Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Read 52 Books in 52 Week Challenge


Also the home of  Well Educated Mind, Nobel Prize Winners, Around the World  and various mini challenges.  
The rules are very simple and the goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks.

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. 
  2. Our book weeks will begin on Sunday  
  3. Participants may join at any time.
  4. All books are acceptable except children books.**
  5. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
  6. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2014.
  7. Books may overlap other challenges.
  8. Create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  9. Come back and sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post.
  10. You don't have a blog to participate.  Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post.  
  11. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post for you to link to reviews of your most current reads. 
All the mini challenges are optional. Mix it up anyway you like. The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you. 

**in reference to children books. If it is a child whose reading it and involved in the challenge, then that's okay.  If an adult is doing read aloud with kids, the book should be geared for the 9 - 12 age group and above and over 100 pages. If adult reading for own enjoyment, then a good rule of thumb to go by "is there some complexity to the story or is it too simple?"  If it's too simple, then doesn't count.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

BW30: World War I and II European Theatre

Abandoned building in Black Forest, Germany
Next month we are coming up on the 100th Anniversary of World War I and currently my son's personal interest of late is all things world war II. We've been watching Great Courses lecture series on WWII: A Military and Social History, plus the history channel just did a marathon run of their series, The World Wars.  I recently finished The Monument's Men, hubby is reading John Toland's The Last Hundred Days and James just finished The Book Thief and is now devouring William Shirer's  Berlin Diary.   His birthday is coming up in August and one of the things on his list is the dvd of the tv miniseries War and Remembrance.  It aired back in the 80's and starred Robert Mitchum and Jane Seymour.  I remember reading Herman Wouk's book way back when and probably still have it on our shelves somewhere.  I'll have to see if I can find it.  

Several years ago I discovered Bodie and Brock Thoene's Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles series which followed the struggle of  Jewish people from the time of Hitler's takeover through Israel's statehood in 1948.  After I read the first book, I was hooked, collected and read every single book.  The story has been on my mind of late, so think I'll be rereading  Vienna Prelude.  




Synopsis:  No one is safe. . . .  In 1936 Nazi darkness descends upon Europe. Every person is only one step away from being swept into the nightmarish tide of evil. Blond Elisa Lindheim, a violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, adopts an Aryan stage name for protection. But her closest friend, Leah, a talented Jewish cellist, is in a perilous position.
There are those who choose to fight Hitler’s madness. Elisa’s father, Theo. A courageous American reporter, John Murphy. Winston Churchill, the British statesman. A farm family in the Tyrolean Alps. The Jewish Underground. But will all their efforts be enough to stop the coming Holocaust? And now Elisa must decide. If she becomes part of the Underground, she will risk everything . . . and put everyone she loves in danger.

Which brings us back to World War I and II and armchair traveling.  After hanging out for several months in England, it's time to move on.  And since the theatre of operations is so huge - from Poland,  to the Mediterranean to the Middle East and North Africa, it's a pretty broad range of countries from which to choose.  Dip your toes in, dive in with both feet or hang glide across the continents and see where the wind takes you.

Currently in my backpack are: Rebecca Cantrell's A Night of Long Knives, Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List and Mark Helprin's  A Soldier of the Great War.

Check out historical novels huge list of selections as well as the Goodreads World War II fiction and WWII Holocaust Fiction and Non Fiction

Read books set during World War I or II or just read books set in those countries - it's up to you.  

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Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.   


Sunday, July 13, 2014

BW29: Armchair traveling through the 18th Century

Caspar David Friedrich



The 18th century, from 1701 to 1800, began in the the age of Enlightenment, turned to Romanticism in the later part of the century.   In the late 1700's in Germany, Wiemar Classicism was dominant, combining the elements of romantic, classical and enlightenment.  Rather than the seriousness portrayed by English romanticism, German writers veered towards beauty, humor and wit.

Key literary figures during that period of times were Germany's Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; French writer François-Marie Arouet, better know as Voltaire; Irish poet, essayist and cleric Jonathan Swift; British writers Henry Fielding and Jane Austen, among others.

Currently in my backpack is Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, Matt Rees Mozart's Last Aria, Diana Gabaldon's Voyager and Mathew Gregory Lewis's The Monk.  

Be sure to visit Historical Novels which has a great list of books from Britain, the European Continent and North America.   Plus Goodreads list of Popular 18th Century Literature.  Also check out The Search for National Identity - Russian Literature of the 18th Century.

Join me in exploring the 18th century.  


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Sunday, July 6, 2014

BW28: Thomas More and Utopia


We are moving on from the philosophical ideas of steampunk to the philosophical ideals of a perfect society, or maybe not so perfect.  

