Wednesday Poem: Jim ~ Hilaire Belloc

Jim Lion

Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.

There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
His Friends were very good to him.
They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
And slices of delicious Ham,
And Chocolate with pink inside
And little Tricycles to ride,
And read him Stories through and through,
And even took him to the Zoo—
But there it was the dreadful Fate
Befell him, which I now relate.

You know—or at least you ought to know,
For I have often told you so—
That Children never are allowed
To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
Now this was Jim’s especial Foible,
He ran away when he was able,
And on this inauspicious day
He slipped his hand and ran away!

He hadn’t gone a yard when—Bang!
With open Jaws, a lion sprang,
And hungrily began to eat
The Boy: beginning at his feet.
Now, just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels,
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it!
No wonder that he shouted “Hi!”

The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
Though very fat he almost ran
To help the little gentleman.
“Ponto!” he ordered as he came
(For Ponto was the Lion’s name),
“Ponto!” he cried, with angry Frown,
“Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!”
The Lion made a sudden stop,
He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
Snarling with Disappointed Rage.
But when he bent him over Jim,
The Honest Keeper’s Eyes were dim.
The Lion having reached his Head,
The Miserable Boy was dead!

When Nurse informed his Parents, they
Were more Concerned than I can say:—
His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
Said, “Well—it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!”
His Father, who was self-controlled,
Bade all the children round attend
To James’s miserable end,
And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.

Hilaire Belloc

Ann Rule ~ 1930-2015

Ann RuleTrue-crime writer Ann Rule, who wrote more than 30 books, including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, died Sunday 26th July, at age 83.

Although not my go to genre, I always enjoyed books written by Ann Rule, and her skill of making ‘true-crime’ interesting for the lay reader will be a great loss.

Our condolences go out to her Family and friends.

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Wednesday Poem: Change Is All ~ Olivia Libby

autumn trio

Change Is All

No one will ever know how I feel.
For I cannot even explain it all.
Nobody to love.
Nobody to blame.
Everyone always the same.
Nothing to care about.
No reason to lie.
For I am me, myself, and I.
No ones sees what I see.
Nobody left to care for me.
It’s kind of sad knowing what’s true, cause then you know who’s there for you.
Most of them just put on that act.
A lot of them talk bad about me behind my back.
Thanks for making me feel this way, there’s nothing more I should have to say.
All the times I was alone, makes me feel weird when someone’s home.
No family for support, no friends to care.
People wonder why I don’t go anywhere.
Every night crying myself to sleep, sometimes I wish someone loved me.
No hope, no love, no life, no friends the pain never ends.
Sometimes I ask what did I do to deserve this.
But nobody answers.
A voice in my head tells me to forget the bad and remember good.
But then I answer to myself saying there is no good to remember.
I always yell at myself asking why me? why?
Sitting in a empty spare room.
No one to talk to about how I feel.
No one to ask me what I feel.
Is anyone out there in this harsh world we live in?
Sometimes I begin to wonder.
Sometimes I’m harsh on myself.
Morn comes and I wake up wishing I was never born.
Please help others, because today’s lives our being taken out of this world just as easy as they are coming in.
You can change someone’s life.
Make a change.
It’s a tough world.

Olivia Libby

Writing a Book Review: 101

Great advice that I try to follow. Thanks Joe

Author Joe Perrone Jr's Blog

There is nothing more frustrating to an author than receiving an email from Amazon, informing you that “You have a new review for . . . ” and finding out that someone has given away all the details of your best-selling mystery novel.  Then, to make matters worse, you discover that the “reviewer” has publicly dressed you down with a very personal attack, thereby adding insult to injury.  Sound familiar?  If you’ve been writing for a while, it probably does.  And, it happens more often than you might think. Unless the review was written by another author with a grudge, the reason is fairly simple: most people do NOT know how to write a book review . . . or a movie review . . . or any other kind of review.  Hopefully, that’s all about to change (at least I hope it will for you).  For our purposes, I’ll only deal with book…

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Summer Schedule

its-hot-outside

As always when summer comes around, our schedules tend to change so we can all enjoy the nice weather more, this is no different for the Book Nut Hut.  Starting on Monday, July 20th the posting schedule will be changing for the duration of the summer, up until the end of September.

The Wednesday Poem will remain a constant throughout the summertime but, after falling over my TBR stack I realise I need to make serious inroads into clearing it.  With this in mind I will only be posting book reviews as I finish a book, rather than having 2 or 3 on the go at one time.  Any Authors that have submitted their books to me directly for review; if for some reason I do not finish them, I will email you directly giving you a personal account of why I was unable to finish it rather than post it in the Hut review section.

Have a wonderful summer everyone, and thank you as always for your continued support.  If you have any books you would like me to read and review, that you have particularly enjoyed, or not, just get in touch via the Contact Me page.

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Wednesday Poem: Queer ~ Frank Bidart

why-does-no-one-talk-about-sexual-assault-in--L-mxa6rR

Queer

Lie to yourself about this and you will
forever lie about everything.

Everybody already knows everything

so you can
lie to them. That’s what they want.

But lie to yourself, what you will

lose is yourself. Then you
turn into them.

*

For each gay kid whose adolescence

was America in the forties or fifties
the primary, the crucial

scenario

forever is coming out—
or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.

*

Involuted velleities of self-erasure.

*

Quickly after my parents
died, I came out. Foundational narrative

designed to confer existence.

If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not

me, but herself.

The door through which you were shoved out
into the light

was self-loathing and terror.

*

Thank you, terror!

You learned early that adults’ genteel
fantasies about human life

were not, for you, life.  You think sex

is a knife
driven into you to teach you that.

Frank Bidart

Copyright © 2012 by Frank Bidart.

