Sunday, October 29, 2017

BW44: Welcome to Nonfiction November

Jonathan Wolstenholme



Wave goodbye to the ghosts and goblins of October as we embark upon the world of facts and figures with Nonfiction November as well as dive into the world of the Topaz gemstone, our birthstone of the month. This month we are celebrating All Souls Day, Constitution day, Veterans day as well as Thanksgiving here in the U.S.   Let's not forget the end of Daylight Savings time or the Look for Circles day, Forget Me Not day, Have a Hike day, Absurdity day, and last but not least, You're Welcome day.

Our birthstone of the month is the Topaz. You 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 Topaz.   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.

Topaz is derived from the greek 'topazion' said to originate from the sanskrit 'tapas' meaning 'fire.' The gemstone varies from colorless to blue to yellow to brown.  Topaz is mainly mined in Brazil, but is also found in China, Japan, Russia and Australia as well as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The stone is one of the twelve chosen for Aaron's breastplate, the symbol for the sun god, Ra,  and the sacred stone of the Hindu's Kalpa tree.   There are many metaphysical properties attached to the stone depending on the color from knowledge to creativity to strength.

Our armchair travels are taking us through the world of nonfiction which encompasses a broad spectrum from the financial to the historical to the creative to the travelogue to the array of self help books.  Explore the familiar or dive into those topics you have been curious about but haven't read yet.

Check out Tompkin Libraries helpful guide to the Dewey Decimal System for non fiction books.   Browse through the Guardian's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time, or  Goodreads Popular Nonfiction Reads.   You may also want to join in on the Nonfiction Blogging and Instagram Challenge hosted by Sophisticated Dorkiness and company.

Currently in my bookstacks are Michael Palin's (from Monty Python fame) Around the World in 80 Days and Pole to Pole,  Roland Huntford's Race for the South Pole, and Nathaniel Phibrick's In the Heart of the Sea, as well as David Grann's Lost City of Z.  

Learn something new this month and have fun following rabbit trails.



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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.



Sunday, October 22, 2017

BW43: Prime Time Reading Fun

Courtesy of Licor43


It's time for a bit of Prime Time Reading Fun as we begin week 43 of our Adventurous Prime Reading year.  Since 43 is a prime number, let's play. 


  • Find a book with forty three in the title. 
  • Create an anagram from forty-three and read a book with the word in the title.
  • Read book #43 in your bookshelves counting from the left.
  • Read a book set in 1643, 1743, 1843, or 1943.
  • Read a book about a person born in 1943
  • Read a book set in or about Idaho, 43rd state.
  • Read a book about 43rd president
  • Read a book in Dewey Decimal category within 300 or 400 and in  the subsection .43 
  • Read a book set in the country by the scientists who discovered Technetium - Element 43 on the periodic table. 
  • Read a book set in the 43rd city and/or state in any country. 
  • Austria country code 43 allows you  to call Austria from another country so read a book set in Austria or written by an Austrian Author.
  • Go to your current read, find page 43. Count down to line 4, then left to the 3rd word.  Read a book with that word in the title or a book about that word.
  • Count the letters in your name. Did you end up with a prime number?  Read a book with a character with the same name as you. 
  • Are you 43?  Read a book published in your birth year. 
  • 4 + 3 = 7.  4 x 3 = 12.  7 + 12 = 19.  12 - 7 = 5.  4 - 3 = 1.  Plug in any of the resulting prime numbers instead of 43 to the above quests and have fun following rabbit trails.
Kudos to whoever can match it up with a spooktacular read!

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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.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

BW42: Happy Birthday Robert Pinsky




Courtesy of Wikipedia



Happy Birthday to poet Robert Pinsky, who is turning 77 on October 20th



Samurai Song



When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.




Learn more about Robert Pinsky, who is the founder of the Favorite Poem Project as well created the MOOC course The Art of Poetry offered through Boston University and EDX.

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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.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

BW41: Bookish Notes and Birthdays




It is time for another round of bookish notes and birthdays.   

Congratulations to  Kazuo Ishiguro, the 2017 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.  The secretary of the Swedish academy "described Kazuo Ishiguro's writing style as a mix of Jane Austen and Franz Kafka: 'But you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix, and then you stir.'"  Ishiguro has been awarded the prize as one "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."  Check out Literary Saloon's round up of articles discussing Ishiguro.

Neil Gaiman's Good Omens will be coming to screens in the near future with David Tennant and  Michael Sheen, playing the demon and the angel.   Plus Gaiman's All Hallows Read will be repeated this year the week of Halloween with some scary but not too scary book suggestions for kids to teens.  

Check out 8 Stellar Nonfiction Reads for World space week which runs from October 4th through the 10th. 

Tor's We Dare You to Spend the Night with These Haunted House stories

Moving on to the not so spooky with The Irish Times article: Mrs Osmond by John Banville: An entertaining homage to Henry James.


Royal History of Women's October compilation of royal women stories.

The little known visual art of E.E. Cummings.  


Birthdays:

October 8:  Science Fiction writer Frank Herbert,  and the author of Goosebumps - R.L. Stine

October 9:  Australian author Jill Ker Conway

October 10:   Yugoslavian novelist and 1961 Nobel Prize winner for literature - Ivo Andric as well as English playwright and 2005 Nobel Prize winner for literature - Harold Pinter 

October 11:  French novelist and 1952 Nobel Prize winner - Fran├žois Mauriac 

October 12: African American novelists - Alice Childress and Ann Lane Petry

October 13:  Pulitzer Prize winner Conrad Richter

October 14:  Poet e.e. cummings



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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.







Sunday, October 1, 2017

BW40: Spooky and Spectacular October






What lies beyond -  Witches and Vampires and Ghosts - Oh My!

Welcome to October and our celebration of all things spooky and spectacular!  Are you ready to scare yourself silly and dive into the thrilling and chilling, supernatural and psychological, the dark and the weird, Gothic and horrifically suspenseful reads. There's a bit of something for everyone - nonfiction ghost stories, contemporaryclassics, Gothic,  thrilling,  terrifying science fiction and everything in between.  From the silly to the 'afraid to sleep with the lights' out. I don't know about you, but I tend to shy away from the blood and guts horror, but enjoy the fingernail nibbling, heart palpating, goosebumps all over my body,  psychological thrillers. 


If you haven't read the staples of the genre -  Frankenstein or Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Turn of the Screw or Something Wicked This Way Comes, or the works of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, now is the time. Also be sure check out the Top Ten Contemporary Horror NovelistsFabulously Creepy Reads by 13 Women Writers, and  65 Great YA Horror Reads by Women.  Take a peek at the plethora of choices from the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award Reading list from 2016.   


I have a few interesting books on my shelves for this month including Ray Bradbury's From the Dust Returned, new to me author Mindy McGinnis's A Madness So Discreet, Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island as well as  Dean Koontz's The Husband.  


Let's not forget our birthstone of the month. You get to choose between Opal and Tourmaline.  You 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 Opal or Tourmaline.   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 gem is currently found. 



What spooky books are you reading this month? 




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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.