Sunday, 11 June 2017

Currently Reading, the Song Challenge, Great Historical Events and the Birth Day Thing

Clyde & Bonnie at the ready
So let's see, how are the dogs doing, you ask? Clyde's foot is much better. He's not limping and the vet gave us seems to have even knocked off the little skin tag that was between his two twos. Bonnie is pretty much back to her normal self. She still has a bandage on her tail as it's still not totally healed, but all in all, she's eating normally, going for her normal walks and even playing around with Clyde. So all seems to be pretty good.

The Toxic President?  Nope, I'm going to follow my missus's and brother's advice and not say anything as it just makes me 'SO MAD!!' We'll leave it at that.. :)

Currently Reading. I've completed 4 books so far in Jun and at the moment, I'm reading these books

1. To Love and Be Wise by Josephine Tey. This is from my 2nd 12 + 4 challenge. It's one of Josephine Tey's Inspector Grant mysteries, written originally in 1950.

"The sudden disappearance of a young American photographer, from the little village of Salcott St Mary, provides Inspector Alan Grant with one of his most diverting cases.
There are clues, but they lead nowhere - until Grant's flair for the unusual leads him to a brilliant and totally unexpected solution..."

2. Classics of the Macabre by Daphne du Maurier. I bought this back in January partly because I really liked the cover and also because it contained her, The Birds, the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's movie. I had already read one of the stories in another collection of her short stories, The Blue Lenses, but the others are all new for me.

So far I've read; Don't Look Now, The Apple Tree and The Birds, all excellent. Remaining are the final two stories, The Alibi and Not After Midnight. They haven't been horrifying, just creepy and neat.

3. Gently Does It by Alan Hunter. This is for my Cops challenge. It is the first book in the Inspector George Gently mystery series.

"For most people, that would easily qualify as the holiday from hell. For George Gently, it is a case of business as usual. The Chief Inspector's quiet Easter break in Norchester is rudely interrupted with a local timber merchant is found dead. His son, with whom he had been seen arguing, immediately becomes the prime suspect, although Gently is far from convinced of his guilt.

Norchester City Police gratefully accept Gently's offer to help investigate the murder, but he soon clashes with Inspector Hansom, the officer in charge of the case. Hansom's idea of conclusive evidence appals Gently almost as much as Gently's thorough, detailed, methodical style of investigation exasperates Hansom, who considers the murder to be a straightforward affair.

Locking horns with the local law is a distraction Gently can do without when he's on the trail of a killer."

4. Bright Orange for the Shroud by John D. MacDonald. This book is for my Sleuth's challenge. It's the 6th book in the Travis McGee mystery series.

"The fragile-looking blonde was like a black widow spider feeding on her mate till he was broke and drained dry, a walking zombie stumbling aboard the celebrated houseboat The Busted Flush. And there lolls Travis McGee, that free-lance knight in slightly tarnished armor whose well-known nose for a dollar twitches at the money smell. This time the scent leads by some bizarre routes to a vicious nest of confidence artists and doublecrossers who inhabit some of those baleful parts of Florida that tourists never see..."

The Missus's Music Challenge

It's obviously been a few days since my last post as we are now on Day 21. Let's take a look at Day's 17 thru 20.

Day 17 - A Song that Features Your Favourite Artist. Amongst a multitude of possibilities, I went with Canada's Sara McLachlan with Possession. Other artists/ songs chosen included; Stevie Wonder and Ribbon in the Sky, Luther Vandross and If Only for One (the sis-in-law), Phil Collins and Take Me Home (the missus), The Robert Cray Band and Right Next Door, etc.

Day 18 - A Song from the Year You Were Born. I was born in 1955 so as I searched through the various songs that were popular then, I came up with The Four Aces and Love is a Many Splendored Thing. The missus chose Petulia Clark and Downtown (an old favourite of mine). Other selections included The Supremes and Stop in the Name of Love, Bill Haley and His Comets and Rock Around the Clock, etc.

Day 19 - A Song Which Makes You Think About Life. I could have picked a few songs by Harry Chapin for this category. I think this whole thing about the NRA and the blind-sightedness of so many people about gun control made me especially think about his Sniper, a scary, profound, angry song. Other choices included Sarah McLachlan and World on Fire (from the missus, another favourite of mine), The Clash and Should I Stay of Should I Go, R.E.M. and Everybody Hurts, etc.

Day 20 - A Song that Reminds you of Your Mom. This is especially profound for me today as my Mom passed away on 11 Jun 2011. I couldn't think of a specific song that my Mom loved but I did remember how much she enjoyed this young German boy that we heard on the radio when my Dad was stationed in Germany. I'm sure she had a few of his records. The song is by Heintje and Heidschi bumbeidschi. Other song choices included Perry Como and Aubrey, Judy Garland and Daisy, Daisy (the missus), Anthony Newly and Do You Mind, etc. This was a very poignant category for everybody taking part.

Today's category has been Songs with a Person's Name in the Title. I'll do that one next post.

Great Historical Events

We are now at July 12, 1775 as things heat up!