Review: Relic (Pendergast #1) ~ Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

RelicISBN ~ 978-0312856304
Publisher ~ Forge
No. Of Pages ~382 pages
Links ~ prestonchild.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon

When a team of archaeologists is savagely massacred in the Amazon Basin, all that survives are several boxes of relics and plant specimens. From boat to boat, from port to port, the battered crates drift. They finally reach New York City – only to be locked away in the basement of a museum, lost and forgotten.

But the black heart of the Amazon never forgets. Just days before the Museum’s massive new exhibition opens someone or something other than tourists and school children is roaming the echoing halls and dusty galleries. And people are turning up savagely murdered.

Forensic evidence points to a killer of terrifying strength and ferocity. Rumors of a “Museum Beast,” never far from the surface, rise again among the Museum staff. But then Margo Green, a graduate student working in the Museum, uncovers a link between the killings, the failed Amazonian expedition, and an odd figurine that will be displayed for the first time. Will she be able to put the pieces together and stop the deadly menace before terror strikes again?

4 Thumbs-UpI have to put this up front, if you are not a fan of gory murders full of graphic detail in your book, or get bored with scientific theories in your fiction this may not be the book for you.

This book is the first collaborative work of Preston and Child, and also the first in the Pendergast series.  Unlike most of the books in this series it cannot be read as a standalone and is followed on by Reliquary; the other two books that must be read in order in the series are Dance of Death/Book of the Dead.  But I digress, I’m reviewing Relic not the entire, to date, 14 book series. I picked this up on the recommendation of a friend and, not knowing what to expect, was taken by surprise; it is the first book written by these two Authors I have read.

I found the characters both intriguing and infuriating at the same time, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the aforementioned Pendergast was not actually the main protagonist in this book, rather took a secondary place to another.  I thought this was a great way of introducing a character that would eventually become the focus of a lengthy series, rather than having him leap out of the pages at the reader full-bore and in your face.  It actually is one of the reasons I will probably continue to read more in this series, he intrigued me and made me want to find out more about him.  In creating the characters in this book, the Authors supplied enough details about them to allow the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks or speculate as to what might follow.  It is not only Pendergast that the Authors decided to just give ‘tasters’ to the character personality, they applied this to all the characters in the book and, while I found it an interesting way to lead into a series, I would have preferred to have more background on some of those characters who were probably not going to make it out of the end jacket alive, and this is the reasoning behind my 4 thumbs review.

It is a fast paced book, full of twists and turns that I really didn’t see coming.  This edge of the seat action kept me turning the pages until to my surprise I had finished the book in a day.  The idea of the entirety of the story line taking place in a Museum, and the suspense this brings with it makes this a book a would recommend to anyone who enjoys a book full of twists, turns and a little humour in places.

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Tom Piccirilli: 1965 ~ 2015

tom-piccirilliTom Piccirilli was a two-time winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for “Best Paperback Original” (2008, 2010). He was a four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He was also a finalist for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award given by the Mystery Writers of America, a final nominee for the Fantasy Award, and he won the first Bram Stoker Award given in the category of “Best Poetry Collection”.

Author of The Last Kind Words: A Novel (Terrier Rand)Pentacle – A Self Collection, and The Walls of the Castle, he more than once managed to make my hair stand on end.  I would like to express my condolences to his Family at this time.

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Review: The Word Exchange ~ Alena Graedon

word exchangeISBN ~ 978-0345806031
Publisher ~Anchor
No. Of Pages ~370pages
Links ~ Penguin Random House, Amazon, Alena Graedon

Books, libraries, and newspapers have at last become things of the past. Now handheld Memes allow for constant communication and entertainment. They can even anticipate our needs, dialing the doctor before we know we’re sick, or prompting us with words we can’t recall. Yet a few dedicated wordsmiths are still laboring on the final print edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language. But one evening, right before it’s released, Anana Johnson finds that the chief editor—her father—has vanished.

In alternating points of view, Anana and her bookish colleague Bart follow their only clue, the word ALICE, down the proverbial rabbit hole, into subterranean passages, the stacks of the Mercantile Library, and secret meetings of an anti-Meme underground resistance, racing closer to the truth about Anana’s father’s disappearance, and discovering a frightening connection to the growing “word flu” pandemic.

1 Thumbs-UpIt’s been a long time since I read a book like this, and I hope it will be a long time before I read another.  This is the only book I have ever read that by the magic page number of 119, I literally threw it aside in disgust.  To say it is a mess of ideas would be being generous, and I’m afraid to say I found it just to be a mess.

The main female protagonist is whiny and just downright annoying, coupled with her is the downright stalkerish alternate narrator combining into two characters I neither liked nor wanted to be bothered reading about anymore.  None of the other lesser characters shone through the pages either, and this would have been a redeeming factor that would have made me continue reading.

As any follower of my reviews will know by now, it takes a lot for me to actually close a book unfinished, but I found the footnotes and the sometimes having to refer to a dictionary to understand what the Author was writing about too much to bear.  In my opinion it was a very verbose piece of writing with very little plot and far too time consuming to be considered a novel.  If this had been written as non-fiction and a reflection on current society’s reliance on technology to the detriment of everything else it would have been much better received by myself; as it was it was relegated to the pile of books I will be parting with shortly.

The only saving grace that kept it from receiving zero thumbs was the cover.  I liked it a great deal and spent quite a time trying to link the cover images with the plot of the book.  I love the English language and the words that are no longer in general use, and this was what attracted me to it in the first place, however over use of the language was a big turn off and because of this I feel I really can’t recommend this book to anyone.

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Wednesday Poem: Fireflies in the Garden ~ Robert Frost

fireflies

Fireflies in the Garden

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost, “Fireflies in the Garden” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1928, 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed © 1956 by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)