Book Nerd Problems: Not Enough Light to Read


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Article: The Real William Shakespeare?


The link below is to an article that reports on new research that sheds new light on the life of William Shakespeare. 

For more visit:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/william-shakespeare/9963602/Shakespeare-was-a-tax-evading-food-hoarder-study-claims.html

The World’s Funniest Proverbs, By James Alexander


‘The World’s Funniest Proverbs,’ by James Alexander is 154 pages long (my copy). It brings together some of the funniest sayings in the world – well they are generally clever and slightly amusing if nothing else. The book provides some light relief from reading those somewhat more heavy and taxing works that some of us tend to read. There are only about 5 or 6 proverbs/sayings per page, so the book doesn’t take long to flick through and/or read.

Why read it? Well, it provides some amusement and perhaps helps to take the mind of more serious matters for a short time if nothing else. There is always a wealth of information and content here for clever and witty status updates on Facebook and/or Twitter too.

I haven’t spent a great deal of time reading it – but I have flicked through it when time permitted and when I just needed something a little lighter for a while. It’s good for that.

Available at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Funniest-Proverbs-James-Alexander/dp/1906051070

There is a copy here:
http://ebook-freelibrary.blogspot.com/2009/12/worlds-funniest-proverbs-by-james.html

 

Life of George Washington – Washington Irving


I have been reading the five volume work of Washington Irving on the ‘Life of George Washington’ over the last little while. Currently I am in the middle of the second volume. Though I am only reading two to ten pages a day and don’t view this reading exercise as particularly pressing, I am enjoying my reading experience very much. It is an easy to read book, with chapters divided into very manageable portions. As a whole, the five volumes make up about 2000 pages.

This work by Washington Irving on the life of George Washington covers the life of the first president of the United States, shedding much light on the life and times of Washington. Thus far I have covered the period of Washington’s early life, through the war against the French and Indians (in which Washington played an important role) and into the American War Of Independence (in which Washington led the fledgling nation’s army against the British). This biographical work seems to be an excellent life of George Washington, but also provides an insight into the players and the history of the times.

In short, this five volume work on Washington is excellent and I would highly recommend reading the entire work on an important person in, and period of, American history. The work is available at the Internet Archive and I have links to the five volumes on my website at:

http://tracingourhistory.com/history.html

Changing the World: December 7 – Light Messages


Today’s suggestion is a rather simple one – to simply put up a small ‘light sign’ to get a message across and raise awareness of an issue. The issue could be ‘peace’ of ‘save trees.’

The message is communicated by making the word/s using a string of lights (fairy lights, etc) and hanging them outside of the house.

This idea is not one I’ll be following up – I’ll do my bit for the environment and not do this one. However, spreading a message via a string of lights can be done – or it could be done by a piece of chalk as with the word ‘eternity,’ by Arthur Stace in Sydney.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/s/stace.htm 

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

‘Shameful Flight – The Last Years of the British Empire in India,’ by Stanley Wolpert


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

‘Shameful Flight’ relates the history of the final years of the British Raj in India, including the partition of India into both Pakistan (West and East) and India, and the early hostility of the two new nations destined for perpetual warfare in such regions as the Kashmir.The history of this era of political instability on the subcontinent includes all the main players from Great Britain, India and Pakistan.These main players include Winston Churchill, Viceroy Louis Mountbatten, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah. There is not a single figure in this history of India’s partition who comes out of it in a good light, though several seem to have had very well-intentioned aims and motivations. It is the true story of lost opportunity and the devastating consequences of human pride and selfishness that have reverberated down through the decades to the present day and remain visible in the continuing clashes between India and Pakistan, as well as in the extremism expressed in both the Islamic and Hindu communities throughout the sub-continent. It is a story of perpetual tragedy and human suffering with no end in sight.

This book is extremely easy to read, passes on a wealth of historical information and whets the appetite for further research on the India/Pakistan situation. It provides enlightenment, by bringing understanding to the current political instability in both India and Pakistan, by clearly revealing the root of the problem – the manner of the birth of both nations out of British imperialism and that nation’s final haphazard departure aptly described as a ‘Shameful Flight.’ This is a great book for understanding the sub-continent and the wounds it still carries to this day.

This book was provided to me for review by Oxford University Press – www.oup.com

Changing the World: November 23 – Stickers to Save Water and Power


The suggestion for today was to try and save water and electricity by remembering to turn off the light switch, a power point, a tap, etc. Because we forget these things the book suggests making stickers to place next to a light switch for example.

This is a somewhat simple solution to a possibly costly memory issue, in that forgetting to flick a switch/turn off a tap costs money by way of the bill, as well as costing more in terms of environmental costs.

I have found myself being far more efficient in these areas in the last little while and hardly ever forget to turn off a light when not needed, turn off a tap when brushing teeth, etc. It did however take a lot of self-discipline and I can see how stickers/post-it’s, etc, can be handy for some people.

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

‘Reformers and Their Stepchildren,’ by Leonard Verduin – An Update


 

As visitors to ‘At the BookShelf’ would know, I have been reading ‘Reformers and Their Stepchildren,’ by Leonard Verduin. I have now started chapter four and progress through the book may appear slow and you may think this is a reflection on the quality of the book. That would be a mistaken assumption however.

In reality I am finding the book a brilliant treatment of the differences between the ‘partial reformers’ (such as Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc) and the more ‘radical reformer’ who sought a complete transformation of the church to that which more accurately reflected the New Testament model.

The ‘slowness’ of my reading is more a reflection of my reading half a dozen or so books at the same time. Reading so many books at any given time is fairly normal for me – in fact, I would call normal (for me) reading far more books at any given time, but I am trying to reign myself in a little here. I just love reading – I am a bibliophile and bookworm remember 🙂

The third chapter of Verduin’s work has to do with the lack of true church discipline in the churches of the Reformers and their indifference (generally speaking) to ungodliness in the church (remembering that their churches basically included all in a given location or region).

The third chapter presents a very clear case of the real time contradiction of the Reformers and the reform they were bringing to bear on such places as Geneva, Zurich, etc. To a large extent their work of reform didn’t go anywhere near far enough to satisfy their ‘stepchildren,’ who when they tried to go further were branded as heretics, with their efforts at a more thorough reform being identified by the reformers as evidence of their heresy.

It is a very engaging chapter I believe and one that is helpful for shedding light on Christianity even to this day.