Sunday, January 29, 2017

BW5: Festive February

Amethyst by Alphonse Mucha

This week we wave bye bye to January and hello to Festive February.  We have lots to celebrate this month from Groundhog's Day, the Superbowl, Daytona 500, Valentine's Day, and Lincoln and Washington's birthday's to national monthly celebrations including Black History, Women Inventors, Haiku Writing, American Heart, Library Lovers and Bird Feeding.  And let's not forget Grapefruit or Barley month, Spunky Old Broads month or Adopt a Rescued Rabbit month.  As well as international celebrations of Candelmas, Fat Tuesday, New Zealand's Waitangi day and Japan's National Founding Day.

The Birthstone of the month is AmethystYou may choose to spell out the word, reading one book per letter or read a book with the name or the colors of the stone in the title.  Or perhaps find an author whose name is Amethyst.  You may decide to find a book set in the time period where the birthstone was discovered or surrounding the myth and lore or set in countries where the birthstone is currently found. 

Historically, the Amethyst has both spiritual as well as mythological symbolism.  Derived from the Ancient Greek term Amethystos,  meaning not intoxicated, it was considered an antidote to intoxication.  It is associated with the wine God BacchusIn Hebrew, the stone's name is Aclamah and has religious significance as the 9th stone on the high priest's breastplate representing the 12 tribes of Israel.    Saint Valentine is said to have worn a ring with an Amethyst stone carved in the shape of cupid.   In the medieval period, soldiers believed the stone had healing properties, and Astrologers in the 1500's thought the stone helped with intelligence.  

The stone is primarily mined in Brazil and neighboring states, but may also be found in South Korea, Russia, India, Africa and the United States. Plus, the Amethyst is the official state gemstone for South Carolina. 

As you can see there are many rabbit trails to follow from celebrations, both cultural and historical, spanning from the ancient times to the present.  The possibilities are limitless.

Image result for Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer Monument

Since our armchair travels have taken us to Brazil, you have a variety of authors to choose from rather than a singular author flavor of the month.  Check out Goodreads Popular Brazilian Author Books  or Culture Trips 10 Best Brazilian Writers.   Spread out across the continent and check out 22 Classic and Contemporary Female Latin American Authors or 
6 Nobel Prize Winning authors from Latin America.  

Please link to your specific  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, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.

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