as October is coming up fast.  

The sights and sounds of autumn are my favorite time of year with the wind  rustling through the branches, and the crunch and crackle of fallen leaves. All the shades of yellow and orange and purple and red form a colorful palette on which to play.  

"Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize.  The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841"

What is your favorite part of the season?

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Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 88. The Insult
Chapter 89. The Night
Chapter 90. The Meeting

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

BW37: Book Lust by Nancy Pearl

 


To me, reading is as necessary as breathing. Without my books, I get very cranky.  I love the stories that make you sigh as well as the ones that make you hold your breath and forget to let it out.  The ones that grab you and pull you into the world of the characters, the ones that make you want to dive into the world of the book and not let go. The ones that make you think, and the ones that make you laugh out loud or cry. The ones that make you wish you had the imagination to write,  along with the ones that make you want to throw them across the room for various reasons. The ones that stay with you long after you've finished the book.  And the ones that make you want to revisit them over and over again.

If you can't tell by now, I have a case of book lust which brings me to Nancy Pearl, the author of Book Lust and so much more. 

It was just announced that The National Book Foundation will be presenting to Nancy Pearl the 2021 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community on Nov 17, 2021. 

Book Lust, More Book Lust, and Book Lust to Go are so much fun to peruse, but I have to admit to getting lost in rabbit trails while looking up books which of course had lead to a startling long wishlist and an ever growing TBR stack.  Pearl even has a Book Lust Journal in which to record your thoughts on stories. Check out Pearl's Podcasts, her interview on How Reading Informs the Person That You Are, and the Millions interview about her first fictional novel George and Lizzie and Getting Out of Her Own Skin.

Share which book or books have you added to your stacks lately? 

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Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 85. The Journey
Chapter 86. The Trial
Chapter 87. The Challenge

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Sunday, September 5, 2021

BW36: 52 Books bingo - Number in the Title

 



Happy Sunday! If you are a procrastinator, then today is your day as it is Be Late for Something Day. Your excuse. You got caught up in a book as you wanted to get a head start on Read a Book Day on Labor Day

Which brings us to our next 52 Books Bingo category which is read a book with a Number in the Title.  You can interpret it any way you like by reading a book with an actual number in the title or the word number in the title or with numbers on the cover or a book about numbers. 

Out of curiosity, I would like to know: What is your favorite number and why?


I fell in like with this poem the instant I read it. 

NUMBERS BY MARY CORNISH

I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.

I like the domesticity of addition—
add two cups of milk and stir—
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.

And multiplication’s school
of fish times fish,
whose silver bodies breed
beneath the shadow
of a boat.

Even subtraction is never loss,
just addition somewhere else:
five sparrows take away two,
the two in someone else’s
garden now.

There’s an amplitude to long division,
as it opens Chinese take-out
box by paper box,
inside every folded cookie
a new fortune.

And I never fail to be surprised
by the gift of an odd remainder,
footloose at the end:
forty-seven divided by eleven equals four,
with three remaining.

Three boys beyond their mother’s call,
two Italians off to the sea,
one sock that isn't anywhere you look.



Have fun following rabbit trails of numbers

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Count of Monte Cristo 

Chapter 82. The Burglary
Chapter 83. The Hand of God
Chapter 84. Beauchamp

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Sunday, August 29, 2021

BW35: Fictional Librarians - Jess Brightwell


 

Happy Sunday!  As we slide into September, it's time to climb back aboard our airship, the Pum Deg Dau o Lygrau and weigh anchor and sail into the world of The Great Library, one of the series written by Rachel Caine who passed away last year. Our librarian of the month is Jess Brightwell, a young book smuggler on the streets of London who is admitted to the Great Library in Alexandria as a postulant. 

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 

Chapter 88. The Insult
Chapter 89. The Night
Chapter 90. The Meeting

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

BW34: Doing is Being by Ray Bradbury

 



Today is the anniversary of one of my favorite writers Ray Bradbury who entertains and inspires me with his writing.  


Doing is Being

By 

Ray Bradbury


Doing is being.
To have done’s not enough.
To stuff yourself with doing — that’s the game.
To name yourself each hour by what’s done,
To tabulate your time at sunset’s gun
And find yourself in acts
You could not know before the facts
You wooed from secret self, which much needs wooing,
So doing brings it out,
Kills doubt by simply jumping, rushing, running
Forth to be
The new-discovered me.
To not do is to die,
Or lie about and lie about the things
You just might do some day.
Away with that!
Tomorrow empty stays
If no man plays it into being
With his motioned way of seeing.
Let your body lead your mind —
Blood the guide dog to the blind;
So then practice and rehearse
To find heart-soul’s universe,
Knowing that by moving/seeing
Proves for all time: Doing’s being!

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Count of Monte Cristo


Chapter 85. The Journey
Chapter 86. The Trial
Chapter 87. The Challenge

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Sunday, August 15, 2021

BW33: Hugo Gernsback

 


This week, we are celebrating the anniversary of the birthday of Hugo Gernsback who was born August 16, 1884.  Yes, you may be experiencing deja vu since I love to revisit Hugo every four years or so.  

