The end of the year and this decade arrived unexpectedly. Well, not completely unexpectedly for the former, but the whole ‘where did the twenty teens go?’ thing caught me by surprise. I’ve been reading and listening to ‘decade in review’ articles and podcasts for the last couple of weeks. Which inspired me to analyze my reading of 965 books over the last ten years.
The following compilation of ‘Top Five’ books for each year starting in 2010, do not include my occasional re-reads of favorites, like the works of Tolkien, Lewis, Jordan, Donaldson and Modesitt.
2010 (read 102)
Blackout/All Clear by Willis (Hugo/Nebula/Locus Best Novel Awards)
The second week of November looked and felt more like the first week of January. My commute Tuesday morning (the day after Veterans’ Day) involved icy drizzle and in at least one hair-raising incident on an icy untreated bridge (Thanks, Kansas City, Missouri, for being consistent in your street maintenance over the last 25 years). At least the traction control works in my new van. By lunch time, the drizzle had converted to snow blown by a bitter cold north wind (see photo above taken right before I ventured across the circle drive for a cup of soup at the Mixx).
Last week I attended the monthly Hobbit Happy Hour of the Tolkien Society of Kansas City. We returned to City Barrell where our two teams were victorious in LotR trivia back in September. During one of my conversations with friends and new acquaintances, I learned that circulation of print editions was down at the Plaza Branch of KCPL. I am as much to blame as anyone else since I’ve almost completely switched to audiobooks and ebooks over the last decade. Anything I read in print is because it’s out of print and/or only available as a printed edition.
Once upon a time, I was the staff director of a Congressman’s office. He was a Republican. At that time, the Democrats held an overwhelming majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. 354 more words
I woke up to the longest day of the year (summer solstice). I read through Modesitt’s latest blog post, which turned my longest day into perhaps my most frustrating one? Are we truly doomed to repeat history because we choose to ignore it?
I’m old enough to have seen the swing of politics from one abusive majority to another abusive majority of a different party, but most Americans either haven’t lived long enough to see it, don’t care so long as “their” party prevails, or have no idea what I’m talking about.
History would suggest that this kind of situation, unless defused, will only get worse. The only question may be whether we’re looking at a repeat of 1968 or 1861.
Do we really want another bloody brutal Civil War?
Several weeks ago I decided to stop falling asleep to whatever audiobook I was currently listening to because I spent too much time the following morning figuring out where I drifted off to dreamland. In other words, what’s the last thing I remembered coherently before losing consciousness? So I switched to podcasts of a different nature that didn’t require as much of my brain engaged to follow along.
For example, I use Podcast Addict exclusively now for my podcast listening. I set the sleep timer to thirty minutes and then I review my playlist. I rearrange it, usually putting the shorter episodes at the top. Sometimes I just select on of Dr. Corey Olsen‘s Mythgard Academy Tolkien podcasts because they are always nearly two hours long and I can hop in and out of those without too much loss.
One podcast that I really like to fall asleep to, and re-listen to if I nod off too quickly, has been The History of Rome by Mike Duncan. Duncan started the podcast in 2007 so some of the first episode show their age (auditorially speaking). This week, I reached episodes 20 (a & b) related to the First Punic War. The oddest thing I heard last night was the Romans building walls around a city they were besieging because another army had arrived upon the field and now threatened and surrounded them. The Romans besieged while besieging. This is not going to end well (and unsurprisingly it did not).
Aside from the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast, I hadn’t been listening to any other history podcasts. But I enjoyed both of these quite a bit, which got me looking for more history related listening. This week, I’m testing out three new podcasts, one of them the current endeavor of Mike Duncan, called Revolutions.
I have high hopes for Ben Franklin’s World, I just hope they are not all interviews. The first three episodes are inaugural introductory interviews.
All of these history podcasts have hundreds of episodes under their collective belts so I have a dearth of listening available and won’t need to resort to counting sheep or backwards from one hundred to transition to dream land successfully.
I can always count on Mr. Modesitt for my morning refresher course in human nature. Eight thousand years of repeating ourselves. You’d think we’d learn.
Sometime around 7500 B.C., people began building clustered mud-brick houses at Catalhoyuk, Turkey. According to detailed archeological studies, for roughly the next thousand years, the same patterns of life persisted, apparently with all families living in the same fashion and with approximately the same level of goods and the same size houses. Analyses of the…
Synopsis: In 1914, Vera Brittain overcomes the restraints on women of the time to become a student at Somerville College, Oxford. When World War I breaks out, her brother Edward, her fiancé Roland Leighton, and their friends Victor and Geoffrey, are sent to serve at the front lines. Brittain follows their sacrifice, leaving college to join the Voluntary Aid Detachment as a nurse tending the wounded and dying (both British and German) in London, Malta and France.
I watched this with my husband on Sunday afternoon, Valentine’s Day. A less bleak day than Saturday the 13th (overcast and never above 25 degrees). Today is bright and sunny and in the 50s. Almost spring like. I’m beginning to think I should have watched Testament of Youth yesterday instead of the Water Diviner. Continue reading “Movie Review: Testament of Youth (4 stars)”
Four years after the Battle of Gallipoli, Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey to find his three sons, who never returned home from the war. When he arrives in Istanbul, he meets others who have also suffered losses: hotelier Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) and her son, Orhan, who befriends Connor; and Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), a Turkish officer who fought against Connor’s sons and now may be their father’s only hope in finding closure.
My husband and I watched this on Saturday afternoon, Valentine’s Day weekend. I did not expect there to be a touching romance, but was pleasantly surprised to find one midst all the death Joshua persevered through in his search for his sons