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text 2019-11-29 16:15
24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 - Veterans' / Armistice Day: Task 2

Here's hoping this year won't see any more authors' deaths, because too many of the great ones have already left us in 2019.  Those that stood out most to me:


Toni Morrison

(Feb. 18, 1931 – Aug. 5, 2019)

Toni MorrisonToni Morrison was the Nobel Prize-winning author of best-selling novels including Beloved, Song of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye.  She died at the age of 88.


Of all the great authors who died in 2019, she stood head and shoulders above the rest.  I reread her novel Beloved for Halloween Bingo and came away devastated and heartbroken all over again.  If you only ever read one book by Morrison, make it that one.  What a literary voice, and what an advocate for racial and gender equality the world has lost in her.



Judith Kerr

(June 14, 1923 – 22 May 2019)

Judith KerrJudith Kerr, who created the Mog picture books series, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and the semi-autobiographical When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, died at age 95.


Even before I had first seen the images of children gassed at Auschwitz, Kerr's book When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit brought home to child-age me that genocide and persecution stops at no-one -- rather, anybody, regardless how young, can become a victim.  once learned, it was a lesson I never forgot.



Herman Wouk

(May 27, 1915 – May 17, 2019)

Herman WoukHerman Wouk, who wrote the classic novel The Caine Mutiny, died at the age of 103, only 10 days before his 104th birthday.


What an age to have reached -- a true witness to a whole century!  I've yet to read more of his work (yeah, I know ...), but The Caine Mutiny was one of the first literary works to truly make me think about the nature of justice (and "justice" vs. "the administration of the law") ... and who could possibly not be left stunned with the gut-punch screen adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart?



Mary Oliver

(Sept. 10, 1935 – Jan. 17, 2019)

Mary OliverMary Oliver was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet beloved for her poems about nature and animal life. She died at the age of 83.


And instead of any further words, I'm just going to leave this here (I think BT may already have quoted it in her post for this task, too, but it definitely bears quoting twice):


Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.


(Task: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.)


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review 2015-12-29 17:37
Short gem of a book
Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author - Herman Wouk

I’m very excited about the release of this book by Herman Wouk on January 5th. Books such as “Marjorie Morningstar”, “Youngblood Hawke”, “Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance” will always have a special place in my heart.  I count them among the books that cemented my love of reading in my youth.  So to see a memoir, even such a short one, written by Mr. Wouk at the age of 100 is truly a joy.


Mr. Wouk starts off the book telling about his days as a writer for Fred Allen for radio programs where his humor was put to great use. That was back in the day when radio was at its height of popularity.  He talks about being influenced by the work of Mark Twain and Dumas, as well as his lost chance to do “Aurora Dawn” with Kurt Weil on Broadway.  He also details the writing of each of his books and it was fascinating to watch the development of such well-known characters and how the books came about.  He only touches here and there on his personal life and he says that bits of his life can be seen in his novels.  He mentions diaries that he has written over the years but they are to remain private.  This book is mostly about his work and his faith.


Even if you’re not familiar with Herman Wouk’s work, I think this book would appeal to those who enjoy reading about the publishing world and authors’ struggles. I do also recommend that you become acquainted with this author’s highly regarded masterpieces if you aren’t already.  You won’t regret a minute spent in the company of the literary world created by Herman Wouk.


This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley and Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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text 2015-11-13 23:04
An amazing literary start for 2016!!
Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author - Herman Wouk

I couldn't be more excited about this upcoming book.  Herman Wouk, one of my all-time favorite authors, is now 100 and has finally, finally written his autobiography. 


This book promises to not only tell about the fascinating life of this Pulitzer Prize winning author but also the inspirations that led him to write "The Caine Mutiny", "Marjorie Morningstar", "Youngblood Hawke", "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance", books that have all lived long in my heart and mind. 


2015 has been an amazing literary year with the release of "new" works by Ayn Rand, Harper Lee and Shirley Jackson.  How thrilling for 2016 to start off with actual new work by Mr. Wouk and to have it be his autobiography makes it even more special.


Can you tell I'm a little excited about this one?!  I truly, truly am!

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review 2014-09-21 00:00
The Caine Mutiny
The Caine Mutiny - Herman Wouk Well I was still in secondary school when I read this, but I imagine you'd have to carry extraordinary respect for military protocol if you're going to be horrified and confused by one mutiny. I seem to remember that the reason for the mutiny was given short shrift, although I can't remember what the reason was, but I'm reminded of the carpenter who was black-marked for eternity, stripped of his epaulets, etc. when he complained captain Shackleton wouldn't let his starving men keep up reserves of seal meat in Antarctica.
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review 2014-04-10 00:00
The Winds of War
The Winds of War - Herman Wouk 4.23668924
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