Ever since the reading of North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell has never failed to disappoint me. Personally, I don’t know if any of her other works could top North and South but each one certainly reaches my “Top Books of the Year” annual reading list. Ruth is by far no exception. Read more
We our so proud of ourselves! Not only have we broken away from our WW2 novels but we’re actually studying a classic! A CLASSIC!!! Read more
It’s the time of year where summer is about to end and we scramble to enjoy our last moments before the return of cooler weather. Where will you be heading before then? Sanditon might offer the perfect getaway! Read more
Like her contemporary, Elizabeth Gaskell’s concern for social rights during the Industrial Revolution is apparent in her writings. Her first novel, Mary Barton is no exception. Read more
I need to stop buying more books! Do you know how many are on my TBR list!? Way too many! Nevertheless, I bought two more. Read more
It was my rule to post a quote per week, and I broke it! My deepest and sincerest apologies. Two extra will be posted this week in order to catch up. Read more
Authors come and go, but the great ones always live on. They are immortalized by their writings. But, though they speak to me, it’s a heartbreaking thought that I can’t speak back. My heart is imprisoned behind a wall of longing which can never be broken down. But I can certainly build windows! This letter to Twain is a simple conversation and a host of questions I would ask if he were sitting right beside me today. Read more
If I could describe Tom Sawyer in a few simple words, the above quoted would be it. There were so many happy little details of childhood I had forgotten, but were brought back to memory after reading this. Tom Sawyer is about as close as I can get to returning to the days of playful yore.
According to Sun-Tzu, war must have been one of them! Can’t find that in any Arts and Crafts Show!
Art of War by Sun Tzu:
Anyone can gain help using this book.
Whether fighting an army of barbarians or fighting through an average day, Art of War not only gives many helpful hints for military strategy, but they can also be taken for use in everyday life. For example, Sun-Tzu states that if an army is treated like a child in need of constant care , the army will in return, honor you with respect and obedience. How true is this with any group of people? Whether it be a business you own or any person you work with, if they are treated in a respectable manner, they will in return work better with you.
One point he made was quite interesting to me. Those who fight with the most courage are those who believe there is no hope. If an army believes they are going to win, they may not fight with as much vigor. Why would they need to? They’re going to win anyway. But to those who think they’re losing, they will give the battle all they have.
The adage “sometimes the best offense is a good defense” was something Sun-Tzu highly believed in. (Not to mention General Patton…little FYI there) His whole theory consisted of waging war without really having to fight. Preservation was key. He thought that wasting lives on long, drawn out attacks was useless not only for the army but also to the state. ($$$) Let the enemy weary themselves out with constant attacks instead.
I highly recommend the one translated by Ralph D. Sawyer. He’s added a great introduction and historical background to this work. He gives examples of how the ancient Chinese put into practice Sun-Tzu’s principles, and even gives a run down of who Sun-Tzu was. Did he even exist? So check this version out here.
Hopefully this will wet your appetite for more advice from the Chinese military genius. Of course you’re probably not in need of strategic advice in order to wage war with the invading Chu. But you might be surprised how much you may still be able to apply the concepts. Every once in a while, it will give you that AHAH moment when you discover something about your own tendencies or the tendencies of others. What’s also awesome is after reading, you will spot errors from other strategists and figure out why they failed! Who doesn’t want that!?
As with all books, it’s a sad day when the last page is turned. It has been with me up the mountains, and has stayed by my side during late nights. As with every other novel, it has gone where I have gone. Now, I lay it to rest upon my shelves where it will be mourned for at least an hour to a day before I start on my next adventure.
Moby Dick- Herman Melville
Rated S – c
Some cussing throughout
You may have heard many rumors about this leviathan sized novel which would unnerve even the greatest of bibliophiles. Rumors about its exhaustive detailing and constant plot interruptions. Hearing these, we run away and hide from the weariness of such a book. Instead, why doesn’t this invoke curiosity? What does Melville find so important to tell us that he jeopardizes his plot by interrupting it with details and useless facts?
These facts subsists almost wholly on the mighty whales and sea voyage life. Did you know the whale’s spout isn’t connected to its throat? Also, it uses his spout to blow out air, not water. What we see instead is the air’s condensation. These are just a couple examples of the hidden gems inside Moby Dick…plus some research of my own. (I had to get questions answered! Things Melville could only speculate and theorize about are now common facts today. Throughout the book, his theories became my points of research.) Instead of looking at the details as constant interruptions, look at them as expanding our knowledge of these great creatures.
I’ve heard also that Moby Dick is to be considered as an allegory. Through Captain Ahab, we see our inner beings at their worst. We see what we could be when completely obsessed over evil and see it swallow us whole much like The Oath by Frank Peretti illustrates.
Melville’s work may only become enjoyable once our attitude of dread changes to one of an excitement to learn. Give it a go and tell me what you think.
Find your copy here.