Archive for June, 2009

June 24th, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge 2009

by Gwen

  • Challenge: Summer Reading Challenge 2009
  • Start date: June 21, 2009
  • Finish date: September 21, 2009Hosted By: A Southern Daydreamer Reads

    Here is my latest reading list for the challenge:

    1. Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac

    2. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

    3. Countdown by Iris Johansen

    4. Act One by Moss Hart

    5. The Octopus by Frank Morris

    6. A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter

    7. Killjoy by Julie Garwood

    8. Freud A Life for Our Time by Peter Gay

    I am sure that I will be adding to this list, but it is so nice to get involved in this challenge. Often, reading is such a solitary hobby and I love to share!

  • Rules:

    1. Make a list of books you want to read this summer.
    2. Write a post with your list on your blog. (You can add to or change this list at any time during the challenge)
    3. Please post the direct link to your Summer Reading Challenge 2009 post. (so that other participants can visit and see what you are reading)
    4. You can write another post in September to let everyone know how you did.

    June 8th, 2009

    Did you hear the one about the three-fingered pitcher? Crazy ’08- a review

    by Gwen


    Okay, I admit it, I don’t have a punch line for that one. Cait Murphy’s book, Crazy ’08, will keep you entertained and then some though. Yes, it centers on the turbulent and see saw baseball season of 1908, but it gives you so much more. The early 1900’s weren’t just baseball’s coming of age, it was also when America was coming of age as well.

    Think about it, in 1908 ……
    *Henry Ford produces his first Model T automobile.
    *There was no radio, at least not in the sense that you could listen to ballgames
    *The first year that the ball was dropped from Times Square, signaling the New Year.
    *Frenchman Henri Farman pilots the first passenger flight.
    *Teddy Roosevelt is President.
    *Robert Perry Arrives at The North Pole
    *First True Skyscraper Built

    A lot was going on, yet half of the country was glued to newspapers, ticker tapes and just plain word of mouth to see how their team was doing. Boy, were they in for a ride. With spitballs still legal, metal cleats being used as weapons, tool sheds out in the in fields, players that spent the off season working as miners, dentists, bar owners and more, baseball is nothing like the sport that we know now. It was still sewing it’s oats, trying to entice women fans and just plain trying to become respectable. The players give it their all, playing multiple games a day, battling hoodoo curses, getting to know their equipment and themselves.

    Crazy ’08 brings you ringside…..make that baseline side. You will find yourself rooting for the game, the shenanigans, the future and more. You don’t have to be a fan of baseball, just a fan of history and America to enjoy it. I found myself glued to it, rooting them on. It was gripping non fiction, two terms that seldom go together!

    And just in case you were wondering…..There was actually a pitcher with three fingers. He was Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and he was a good pitcher and entertaining philosopher.

    Crazy ’08
    Cait Murphy

    * ISBN-10: 0060889381
    * ISBN-13: 978-0060889388

    400 pages
    $14.95 List

    June 5th, 2009

    Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land by Nina Burleigh

    by Gwen

    There are some non fiction books that you learn from and make you a better contestant on Jeopardy and then there are non fiction books that really make you ponder and question how you, yourself, see and think about things. Unholy business is one of the later and a pretty good one at that.

    Nina Burleigh’s book traces the tale of the James Ossuary and the trial that is still under way. An ossuary is a limestone box for containing bones and the James Ossuary has an inscription that when translated reads, “”James son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus”. This may not seem important until you think about it for a minute. If authentic, it could be the first archaeological evidence for the historical existence of Jesus.

    Biblical archeology is not the Indiana Jones type archeology that you usually picture. It is awash with hucksters, moral dilemmas and more. After all, you are not just studying history, you are sifting through time and a subject which many hold near and dear to their hearts and minds. Wars are fought over the differing opinions of religion and the archeologists are locked in the struggle as well. For every person that is looking to prove that what is in the bible actually happened, there is someone that wants to prove that it is all fiction or that their religion is the only “true” religion and of course, there are those that are just wanting to make a buck with the whole situation.

    The people that Burleigh interviewed for her book came from all sides and by doing so, she gives you an amazing picture of not only the illegal trade in objects, but of biblical archeology as a whole. Unholy Business made for some interesting discussions at my house and we are not what I would call religious. If you are, it just may make you look at your faith from a new angle.

    Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land
    by Nina Burleigh

    Hardcover: 288 pages
    Publisher: Collins (October 21, 2008)
    ISBN-10: 0061458457
    ISBN-13: 978-0061458453
    Amazon: $18.15 new