Thursday, 27 April 2017

A Bit of History and the Birth Day Thing, etc

It's noon and so far has been a pretty busy, productive day. The dogs have been dropped at doggie daycare, the car has new tires and I've got a new haircut. :) The flooring guy arrived at 9 a.m. and so far has removed the old flooring in the downstairs hallway, an excellent start.

We had quite a rainstorm yesterday. While I was on the way to get the dogs from daycare, I could see these huge black clouds rushing towards me. I hoped I'd get to them before the rain started, but no such luck. It was pouring down. Luckily the girls who were working there got the pups indoors before the rain started.

It's getting near the end of April. I haven't had as productive a month of reading as the first three, but I think I'll be able to finish a couple of more books before the end. This morning I finished the first book in the Inspector Aurelio Zen series. I liked the TV series a lot and the book was also very good.

I'm starting another new series with my next book, the first in the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain. The book is Cop Hater. I've been looking forward to trying it for awhile now.

Great Historical Events

I'm starting in 1693 with today's excerpt.

"1693. First printing press established at New York by William Bradford
1694. Penn's rights in Pennsylvania restored
1697. Close of King William's war.
1698. French colony arrives at the mouth of the Mississippi
1699. Capt. Kidd, the pirate, apprehended at Boston'

I'll leave today's excerpt there and start the 1700s with my next.

Business Laws Briefly Stated - I've finished the portion dealing with the etiquette of letter writing. The next section deals with laws of business and I thought it might be interesting to see what those laws were back in the late 1800s. So let's see -

"We append, in as concise a form as possible, the laws of business that are in most common daily use:
Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
The law does not require one to do impossibilities (Ed. Note - say what?)
Principals are responsible for the actions of their agents. (Ed. Note - Hear that, Donald?)
The acts of one partner bind all the rest.
Each individual in a partnership is responsible for the whole amount of the debts of the firm, except in cases of special partnerships.
A receipt for money is not always conclusive.
Signatures made with a lead pencil are held good in law. (Ed. Note - I assume some people still use lead pencils?)
A contract made with a minor is void
Contracts made on Sunday cannot be enforced. (Ed. Note - now that is interesting.)
No consideration is sufficient in law if it be illegal in its nature."

So what do you think?

The Birth Day Thing - 10 November 1970 (I was fifteen years old on this day)

Billboard US #1 Single 10 November 1970

I'll Be There by The Jackson 5. Who doesn't know about the Jackson 5. Well, if you don't, they were formed in 1964 as the Jackson Brothers. The founding members were elder brothers Jermaine, Tito and Jackie with Michael and Marlon joining soon after. They entered as professionals in 1967 and released 2 singles. From 1969, they had 4 #1 US singles, with I'll Be There as the 4th in line. I'll Be There was written by Berry Gordy and friends.

UK #1 Single 10 November 1970

Woodstock by Matthew's Southern Comfort. This was a solo album by Fairport Convention singer Iain Matthews. He followed up his solo effort by forming a band called Matthew's Southern Comfort. The band's one commercial success was their cover version of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 1970

Love Story by Erich Segal. The basis for this book was a screenplay that Erich Segal wrote for Paramount Pictures. Paramount requested that Segal turn it into a novel as a preview of sorts for the movie.

Love Story became the biggest seller in the US for all of 1970. It was also translated into 20 languages. The film starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal was released in Dec 1970.

Erich Segal was born in Brooklyn NY and lived from 1937 - 2010.

Pulitzer Prize Winner 1970

Collected Stories by Jean Stafford. Jean Stafford was an American novelist and short story writer who lived from 1915 - 1979.

Her Collected Stories was her last published work.

Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature - 1970

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Russia). Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist who lived from 1918 - 2008. I have read a few of his works, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Cancer Ward and The First Circle. All were fascinating works. His Nobel Prize was awarded 'for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.'

Hugo Award Winner - 1970

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. This another of my favourites in the Science Fiction genre. I've read it two or three times since my first read back in my university days and I think I'm due for a refresher. Below is the synopsis if you're interested in trying it out. LeGuin is an American writer who was born in 1929 in California. She is a prolific writer. Her most recent work was in 2014.

" A ground-breaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction."

Edgar Award Winner - 1970

Forfeit by Dick Francis. Dick Francis was an English steeplechase jockey and writer. His mysteries centre around the horse racing scene. He lived from 1920 - 2010. His son Frances collaborated on 4 novels with him and continues to publish novels with his father's name in the title.

Forfeit was his eighth work and features reporter James Tyron as the main character.

The synopsis is simply "When reporter Bert Checkov falls to his death, his colleague James Tyrone thinks he can prove it was murder. But there's no such thing as a sure thing."

I've not read anything by Francis yet, but I may have to try his books.

Man Booker Award Winner - 1970

The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens. Bernice Rubens was a Welsh novelist who lived from 1923 - 2004. She became the first woman to win the Booker Prize. She published 27 books during her career. Her second novel, Madame Sousatzka, was turned into a film in 1988, starring Shirley MacLaine.

The synopsis for The Elected Member is -
"Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant barrister; the apple of his parents' eyes... until at forty-one he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia.
For Norman, his committal to a mental hospital represents the ultimate act of betrayal. For Rabbi Zweck, Norman's father, his son's deterioration is a bitter reminder of his own guilt and failure. Only Bella, the unmarried sister, still in her childhood white ankle socks, can reach across the abyss of pain to bring father and son the elusive peace which they both desperately crave."

Next entry will move on to1970. Now to try and get some fresh air. Installing flooring is a stinky process.

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