Today is the anniversary of the death of Sir Thomas More. He was tried for treason when he refused to sign the Act of Succession and when he refused to accept King Henry III as the head of the Church of England. He was beheaded on July 6, 1535 and his final words were "The King's good servant, but God's first."  He was canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint in 1935. 

More wrote many works including Utopia, and essentially popularizing and influencing the genre of the Utopian literature. Utopia is essential an ideal society and Dystopia is a society in decline, characterized by dehumanization, strife, or totalitarian government to name a few.  The earliest novel about a utopian society was The Republic written by Plato in 350BC.   Dystopia is an offshoot of Utopian literature, popularized in the early 1900's.

Goodreads provides the best synopsis:


First published in 1516, Thomas More's Utopia is one of the most important works of European humanism. Through the voice of the mysterious traveler Raphael Hythloday, More describes a pagan, communist city-state governed by reason. Addressing such issues as religious pluralism, women's rights, state-sponsored education, colonialism, and justified warfare, Utopia seems remarkably contemporary nearly five centuries after it was written, and it remains a foundational text in philosophy and political theory.
Since Susan Wise Bauer includes Thomas More's Utopia in the list of great history/political reads in Well Educated Mind, now seems like a good time to read it. 

Currently in my stacks, along with Utopia, are James Hilton's Lost Horizon, Veronica Roth's Divergent,  Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and Cormac McCarthy's The Road.  

Check out this list from Utopian Literature and the ever popular goodreads list of Best Utopian and Dystopian fiction.

The theme of the month for July is reading Utopian/Dystopian novels.


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 Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

BW27: The Trial by Franz Kafka



The 21st novel in Susan Wise Bauer's list of fiction reads from her book The Well-Educated Mind is The Trial by  Franz Kafka. Kafka started working on The Trial in 1914 and the book didn't get published until after his death in 1925.  Before he died in 1924, he bequested all his papers and unfinished stories to his best friend and translator, Max Brod and requested all his unpublished works be destroyed.  Brod ignored his wishes and went on to publish The Trial in 1925, The Castle in 1926, Amerika in 1927 and The Great Wall of China in 1931.   The Trial was never completed but the last chapter does bring the story to a close.  


Synopsis:  A terrifying psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K., an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court on a regular basis--an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life--including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door--becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating downward spiral.

Chapter One:

Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. Every day at eight in the morning he was brought his breakfast by Mrs. Grubach's cook - Mrs. Grubach was his landlady - but today she didn't come. That had never happened before. K. waited a little while, looked from his pillow at the old woman who lived opposite and who was watching him with an inquisitiveness quite unusual for her, and finally, both hungry and disconcerted, rang the bell. 

There was immediately a knock at the door and a man entered. He had never seen the man in this house before. He was slim but firmly built, his clothes were black and close-fitting, with many folds and pockets, buckles and buttons and a belt, all of which gave the impression of being very practical but without making it very clear what they were actually for. 

 "Who are you?" asked K., sitting half upright in his bed. 

The man, however, ignored the question as if his arrival simply had to be accepted, and merely replied, "You rang?" 

"Anna should have brought me my breakfast," said K. 

 He tried to work out who the man actually was, first in silence, just through observation and by thinking about it, but the man didn't stay still to be looked at for very long. Instead he went over to the door, opened it slightly, and said to someone who was clearly standing immediately behind it, "He wants Anna to bring him his breakfast." 

There was a little laughter in the neighbouring room, it was not clear from the sound of it whether there were several people laughing. The strange man could not have learned anything from it that he hadn't known already, but now he said to K., as if making his report "It is not possible."

"It would be the first time that's happened," said K., as he jumped out of bed and quickly pulled on his trousers. "I want to see who that is in the next room, and why it is that Mrs. Grubach has let me be disturbed in this way." It immediately occurred to him that he needn't have said this out loud, and that he must to some extent have acknowledged their authority by doing so, but that didn't seem important to him at the time. 

That, at least, is how the stranger took it, as he said, "Don't you think you'd better stay where you are?" 

"I want neither to stay here nor to be spoken to by you until you've introduced yourself." 

 "I meant it for your own good," said the stranger and opened the door, this time without being asked. 

The next room, which K. entered more slowly than he had intended, looked at first glance exactly the same as it had the previous evening. It was Mrs. Grubach's living room, over-filled with furniture, tablecloths, porcelain and photographs.

Continue reading here

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Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.   


Sunday, June 22, 2014

BW26: Summertime reading

Josephine Wall's Summer Breeze
Hey, we are halfway through the year and hallelujah for summertime. For me, it is a well needed break from lessons, although planning never ends. Time to indulge in those books,   you know the ones - those chunky and dusty ones sitting on your shelves - that you haven't had time to read during the busyness of the year. 

Tell me what you think of when you hear the word summer?  Besides freedom, that is. *grin*   Summer brings thoughts of lightness and frivolity, fireflies and gnats, pools and pool parties, golden sunshine, and moonbeams, birds singing and the growl of lawnmowers.   Blue, green and yellow;  daffodils and daisies; ice cream and sweet tea; bbq and beer.  Or wine, depending on your preference. ~clink~

My stacks have a few summery reads so I won't have to resort to sifting through 1000's of choices from goodreads for summer light, blue, or daffodils to name a few.  Currently in my stacks is Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, Bradley's Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and Lehane's Moonlight Mile.  Not exactly cozy beach reads, but I'm sure to find a few along the way.  

Join me in reading books with summer or summer related words in the title for the season for summer.


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Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.   


 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

BW25: Happy Father's Day



Happy Father's Day!   Let's celebrate the dad, papa, pop, daddy, father, old man, poppa, sir, or pa or whatever you call him.  My dad is 83 years young and still going strong. He's out today at Six Flags with another one of my sisters having fun riding the roller coasters.  I found this great poem entitled What Makes a Dad  and just had to share:


What Makes a Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad


In honor of Father's Day, let's read a book with Father or any derivative in the title.  One of my favorite is


Then you can't go wrong with Father Brown





Check out Goodreads humongous list of books with father in the title and have fun picking out a book to read.  It is interesting that if you do a search for literary dads, the common denominator is King Lear, Atticus Finch, and Prospero.    One of my favorite dads in literature is Arthur Weasley. Who is yours? 


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Sunday, June 8, 2014

BW24: Armchair traveling through the 17th Century




The seventeenth Century, which ran from 1601 to 1700 was the early modern period in Europe and dominated by the scientific revolution, the beginning of the Baroque period, and the Pilgrims sailed the Mayflower to colonize America. 

In 17th century France, we had the birth of the literary academy for the purpose of literary criticism and analytical debate.  By mid 1600, Literary salons flourished, started by Madame de Rambouillet and her rival, Madeleine de Scudéry,  for the purposes of discussing literature and amusing and intellectual  conversation.  The salons flourished during the 17th and 18th century as the women of that period used the salons to pursue their own education, hear the works and ideas of other intellectuals as well as read their own works.

Literature wise, authors born and buried during that period of time including John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, Daniel Defoe introduced Robinson Crusoe, John Milton brought us Paradise Lost and William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes both passed away in 1616.

Currently in my backpack is The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips as well as Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland.  

Be sure to check out Historical Novels which has a huge list of Novels of the 17th Century as well as  Goodreads popular 17th Century reads.  I'm sure I'll be adding a few more books to my want list and tbr pile soon.

Join me in exploring the 17th Century!

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

BW23: Welcome to Steampunk Month

Steampunk Bible

Are you ready to let your hair down, metaphorically speaking and relax for the summer?  Me too!    James is officially done with the 8th grade and we are free, sort of.  Since it looks like we will be continuing to home school through the high school years (*gulp*),  I've been researching curriculum and figuring out the plan for the next 4 years.  But first, it's break time and what better way to spend it than diving into some science fiction, a bit of fantasy, wondering back in history with a futuristic bent, and delving into the philosophical ideals of steampunk.  

And since the majority of stories seem to take place in Europe, we'll continue our armchair travelcation in England for one more month before moving on to.....     I haven't yet decided. Maybe the middle east???

H.G. Wells and Jules Verne were considered the forefathers of steampunk and writers created worlds in the 19th century Victorian era which were driven technologically by steam rather than electricity. The term steampunk was a variation of cyberpunk and coined by K.W. Jeter in 1987. 

I've read quite a few including Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, which is full of werewolves, vampires and proper Victorian ladies, and is amusing and entertaining.  Currently in my backpack are  Jay Lake's Mainspring, Lillith Saintcrow's Iron Wrym Affair, Mark Hodder's Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel.   Find these and more listed on Goodread's humongous list of Best Steampunk Books.

Join me in reading Steampunk for the month of June.


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

BW22: Virginia Woolf and the art of Reading







I love this essay by Virginia Woolf and go back to it time and again.  Since # 20 in Susan Wise Bauer's list of great fiction in Well Educated Mind is Mrs. Dalloway, decided to reprise the essay once again. Also Brainpicking's has a wonderful article on how to read a book which also highlights Woolf's essay on  How to Read a Book which can be found in her book The Second Common Reader.  And don't forget to check out the preceding book - The Common Reader highlighting her essays on Defoe, Montaigne and Austen to name a few.