Hugo Gernsbacher was born in Luxembourg and immigrated to the United States in 1904.  He was fascinated by electricity and invented a dry battery which he patented upon arriving in the United States.   He established a radio and electrical supply house called Electro Importing Company and developed a small portable radio transmitter called the Telimco Wireless Telegraph.    He went on to patent 80 inventions.

Gernsback  published a magazine for electrical experimenters called Modern Electronics which was later taken over by Popular Science.   To fill up some empty space in the magazine, he decided to write a futuristic story which ran in 12 installments. The story named Ralph 124C 41+ was later published in 1926. It was set in the 27th century and is still available today.  

He started a number of magazines including the first magazine dedicated exclusively to science fiction called  Amazing Stories in 1926.  Hugo coined the term scientifiction which later went on to be known as Science Fiction.


He unfortunately went bankrupt and lost control of Amazing Stories. He quickly bounced back and went on to publish three more magazines:  Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Quarterly.  Air Wonder and Science Wonder were merged into one magazine Wonder stories in 1930 and sold it in 1936 to Beacon Publications where it continued to be published for 20 more years.  Digital copies of Amazing Stories, Air Wonder, Science Wonder, and Wonder magazines are available to view through the Pulp Magazines Project. 

Gernsback is lauded as one of the fathers of science fiction. In 1960 he was given a special Hugo Award as The Father of Magazine Science FictionThe award were unofficially called the Hugo's until the name was officially changed beginning in 1993. 

Hugo Gernsback died in New York on August 19, 1967 at the age 83.  

If you are in the mood for more science fiction and fantasy fun, don't forget you can dive into Mind Voyages and explore the Hugo and Nebula winners and nominees, take side trips through the different decades reading the nominees, check out Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein or the all inclusive I'm going to Pluto because Pluto is still a planet as far as I'm concerned Voyage in which you can mix it up, choose the number of books you want to read from each voyage, include some new books you pick up along the way and enjoy the ride. 

Links to all the voyages are available on the Mind Voyages blog.

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Count of Monte Cristo 

Chapter 82. The Burglary
Chapter 83. The Hand of God
Chapter 84. Beauchamp

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Sunday, August 8, 2021

BW32: 52 Books Bingo - Gods and Goddesses

 

Josephine Wall's Diana 


Happy Sunday! Time for another round of 52 Books Bingo and our next category is Gods and Goddesses. Delve into the world of the fictional or factual, mythological or spiritual, out of this world or part of this world, from the good, the bad, and even the not so pretty.  Read a book about or with God or Goddess in the title or on the cover, a character who is immortal or about a character versus God or the Supernatural. There are many ways to go with this selection so have fun with it and explore. 

10 Magical Fantasy Books Inspired by Irish Mythology

10 Best Norse Mythology Books

Pocket Dictionary of Aztec & Maya Gods & Goddesses

Goodreads Chinese Mythology books

Top 10 goddesses in fiction

14 Mythology-Inspired Books Featuring Gods and Goddesses

12 Divine Fantasy Novels in Which the Gods Walk the Land

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Count of Monte Cristo 

Chapter 79. The Lemonade

Chapter 80. The Accusation

Chapter 81. The Room of the Retired Baker

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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, August 1, 2021

BW31: Fictional Librarian - Lindsay Norris




Happy Friendship Day!  Cheers to all our reading buddies who have made our bookish adventures entertaining and illuminating.  Welcome to August which is also Family Fun Month, Admit Your Happy Month, National Picnic Month as well as Romance Month.  Our fictional librarian of the month is Lindsay Norris from the Library Lover's Mystery series written by Jenn McKinlay.  Lindsay is the director of the Briar Creek Library who started crafternoon Thursday for patrons to do crafts and discuss books at the same time and turns into an amateur sleuth when her friend becomes a prime suspect in a murder. 

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.


Happy Trails! 

***********************

Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 76. Progress of Cavalcanti the Younger

Chapter 77. Haydée

Chapter 78. We hear From Yanina

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

BW30: Bookish Miscellanea

 


Inniskeen Road: July Evening

by 

(1904 - 1967)

The bicycles go by in twos and threes -
There's a dance in Billy Brennan's barn tonight,
And there's the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half-past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone. 

I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom. I am king
Of banks and stones and every blooming thing.


