Monday, September 01, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

“The women in my family have manufactured soap and toiletries for generations, and a Brooke woman knows how to stand on her own two feet! And I’m going to show him!
I will build my business up again. I had plenty of time aboard ship to work on my plans, and I have the skills.”
…Amanda grinned, feeling more lighthearted than she had in days. She lifted her own cup.
“To free trade, prosperity, and the United States of America!”

--Captain Sinister's Lady

Here's to all the hard working American women and men celebrating their achievements, and the end of summer. Happy Labor Day to you all!




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review--The Vineyard of Liberty

The Vineyard of LibertyThe Vineyard of Liberty by James MacGregor Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent, readable history of the United States through mid-Civil War. The author's comprehensive look at the various factors that went into the making and near sundering of the new republic makes this a must for all students of US history, or even the casual reader wondering why our country took the shape it did. Highly recommended.


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Another trip, another library

I was walking back to my hotel today, and without realizing where I was I managed to walk up to the National Library of Ireland. I think my brain is wired to take me to libraries automatically. I didn't have the opportunity to spend as much time as I would have liked (a month would have been nice), but as is my custom, I got a shot of myself in front of the library. This time it was a selfie, so you only see the library sign in the background, but I was there.









Greetings from Dublin!

I don't care what anyone says, there are sunny days in Ireland. Today I toured the National Gallery, then walked back on a long, circuitous route that took me past the National Library, then to St. Stephen's Green (where this lovely garden was in bloom), then to tea at Voila, finally walking along the canal back to our hotel. 

It was such a delightful day I wanted to spend as much time outside as I could, and the large number of sun worshippers in the park seemed to agree.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Review--Fanning the Flames

I really enjoyed this romance, primarily because the protagonists were seasoned adults, not YA or NA.  Reading about people who were old enough to know what they want and go after it made me happy.

In fact, I'd like to read more romances with protagonists in their 50s having wild monkey sex. Sure, there would be Astroglide and little blue pills involved, but it would still be fun for readers of a certain demographic.

I'm looking forward to reading the next Girls' Night Out story. Ms. Dahl, like her heroes, always satisfies.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Happy Birthday, USCG

Fifteen hundred dollars worth of coffee coming in duty free meant a
tidy profit, whether it was Delerue-Sanders behind the smuggling or
someone else. A simple plan, but one that worked all too well given the
poor state of the Revenue Marine. The revenue cutters couldn’t begin
to cover all of the coast, not when the ships were spread thin with
surveying, rescue operations, and winter cruising between Charleston
and Key West. Underfunded, understaffed, looked down on by the
regular navy, despised by the merchants who paid the tariffs, the
Revenue Marine was no one’s darling.
Well, except maybe Alexander Hamilton, he’d loved his revenue cutters that brought money into the Treasury, but look what happened to him, Washburn thought. Irritate the wrong people and there you are, worm food.

The United States Coast Guard, aka the Revenue-Marine, aka the Revenue Cutter Service was founded on this day in 1790 by US Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Happy Birthday, Coast Guard! You can read more about the role of the Revenue Marine in Territorial Florida in Smuggler's Bride. It was fun researching that novel and learning the Coast Guard's history, and the USCG deserves a salute on its special day.


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Review--The Silkworm

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent mystery, wonderfully snarky insiders' look at publishing and authors behaving badly. "Whodunnit?" kept me guessing until the last quarter of the book, and even then I couldn't figure out the motive until it was all revealed.

The only reason I didn't give it five stars was the POV shifts in the middle of a scene. I realize it's becoming a more common style, but I still find it jarring.

I look forward to more Cormoran Strike mysteries!


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Friday, August 01, 2014

Review--Redefining Rape: Sexual Violence in the Era of Suffrage and Segregation

Redefining Rape: Sexual Violence in the Era of Suffrage and SegregationRedefining Rape: Sexual Violence in the Era of Suffrage and Segregation by Estelle B. Freedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating look at a topic still very much in the news. How do we define sexual assault, and how, historically, have charges of sexual assault been used as a political weapon? In addition, how are certain populations disenfranchised from exercising the right to charge sexual assault?

An important look at historic American attitudes that still play out today in questions of power, race and sexuality.


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