Monday, January 05, 2015

Distractions (Early January 1015 reads)

There were a lot of distractions that led me to detour from my published reading plan for January. Two were from browsing around Project Gutenberg:

The Pier-Glass by Robert Graves  (originally published in London by M. Secker, 1921) This is a collection of twenty-five poems:

    The Stake
    The Troll's Nosegay
    The Pier-glass

(From a Painting by Benjamin Nicholson)
    The Finding of Love
    The Magical Picture
    Distant Smoke
    Morning PhÅ“nix
    Catherine Drury
    Raising the Stone
    The Treasure Box
    The Kiss
    Lost Love
    Fox's Dingle
    The Gnat
    The Patchwork Bonnet
    Kit Logan and Lady Helen
    Saul of Tarsus
    Storm: at the Farm Window
    Black Horse Lane
    The Hills of May
    The Coronation Murder

The Burgomaster of Stilemonde by Maurice Maeterlinck
Translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos

This play portrays German atrocities during the First World War occupation of Belgium. An interesting find. Maeterlinck was from the Flemish part of Belgium, but he wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911.

When I was looking for biographical information om Maeterlinck, I found a resource that I didn't know about:

Kellscraft Studio which focuses "...on public domain books (anything published prior to 1923 in the U.S.), and we concentrate on books known for their wonderful illustrations and philosophy of life.  Some books at our site will have no illustrations, but are available here for their writing and importance.  All books published here are in the public domain and out of copyright, so are available to everyone to read, print and use in classroom settings."

I'm having a good time browsing the site even though the biography of  Maeterlinck there was written in 1911 so doesn't answer my question which had to do with Maeterlinck during the 1940s.

Another distraction was from Tracy L. Higley's video of Ephesus. It's a promo for her book So Shines the Night, but it's also a good travelogue. I especially enjoyed the brief look at the terrace houses. This area was not open to visitors when I toured in 1996. Makes me want to go back and it makes me want to do some web exploration.

Also online Pithead Chapel Volume 4, Issue 1
Three short stories, two essays. I especially liked "The Star Sisters" by Corinne Sullivan. This was not in the reading plan. My monthly reading plans should include the online journals I regularly read.

This next one was not on the reading plan, it was a carry-over from December which was resolved before I published the plan. By noon, 1 January 2015 I already had my first DNF for the year: Daisy Goodwin's The Fortune Hunter. Quit at page 159 (of 468). An advance review copy from the publisher. I am not going to review. Book is badly in need of a good edit. ' nuf said.
Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries: The Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment by Tom Shachtman.
I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.
(This is also a carry-over from December. I finished this one.)

I really liked this descussion of the contributions to science and technology by the founders of the United States and the role that science played in the success of the Revolution and the success of the new nation. Brief review cross posted on Goodreads and LibraryThing.

The Glass Kitchen: A Novel of Sisters by Linda Francis Lee
Library Book
I read this for one of my challenges and it was a real bummer. I reviewed it on January 4 on this blog (cross posted to Goodreads and LibraryThing).

And finally, a really grand distraction:

Just watched the DVD of The Grand Hotel Budapest and enjoyed it very much. I don't watch very many films, but I'm glad I watched this one.
Borrowed from local public library.

And someone served me tea while I watched it!

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