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review 2018-03-28 22:33
A great study of the Celtic Revival and the visual arts
The Rediscovery of Ireland's Past: The Celtic Revival, 1830-1930 - Jeanne Sheehy

As a force fueling the development of an Irish national identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Celtic Revival proved an important movement in modern Irish history.  Yet with such luminaries as William Butler Yeats and J. M. Synge among its leading figures, the literary expression of the movement has overshadowed its other elements.  In this book, art historian Jeanne Sheehy seeks to provide a more complete understanding of the Revival by examining its impact on the visual arts of the era.


Sheehy begins by tracing the origins of the movement to the developing interest in history throughout Europe in the early nineteenth century, particularly in medieval history.  This fueled the first significant study of Irish antiquities, particularly those of the Celtic and early Christian (pre-English) eras.  These discoveries generated a growing respect for Ireland’s cultural heritage, one neglected by elites in recent centuries who sought to identify themselves more closely to English culture.  Now Irish emblems such as the shamrock and the harp became symbols of Irish pride, and were seized upon by activists such as those in the Young Ireland movement as badges of identity.


Sheehy chronicles this development with a sure command of the artistic developments of the era.  She notes the reflection of the movement in the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the era, demonstrating how the Revival was reflected in nearly every field of artistry.  Though she concludes that a distinctively Irish style failed to develop from the Revival, she nonetheless identifies several threads of development that demonstrate the importance of the Revival to Irish art from the era.  Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated, and well-written, this is a valuable study of its subject, one that offers an added dimension to studying the interaction between culture and nationalism in modern Irish history. 

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review 2016-04-28 00:00
The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith
The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith - Cordwainer Smith,James A. Mann I had never heard of Cordwainer Smith aka Paul Linebarger until I was introduced to the SF Masterworks list. The stories in this book are all part of Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind universe in the extreme far future. In this universe deep space interstellar travel is painful to man and drives him insane and the Instrumentality controls all things humankind keeping everyone happy and healthy. Underpeople, animals developed into human-like form, do all menial labor. Mankind is for all intents and purposes immortal through the use of stroon, a drug from the planet Old North Australia (Norstrilia). Dune anyone?

Then the Instrumentality discovers that they have done their job too well. Mankind is slowly going insane because the Instrumentality has made them too safe and happy. So the Instrumentality re-introduces ancient diseases, cultures, languages, etc. and implements a maximum age limit. Thus the Rediscovery of Man.

With the exception of the novel Norstrilia, which is definitely on my too read list, this book includes all of Smith's writings. If these stories are any indication, I really wish he had produced more. I highly recommend these stories to anyone!

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review 2015-11-17 05:59
What the Heart Remembers
What the Heart Remembers: Memory House Collection, Book Three (Memory House Series 3) - Bette Lee Crosby
Memory House Collection #3
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Publication Date:  11/17/2015
Format: e-book 
My Rating:  5 Stars 


A special thank you to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My favorite cover in the Memory Collection.

Annie, Oliver, and Ophelia return with old friends, and familiar faces from previous books, orchestrated by Southern storyteller,Bette Lee Crosby with another story "from the heart" with Memory House #3, WHAT THE HEART REMEMBERS —a place of old memories, a past, new memories, expectations, a life journey.

Bette always takes you on a magical, enchanting adventure, with a hidden message, (sprinkled with romance), assured to warm your heart and spirit. The journey may be rocky, and hard to climb; however, the end destination is worth the while. From the stunning front cover. A mysterious suitcase. Magical Paris. A past. A special tea. Connections. Memories. Second Chances. Life chapters. Baggage. New Romance. And a suitcase yet to be unpacked.

What if the suitcase represents where you put your past memories. Or where you close behind the bad, to make room for future dreams?

"Finding the memories left behind by other people, is like opening Pandora’s Box. There is simply no way of telling the good from the bad, until you are holding it in your hand, and it may too late," as we have seen from past books.

We pick from the previous book- Oliver could not remember the days he spent in the coma—when he heard Annie reading from his dad’s book, he started to remember. Annie helped him and she remembers for him. She had faith and persistence. After the accident that nearly took Oliver’s life, a fear has settled in her heart, as she always worries.

She has much to be excited about. She is planning a New Year’s Eve party at Memory House, with friends as close as family. In addition, a baby on the way for Annie and Oliver-- Ophelia is over the moon, predicting a girl.

Annie has a best friend, Max in need of assistance. She does not wish for her friend to continue hurting over some lost loser guy. (like her own experience with Michael). As she knows all to well, you cannot see the problem until you have the courage to walk way, and possibly again when they come begging saying they will change. Max is stuck in the past. Julien is not a part of her life; however, he is in her heart, keeping her from having a life.

It is time for Ophelia and Annie to work their magic! Ophelia Brown is ninety-one-year-old, a miracle in itself. She had expected to be long gone. She spent most of her ninetieth year waiting to die. Now she wishes she had the year back. Instead of worrying about dying. She could be celebrating the fact she was still living.

Expectations. You imagine something will be one way, and it turns out differently, you’re disappointed. When she Ophelia left the Memory House, she expected to leave other people’s memories behind. She thought giving Annie the house meant all the magic would go with it, but she was wrong. Annie has her own magic. Different than hers.

Simple memories. The saddest memories are the ones that will not let go. The kind Annie’s friend Maxine carries around day and night. Max thinks those memories are happy, but they are not. Handsome men with flashy smiles blind a girl to the truth, and that’s what has happened to her. She needs to find a way to rid herself of those memories. All because of her expectations. Is she blind to something new which could come her way?

Three years ago Max Martinelli, left Paris and returned to America. She thought and Julien Marceau would follow a month or two later. It did not go as expected. She spent her junior year of college in beautiful Paris- a city which draws you back.

Now, it is New Years, Eve, 2014 and Max recalls the New Year’s Eve in Paris. A New Year. New dreams. She is determined to return to Paris, and search for Julien. A man she has not heard from since leaving Paris. Was he her destiny? She closes her mind to new possibilities. Her friend Annie discouraged her. Max needs to know if he was the love of her life; her future – if not, she would move on with her life. Close the door, on those Paris memories and concentrate on her future. Julien has a way of taking and not giving. (for sure)!

Max has expectations. Marriage, family, work. Julien is not a part of this world. Max wonders what happened to him? She is on her way to Paris. She has pictured how they will meet again and he will return with her to America.

Did he steal three years of her life, and possibly more? One disaster after another. How could she be so foolish? When she decides it will cost her too much for another plane ticket, she decides to stay the week. A heart cannot learn to heal until it knows it’s been broken. She can try to replace the painful memories with better ones. Will she be weak and pulled back into the lies of deceit, or stronger this time around?

A stranger. An acquaintance. A friend of a friend. Her wallet has been stolen. She has been robbed. She needs money. A miracle worker. A surprise. She feels ridiculous, why she came to Paris. Little does she know what she will uncover?

Max wants to try and find her memories and live them. Some doors are better left closed. Her heart remembers what it does but, Max soon learns that her heart can make new memories, too.

“Overcoming unrealistic expectation is almost impossible without some sort of help, but that’s something people need to find for themselves. The tea of truth. To enable a person to make wise decisions. The traveler’s tea. Some people do not want to know the truth. They go through life with expectations. The truth gets in the way. Sometimes simply having a belief in something is all a person needs.” Ophelia

With some special memorable surprises for Annie and Oliver, as well as Ophelia, and a peak into the next chapter of memories with Cheryl. Ophelia knows the details will come soon. Leading us to Memory House #4 Baby Girl.

“Nothing in this life is guaranteed. Nothing. The things you love are like the puffs of a dandelion weed; they grown wild and happen as they will. You pluck a dandelion puff from the ground and hold on to it thinking you own it, but when the wind blows it’s gone and all you can do is stand there looking at the emptiness of your hand.“

There can be no us until her heart has rid of him.

Since the days of Forrest Gump, “My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”– Forrest.

There is always a suitcase of new memories, and a box of chocolates waiting somewhere. However, sometimes we look in all the wrong places, when it may be in front of us. What are the memories we carry each day? The past, present, and future. No matter the suitcase. There are decisions. A path. A choice. What do you want to put in your suitcase? There is limited space in our life suitcase. Our heart often remembers or hangs on to something-never meant to be. A past. Clouding our path for new experiences.

A quote comes to mind: "Good memories are lighter. Easier to carry. Troublesome memories are heavier. They wear you down. If you pack too much from your past, you will not allow enough room for your future."

If you have not read the other books in the series, highly recommend--a box of treasures. Thank you Bette, for another special memorable thought-provoking journey. No one can tell a story like Bette! As always, I find myself bookmarking numerous pages with stunning prose and quotes, with characters, lingering in your thoughts, until their next welcoming visit.

Ironically, WHAT THE HEART REMEMBERS, is a special book, with its timing. Taking us to Paris, representative of the good and the bad, as we continue to pray for those in need, in light of the most recent tragedy.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!What-the-Heart-Remembers/cmoa/56380f630cf2c322b4911f78
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review 2015-08-27 02:40
The Middle of Somewhere
The Middle of Somewhere - Sonja Yoerg
ISBN: 9780451472144
Publisher: NAL/Penguin
Publication Date: 9/01/2015 
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 Stars  
A special thank you to Penguin and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Talented Sonja Yoerg returns following her smashing debutHouse Broken with impressive and complex, THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE --an exploration of intense emotions on the road to rediscovery, forgiveness, and love.

A gripping tale of facing the past. An unknown wilderness, mixed with temptations, fears, doubts, betrayal, anger, and evil (life), its obstacles, and complexities; storms, winds, hills, valleys, and darkness.

A journey, to a clearer path, a trail, uncluttered, leading to the light, clarity— a compelling journey to honesty, acceptance, forgiveness, redemption, by taking a step outside your comfort zone, conquering fears of the past, holding us back -- in order to embrace the future, and all that is waiting, for the taking; by simply reaching out, trusting.

Told from Liz’s point of view, written with engaging literary prose, and stunning metaphors, Yoerg takes readers on an amazing journey with an array of emotions of loss, fear, love, and hope, as she guides with vivid descriptions, a nature backdrop setting; an adventure – both physically and mentally, running parallel.

The characters we meet, the other hikers along the John Muir Trail; have a purpose. We will learn how each person along the trail will play a role in the overall novel. A transformation of Liz, a rediscovery, a life lesson. Can Liz and Dante peel back the layers to discover real love, their true selves, and let go of the past, holding them back?

At times, a trail is not wide enough for two, and someone has to remain behind, or make room for the other. Sometimes life is like an elevator, we have to let some people off on our way up.

Meet Liz Kroft, age 29-years old, a sharp engineer, with a rocky past in the relationship department. She is complex, and insecure about her choices, her past, and her future. She does not trust anyone, much less herself. She wants to escape, she yearns for solitude, to take her secrets and sins with her ---to bury deep inside the forest. A hike is perfect for her mood and her survival from life's storms. She longs to do it alone. She does not want anyone to accompany her, especially Dante.

She was excited about planning her solo trip, hiking the John Muir Trail, the planning, and research restored her calm, as she studied the weather patterns, the emergency provisions, and the logistics of resupply. She immersed herself in backpacking blogs and books about the trail, taking her mind off her problems.

She never fears 18-days of backpacking through an unknown forest, yet she fears her own feelings, her doubts, her sins, insecurities, and Dante’s love.

Liz was married in the past to Gabriel. What started out wonderful, ended in betrayal. Then there was Dante. There is tension, conflict between the two. As he gets closer, she backs away. Has she made a mistake? He cannot learn the things she has done. She is shamed by her actions. He surely will not love her when he learns the truth.

Dante follows her, even though he is not passionate about hiking; however, he is afraid he will lose Liz, unless he goes along, and tries to fit in. There is tension, stress, and obstacles along the way as they try and survive, not only the journey, but their relationship.

We learn about Liz’s past, her parents, her childhood—where Liz learned to keep her own company. When she was tired of her books and toys she would disassemble household objects; hence, her bio-medical-engineering passion.

From past to present a beautifully written and well-researched novel. When fear itself, may be bigger than the wolf we are hiding from. Liz and Dante must face haunting emotional challenges, and at the same time the often treacherous terrain of the wilderness.

Reminiscent of some of my favorites: Charles Martin The Mountain Between Us, Wiley Cash This Dark Road to Mercy, T. Greenwood The Forever Bridge , Tim Johnston Descent, Allen Eskens The Life We Bury , Catherine Ryan Hyde Take Me With You, Christopher Scotton The Secret Wisdom of the Earth and Richard Paul Evans The Walk Series ; with the outdoor mountain wilderness setting, and the deep human emotional dynamics which connect---a compelling, deeply moving, and emotional rich journey.

Ideal for book clubs and further discussions with many, what ifs, and a wide range of perspectives. Sonja includes some great discussion questions to jump start your group. Well Done. Can't wait to see what's next! An author to follow.

On a Personal Note:
As an avid hiker, cycler, and an outdoor enthusiast, I love solitude. Give me a backpack, water, books, and a trail in the wilderness for the next 20 hrs, and I am in heaven. Nothing better than the great outdoors to offer a new perspective. I find solace in the dark wooded areas, the mysterious trees,the quiet, the dampness, the rich earth, streams, waterfalls, surrounded by God’s beautiful nature. Given a mountain, hiking or bike trail - I am a happy camper.
Of course, I prefer a quaint log cabin with a swing in the middle of the woods, when spending the night, versus a tent. Love to spend days hiking alone and cycling through 300 miles of trails. (however, I do take books along) to keep me company. To me the quiet time hiking on a mountain, or cycling, helps me recharge, more so than a day at a luxury spa. Those late nights stranded alone in total darkness in thunderstorms, with 4 or 5 hrs to go --not so relaxing. As you see, I made it out alive more than once.
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Middle-of-Somewhere/cmoa/557f44a80cf2eb01de3ec735
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review 2013-04-11 00:00
The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh - David Damrosch I should have a shelf for books about books. I love those. This is a book about a great book. I might read it.
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