Themis-Athena and Murder by Death have stepped in to take on this little game! The fun begins on 11/1/17. Keep your eye on their blogs!
Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!
I blacked out my card on Dec. 19 using the "activity" entry for the Kwanzaa square, but since thereafter I did read a book set (partially) in Africa, too, here's my "bonus entry" post ... sorry for reporting in belatedly; blame it on BookLikes posting issues and a surfeit of things going on all at the same time in my life at present. :(
Not that it still seems to matter greatly to begin with, alas ... (sigh).
Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds) is a novelized biography of 19th century polymath and explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, who traveled widely in India, the Middle East and Africa, visiting Mecca (disguised as an Arab) and seeking -- partially successfully, though he didn't know it -- the source of the Nile (he did make it to Lake Victoria, but failed to confirm that the Nile actually does originate from there). He is best remembered today for his translation of The 1001 Nights.
Interesting, though quite obviously largely fictitious insights into a fascinating life, and a voyage back through time to the Orient, Africa, and British Empire of the 19th century.
Snow Globes: Reads
I found this memoir less compelling than Night, but still a chilling picture of the buildup to transport and the difficulties facing the survivors beyond the immediate aftermath of liberation.
Audiobook, performed by the author, who reads with such emotion that I was at times moved to tears.
“Wherever my life took me, a part of me would remain in that street in front of my empty house, awaiting the order to depart. I see my little sister. I see her with her rucksack, so cumbersome, so heavy. I see her and an immense tenderness sweeps over me. Never will her innocent smile fade from my soul, never will her glance cease to sear me. I tried to help her. She protested. Never will the sound of her voice leave my heart. She was thirsty, My little sister was thirsty. Her lips were parched, pearls of sweat formed on her clear forehead. “I can wait,” she said, smiling. My little sister wanted to be brave, and I wanted to die in her place. I seldom speak of her in my writing, for I dare not. My little sister with her sunbathed golden head is my secret.”
For the Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season book challenge, Task the Sixth: The Hanukkah (Let the dreidel choose a book for you: create a list of four books, and assign a dreidel symbol to each one (Nun = miracle; Gimel = great; He = happened; Shin = there, i.e. Israel). Google "spin the dreidel," and a dreidel comes up for you to spin. Give it a spin and read the book that the dreidel chooses!)
I rarely read poetry because I have difficulty connecting with it. But this collection, on audio, is performed by the author herself, and hearing it in her own voice is profoundly moving. It gave me the opportunity to experience some of her less widely known work. Some of my favorites:
I was also delighted to hear her actually sing parts of several spirituals that were the inspiration for the poem she wrote for Clinton’s inauguration.
Audiobook version, on CD (ISBN 0375420177), that I purchased on a sale rack years ago. Looking it up online just now in hopes of getting some audio samples to link to, I was amazed at the prices, but it looks as though it’s commonly available at public libraries, per WorldCat.
For the Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season book challenge, Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa (Read a book written by an African-American author or set in an African country
I love this story so much that I revisit it every year at the start of the holiday season. I love everything about it, from the characters to the story to the writing style. Dickens writes with sly humor, but there is no mistaking the gravity of his argument about the spirit of Christmas and those who pervert its lessons.
"There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us, and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."
And of Ignorance and Want, those children of Man:
"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.
"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"
This is the audio version, read by Tim Curry, who is an excellent reader, though the version with Jim Dale’s performance is even better.
For the Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season book challenge, Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl (Read a book set in the UK, preferably during the medieval or Victorian periods)