At this late hour of the world's history books are to be found in every room of the house - in the nursery, in the drawing room, in the dining room, in the kitchen. And in some houses they have collected so that they have to be accommodated with a room of their own. Novels, poems, histories, memoirs, valuable books in leather, cheap books in paper - one stops sometimes before them and asks in a transient amazement what is the pleasure I get, or the good I create, from passing my eyes up and down these innumerable lines of print? Reading is a very complex art - the hastiest examination of our sensations as a reader will show us that much. And our duties as readers are many and various. But perhaps it may be said that our first duty to a book is that one should read it for the first time as if one were writing it.

One should begin by sitting in the dock with the criminal, not by mounting the bench to sit among the Judges. One should be an accomplice with the writer in his act, whether good or bad, of creation. For each of these books, however it may differ in kind and quality, is an attempt to make something. And our first duty as readers is to try and understand what the writer is making from the first word with which he builds his first sentence to the last with which he ends his book. We must not impose our design upon him; we must not try to make him conform his will to ours. We must allow Defoe to be Defoe and Jane Austen to be Jane Austen as freely as we allow the tiger to have his fur and the tortoise to have his shell. And this is very difficult. For it is one of the qualities of greatness that it brings Heaven and earth and human nature into conformity with its own vision.

The great writers thus often require us to make heroic efforts in order to read them rightly. They bend us and break us. To go from Defoe to Jane Austen, from Hardy to Peacock, from Trollope to Meredith, from Richardson to Rudyard Kipling, is to be wrenched and distorted, to be thrown violently this way and that. And so, too, with the lesser writers. Each is singular; each has a view, a temperament, an experience of his own which may conflict with ours but must be allowed to express itself fully if we are to do him justice. And the writers who have most to give us often do most violence to our prejudices, particularly if they are our own contemporaries, so that we have need of all our imagination and understanding if we are to get the utmost that they can give us. But reading, as we have suggested, is a complex art. It does not merely consist in sympathizing and understanding. It consists, too, in criticizing and in judging.

The reader must leave the dock and mount the bench. He must cease to be the friend; he must become the judge. And this second process, which we may call the process of after-reading, for it is often done without the book before us, yields an even more solid pleasure than that which we receive when we are actually turning the pages. During the actual reading new impressions are always cancelling or completing the old. Delight, anger, boredom, laughter succeed each other incessantly as we read. Judgment is suspended, for we cannot know what may come next. But now the book is completed. It has taken a definite shape. And the book as a whole is different from the book received currently in several different parts. It has a shape, it has a being. And this shape, this being, can be held in the mind and compared with the shapes the essays of other books and given its own size and smallness by comparison with theirs.

But if this process of judging and deciding is full of pleasure it is also full of difficulty. Not much help can be looked for from outside. Critics and criticism abound, but it does not help us greatly to read the views of another mind when our own is still hot from a book that we have just read. It is after one has made up one's own opinion that the opinions of others are most illuminating. It is when we can defend our own judgment that we get most from the judgment of the great critics - the Johnsons, the Drydens and the Arnolds.

To make up our own minds we can best help ourselves first by realizing the impression that the book has left as fully and sharply as possible, and then by comparing this impression with the impressions that we have formulated in the past. There they hang in the wardrobe of the mind - the shapes of the books we have read, like clothes that we have taken off and hung up to wait their season. Thus, if we have just read, say, Clarissa Harlowe for the first time we take it and let it show itself against the shape that remains in our minds after reading Anna Karenina. We place them side by side and at once the outlines of the two books are cut out against each other as the angle of a house (to change the figure) is cut out against the fullness of the harvest moon. We contrast Richardson's prominent qualities with Tolstoi's.

 We contrast his indirectness and verbosity with Tolstoi's brevity and directness. We ask ourselves why it is that each writer has chosen so different an angle of approach. We compare the emotion that we felt at different crises of their books. We speculate as to the difference between the 18th century in England and the 19th century in Russia - but there is no end to the questions that at once suggest themselves as we place the books together. Thus by degrees, by asking questions and answering them, we find that we have decided that the book we have just read is of this kind or that, has this degree of merit or that, takes its station at this point or at that in the literature as a whole. And if we are good readers we thus judge not only the classics and the masterpieces of the dead, but we pay the living writers the compliment of comparing them as they should be compared with the pattern of the great books of the past.

