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"Good morning" (Alistair Cooke's rarely used alternate greeting!)

WAYR......"Now pinch-hitting for plf515, shortfinals"

"Stepping up to the plate, No.2, Shortfinals....No.2"

I must apologize, for this will be a wild and unusual ride, since I am filling in for plf515.

LOTS of words to consider, this morning, so let's make a start.

I freely confess that I am an eclectic reader, almost anything is grist to the mill (Yes, I HAVE read the list of ingredients on cereal packages!)

Just Finished -

'A Pattern of Islands', Arthur Grimble
I managed to avoid this in Grammar School (by reading yet MORE Kipling), but I saw the film (renamed 'Pacific Destiny', 1956) many years later, and that made me wish I had read the book. This autobiography tells of an idealistic young Colonial Officer and his wife, posted to one of the furthest outposts of the British Empire, just prior to the outbreak of World War One in 1913.The Gilbert Islands and their gentle, moral, civilised people are lovingly portrayed.  Highly recommended

In The Midst Of -

'How The Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story Of Ireland's Heroic Role From The Fall Of Rome To The Rise Of Medieval Europe', Thomas Cahill
Well, it MUST be true. At least my left leg (the 1/4 of me that hails from the Emerald Isle) insists that this must be so! The way that the Celtic brand of Christianity, illuminated manuscripts and beautiful decorative arts survived, whilst most of Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages is correct of course, however, my ancestors demand that I read, digest and utterly believe in the contents of another book in my possession.
'How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story Of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything In It', Arthur Herman
I'm re-reading - gently, as my eyes close, every night this week -
'The Little World Of Don Camillo', Giovanni Guareschi
Set in the immediate post-WW2 period in Italy, when the war-torn Republic was teetering on the edge of a new conflict, this time a civil war. This collection of short stories, by a magazine editor who happened to be a master story-teller, deals with difficult social problems and the amazingly convoluted nature of Italian politics and religion. Just like Kipling, Guareschi wrote short pieces 'to fill in the gaps', as each issue of the magazine he was editor of went to press. This is one of my favorite books. Guareschi's politics might not have been to everyone's taste (he was a member of the Italian Christian Democrats) but those can be cheerfully thrown to one side as he portrays Peppone, the Communist and village Mayor, and Don Camillo's natural enemy, as being just as moral and worthy as the cleric. The real 'star' of this collection of stories is the Po and the 'scalding hot in summer, foggy in winter' landscape of the river valley, and its people. Guareschi wrote a wonderful series of books spoilt by a truly terrible series of films (who told the French comedian Fernandel that he was really big and muscular, or that he could play an Italian priest?)

Enjoying working my way through,

'Italian Gardens: A Visitor's Guide" Alex Ramsey & Helena Atlee
This is a comprehensive assessment of the way Italian classical garden design has influenced both public and private gardens. Superb photographs with some maps of gardens (only partially in color). If I cannot afford to go and see the wonderful gardens of Rome, and Florence and Siena - then this will do!

Still dipping into for old times (or old trains) sake,

'The Observer's Book of Railway Locomotives of Britain', H. C. Casserley (1958 Edition)
This little pocket 'vade mecum' is stunning. 1958 was a transitional year, with diesel traction on the horizon, and the last of the classic British steam locomotives still ruling the tracks (steam would be gone from British Railways by August 1968). This book - 285 pages - is full of black and white photographs of all the major and minor classes of steam locomotives still extant, some dating back to 1870! The 8 small color plates at the front are its one weak spot - they are of poor quality.

Just Starting -

'Out Of The Italian Night', Maurice G. Lihou
With a title like this you would think it was a steamy romance, but, no....its an aircraft book! Actually, this is a cracking biography of a young bomber pilot from Guernsey (who was trained as a pilot in Canada), and is about to be posted to Italy. Few people even knew that there was a night bombing offensive on the Italian Front in WW2. Our pilot and his girlfriend have just got married in a tearing hurry, before he leaves for Italy and a perilous future. It looks to be a good read.

I've just noticed that there is a strong focus on all things Italian in this list - my subconscious is trying to tell me things, again!

Now, what are YOU all up to?

Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule

DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
Sun 2:00 PM What's on Your E-Reader? Caedy
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
alternate Mondays
2:00 PM Political Books Susan from 29
Mon 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery michelewln, Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM All Things Bookstore Dave in Northridge
Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 2:00 PM e-books Susan from 29
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
alternate Thursdays 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
Fri 8:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht; first one each month by ArkDem14
Fri 10:00 PM Slightly Foxed -- But Still Desirable shortfinals
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 12:00 PM You Can't Read That! Paul's Book Reviews pwoodford
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid
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