Friday, October 22, 2010

Death, Insurmountable Odds, Sex with Cannibals...Books of Adventure

My father was a bomber pilot in WWII and was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines. As a child I remember looking at pictures of his time in that area. He then became a member of the Air Force Reserve. And while my sisters and I remained in our little town in central Texas, my dad was flying to England, Hawaii, Taiwan, Goose Bay Labrador, Panama etc. I always envied him his life of travel. Because of him, my mantra in life has always been that if God put it on this earth, I want to see it. So, knowing full well I can’t go everywhere nor can I go back in time, I began reading nonfiction adventure books that, in many cases, would take me where no man has gone before (sorry, I’m a Star Trek fan).  Read more about adventure books:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bloody 'ell, London is a Bomb....Expensive

Good ev'nin Luv....A typical greeting by a driver of a "black" taxi.  I think the first time I went to London was 1978 or '79.  I used to sponsor students on tours to England and "the continent".  Over the years I either went to England with my  husband and daughter on family trips, on his business trips or a stop over on the way to Africa.  I remember that first trip and while at the British Museum of History, I saw the "bobbies" walking amongst the cars with long poles with mirrors on the end looking for bombs underneath the cars.  The Irish Republican Army was still causing death and destruction.  Then we went a week after the death of Princess Diana.  I usually just throw on some good walking shoes and walk my rear off.  Well, I went from Buckingham Palace to Kensington Palace etc etc and the photos I got of all of the teddy bears, flowers, candles, makeshift alters for Diana...well, it was heartbreaking. Read more... 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett or as I'd call it: Fall of a Giant

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With this novel, you see the fall of a great writer. I enjoy Follett's books but with this one he has fallen way short of his lofty goals. The problem is with the main characters.  They are WWI, socialism and a woman's right to vote. These are the main characters not Fitzherbert, Maude, Ethel, Walter, Gus, Bernie, Grigori, Lev etc. These characters exist only to spout the platitudes of socialism or the reasons for or reasons against a woman's right to vote. There is some gratuitous sex thrown in but then it's yada yada yada with men   debating strategies for battles or Lenin pontificating or lengthy sermons on the beauty of socialism. The human characters are caricatures, Fitz, the pompous vain Lord of the manor, Ethel, the servant girl who is very smart but still falls for Fitz and of course finds herself pregnant, Maud, the strong willed woman who gives as good as she gets and Billy, the uneducated coal minor who outsmarts his colonels and generals. If you are into WWI and are also interested in the beginnings of socialism, this book is for you.  This is not Pillars of the Earth or World without End where you actually learn to care about the characters.   Unfortunately there are two more of these tomes coming out.  No sir re bob.  I'm not buying them.   Of the 340 reviews on Amazon, 229, like me, gave it a single star*...