Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Dogs, Book Read and Everything Else (genre challenge, history, birth date thing, etc)

Clyde feels so much better now that he's had his hair cut. :)
Best time of the day at the moment, before it starts to heat up. We've got another two weeks of hot sunny weather ahead of us. At least for the past couple of days, there has been a bit of a cool breeze. It can't be making it any easier for the fire fighters in the interior.
Stop taking my picture, Dad, I'm trying to sleep
The puppies had their visit to the groomers. They no longer look like sheep and must find it a bit cooler. Jo and I went out to check out some open houses on Saturday, one of our favourite past-times and then had lunch at The Black Fin. (Check out the menu, just click on the link) My last memories of it were not fond. In fact we hadn't been there for a few years since Jo and I went to it last. But she and Fiona and Karen went when Fiona visited earlier this year and came back raving about the food. So I suggested it on Saturday and it was definitely worth the visit. The food was so good. I had the banana coconut cod with a nice mango curry sauce, just scrumptious. Jo had the burger with yam fries and it looked super too. And the view you get is great as well. Yup, we'll be going back again.

Just Finished

I won't get in to this too much because I'll do my July reading summary post next. But I did manage to finish one more book before the end of July, that being The Commodore by C.S. Forester, one of his Horatio Hornblower adventures.

My review is below.

"The Commodore is the 8th book in the Horatio Hornblower series by C.S. Forester that I've read, not in any particular order. They have all been good value for entertainment. I've also enjoyed the TV series featuring Ioan Gruffudd as Hornblower. The series is like the Sharpe war / adventure series, except, of course, Hornblower has his adventures on the open sea for the most part.

In The Commodore, Hornblower, newly married and just taking of as Squire of Smallbridge, is called back to London, made a Commodore in charge of a small fleet and sent to the Baltic to try and assist and encourage neutral Sweden and Russia to join the war against Napoleon. Most of the story is set in Latvia, a state of Russia at the time. There are plenty of adventures and lots of action and the story was all-in-all very satisfying, one of the better Hornblower stories, I think.

One thing I did particularly like about this particular story is that Hornblower spent much less time internalising everything; it is a bad habit of his. The story is more political, with Hornblower working intelligently to get in the good graces of the Czar of Russia and using his wits to help them keep Riga, the capital of Latvia, safe from an invading Napoleonic army.

His plans are intriguing and successful and his crew are a group of energetic, talented men. For the most part, the story does revolve around Hornblower, but of course, it is his adventure. A great deal happens in a short time, as the harsh Baltic winter is on the way (NO, not like Game of Thrones) and he must try to succeed at his orders before he must leave the area or risk being ice bound. Totally entertaining and satisfying, another great Hornblower adventure. (4 stars)"

As I said, more to follow on my July reading summary next entry.

The Missus's Genre Challenge

Wow, how time flies. In my last entry, I finished with Day 4 of Jo's latest challenge. Yesterday we finished with Day 10. Since today is a day off from it, I'll just do 5 - 7 and tomorrow I'll do 8 - 10.

Day 5 - Best book adaptation onto TV or film. I chose To Kill a Mockingbird as my adaptation. Not a surprise really. I've mentioned both as my favourite book and movie in various of my lists here. Someone else chose another favourite of mine, Nevil Shute's On the Beach. Jo chose Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, adapted for film by Emma Thompson. A couple of other choices were the TV adaptation of Vanity Fair and any of the adaptations of the Cadfael mystery series.

Day 6 - Name your favourite television Cop show. I chose one that Jo and I watched when she first arrived in the Comox Valley, that being Da Vinci's Inquest. Excellent TV series.. and Canadian. :) Jo chose Miami Vice. There are almost too many options in this category, so many excellent British, American, Canadian and even Australian series; Hill Street Blues, Streets of San Francisco, Law and Order. All just a few of those chosen. How about the Phryne Fisher mysteries, Halifax F.P., Dr. Blake Mysteries, Midsomer Murders, Morse, Frost, Endeavour, Flashpoint, Private Eyes, etc... yes, I do like a great crime show.

Day 7 - Name your favourite movie score / theme. I chose the theme for The Magnificent Seven, a classic. Jo chose another Western for her score; The Big Country. Some other choices included The Thomas Crown Affair, Romeo & Juliet (1984), Star Wars, etc.

