Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Just Finished, a New Book, the New Challenge, and the Birth Date Thing... and whatever else I can squeeze in

You'll look different tomorrow... Hey what? What did you say?
Tomorrow, Fractious and Chewy (AKA Clyde and Bonnie) will be making a visit to the groomer. I'm sure afterwards that they will appreciate the whole thing as they are shaggy and scruffy and finding the summer a bit hot at the moment. They don't know so I'll have to make sure they don't read this BLog entry today... :)

I was not licking my feet!!! Oh that one? Well....
Just Finished

Cemetery World by Clifford D. Simak. I just started this a couple of days ago (see my last entry) but it was a quick, interesting story. My review is below.

"Cemetery World is the 4th Science Fiction story by Clifford Simak that I've read in the past couple of years. I've enjoyed for the most part, especially enjoyed The Werewolf Principle and City. Cemetery World was an entertaining, enjoyable read.
Fletcher Carson returns to Earth, now a Cemetery World for the descendants of Earthlings. After a world destroying war thousands of years before, the majority of the remaining humans escaped and inhabited planets throughout the Universe. A company, Cemetery, has turned the Earth into the cemetery of choice for its descendants (of course, they make much money off of it). Carson, accompanied by a robot who was originally from Earth, Elmer, and a sentient machine, Bronco, wants to travel around Earth making a 'movie', let's call it. Arriving on Earth, he also meets Cynthia, who arrived before and joins the group, searching for treasure / artifacts, left behind by an alien Anachronian.
That's the basic story. As the group travel they are hounded by agents of Cemetery; grave robbers, war machines from the past, Wolves of Steel and even spirits, Shades. There is even a bit of time travel thrown in. On the whole, you won't learn any astounding theories from the book, but if you want a good, sound, entertaining story with interesting characters and a satisfying conclusion, you'll enjoy this story. (3 stars)"

I've started an adventure / fantasy next and it's moving along nicely. As you can see, it is the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes, originally written in 1912. I've read Burroughs' John Carter of Mars books and some others but never tried the Tarzan series. I'm enjoying so far.

New Book

I received this in the mail the other day. I'd mentioned it in an earlier BLog entry as the Hugo Award winner for 1982. The story sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. I've not tried anything by C.J. Cherryh before. Nicely, this happened to be an autographed edition.

The Missus's 31 Day Pop Culture Challenge

So today we're on Day 5 of the challenge. How the days fly past! *sigh*. Today we'll take a look at Days 2 - 4.

Day 2 - Favourite Film of the '40s. Not to say any of us were born in the 40s but there were so many excellent movies that decade. I chose A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. One of those growing up movies like some other favourites of mine; To Kill a Mockingbird and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Also an excellent book by Betty Smith. Jo chose The Man Who Came to Dinner, one of her favourites. I think we've probably watched it 7 or 8 times since she and I got together. It is a great movie. Some other choices included Lifeboat, Dumbo, A Matter of Life or Death, Casablanca, etc.

Day 3 - Favourite Actor. Jo gave us the option of picking a current and older actor. I chose Bruce Willis and Steve McQueen, two cool dudes.. :) Jo picked Denzel Washington and Paul Newman, two other cool dudes. I think the picks were all cool dudes, Tom Hanks, James Stewart, Ed Harris, etc.

Day 4 - Film or TV show that reminds you of your Mum. I picked The Lawrence Welk Show. Mum always enjoyed a Sunday evening with Ah-one-Ah-two .... Nice, light musical variety show. Jo chose an afternoon game show from the UK, Countdown. I've watched with her and it's an entertaining challenge show. Others included Coronation Street, Dr. Kildare, The Waltons, etc.

Today we're picking our favourite book adaptation into TV or film.. More on that tomorrow.

Speaking of TV shows, Jo and I tried a couple of summer fillers on Monday night. One of them, Somewhere Between, we managed about 15 minutes. Nope, we won't be watching that any more. Just trying too hard with it. And the child is so irritating!! There's precocious and there's just being a brat... The other show, Midnight, Texas is based on a new book series by Charlaine Harris, remember the True Blood TV series?, and was most enjoyable. A good fantasy is always interesting if it's done well. And so far, this was. I've read the first book in the series and it was nice being able to put a face to the characters in the book. Give it a try.

Great Historical Events

It's been awhile and I'm sure you were all waiting to see what happened to Benedict Arnold's partner, Maj. André. So here we go.

