A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard, Alice Provensen (Illustrator), Martin Provensen (Illustrator)

bookshelves: published-1981, summer-2014, art-forms, poetry, kiddlewinks, paper-read

Read on July 31, 2014

 

Description: Inspired by William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, this delightful collection of poetry for children brings to life Blake’s imaginary inn and its unusual guests.

Perfect example of a nursery book in the mode of Lear and Carroll. Beautiful images and fun poems and although it would not be fair to copy over complete entries, I shall give you a snippet of my favourite:

THE MAN IN THE MARMALADE HAT ARRIVES

The man in the marmalade hat
arrived in the middle of March,
equipped with a bottle of starch
to straighten the bends in the road, he said.
He carried a bucket and mop.
A most incommodious load, he said,
and he asked for a room at the top.

Now all I need is a grandchild.

Lovely fayre so I went through twice.

Black Man by: Richard K. Morgan

 

Home read. Hard Cover 546 pages AND the audio file.

Description: Marsalis is one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth’s distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back – and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man before a police sting landed him in prison – a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous.

Luckily, his “enhanced” life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in another fugitive. But this one is no common criminal. He’s another Thirteen – one who’s already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there’s no question Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: can he remain sane – and alive – long enough to succeed?

First Sentence: He finally found Gray in a MarsPrep camp just over the Bolivian border and into Peru, hiding behind some cheap facial surgery and the name Rodriguez

Now if the story unfolds along the same lines of this brilliant first sentence I will have a damn fine read, don’t you think?

After a quick skim down through the community ratings this seems to be a marmite read and I am already (in chapter three) fed up with the f bomb.

Throwing in the towel at 40%. Life is too short for this annoyance.

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

 

Read by Danika Fairman

Description: In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited and East Germany ceased to exist. In this book, Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany, including the story of Miriam, who as a 16-year-old might have started World War III.

Read her two books the wrong way around. This non-fiction is superbly written, and she really does have stories that need relating to help us understand DDR because let’s face it, no matter how many time the history is read the subject remains hard to get one’s head around.

DDR was a paranoid place and awful things happened to ordinary people and Funder has pinned the subject matter smack, bang to the , erm, wall.

I mentioned that I read her books the wrong way around – ‘All that I Am’, a novel based on factual events, did not resound so well, maybe I am just a non-fiction kind of girl at heart.

Astounding read worth five checkpoint-charlies even though there are some flaws.

Surfy Googling yields some interesting piccies:

Alexanderplatz. We stayed in the Hotel up those stairs on the left, and that square was full of Christmas market. How it looks today:

Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac, Johanna Ward (Narrator)

bookshelves: published-1846, france, winter20092010, classic, fraudio, revenge

Read in January, 2010

 

– James Waring, Translator
– Unabridged
– 12 Tapes = 17 Hrs. 30 Mins
– Blackstone Audiobooks
– January 2000

BLURB – “Bette is a wronged soul; and when her passion does break, it is, as Balzac says, sublime and terrifying,” wrote V. S. Pritchett. A late masterpiece in Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine, Cousin Bette is the story of a Vosges peasant who rebels against her scornful upper-class relatives, skillfully turning their selfish obsessions against them. The novel exemplifies what Henry James described as Balzac’s “huge, all-compassing, all-desiring, all-devouring love of reality.”

——

FROM WIKI – French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec depicted lesbian relationships similar to (though more explicit than) that of Bette and Valérie, as in his 1893 painting “In Bed”

Lisbeth Fischer (Cousin Bette) is described as “maigre, brune … les sourcils épais et réunis par un bouquet … quelques verrues dans sa face longue et simiesque” (“lean, brown, with … thick eyebrows joining in a tuft … and some moles on her narrow simian face”)

The Quincunx case by William Dent Pitman

bookshelves: published-1904, summer-2014, canada, books-about-books-and-book-shops, mystery-thriller, public-domain, adventure, families, filthy-lucre, nutty-nuut

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Wanda
Read from January 25 to July 29, 2014

Description: Determined to win the respect of his industrialist uncle and thereby the hand of his cousin, penniless writer Philip Adrian sets himself to unraveling the mystery of the chemist Joseph Balsamo, employed by his uncle but killed before he could deliver the formula of his life’s work. Piecing together clues from scraps of Balsomo’s journal which feature a mysterious five-dot figure (the quincunx), Philip travels to Quebec, where he quickly falls into the clutches Balsamo’s companions, a group of smugglers who come to believe Philip knows far more about their operations than is good for him.

Download here: https://archive.org/details/quincunxc…

Opening: “My suggestion is”, she began, eyeing the heap of notes and silver before us on the table, “an automobile hansom to the Waldorf (we’ve a moment to stop on the way for a bunch of violets) and after dinner and hour or two at the theatre. Then another hansom to – anywhere – for supper…”

My, she has an appetite, this woman, and it is not surprising, given the circumstances. Enjoyable romp, great writing. Thanks for the heads-up Wanda. Three and a half Franklin Stoves.

 

Narrated by Davina Porter

Description: Prudence Barrymore, a talented nurse who had worked with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, is found strangled to death in a London hospital. Private inquiry agent William Monk is engaged to investigate this horrific crime. Gradually, Monk assembles the portrait of a remarkable woman. Yet he also discerns the shadow of a tragic evil and a frightening glimmer of his own eclipsed past . . .

Whoah! this was a bloated, soap box of an episode. Really not a favourite.

3* The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
2* A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk, #4)
3* The Shifting Tide (William Monk, #14)
4* Dark Assassin (William Monk, #15)
4* Execution Dock (William Monk, #16)

3* Death in the Devil’s Acre (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #7)

2* The Sheen on the Silk
3* A Christmas Guest (Christmas Stories, #3)
3* A Christmas Beginning (Christmas Stories, #5)

Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky

 

rosado mp3 on the road.

Description: Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those strange misfits compelled to venture illegally into the Zone and collect the strange artefacts that the alien visitors left scattered there. His whole life, even the nature of his daughter, is determined by the Zone.

Picnicers from SPAAAAAAACE!

Our poor human ego takes rather a pounding with the idea here. So insignificant are we that an alien ship stops off on planet for a minimal amount of time and fails to announce arrival. Same sort of discourtesy that anyone of us shows the ants etc. when we take out the ACME red-checkered picnic cloth over their pitch and squash the grass, drop our crumbs and wrappers, take a dump behind a bush.

There is a film loosely based on this book: Stalker (1979)

Three gold spheres as rating: