Fun Facts Friday: Luigi Pirandello
Latest Posts / June 28, 2019

Luigi Pirandello (28 June, 1867 – 10 December, 1936) was a Nobel  Prize winning novelist, poet, and writer from Italy. Image from: http://www.theatrehistory.com/italian/pirandello001.html Works by Luigi Pirandello* 1)      Mr. Pirandello was born on the island of Sicily to an upper-class family involved in the Sulfur industry. 2)      During high school, Mr. Pirandello’s favorite poets were Giosuè Carducci and Arturo Graf, both Italian. 3)      In 1894 he married Antonietta Portulano in an arranged marriage. She was the daughter of a business associate of Mr. Pirandello’s father and gave the author financial independence. 4)      A landslide in 1903 shut down the sulfur mine which supplied the money for the Pirandello family. Almost overnight they became poor and Mr. Pirandello was forced to earn a living by writing and teaching Italian at a teacher’s college. 5)      Mrs. Pirandello suffered from mental illness and was extremely jealous of her husband. She was put in a sanatorium in 1919. The experience created the author’s characteristic work of the changeable personality in humans. 6)      Mr. Pirandello wrote over 50 plays. In 1923 a Paris production of the play Six Characters in Search of an Author  made him relatively well known. 7)      Together with another successful play, Henry IV, the author toured the world between 1925 – 1927 with his own theater…

Spotlight: Beau & Bett by Kathryn Berla
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / June 27, 2019

“Genuinely moving… An entertaining YA romance with multilayered charaters -a winner.” -Kirkus Reviews About the book: In a faraway land, Bettina Diaz lives in a shining castle . . . Okay, so she lives on a sprawling ranch in California, but close enough. Nicknamed “the Beast” at school, Bett has an infamous temper. And a secret. When Beau LeFrancois’s mother hits Bett’s luxury SUV, his family faces an impossibly large bill. To pay off the debt, Beau spends his weekends working on the Diaz Ranch. He’s prepared to work, but he’s not prepared for Bett’s harshness to melt away as he learns what’s behind her tough facade. Beau finds himself falling for her . . . until the day he catches her in a lie. About the author: Kathryn Berla likes to write in a variety of genres including light fantasy, contemporary literary fiction, and even horror. She is the author of the young adult novels: 12 Hours in Paradise, Dream Me, The House at 758, and Going Places. The Kitty Committee is her first novel written for adult readers. Kathryn grew up in India, Syria, Europe, and Africa. Her love for experiencing new cultures runs deep, and she gives into it whenever she can. She has been…

Book Review: The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
5 Stars , Fantasy , Fiction , Latest Posts / June 26, 2019

About: The Porpoise by Mark Haddon is a novel following three stories in different time periods, all with a common narrative.  Mr. Haddon is an award winning English novelist. 320 pages Publisher: Doubleday Language: English My rating for The Porpoise – 5 Buy The Porpoise from Amazon.com* More Books by Mark Haddon* Thoughts: According to the snippets I’ve read, The Porpoise by Mark Haddon is supposed to be a reworking of the story of Appolonius and  of William Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Since I didn’t read either of those works, I don’t have the background to say whether or not the author hits his mark, but I certainly enjoyed the book. This book should be read carefully and with attention, the author constructed the book in a very clever way which is easy to miss in an unconventional way. This is still, however, a strange book, it starts out very interesting, than to a point where you consider whether you want to even finish reading it, and by the end you’re hooked and enjoying the journey. Frankly, I’m not sure I understood everything the author meant to for me to understand, but in enjoyed the writing and the plot.  There is tragedy, justice, revenge and retribution…

Graphic Novel Review: Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy (the Sandman Universe) by Dan Watters