A few bookish birthdays

July 25:  Josephine Tey (1896), and  Robyn Carr (1951)

July 26: Laurence Watt Evans (1954) and Giosuè Carducci  (1835)

July 27:  Cassandra Clare (1973)

July 28:  Beatrix Potter (1866)

July 29:  Chang Rae Lee (1965)

July 30: Emily Bronte (1818) 

July 31  J. K. Rowling (1965) 


11 Books by Olympic Athletes

Orson Scott Card's Favorite Classic Sci-Fi Books

What To Read If You Already Breezed Through All of Virgin River's Season 3

10 Thrilling African Noir Novels

Famous Villains Who Shaped The Crime Fiction Genre

The Wheel of Time Will Premiere on Amazon in November

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 73. The Promise

Chapter 74. The Villefort Family Vault

Chapter 75. A Signed Statement

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

BW29: The Cane-Bottom'd Chair by William Makepeace Thackeray



The Cane-Bottom’d Chair

by

William Makepeace Thackeray
July 18, 1811 - Dec. 24, 1863

In tattered old slippers that toast at the bars,
And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars,
Away from the world and its toils and its cares,
I’ve a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.

To mount to this realm is a toil, to be sure,
But the fire there is bright and the air rather pure;
And the view I behold on a sunshiny day
Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way.

This snug little chamber is cramm’d in all nooks
With worthless old nicknacks and silly old books,
And foolish old odds and foolish old ends,
Crack’d bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends.

Old armour, prints, pictures, pipes, china (all crack’d),
Old rickety tables, and chairs broken-backed;
A twopenny treasury, wondrous to see;
What matter? ’tis pleasant to you, friend, and me.

No better divan need the Sultan require,
Than the creaking old sofa that basks by the fire;
And ’tis wonderful, surely, what music you get
From the rickety, ramshackle, wheezy spinet.

That praying-rug came from a Turcoman’s camp;
By Tiber once twinkled that brazen old lamp;
A Mameluke fierce yonder dagger has drawn:
’Tis a murderous knife to toast muffins upon.

Long, long through the hours, and the night, and the chimes,
Here we talk of old books, and old friends, and old times;
As we sit in a fog made of rich Latakie
This chamber is pleasant to you, friend, and me.

But of all the cheap treasures that garnish my nest,
There’s one that I love and I cherish the best:
For the finest of couches that’s padded with hair
I never would change thee, my cane-bottom’d chair.

'Tis a bandy-legg'd, high-shoulder'd, worm-eaten seat,
With a creaking old back, and twisted old feet;
But since the fair morning when Fanny sat there,
I bless thee and love thee, old cane-bottom'd chair.

If chairs have but feeling, in holding such charms,
A thrill must have pass'd through your wither'd old arms!
I look'd, and I long'd, and I wish'd in despair;
I wish'd myself turn'd to a cane-bottom'd chair.

It was but a moment she sate in this place,
She'd a scarf on her neck, and a smile on her face!
A smile on her face, and a rose in her hair,
And she sate there, and bloom'd in my cane-bottom'd chair.

And so I have valued my chair ever since,
Like the shrine of a saint, or the throne of a prince;
Saint Fanny, my patroness sweet I declare,
The queen of my heart and my cane-bottom'd chair.

When the candles burn low, and the company's gone,
In the silence of night as I sit here alone—
I sit here alone, but we yet are a pair—
My Fanny I see in my cane-bottom'd chair.

She comes from the past and revists my room;
She looks as she then did, all beauty and bloom;
So smiling and tender, so fresh and so fair,
And yonder she sits in my cane-bottom'd chair.

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Count of Monte Cristo 

Chapter 70. The Ball
Chapter 71. Bread and Salt
Chapter 72. Madame de Saint-Méran

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Sunday, July 11, 2021

BW28: 52 Books Bingo - Maps

 

World of Harry Potter


Happy Sunday!  Did you know today is National Blueberry Muffins day?  Plus it is the anniversary of E.B. White's birthday, and the anniversary of when Robert Bailey Thomas published the very first Farmers Almanac in 1792.  So grab a muffin and come along with me on a journey of discovery as we explore with our next 52 books category - Maps. 

Whether you explore by foot, car, train, sailing ship or  space ship, authors and characters like to explore and helpfully provide us with maps of their worlds and their journeys. Read about real life geographers, explorers and adventurers.  Read about a character mapping the world or possibly uncovering new worlds.  Read a book with a map on the cover or in the title.  Read about the history of cartography, or even a cartographical mystery.  

There are many different types of maps so there are a number of ways to go with this category and you can interpret it anyway you like.






And last but not least, one of my favorite things is creative cartography which was introduced to me in a writing class and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer.

Have fun following rabbit trails and see where they lead you!

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Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 67. The Office of the King’s Attorney
Chapter 68. A Summer Ball
Chapter 69. The Inquiry

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Sunday, July 4, 2021

BW27: Fictional Librarian - Israel Armstrong

 



Happy Independence Day.  Our fictional librarian for July is  Israel Armstrong, created by Ian Sansom.  We are journeying along with Israel to the fictional town of Tumdrum in Northern Ireland.  He has taken the job of librarian only to discover the library has been replaced with a mobile library in The Case of the Missing Books.  

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.

Happy Trails! 

***********************
Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 64. The Beggar
Chapter 65. A Conjugal Scene
Chapter 66. Matrimonial Projects

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