"Hanging of Major André.

1780. Oct. 2. - Major André was hung after a trial by court-martial, upon the unquestioned evidence of his guilt. Great sympathy was manifested by both friends and enemies for Major André, but the inexorable demands and usage of war, and the safety of the country, necessitated his execution as a spy.
Oct. 7. - Battle of King's Mountain
Nov. 20. - Battle of Blackstock
Dec. 2. - Greene takes command of the Southern army.
Dec. 20. - War between England and Holland
Dec. 30. - National Thanksgiving"

(There you go, 1780 is finished. We move on to 1781 in my next entry.)

Science of Common Things (from Prof. L.G. Gorton)

Today the good professor continues his discussion about clouds.

"What do stratus clouds foretell? Damp, dreary weather. (Ed. Note - simple and to the point.)

What do nimbus clouds foretell? Rain and thunder."

Well, there you go. I guess that covers clouds, eh? Next we will talk about one of the results of clouds, rain. We could use some here, especially in the main land.

The Birth Date Thing 10 November 2000.

On this date, I hit the grand age of 45. My life would change for the better in the next two years.. :)

US #1 Billboard Single 10 November 2000

Come On Over, Baby by Christina Aguilera. Come On Over, Baby was American singer / songwriter Christina's 3rd #1 single. She wrote this song in concert with 7 or 8 other song writers.. :)

Holler / Let Love Lead the Way by Spice Girls. Spice Girls formed in 1994 took the world by storm. Holler / Let Love Lead the Way was their 9th #1 single.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 2000

The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell. This is the 11th novel in American crime-writer Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta forensic crime series. I've read the first 4 or 5 books in the series but I've kind of lost touch with it in the past few years. I'll have to try them again.

Pulitzer Prize Winner 2000

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Interpreter of Maladies, which I've never read, is by Indian / American writer Lahiri and is a collection of 9 short stories featuring Indians and Indian / Americans caught between their roots and their lives in the New World.

Nobel Prize Laureate 2000

Gao Xingjian (Fra / Chi). Gao Xingjian is an émigré novelist who was awarded the Nobel Laureate 'for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.'

Hugo Award Winner 2000

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. Vinge also won the Hugo Award in 1993 for A Fire Upon the Deep. A Deepness in the Sky is a loose prequel (set twenty thousand years in the past) to A Fire Upon the Deep.

Edgar Award Winner 2000

Bones by Jan Burke. I enjoyed the Irene Kelly mystery series very much. I've still got a couple to read. Bones is the 7th book in the series, featuring news reporter Kelly and her husband, police detective, Frank Harriman. All of the stories are well written, tense and satisfying. I read this 7 years or so ago and it was a 4 - star read.

"Killer Nick Parrish says he'll lead authorities to the body of Judith Sayre--they will not demand the death sentence for his heinous crimes. But the criminal has no intention of spending his life behind bars--and he plans some deadly surprises."

Man Booker Prize Winner 2000

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I read this back in the early 2000's and enjoyed it very much. I've read a few of Canadian writer Atwood's works and have enjoyed them very much.
"The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist."

Giller Prize Winner 2000

There were two winners in 2000.

Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje. This was another book I read in the early 2000's and it was a five-star read. Fascinating story set in the Sri Lankan civil war. Tense story and also a great love story.
"Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organised campaigns of murder engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past–a story propelled by a riveting mystery."

Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards. I've not read any of Richard's books yet. I do have Nights Below Station Street on my bookshelf that I'm looking forward to trying.
"When twelve-year-old Sidney Henderson pushes his friend Connie off the roof of a local church in a moment of anger, he makes a silent vow: Let Connie live and I will never harm another soul. At that very moment, Connie stands, laughs, and walks away. Sidney keeps his promise through adulthood despite the fact that his insular, rural community uses his pacifism to exploit him. Sidney's son Lyle, however, assumes an increasingly aggressive stance in defence of his family. When a small boy is killed in a tragic accident and Sidney is blamed, Lyle takes matters into his own hands. In his effort to protect the people he loves -- his beautiful and fragile mother, Elly; his gifted sister, Autumn; and his innocent brother, Percy -- it is Lyle who will determine his family's legacy."

Whew, well, all caught up for now. I hope you might get some reading ideas and have enjoyed the whole thing. Now I'm off to have a corned beef sarnie with Jo.. Yum.

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