October 26th, 2010


# 65 My Antonia

My Antonia

Willa Cather

My Antonia is difficult to summarize for several reasons. It is not plot-driven by any means. It is, rather, a portrait; or many portraits.

It is the portrait of a lovely, strong, young immigrant girl as she grows into a strong Midwest farm woman. Her story is told through the eyes of Jim, a younger boy who reveres her.

It is also the coming-of-age story of Jim, himnself, as he grows and moves on from farm, to town, to university.

The main character, though, is the Nebraska prairie. It is as vital a part of the characters as the lungs with which they breathed in the pure country air in their youth.

I loved My Antonia. It immediately became a favorite of mine.

The writing was stunning. The language was clear and simple, yet masterfully conveyed an exquisite portrait of a beautiful landscape, and the strength, courage and simplicity of the people who ventured to wrest a living from that landscape.

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I finished a couple of books, today, both Osprey books.

The first one done was Osprey Warrior #124: Teutonic Knight 1190 - 1561, which was fair. It has some good illustrations in it.

Then, next was Osprey Fortress #83: Roman Auxiliary Forts 27 BC - AD 376 which I found to be more interesting, with lots of artwork of active fortifications. Nice.

No. 43 for 2010

Title: No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days
Author: Chris Baty
Rating: 5/5
Book: 43/50 (86% completed)
Pages: 172 pgs
Total Pages 15,828/15,000 pages
Next up: Still reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

I found this book really helpful! It is full of good tips to keep you going during the month of November as you work your way through NanoWriMo. Baty has an awesome sense of humour and there was times during the book that I was laughing. What I love most about this book is that it makes the whole project of writing 50,000 words in a month seem less terrifying. I am glad I read this book before NanoWriMo. I now feel prepared for the month ahead.

xposted to 50bookchallenge, 15000pages and bookworm84

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Today was Economic Education Day, and I wanted something to read on the train to the meeting in Chicago. Kenneth C. Davis's America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation got the nod, and it earned an enthusiastic Book Review No. 24. You've got to like a book that offers chapters titled "Isabella's Pigs" or "Warren's Toga" or "Arnold's Boot". It gets you from 1492 to the ratification of the Constitution, but it argues that the path was neither as predetermined nor as uplifting as more cheerful versions of that history would have you believe. The professionals might quibble that the incidents and people selected were cherry-picked, or their importance exaggerated, or the explanations or the parallels to today reductive or simplistic. Never mind all that, it's great entertainment. Write the critical review or the incisive and detailed evaluation some other time. I won't spill too much information, but there were Protestant dissenters with a commission to set up a colony in the New World long before 1607, and those pigs were very useful, both at identifying Jews and Moslems, and at bringing the pox and the swine flu to the colonies.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)