Thus, then, when the moralists ask us what good we do by running our eyes over these many printed pages, we can reply that we are doing our part as readers to help masterpieces into the world. We are fulfilling our share of the creative task - we are stimulating, encouraging, rejecting, making our approval and disapproval felt; and are thus acting as a check and a spur upon the writer. That is one reason for reading books - we are helping to bring good books into the world and to make bad books impossible. But it is not the true reason. The true reason remains the inscrutable one - we get pleasure from reading. It is a complex pleasure and a difficult pleasure; it varies from age to age and from book to book. But that pleasure is enough.

Indeed that pleasure is so great that one cannot doubt that without it the world would be a far different and a far inferior place from what it is. Reading has changed the world and continues to change it. When the day of judgment comes therefore and all secrets are laid bare, we shall not be surprised to learn that the reason why we have grown from apes to men, and left our caves and dropped our bows and arrows and sat round the fire and talked and given to the poor and helped the sick - the reason why we have made shelter and society out of the wastes of the desert and the tangle of the jungle is simply this - we have loved reading.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

BW21: RIP Mary Stewart



One of my favorite authors, Mary Stewart, passed away this past week at the age of 97.  Coincidentally, or whether it was serendipity, I began rereading The Crystal Cave a couple weeks ago. I first read the Merlin series which consisted of The Crystal Cave (1970), The Hollow Hills (1973), and The Last Enchantment (1979) and Wicked Day (1983) back during the late 70's, early 80's.  Periodically, I would pull them out and reread them.  I read and reread all her books during that period of time, but unfortunately only kept the Merlin Series in my stacks.   The series has always stood the test of time and each time I get something new out of them.  

I only have to hear one of the titles of her books such as Touch Not the Cat or Nine Coaches Waiting or The Ivy Tree or Airs above the Ground to be taken right back into the story.   

The guardian posted a wonderful obituary detailing her life, so be sure to check it out. 


Stewart introduced a different kind of heroine for a newly emerging womanhood. It was her "anti-namby-pamby" reaction, as she called it, to the "silly heroine" of the conventional contemporary thriller who "is told not to open the door to anybody and immediately opens it to the first person who comes along". Instead, Stewart's stories were narrated by poised, smart, highly educated young women who drove fast cars and knew how to fight their corner. Also tender-hearted and with a strong moral sense, they spoke, one felt, with the voice of their creator. Her writing must have provided a natural form of expression for a person not given to self-revelation.....
Stewart's fans were above all attracted to her wonderful storytelling, which she saw as a skill she was born with – "I am first and foremost a teller of tales" – but also by the warmth and vivacity of her characters and the sharply drawn settings. These ranged from Skye with icy mist coiling around the Cuillin mountains in Wildfire at Midnight (1956) to the searing heat of Corfu in This Rough Magic (1964), with its echoes of The Tempest.

If you've never read one of her stories, do yourself a favor and check her out. You'll be glad you did.  In honor of Mary Stewart, read one of her books this year.


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Sunday, May 11, 2014

BW20: Armchair traveling through 16th century


Happy Mother's Day to you all!


The sixteenth century, the high Renaissance period,  which ran from 1501 to 1600, was an time of extraordinary change.  The beginning of the modern era of science -The first flush toilets appeared,  Leonardo Da Vinci designed a horizontal water wheel, Conrad Gesner invented a graphic pencil, and Copernicus published his theory that the earth was not the center of the universe. 

Literature wise, many brilliant authors were born and buried during that period of time including the creator of Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes, (born 1547), English playwright Christopher Marlow, (born 1548), William Shakespeare (born 1554), Italian author Ludovico Ariosto (1474 - 1553), French author Francois Rabelais(1483 - 1553) and Sir Thomas More (1478 - 1535).

Philosophers include Michel de Montaigne, (1533 - 1592), one of the more influential writers during that time period.  His Essays were published in 1580 and are regarded as the predecessor of the modern essays.  Also Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince (1469-1527), published 5 years after his death in 1532.  Other notables include Francis Bacon, and theologians John Calvin and Martin Luther to name a few.

What about the women you ask since this is mother's day.   Notable women of the century includes Queen Elizabeth of England, the Queen Mother Catherine de' Medicis of France, Queen Jeanne d'Albret of Navarre, and Mary Queen of Scots.

Currently in my backpack are Montaigne's Essays,  along with the historical fiction story, Grania: She King of the Irish Seas by Morgan Llewelyn. More than enough to keep me busy this month and plenty of rabbit trails to keep anyone occupied for years to come. 


Join me in exploring the 16th century. 


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