About: Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy (the Sandman Universe) by Dan Watters (illustrated by Max Fiumara and Sebastian Fiumara )expands on the expensive universe created by Neil Gaiman.  The Sandman is a series of comic books following Dream (Morpheus, among other aliases), and is one of the few graphic novels to grace the New York Times Best Seller list. 200 pages Publisher: Vertigo Language: English ISBN-10: 1401291333 My rating for Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy – 5 Buy Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy from Amazon.com* More Books by Dan Watters* Thoughts: This issue is supposed to be the second which tries to expand Neil Gaiman’s Sandman universe, I haven’t read any of the others (if they’re even out), but if Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy (the Sandman Universe) by Dan Watters (illustrated by Max Fiumara and Sebastian Fiumara) is any indication to how it’s going to be, I’ll make a point to do so. The world of Dreaming was introduced to me when I finally read Sandman, I wouldn’t think that other creators would be able to expand it (and honestly, why not?), but we’re all the better for it. The story starts in the middle, and uses lots of flashbacks to…

Fun Facts Friday: Jean-Paul Sartre
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / June 21, 2019

He was a practical joker during his time at Ecole Normale Supérieure, a school he was attending. Once he convinced the media that following his transatlantic flight, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh would stop at the school. Him and his classmates hired a lookalike, how walked in with the media behind him.

Book Review: The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer
4 Stars , Fantasy , Fiction , Latest Posts / June 19, 2019

About: The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer is a fantasy novel following two brothers, born in the mid-1300s, who jump forward 99 years for every day that passes. Dr. Mortimer is an award winning historian and novelist.  400 pages Publisher: Pegasus Books Language: English ISBN-10: 1681776162 My rating for The Outcasts of Time – 4 Buy The Outcasts of Time from Amazon.com* More Books by Ian Mortimer* Thoughts: I saw a recommendation on one of the book related groups I frequent regularly for The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer, the premise sounded very interesting so I picked it up. I really enjoyed seeing the world through alien eyes, all the wonders of the last 4 centuries which we take for granted seem as miracles. The book also reminds us that nothing is permanent, no matter how it looks at the moment. If I didn’t already know that Mr. Mortimer is a historian, I most likely would have guessed it. The book is filled with great concept and historical detail. Mr. Mortimer does a great job showing many aspects of change, and how they affect our travelers who see them through eyes without proper context or personal and societal historical reference. The story is…

Book Review: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

When most of us hear the name Leonardo da Vinci, we think of his paintings the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper. Others might think of The Vitruvian Man or his designs of early tanks and helicopter. Just like any other human beings, Leonardo da Vinci is more than a painter, engineer or weapon smith, and in this biography Walter Isaacson tries to figure out this complex genius.

Book Review: One Giant Leap by Charles Fishman
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / June 17, 2019

About: One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman tells the story of the Americans who fought tooth and nail to accomplish the task of sending me to the moon, and bringing them safely back to Earth. 480 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster Language: English ISBN-10: 1501106295 My rating for One Giant Leap – 5 Buy One Giant Leap from Amazon.com* More Books by Charles Fishman* Thoughts: I’ve read many books about the space program, not nearly as much as other enthusiasts, but enough to hold on to a simple conversation. Being that this year is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, an event which to me is still as exciting as it was back then, there is a lot of material, much of it new (to me) being published. I had no idea what to expect from One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman, I thought that it would be another book, rehashing to space program up to the mid-1970s, than complaining about the lack of advancement, than making a push for lunar exploration/meteor excavation/space tourism/Mars mission. What I got instead was a behind the scenes stories of…

Fun Facts Friday: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / June 14, 2019

Harriet Beecher Stowe (14 June, 1811 – 1 July, 1896) is an American author, known mostly for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin but she was an avid writer all of her life. Picture from Nation’s history is embedded in portrait of a famous writer – boston.com Books by Harriet Beecher Stowe* 1 ) Uncle Tom’s Cabin was originally slated to be a short series in an abolitionist magazine 2 ) Stowe was often criticized for not having firsthand knowledge of slavery. In response Stowe published A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin which revealed her sources. 3 ) After the American Civil War, Stowe bought a home in Florida and started schools for African American children. 4 ) It is said that Stowe danced in the streets when President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation. 5 ) When Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln he reported to have said: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” 6 ) Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold 300,000 copies. 7 ) In 1853 Stowe was welcomed in England as a literary hero. 8 ) In November 1857 Stowe was one of the original contributors to The Atlantic along with Ralph Waldo…

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