Friday, March 27, 2015

Beginning ~ with a snowmobile ride

Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole ~ by Dr. Jerri Nielsen, 2001, memoir (Antarctica)
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, October 16, 1999.  Today I take my last snowmobile ride in Antarctica — from the ice-crusted dome where I have lived for eleven months, to the edge of an airfield plowed out of the drifting snow.  Normally I could walk the distance in a few minutes, but I am too weak.
So what's this book about?
Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth.  The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero — with no way in or out before the spring.  During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast.  Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October.  What ensued was a daring rescue by the Air National Guard, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

BTT (#46) ~ carrier

Deb's question for today's Booking Through Thursday:
Do you carry a book around with you?  Inside the house?  Whenever you go out?  Always, everywhere, it’s practically glued to your fingers?  (And yes, digital books very much DO count as long as you’re spending time reading on your Kindle or iPad and not just loading them with books that you never actually read.)
Yes, I usually have a book with me, something to read if I'm stuck waiting for someone.  Next week, I am scheduled to take a friend for oral surgery, so I know I'll need to have a book with me there.  I don't always take along a book when (for example) I'm meeting someone for lunch, since I also enjoy people watching and spending time pondering life's imponderables.  But when I expect long waits, I always take along something to read.  For that, I'd choose a book with short chapters or maybe a magazine that could be put aside when the person arrives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TWO more books ~ old and older

A Man of My Words: Reflections on the English Language ~ by Richard Lederer, 2003, language
Popular author and speaker Richard Lederer is one of the foremost and funniest commentators on the pleasures and quirks of the English language.  In this far-ranging and career-capping collection of essays, Lederer offers readers more of the irrepressible wordplay and linguistic high jinx his fans can't get enough of, along with observations on a life in letters.  From an inner-city classroom to a wordy weekend retreat, from centuries-old etymological legacies to the latest in slang, dialects, and fadspeak, these essays transport, inform, and entertain as only wordstruck Richard Lederer can.  Iluminating everything from secrets of the writing life to the last word on the pronunciation of nuclear and offering his thoughts on "Sex and the Singular Pronoun" and an open letter to Ann Landers (signed "English Lover in San Diego"), along with games, quizzes, and a Declaration of Linguistic Independence, this collection has something for everyone who delights in our language.
The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure ~ by James Redfield, 1993, fiction
In the rain forests of Peru, an ancient manuscript has been discovered.  Within its pages are nine key insights into life itself — insights each human being is to grasp sequentially; one insight, then another, as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on earth.   Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your life right now and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come.  The story of discovery is also a guidebook with the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimisim as you head into tomorrow.
I read the Celestine Prophecy a couple of decades ago and am only re-reading it to discuss it with a small group.  It's a library book, but Lederer's book of essays on words and language is mine, all mine.  It was on the library's sale table for a quarter.  Don't you love finding books for practically nothing?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Proper prepositions?

Knock knock.
Who's there?
To who?
No, to whom.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Beginning ~ battle morning

1014: Brian Boru and the Battle for Ireland ~ by Morgan Llywelyn, 2014, history (Ireland), 9/10
Battle morning!  A warrior spirit thrills to those words.  This day might see the greatest battle of all, the one which a man will remember for the rest of his life.  He can tell the story over and over again to his grandchildren and warm his cold bones by the fire of their admiration.  He may even become a legend.

Battle morning!
On St. Patrick's Day, a mere three days ago, I posted a link on Facebook about "The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools."  My Irish-surnamed friend Kathryn thanked me for the article, and then a couple of hours later she commented:  "With this article you have transported me for hours, Bonnie.  Now I have downloaded a book!"  The book Kathryn got was 1014: Brian Boru and the Battle for Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn.  I ordered it, UPS delivered it yesterday evening, and it's intriguing enough that I read half of it before going to sleep last night.  Here's a summary of this book:
The date was Good Friday, April 23rd in the Year of Our Lord 1014.  The most ferocious battle ever fought in Ireland was about to begin.  In the three decades since Morgan Llyweyln wrote the bestselling novel Lion of Ireland, she has studied the legendary life of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland.  Often dismissed as a mythical figure, as all the known facts about him are contained within the several Irish annals.  But thirty years of research have led Llyweyln to conclude with certainty that Brian Boru actually lived, a great battle took place in 1014, and Ireland won.  Read about the life of Brian Boru and the battle that changed the course of Irish history in this exciting and accessible account.  Brings the Battle of Clontarf to life as never before, with a novelist's sense of narrative and a historian's sense of accuracy.  This is the most accessible account ever of this famous battle.
When I finish this nonfiction, I guess I'll just have to get Lion of Ireland, her bestselling novel.  She such a good writer.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lethal ideas

"Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them.  Ignorance is not bliss, it's stupid.   Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them."
— Anna Quindlen

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The O'Potamus clan

The entire O'Potamus clan sends St. Patrick's Day greetings through Sandra Boynton, who posted this on Facebook when the clock struck midnight in Ireland.