It’s official–I’ve become a Whovian. But, really, what’s not to like about an alien who can regenerate and (in one form) thinks bow ties are cool?
In a world gone a little mad–many people becoming more and more self-serving and narcissitic, or obsessed with narcissistic celebrities, it is refreshing to have a character who tries to live honorably and help others. The Doctor is an egotistical and flawed character, but he is still motivated by a desire to help people and show them the beauty of the universe.
It certainly helps that the show has a lot of wit, intelligence, and humor. I think, however, that one thing I like most about the character of the Doctor is his willingness to be an extreme individual–he stands out because he doesn’t mind standing out. He’s unique, and he attracts unique people who work with him. In a world obsessed with fitting in, it’s nice to have a hero who doesn’t care about such ridiculous things. After all, you never know when you’ll meet someone named Alonso, so you can say “Allons-y, Alonso!” And bow ties are cool.
I have been bad at updating regularly. I started teaching a class that I had to develop, so that took up a lot of time. However, things seem to be getting a little more “normal” now, so I hope to update more.
A random thought did occur to me, and I thought I’d get some input. I am currently reading three books at one time. Okay, not exactly simultaneously, but I am in various stages of three different books. How many of you read that way? How many of you are strictly a “one book at a time” person?
Perhaps the real question is this–Is one way of reading (several books or only one) better than the other? I don’t have an answer, other than to say that I’ve always been able to read several books and keep them straight in my head. This was useful in college when it often seemed that I had a mountain of books to read every semester. Please, weigh in with your opinions. I’d be glad to see them!
In case you’re interested, the three books I’m reading are Maigret and the Lazy Burglar by Georges Simenon, A Chain of Thunder by Jeff Shaara, and What W.H. Auden Can do for You by Alexander McCall Smith.
Marissa Moss published a young adult novel last fall, and it lands in the genre of historical fiction. The title is A Soldier’s Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, A Civil War Hero.
The book, obviously, is about the Civil War era, and particularly Sarah Edmonds, who pretended to be a man and joined the Union army. The book does take some liberty with facts–as any dramatization does–but bases most of the information on journals of soldiers who fought with Edmonds.
It is an intriguing story, and one that parents and children might both enjoy. It is a refreshing break from all of the YA books about monsters and vampires and other paranormal entities. It is fast-paced and easy to read, and incorporates real American history.
I would recommend Moss’s A Soldier’s Secret. It deals with an fascinating aspect of American history in an engaging manner.
1. “It’s a fez. I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool.”
2. “The last time I underestimated a puppy, I wound up in the pokey!”
3. “No, crazy is walking down the street with half a cantaloupe on your head, muttering ‘I’m a hamster, I’m a hamster.’”
4. “Of course I’m not crying, I’m British!”
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat was published in 1951 and is called “The classic novel of the North Atlantic in World War II.” Monsarrat served in the Royal Navy during WWII, so I’m sure a lot of the book is based on his experiences.
The Cruel Sea is about the British Navy in WWII and how they tried, and in the beginning mostly failed, to protect convoys of merchant ships from German U-boats. It can be pretty horrifying at times, especially the descriptions of how many soldiers and merchant sailors drowned when their ships were torpedoed.
It is a slow-starting book, since a fair amount deals with new ships being fitted and sailors learning new jobs. However, it is quite fascinating in the depiction of sea life during WWII, and how low the survival rate was for any of the sailors. It is not quite as compelling of a read as, say Unbroken, but in that book the focus is on one man, whereas in The Cruel Sea there are many more characters.
The Cruel Sea is a book well worth reading, especially for anyone who enjoys history, topics of WWII, and naval issues.
I know it’s been a while since I last updated, but I did not fall off the face of the planet! It has been a busy summer, though, and I have failed to update as much as I should have. But here is a new quote quiz!
1. “Y’know what the Talmud says? When someone’s comin’ to kill ya, get up early, kill ‘em first.” - Artie, Warehouse 13
2. “I was saved! I was saved by a flying wild man in a loincloth.” - Jane, Tarzan
3. “Trouble in paradise. 2 o’clock.” - “Wait, your 2 o’clock or my 2 o’clock?” - Dr. House and Dr. Wilson, House, MD
4. “Mary Elizabeth is a nice person underneath the parts of her that hate everybody.” - Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
5. “We synthesized a serum from his super blood. Tell me, are you feeling homicidal, power-mad, despotic?” - “No more than usual.” - Bones and Kirk, Star Trek: Into Darkness
Young Adult fiction writer Maureen Johnson has a new series set in London (hence the series title of “Shades of London”). The first book, The Name of the Star, has been nominated for an Edgar Award.
What I found interesting about both The Name of the Star and its sequel The Madness Underneath were that they are set in England, but are from the point of view of an American. In fact, the main character, Rory, is from Louisiana, and suffers a lot of culture shock when she decides to try an English boarding school for a year.
The main conflict of the first book, The Name of the Star is that what seems to be a Jack the Ripper copycat is on the loose in London, and Rory gets drawn into trying to solve the mystery surrounding the murderer.
Although I found parts of the plot to be quite predictable, the characters were interesting, and the books were well-written. Both books in the series are worth reading, especially for younger readers.
1. “We’re not hit! We’re not hit! Stop side-seat driving!” – Steven Hiller, Independence Day
2. “A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere, or a cataclysmic earthquake, I’d accept with some despair. But no, You sent us Congress! Good God, Sir, was that fair?” – John Adams, 1776
3. Shouldn’t we call for backup or something? - ”Makes too much sense.” – Matt Farrell and John McClane, Live Free or Die Hard
4. “Aim small, miss small.” – Benjamin Martin, The Patriot
1. “I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…” – Ron Burgundy, Anchorman
2. “If you don’t let me, I’ll never learn.” – “But if I let you, you might not live.” – Jane and Dan, Dan in Real Life
3. “If I’ve done wrong I’m dying for it.” – Cathy Linton, Wuthering Heights
4. “Now what you have to understand, Bobby, is that three bad shots and one good shot still make par. You see, golf is the game of recovery.” – Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
1. “Surely you can walk to the barn without that.” – “What?” – “The gun!” – “Oh, well, it balances me. One leg’s longer than the other. You know, the weight.” – Quirt and Penelope, Angel and the Badman
2. “Of course I love bananas, I’m a monkey! Don’t be ridiculous!” – Finley, Oz the Great and Powerful
3. “Once again, this whole broadcast has been brought to you by Sand – it’s everywhere, get used to it.” – Genie, Aladdin and the King of Thieves
4. “As you yourself agreed – they must adapt.” – “Must they adapt, sir, to the point of their own extermination?” – Henry Dawes and Charles Eastman, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee