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Soldiers of Reason...Read Any Good Books Lately?


susie b

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What's everyone reading these days?

 

Here's a few of my recent reads....Enjoy!

 

Upon the recommendation of a friend, I recently read James Michener for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised by his novel Caravans.  As I was told, for a 52 year old novel, it seems quite timely given the current events in Afghanistan.  After ignoring Michener for years, Caravans has convinced me that I have a lot of Michener books to read.

 

Read a lovely little collection of Japanese Tanka, which is a 31 syllable poem arranged lines of 5,7,5,7 and 7.  Tanka is the aboriginal form of Japanese poetry...recited before there was a written language.  Quite uplifting to read a series of concise tiny masterpieces.

 

The Plantagenet Chronicles 1154-1485 by Derek Wilson is a well written account of the English royal family displaced by the Tudor dynasty.  The Plantagenet family includes such figures as Richard the Lionhearted, Richard ll & Henry V.  A good historical read.

 

Rosslyn Chapel Decoded:  New Interpretations of a Gothic Enigma by Alan Butler & John Ritchie.  A well crafted book that explains and educates.  The writing style gives the reader the feeling of actually being in the chapel as its histories and mysteries are explained. 

 

Found Soldiers of Reason by Alex Abella in my mother's library & just finished it.  If you've never heard of the Rand Corporation, this is a must read!  Here's the author discussing his work...

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Eckhart Tolle ~ The Power of Now  Not a new book, and one I've read before, but I'm noticing I missed a lot the first time around.

 

Humans of New York ~ Brandon Stanton (VERY cool!) If you have a Facebook page, I highly recommend you "Like" his page, simply titled "Humans of New York". 

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It is a thick tomb (about the size of a tabletop American Standard dictionary), but necessarily so, and I STILL am reading through it long after I had saved up my pennies to get this approximately $40.00 book back around 2002.  I'm not certain, but I think it is out of print and difficult to get, but I was fortunate to be able to get this because someone had ordered it through the bookstore I was working at but never picked it up.

 

This is one book I have never regretted getting, as now I don't feel so bad about choosing not to go into college after High School.  (Don't misunderstand, I LOVE the learning process, but not under the system that is in place at that time or this).  This is one pretty tough cookie and a lady of intelligence.  IF YOU DARE TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF:  Ever ask yourself how far back in time the rabbit hole goes???  Read this book if you can find it ---

 

"The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" --- Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt (a very world-traveled woman with connections in government here and abroad), this book is NOT for the timid and you definitely HAVE to be paying attention, you just can't skim this book, or peak at the end to see how it turns out --- it doesn't work like that.  THIS IS NOT A LIGHTWEIGHT READ.

 

 

I know the video is a bit long, but spending quality time to learn information one isn't aware of can be a long term blessing.

 

AnneNR

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' "Who Are You?"  The Encyclopedia of Personal Identification ' by Scott French

 

If you never understood just how much of a "number" and object of "resource" to barter financially with other countries over for our government, this really spells it out.  Again, not a popular subject for those wanting to maintain living their status quo in illusion within the "matrix", so to speak.  But I have always asked the most dangerous question expecting honest answers since an early age in life ---- "WHY?"

 

AnneNR

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"Soldiers of Reasons" looks to be a non-drowsy read --- interesting choice, nice suggestion.  Michener has long been a favorite of mine, though it has been some years since I picked up one of his.  One of my favorites has always been "Hawaii" (the kind of missionary that was the main character in the book, I JUST WANTED TO STRANGLE HIM !!)

 

by Gaellen Quinn

Author James Michener wrote a very famous book called Hawaii in 1959. Below is the story of how I acquired the last known footage of him before he died.

 

 

A few months before his death in October 1997, at 90 years old and on weekly dialysis, he generously agreed to be interviewed at his home in Austin, Texas, by a member of the newly established community theater company of Fredericksburg, in order to help them promote their first performance: South Pacific.

 

My daughter, a filmmaker, filmed the interview and I finagled the opportunity to meet him by offering to help carry the equipment. We spent more than an hour there filming, but due to my daughters subsequent move to china, to my knowledge, these precious clips are all that remain of that final interview. They include the following topics:

 

  • Receiving a letter from his agent who terminated their contract, saying he had no future as a writer; the same day, it was announced Michener had won the Pulitzer Prize.
  • His relationship with Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • His response when he, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, were told by all their advisors that the song, “You’ve Got to Be Taught,†(about prejudice) created a bad note and didn’t belong in the play
  • About Fredericksburg (where the new theater company would do South Pacific as their first performance) and the Nimitz Museum
  • Comparing South Pacific to My Fair Lady
  • Welcoming people to visit Fredericksburg and the Nimitz Museum

 

I had forgotten all about this film. But awhile back, when I was visiting Fredericksburg, walking along the sidewalk with a couple of writer friends, I stopped in my tracks.

 

My novel, The Last Aloha, is set in the late 19th century when descendents of American Missionaries plotted to topple the Hawaiian rules. James Michener’s classic book, Hawaii, skips completely over the period of the Hawaiian monarchy and its overthrow. From my research, I believe that’s because he didn’t know about it.

 

After meeting Mr. Michener and hearing other stories he told that don’t appear on this video, I know that he was totally against the kind of prejudice that suppressed the history of the royal Hawaiians. (Records and documents of the period were seized by missionary families and kept in private collections until well into the 1960’s, and these same families were the source for all “official†Hawaiian history until about the same time. Michener’s book came out in 1959, when Hawaii first became a state, so he likely didn’t have access to that material.)

 

The moment I stopped on the sidewalk, all that came rushing back to me and I felt like Mr. Michener himself had reached out to remind me: “Use the film clip.†It was like he wanted to be a part of remedying that prejudice that kept the truth from being known.

 

I visited his grave in Austin and felt the same again. That he would be pleased that something I had from him could bring this little-known period of Hawaii to light and possibly give people an appreciation for Hawaii that they’d never had before.

 

[ My note --- isn't it amazing how long some would hold back the facts of history until it eventually comes out anyway through providential means?! ]

 

AnneNR 

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The James A. Michener Art Museum


The massive stone walls and warden's house that make up the core of the Michener Art Museum today began as the Bucks County prison in 1884.

http://www.michenermuseum.org/exhibitions/living-legacy.php
 
 
In addition to Michener, Doylestown, PA was also the home of Oscar Hammerstein ll, Pearl S. Buck, Margaret Mead, and pop star, Pink.
 
An interesting assortment of creative types...

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From a local guy out here in California, for those who like travel, Jerry Graham's "Bay Area Backroads" was a best seller the whole time it was in print and was a companion to the local show of the same name.  I find myself constantly referring back to it --- and I live here!

 

Are there any such authors local to where the rest of EC.com members are that have done a similar thing--within your areas--that would be of interest specific to your locale (more than just the usual places people from out of town would find to see) that others visiting would never know to look for?

 

AnneNR

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