DEAR READERS: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without my sharing the traditional prayer penned by my dear mother:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
Have a safe and happy celebration, everyone! — Love, ABBY
Posted today on Dear Abby’s blog.
Judy: A Dog in a Million by Damien Lewis
3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 stars
Read in late November 2014
British bestselling author Damien Lewis is an award-winning journalist who has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster, and conflict zones. Now Lewis brings his first-rate narrative skills to bear on the inspiriting tale of Judy–an English pointer who perhaps was the only canine prisoner of war.
After being bombed and shipwrecked repeatedly while serving for several wild and war-torn years as a mascot of the World War II Royal Navy Yangtze river gunboats the Gnat and the Grasshopper, Judy ended up in Japanese prisoner of war camps in North Sumatra. Along with locals as slave labor, the American, Australian, and British POWs were forced to build a 1,200-mile single-track railroad through the most horrifying jungles and treacherous mountain passes. Like the one immortalized in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, this was the other death-railroad building project where POWs slaved under subhuman conditions.
In the midst of this living hell was a beautiful and regal-looking liver and white English pointer named Judy. Whether she was scavenging food to help feed the starving inmates of a hellish Japanese POW camp, or by her presence alone bringing inspiration and hope to men, she was cherished and adored by the Allied servicemen who fought to survive alongside her.
Judy’s uncanny ability to sense danger, matched with her quick thinking and impossible daring saved countless lives. More than a close companion she shared in both the men’s tragedies and joys. It was in recognition of the extraordinary friendship and protection she offered amidst the unforgiving and savage environment of a Japanese prison camp in Indonesia that she gained her formal status as a POW. From the author of The Dog Who Could Fly and the co-author of Sergeant Rex and It’s All About Treo comes one of the most heartwarming and inspiring tales you will ever read.
Reminded me quite a bit of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, but not as well written.
I love a good dog story, but Judy became a minor player during most of this book. Continue reading “Book Review: Judy by Lewis (3.5 stars)”
Quotable excerpt from middle of Modesitt’s blog posting:
The consequences of such absolutist beliefs have always been deadly, and usually terrifying, and that hasn’t changed, either. That was a lesson the Founding Fathers understood, and understood well. Because they didn’t want an absolutist government, they did their best to come up with a system that required a certain amount of compromise to work.
Well… now no one wants to compromise, and guess what… the system doesn’t work. What about that, exactly, is so hard to understand?
But I will have to part ways with some of his thinking, at least as he sums it up in the last paragraph. I do agree that driving at high speeds, while drinking, texting, sleepy, distracted, etc. is a very bad thing, and in most of the United States is illegal, I can’t agree with his stance on guns. A gun is a tool and won’t fire itself. Any harm done by a gun (or any other weapon or bomb or poison or … you get the picture) falls clearly on the person wielding said weapon.
Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon