6000 years old: James Usser (1581-1656) decided to calculate the age of the earth. He went way back to the "beginning" in the Bible and used all kinds of calculations. He was very meticulous. He used over 2000 pieces of paper and it took him 10 years to figure it out. In 1650 he came to a conclusion: "Earth was formed on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC...around lunchtime." Nevermind that he was over 4 billion years off. He became known as the first geologist. In 1703 the Church of England printed Usser's dates in the margin of the updated Bible. From that point on many Christians have thought Usser's numbers were actually from God. In fact, Gideon's Bibles were also printed with this date up until 1978. Some misinformation really dies hard. (From the book: The First Dinosaur by Ian Lendler.)
"I want to finish my book before I die": My mother's dear friend had a small stroke this past week. She told her family that she didn't want to die, though she was ready, until she finished the book she was reading. It was too good to miss the ending. A few days later she had a bigger stroke which rendered her uncommunicative. Her family made sure to read the ending of the book aloud to her anyway. I sure hope she could hear them. She died yesterday in peace.
Snow-what?: The weather forecasters made sure we all were prepared for the worst: Snow, wind, freezing temperatures. When the snow arrived it amounted to less than two inches. I think one night the temperatures did fall below freezing, but just barely. Now we are back to regular winter weather: rain.
No reviews: This is the first time I have participated as a round two judge for the Cybils book award. After reading my first of eleven finalist books, I wrote a nice review and posted it here on my blog. Umm...That was a problem. Apparently, even though Cybils are awarded by book bloggers, we are NOT supposed to publish our reviews of the finalists until after the awards are announced on Feb. 14th. Not sure why, especially since I didn't say anything like "I will for sure vote against this book." Nevertheless, I took down my review and have it piled up with the other four I've written since then. Starting late in the day on the 14th of February, I will release one review a day for the following eleven days. I'm sure you can hardly wait.
Speaking of reading. Here is a list of the books I've read so far in 2020 (I've been busy):
- Dreamland (YA Edition): The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. E-book. I've wanted to read the adult version of this book for the years since it was published so I am glad to be able to read this YA version now. Cybils, SH Nonfiction.
- On This Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Print. A gay man writes a letter to his mother, a Vietnamese woman who cannot read English, as an explanation of how he has interpreted his life and interactions with her.
- Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow. Audiobook. The title says it all except that 'Oil and Gas' is the industry.
- Playlist: Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound by James Rhodes. Print. Rhodes, a classical musician highlights pieces of music from the original rock stars: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel. Cybils, SH Nonfiction.
- Disaster Strikes! The Most Dangerous Space Missions of All Time by Jeffrey Kluger. Print. Some of the space disaster I'd heard of (Apollo 13) but most I hadn't. Cybils, JH Nonfiction.
- 1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler. Print. Women get the vote, prohibition is voted in, the first red scare, the Harlem Rennaisance, etc. Cybils, JH nonfiction.
- Normal People by Sally Rooney. Audiobook. A girl and boy hook up in high school where he is popular and she an outcast. When they get to college, things are reversed. Read my review before you decide to read it. (Click hyperlinked title.)
- The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth by Ian Lendler. Print. All the people who put their heads and minds together to figure out geology and paleontology to the point of naming the first dinosaur. Cybils, JH nonfiction.
- A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein. E-Book. 28%. Cybils, SH Nonfiction.
- The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out In the Streets by Gayle E. Pitman. Print. 46%. Cybils, JH nonfiction.
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. Audiobook. Part of the 'Strange the Dreamer' series. 5% complete.
- Life According to Literature
- My favorite novels published in the last decade
- Six Degrees of Separation. From Daisy Jones and the Six to...
- Best Book Club Selections of 2019
Survey: 59% of Republicans think college is bad for America. (Pew Research, August 2019) How far we have slipped. Sigh.
On the impending Senate trial on the impeachment of Trump:
“The most important thing is that the American people deserve a fair trial. The Constitution deserves a fair trial. Our democracy deserves a fair trial. And we believe that a fair trial involves witnesses. It involves evidence. It involves documents.” (H. Jeffries, D-NY on Fox News)Because I want to think about something other than politics:
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Do something good for someone in need!