Sorry folks, but I’ll be gone from my PC for a few days. Back soon.
Sorry folks, but I’ll be gone from my PC for a few days. Back soon.
Tomorrow September 22nd, in 1499, Switzerland became an independent state. To celebrate that I thought a poem based in Switzerland would be nice… Enjoy!
Ripples appear here and there
….on otherwise placid water.
Earlier downpours have dissipated
….as the sun sinks
….brushing hues of yellow
….against deep greens
….and turning leaves.
Summer flowers offer
….their last brilliance of color
….while distant chiseled peaks
….turn gray in the dimming light.
An alpine day comes to a close.
Humorous Poem #44 – The Pirate
Have you seen the pirate
with the coat hanger hand?
Why, he’s the most feared pirate
in all of the land.
And it’s not because of the GI Joes
he sent to the plank
Nor is it his bath toys
he fearlessly sank.
And it’s not his chest
or the treasure inside.
But because it’s the 21st Century…
And all other pirates have died.
In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…
With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.
This is the first book I have read written by this Author.
I have to start out by saying that I found the main protagonist the least likeable character I’ve read in a very long time, and despite the traumatic events she experiences at the beginning of this book does not improve as the storyline progresses. I have no insight into why an Author would write a character in this manner; she is blatantly rude to everyone she comes across, including the man she is supposed to love, and then shocked and surprised when they refuse to give credence to her claims. The supporting characters are dealt with less harshly, and some of them are far more likeable than the main, who seems to find a reason not to like or trust anyone. I can only assume that the Author including a drink and mental health problem to the main character is their way of trying to explain away the bad behaviour. She is not a strong woman in any sense of the word, and rather than showing an empowered woman who is holding her own in her chosen profession, the reader is subject to a woman who falls apart at the slightest noise, and sees dangers lurking in every shadow and corner.
The book itself is nothing new plot wise, in fact it read pretty much as a modern-day rehash of the old Agatha Christie ‘locked room’ cosy mystery; just not as well penned or suspenseful. It is also full of implausible moments and bad dialogue to boot; after all how many times does the reader need reminding that the main character did not read the press package? This book could have been so much more given the setting and its starting out well-paced and somewhat suspenseful, it is a shame that the Author could not have kept this tone throughout the novel.
If you enjoyed this Author’s debut novel, you may well enjoy this offering; as for myself I can’t, in all conscience recommend this book and will not be reading anything else by this Author.
The Presence In Absence
Poetry is not made of words.
I can say it’s January when
it’s August. I can say, “The scent
of wisteria on the second floor
of my grandmother’s house
with the door open onto the porch
in Petaluma,” while I’m living
an hour’s drive from the Mexican
border town of Ojinaga.
It is possible to be with someone
who is gone. Like the silence which
continues here in the desert while
the night train passes through Marfa
louder and louder, like the dogs whining
and barking after the train is gone.
A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman no superhero has lasted as long, or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also has a secret history.
Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth—he invented the lie detector test—lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
I actually picked up this book to read as I was intrigued by what made this character a friend of mine so passionate about; after reading it though I must confess I am still as intrigued.
Although the material in the book is very interesting, and definitely a worthwhile read for those interested in Wonder Woman, it wasn’t as I expected and was definitely lacking in the visual art side of the character as well as acknowledging those who had visually brought her into being; her artist only getting a few scant lines. With this being said there really is very little I can comment on the secret history of Wonder Woman herself. However, if I wanted to read and review a book about the life of William Marsden Moulton, this would have been the one to read.
If you are looking for something new and great about Wonder Woman, I would give this a miss. It takes entirely too long to read, and this wasn’t helped in the slightest by a dry writing style. Another black mark against the book was the way in which it was edited with too many repeated paragraphs and chunks of information; with a decent editor this could have been a cleaner, tighter read making it not seem as tedious.
The first in a new series from the author of the ‘Simon Shaw’ books – 1942. Louise Pearlie, a young widow, has come to Washington DC to work as a clerk for the legendary OSS, the precursor to the CIA. When, while filing, she discovers a document concerning the husband of a college friend, Rachel Bloch, – a young French Jewish woman she is desperately worried about – Louise realizes she may be able to help get Rachel out of Vichy France. But then a colleague whose help Louise has enlisted is murdered, and she realizes she is on her own, unable to trust anyone . . .
This is the first time I have read a book by this Author, and I was pulled to it by the subject matter; I have read many books about the SOE and their operatives, I was interested to read about the American equivalent, OSS.
I was initially disappointed by the fact that this was not an OSS book, but rather a novel that revolved around the life and experiences of the title character who worked for the OSS. Very much like the real women in the book The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, the main protagonist was firm in her belief that any little she could do would help win the war. Despite not being a war widow, she has taken full advantage of the war to expand her horizons and make a new life for herself. The whole story is told from her point of view and, despite living in a boarding house full of other war workers in DC, it also manages to highlight the mistrust that so easily arose from the slightest thing, and how everyone had secrets. Apart from the main character, those others mentioned in the book were not given as in-depth a back-story, and even in this I felt there was something in Louise’s story that the Author was holding back, or has not quite decided on making a part of her character yet.
I particularly liked the descriptions of live in the capitol during the war years, and had a wry smile at the mention of rationing in a country that was capable of producing food for themselves. It is apparent that the Author has meticulously researched this book as it covers things from victory gardening to the insufferable heat that was documented for 1942, and how the inhabitants of Washington DC coped with it. This book actually became quite sluggish in part (maybe a reflection of the hot summer), but it left me feeling that the pace of the action could have been picked up to add to the flow and tension of the book.
I would recommend this book to any reader looking for a quick but enjoyable read on a rainy day; I read it in one sitting. I will be reading others in this series as the fate of Louise and the OSS has me curious.