Life and Things
This was a week thankfully free of doctor appointments. I ended up cancelling the one for Monday, and need to reschedule it. I’ve been invited to partake in a second liver study, and need to set that appointment as well.
We went to see Last Jedi Friday. It was pretty awesome. It’s a measure of movie quality if I can stay awake during the entire thing now. :/ There were lots of cool trailers too, including Jurassic World 2! I’m so excited!!! The original Jurassic Park is one of my favourite movies, and I adored Jurassic World. I play the JW app game. Meet Diabla, my carnoraptor hybrid…
And Indra, my Indominus…
I joined a few reading challenges for 2018 over the past two weeks.
I’ve also started a few new shows, all from Netflix. Finally got into Stranger Things. Then there’s Glitch, an Aussie show. And The OA, which has Jason Isaacs in it, and I was tricked into thinking he’d be a good guy, but noooo. Granted, he does bad so well. Haha. Even Captain Lorca, from Star Trek: Discovery treads the darker side of things.
Books read, reviewed, and posted/scheduled this past week
Catdoodles by Akiko Masuda, 3*
Thread of a Spider by DL Gardner, 3*
Creature Files: Dinosaurs by LJ Tracosas, 4*
We’re All Bad in Bed by Shelby Simpson, 4*
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung, 5*
Ultimate Expeditions: Dinosaur Hunter by Nancy Honovich, 5*
Favourite Read of the Week
This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day. In these early years of adulthood, Debbie slowly but finally discovers there is a name for her lifelong need to be alone: she’s an introvert.
The first half of the book traces Debbie’s final year in college: socializing with peers, dating, falling in love (with an extrovert!), moving in, getting married, meeting new people, and simply trying to fit in. The second half looks at her life after graduation: finding a job, learning to live with her new husband, trying to understand social obligations when it comes to the in-laws, and navigating office life. Ultimately, Quiet Girl sends a positive, pro-introvert message: our heroine learns to embrace her introversion and finds ways to thrive in the world while fulfilling her need for quiet.
Celine on Fire by Dale Allan Pelton
“”Céline on Fire” poses the question, why read history? Set during the Cold War, “Céline” is a coming of age story in 1950s Paris. Céline Colbert, 14, a dancer, her sister Yvonne, 28, professor of philosophy and history at the Sorbonne, share a taxi in the rain with Giovanni Sandretti, 23, an Italian-American trumpet player born in Viterbo, Italy. In the Parisian worlds of jazz, flamenco, and tango, Giovanni becomes Yvonne’s lover and Céline’s friend. Each of the characters share the narration from chapter to chapter like a jazz trio swapping riffs as they improvise on a common theme. Bertrand Russell said, “To understand an age or a nation we must understand its philosophy, and to understand its philosophy we must ourselves be in some degree philosophers.” The lesson of “Céline on Fire” is that it is our responsibility for each of us to be that philosopher.
After a shattering tragedy, Céline struggles to find herself as both an artist and a woman. In a time when everyone went out dancing, and Parisians endlessly debated politics in the cafés, the novel recreates the era of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Audrey Hepburn, with dance sequences of ballet, jazz, ballroom, Latin and tango, reprising the 1950’s musicals of Gene Kelly’s “American in Paris.” Haunted by heartbreak, Céline is a resilient role model for young women trying to find themselves. Intelligent yet sensual, disciplined but burdened with grief—falling down then climbing back to her feet—Céline saves herself through dance.
On Giovanni’s jazz tour behind the Iron Curtain, fans in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia share stories of their quest for freedom. Attila and Zizi in Budapest recount the terror of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and Les Gordon, the leader of the group, an African-American living in Paris to escape racism, tells of the savage race massacre in Tulsa, and the heartbreaking Indian Removal under President Andrew Jackson confiscating the lands of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole and Muskogee-Creek nations, forcing them through snow and ice to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears where one out of four died, raising the question, how do we forgive mass murder? Is atonement possible for a nation’s deeds in the past?
Written by an artist rather than a historian, “Céline” explores historical and philosophical ideas through the means of conversation—history viewed by an artist rather than a scholar. “Céline” shows how the literature of 19th century Prussia informed 20th century Germany; the 6th century BC Shinto myth of Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, created the cult of the Emperor in 20th century Japan; the Dreyfus Affair in France in 1894 resulting in the creation of Israel in 1948; the creation in 1921 of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Israel and the struggle between Shias and Wahhabiya Sunnis, Palestinians and Israelis.
“Céline” chronicles the First World War when nationalist chauvinism was responsible for devouring seventeen million lives. In the 21st century, nationalism is rising again—in Russia, the European Union and in our own country as well. Nationalism rises then recedes with time, but man’s instinct for, “us against the foreigners,” never dies—lying silently like the plague sleeping until it awakens to murder again.
The book tells of Senator McCarthy 1950’s witch hunt for traitors in our government, bringing to mind the words of Michel de Montaigne, ‘There is no passion as contagious as that of fear.’ Fear is the mother of war, fascism and genocide. “Céline” shows how a demagogue can rise to power in a democracy by unleashing that fear, seizing power by creating a world of unreality. Gifted in the Procrustean solution, the demagogue processes data to fit a preconceived notion—he invents the truth. While recounting the attacks against democracy in the 20th century, “Celine on Fire” tells a sweeping tale of romance and a passion for music and dance.”
Next Up (maybe)
Gauntlet Fall by Maddy Edwards, Oct 20, Xpresso
The Everett Exorcism by Lincoln Cole, Oct 24, Independent
Your Crossroads, Your Choice by EP Apicello. ASAP
The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor CBR
Besieged by Kevin Hearne CBR
How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci, CBR
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton. CBR
Hour of Mischief by Aimee Hyndman
Season of Wind by Aimee Hyndman
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
“For fans of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, Ash Princess is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.
For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.
Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.
For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.”
The Sherlock Effect by Raymond Kay Lyon
“Christopher Sherlock Webster always blamed his Holmes-obsessed father for burdening him with an embarrassing middle name. He spent his school days desperately trying to live it down.
But after his old man prematurely dies, Christopher finds that he has somehow inherited the very same obsession…
Teaming up with Mo Rennie, a marketing-conscious pal, he starts up an agency called Baskerville’s, which specialises in the application of rigorous Holmesian method.
Here are five bizarre adventures from the files – a sumptuous feast upon which the gastronome of crime may gorge.
– A young beautician is stalked by a haunting stranger through the narrow streets of Cambridge. Yet he possesses love letters from the girl, ostensibly in her handwriting. How come?
– A science journalist disappears while investigating UFO sightings in Wiltshire. But is the explanation earthly or supernatural?
– When a pornographer receives death threats online he arranges protection 24/7. Will it work?
– A pop diva’s boyfriend is kidnapped twice by animal rights extremists. Should the ransom be paid again?
– Everything in the garden seems rosy when a millionaire widower meets Miss Perfect through a dating agency. But the lady soon starts to behave oddly. Should the wedding plans be shelved?”
The Spaces in Between by Collin Van Reenan
“One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…
Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.
It should have solved all his problems…
The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?”