We're still having lots of fun with this. It's been nice switching from strictly music to movies and TV shows as everybody does seem to have fond memories of them.

Before I head off to Great Events in History, is anyone else tired of the latest Apprentice, also known as The Apprentice President, or The Appresident. I just want someone to tell the current resident of the White House.. 'YOU'RE FIRED!' OK, enough of that..

 Great Historical Events

We move on to 1781 today.

Jan. 1. - Revolt of Pennsylvania troops at Morristown
Bank of North America established at Philadelphia
Expedition of the British into Virginia under Benedict Arnold
Jan. 17. - Battle of the Cowpens
Jan. 19. - Cornwallis joined by Leslie at Charleston
Feb. 2. - Battle of McGowan's Ford
Feb. 16. - Battle of Guilford's Court-house
Jan. and Feb. - Remarkable retreat of Gen. Greene through South Carolina

The war will continue with my next entry for 1781. Who knew that history could be so complicated? (Yup, a dig at the current resident of the White House.)

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

We learned about clouds that last couple of entries. And what comes from clouds? Well, let's see.

"What causes rain? When a warm current of air containing a great amount of moisture comes in contact with a cold current the moisture is condensed and falls as rain. (Ed. Comment. Please send some of this condensed moisture to the mainland) Does rain ever occur without clouds? Sometime a fall of temperature will produce rain without forming visible clouds. Why does more rain fall in March and April than in July and August? Because the changes in temperature are more frequent, and every fall of temperature in the air condenses its vapor. (Ed. Comment. How would you get those May flowers otherwise?) Why then, is the weather not colder before a rain? Because this change in temperature is in the upper currents of air, and not on the surface of the earth."

We move on to cold rain next entry...

The Birth Date Thing 10 November 2001

US Billboard #1 Single 10 November 2001

Family Affair by Mary J. Blige. Mary K. Blige, born in 1971, is a successful singer, songwriter, model and actress. Over her career she released 13 studio albums and over 80 singles. Family Affair was written by Blige, her brother and a few others.

UK #1 Single 10 November 2001

Because I Got High by Afroman. Afroman is an American rapper who I guess could be classified as a 'one it wonder'. He was song writer and producer on this song.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 2001

Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts. The book was also turned into a made-for-TV movie starring Jerry O'Connell and Lauren Stamile. The book summary is as below.

"There was something about Manet Hall that called out to Declan Fitzgerald, as the Boston lawyer purchases the grand old mansion in New Orleans, trading his briefcase for a tool belt. But as he begins renovations, he starts feeling inexplicable sensations of terror . . . and nearly unbearable grief."

Pulitzer Prize Winner 2001

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This is one of those books that I've pulled off the shelves in book stores periodically, glanced at it and then put it back. Maybe I should try sometime, eh?

It tells the story of two Jewish cousins before, during and after WWII who become very big in the comic book industry.

Nobel Prize Laureate 2001

V.S. Naipaul (United Kingdom). I have read a couple of Naipaul's stories in the past few years. One I liked, one I hated. It's kept me from reading any others. His early novels were set in Trinidad & Tobago, his later offer a more worldwide view. He was awarded his Nobel Laureate 'for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.'

Hugo Award Winner 2001

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. This is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I don't think there is much more to say as you've either read it (probably many times) or you haven't and don't want to. Suffice it to say, it's the most successful series of all-time and made Rowling a household word.

Edgar Award Winner 2001

The Bottoms by Joe R. Lonsdale. The story takes place during the Great Depression, where a young boy discovers the mutilated body of an African-American woman, setting off a mystery involving rising violence and racism. Joe Lonsdale is an American writer of many genres who was born in 1951 in Gladewater Texas and has written over 45 novels and many short story collections.

Man Booker Award Winner 2001

True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. This book is a historical novel by Australian writer, Carey. Carey has published 13 novels and a number of short story collections. The book summary is below.

"In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semi literate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. "

Giller Prize Winner 2001

Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright. Clara Callan tells the story of a woman living in Ontario in the 1930's and tells the story by the medium of letters and journal entries. Wright was born in Midland, Ontario in 1939 and died in Feb of this year. His last novel was published in 2016.

There you go. My next entry will summarise my July Reading. Stay cool!!

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