"July 12. - Gen. Washington took command of the American Army at Cambridge. The combined forces numbered but 14,000 men, unacquainted with military discipline, and destitute of everything which renders an army formidable.
General Montgomery, with a command of 1,000 men, attacks St. Johns, Canada, capturing the town and a large number of cannon, field pieces, and small arms, taking 600 prisoners.
At the same time Col Ethan Allen was taken prisoner near Montreal. he was loaded with irons, and sent in that condition to England.
Col Benedict Arnold, with 1,000 men, succeeded in reaching Quebec by traversing the wilderness of Northern Maine and Canada, and sailing down the St. Lawrence.
A navy of 13 vessels ordered by Congress.
Congress ordered the issuing of $5,000,000, paper money.
Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster-General. (Ed. Note. As an aside, last night we watched the Seinfeld episode where Wilfred Brimley plays the Postmaster-General... hilarious)"

We move on to 1776 with the next entry. Now onto the Science of Common Things by Prof. L.G. Gorton.

"What is radiation of heat? The propagation of heat by ether. (Ed. Note - Huh?) Can heat be reflected? It can. What is absorption of heat? The taking off of heat by the body to which the heat is transmitted. (Ed. Note - Yup, now I know why I didn't like science.. lol) Why do some articles feel colder than others, when all are of the same temperature? Because, being better conductors, they take away the heat of the hand more rapidly. Which are the better conductors, dense or porous substances? The dense ones, generally. (Ed. Note - President 45 must be a darned good conductor then.. Oops. I thought I wasn't going to bring him up.)

The Birth Day Thing 10 November 1987

US Billboard #1 Single 10 November 1987

I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany. Tiffany was an American pop singer. I Think We're Alone Now was probably her biggest hit, although she was also #1 in the US with her second single Could've Been.

UK #1 Single 10 November 1987

You Win Again by The Bee Gees. Off the top of my head, I don't recognise the title of this Bee Gees' song. Definitely one of the most successful pop acts ever. You Win Again was from their album, E.S.P. It never hit the charts in Canada, so maybe that's why it is unfamiliar to me. From what I'm reading it marked the start of their comeback. Maybe you recognise it.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 1987

Kaleidoscope by Danielle Steel. Danielle Steel was an author that my mother enjoyed reading, I think. Steel is currently the best - selling author of all time and the 4th best fiction author of all time, with over 800 million books sold.
At least 25 of her books have been made into movies including Kaleidoscope which was turned into a movie in 1990, starring Jaclyn Smith.
"The story revolves around three sisters born to a French mother and an American GI father. The father kills the mother and then commits suicide. The story features the events of each girl's life. Separated after the death of their parents, each one is raised quite differently. They are later reunited by an estranged, family friend: the lawyer who placed them in the homes where they spent their childhoods. They later find out that he is part of the reason their father killed their mother."

Pulitzer Prize Winner 1987

A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor. Not a book with which I am familiar. It tells the story of Phillip Carver, a New York editor who is summoned back to Memphis by his two sisters to help them prevent his father's marriage to a younger woman.

Peter Taylor lived from 1917 - 1994 and wrote plays, short stories and novels.

Nobel Prize Laureate 1987

Joseph Brodsky (United States). Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad in 1940 and expelled from the USSR in 1972, settling in the US. He was a poet and essayist who was awarded his Nobel Laureate 'for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity". He was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991 and died in 1996.

Hugo Award Winner 1987

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. This is the 2nd year in a row that Card won the Hugo award. Speaker for the Dead is the sequel to Ender's Game, the 2nd book in his Ender's Game series.

"In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told of the true story of the Bugger War.

Now long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens’ ways are strange and frightening…again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery…and the truth."

Edgar Award Winner 1987

A Dark Adopted Eye by Barbara Vine. This was written by Ruth Rendell under her pseudonym of Barbara Vine. It is a psychological thriller that was also turned into a TV movie by the BBC in 1994, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Celia Imrie and Sophie Ward.

"Largely set during World War II, the story is told by Faith Severn, who at the prompting of a true-crime writer recounts her memories of her aunt, the prim, fastidious, and snobbish Vera Hillyard. Vera's life is initially centred on her beautiful younger sister, Eden, even to the exclusion of her own son, Francis, with whom she has a poor relationship. Later, Vera has a second son, Jamie, to whom she is intensely devoted, while Eden marries the scion of a wealthy family.
When Eden is unable to have children with her husband, she begins to demand custody of Jamie, who she claims is being poorly raised by Vera. To the bewilderment and shock of the rest of the family, the custody battle escalates to violent levels, leading to tragedy and a series of disturbing revelations."

Man Booker Prize Winner 1987

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. Penelope Lively is a British writer who was born in Cairo in 1933. She writes both children's and adult fiction. Moon Tiger spans the period before, during and after WWII. It begins as the story of a woman who, on her deathbed, decides to write a history of the world, and develops into a story of love, incest and the desire to be recognised as an independent free thinking woman of the time.

Well, there you go, wordy as always. I hope you enjoyed. Take care and have a safe week.

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