Monday, May 27, 2013

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Volume 2: 75% Complete

Yes, I am woefully overdue for an update.  The truth is, I'm going to take a little sabbatical from the project for a couple of weeks.  Between working and school, I find I'm just too brain-dead at the end of the day to read anything with any weight.  The good news is, though, that I only have three weeks of school left.  My last final is on June 14th, so once that's past, I will resume work on this project. 
I have been doing some reading, however, just not books on the list.  I'm catching up on some newer, lighter reading books that I've wanted to read for some time.  In the past week and a half I've read: Wild by Cheryl Strayed (four out of five stars), Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin (five out of five), A Final Arc of Sky by Jennifer Culkin (four out of five), Once Upon a List by Robin Gold (two out of five) and The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano (three out of five).  Right now I'm working on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday.
So I will bid you farewell for a couple of weeks, but rest assured, just like the Terminator, I will be back!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, volume 2: 75% Complete

Many apologies, dear readers, for my prolonged absence.  As many of you have gathered, I am a full-time student, a hospital volunteer and a certified nursing assistant.  The past couple of weeks I have been working 40+ hours a week in addition to going to school and my volunteer shifts.  The nature of my work has been such that I've been able to do quite a bit of reading while I'm there, a luxury I am thoroughly appreciating, but I haven't had much time for blogging.
So I finished volume one and I'm most of the way done with volume two now as well and still loving it. 
I have a confession to make.  When I was reading on Kindle, I found it easy to look up words that I didn't know, but with a hard-copy book, I've been too lazy to do much of that, especially when I'm at work without a dictionary.  So I don't have a vocabulary word for you today.  But I do have a couple more quotes (I've been folding the corners of the pages over to mark them.  In a library book. *gasp* I promise I'll fold them back up before I return the book.  It's like the book version of "be kind, rewind."  But I digress...)
First of all, an example of Churchill's often-biting commentary:
"Indeed, no fact stands forth more unchallengeable than that the overwhelming majority of the nation was convinced that Richard [III] had used his power as Protector to usurp the crown and that the princes had disappeared in the Tower.  It will take many ingenious books to raise this issue to the dignity of a historical controversy."
And from volume two, an example of his poetic writing:
"The pamphlets  [of the Puritans in the 1500's] are loaded with coarse, effective adjectives, and the sentences lumber along like the hay-cart in which the press itself was at one time concealed."
And lastly, an example of the humorous bits that Churchill throws in without warning (maybe it wasn't supposed to be funny):
There is no surer way of rousing popular excitement than the holding of General Elections in quick succession.  Passions ran high; beer flowed."
Politics and beer.  Now that's a time-honored tradition.