Category Archives: BF – Reading 2014

READINGDECEMBER 2014

22331. (Tim Flan­nery) The Final Fron­tier — An Eco­log­i­cal His­to­ry of North Amer­i­ca and Its
. . . . . Peo­ples
22332. (Vic­tor L. Whitechurch) The Affair of the Ger­man Dis­patch-Box [sto­ry]
22333. (Col­in New­bury) Tahi­ti Nui — Change and Sur­vival in French Poly­ne­sia 1767–1945
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READINGNOVEMBER 2014

22228. (Tiant­ian Zheng) Recast­ing Gen­der and Pro­phy­lac­tic Use in Chi­na: A His­tor­i­cal and
. . . . . Anthro­polig­i­cal Per­spec­tive [arti­cle]
22229. (Joël Plouffe & Har­ry Bor­lase) L’Arctique de Stephen Harp­er
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READINGOCTOBER 2014

22131. (Hen­ry Reynolds) A His­to­ry of Tas­ma­nia
22132. (Mau­rice M. Durand & Nguyẽ̂n Trà̂n Huân) An Intro­duc­tion to Viet­namese Lit­er­a­ture
22133. (Soth Polin) Com­mu­ni­cate, They Say [sto­ry]
22134. (Soth Polin) The Dia­bol­ic Sweet­ness of Pol Pot [arti­cle]
22135. (Sharon May) In the Shad­ow of Angkor: A Search for Cam­bo­di­an Lit­er­a­ture [arti­cle]
22136. (Kurt E. Don­goske) Ethics of Field Research for the Hopi Tribe [arti­cle]
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READINGSEPTEMBER 2014

22036. (V. M. Whit­worth) The Traitor’s Pit
22037. (Judith Bey­er) Order­ing Ideals: Accom­plish­ing Well-Being in a Kyr­gyz Coop­er­a­tive of
. . . . . Elders [arti­cle]
22038. (Ken­neth J. Lavo­vara, et al) A Gigan­tic, Excep­tion­al­ly Com­plete Titanosauri­an
. . . . . Sauro­pod Dinosaur from South­ern Patag­o­nia, Argenti­na [arti­cle]
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Two Excellent Historical Novels by V. M. Whitworth

Æthelflæd as depicted in the cartulary of Abingdon Abbey

Æthelflæd as depict­ed in the car­tu­lary of Abing­don Abbey

V. M. Whitworth’s The Bone Thief (Ebury, 2012), and it’s sequel The Traitor’s Pit (Ebury, 2013) are exem­plary his­tor­i­cal nov­els. The author is known, by anoth­er name, as a medieval his­to­ri­an. I read the first book mere­ly out of curios­i­ty, because I knew her schol­ar­ly work. But, after a few pages, I was hooked. The set­ting is Eng­land Before Eng­land Was, the reigns of Æthelred, King of Mer­cia and Edward of Wes­sex, who was soon to uni­fy the two king­doms and make con­sid­er­able inroads on the Danelaw. The future Eng­land has long been split between Pagan and Chris­t­ian kings, but the Norse Gods are fad­ing as the Scan­di­na­vian con­querors are adopt­ing Chris­tian­i­ty (with vary­ing degrees of sin­cer­i­ty), and the two cul­tures are merg­ing. The action of the first book is inspired by an inci­dent record­ed in the Anglo-Sax­on Chron­i­cle as occur­ring in the year 909. The fic­tion­al hero is Wulf­gar, a young cler­ic in the ser­vice of his­tor­i­cal Æthelflæd, who is one of the more inter­est­ing women known from the peri­od. For years, Æthelred has been too ill to rule, and The Lady of the Mer­cians rules in his stead. In The Bone Thief, she sends Wulf­gar on a secret mis­sion into the Viking-con­trolled Five Bur­roughs, to obtain the bones of St. Oswald, which she hopes will ral­ly peo­ple to the Mer­cian cause. The bones have been lost, but are buried anony­mous­ly behind Bard­ney Abbey (which in 2014 is noth­ing more than a few stony lumps in a field north­west of the vil­lage of Bard­ney — see image below). Wulf­gar is a timid soul, and is soon over­whelmed by the con­spir­a­cies, treach­eries, and bru­tal­i­ty of roy­al pow­er pol­i­tics. He has been cho­sen for the task pri­mar­i­ly because he speaks some Dan­ish. No adven­ture-seek­er, he has a naïve belief in most of the things he was taught, which oth­ers around him regard as use­ful fic­tions or dis­pos­able for­mal­i­ties. In the sequel, he is assigned yet anoth­er mis­sion, while at the same time try­ing to prove the inno­cence of his elder broth­er, who has been charged with par­tic­i­pat­ing in an attempt on the life of Edward. This leads into even more con­vo­lut­ed pol­i­tics, vio­lence, and tragedy. In both books, Wulf­gar is con­stant­ly men­aced by his neme­sis, a bul­ly­ing and bru­tal half-broth­er, and con­stant­ly aid­ed by a fierce and rogu­ish Dano-Eng­lish female adven­tur­er. Read more »

READINGAUGUST 2014

21994. (Mau­rice LeBlanc) [Arsène Lupin] L’Aiguille creuse
21995. (Oliv­er Gold­smith) An Essay on the The­atre [arti­cle]
21996. (Oliv­er Gold­smith) Reg­is­ter of Scotch Mar­riages [arti­cle]
21997. (Lester B. Pear­son) The Cri­sis of Devel­op­ment
21998. (Jane J. Lee) First Nation Tribe Dis­cov­ers Griz­zly Bear “High­way” in Its Back­yard
. . . . . [arti­cle]
21999. (Amy Ger­man) Oujé-Bougoumou Final­ly Attains For­mal Recog­ni­tion [arti­cle]
22000. (Kei­th Knapp) Review of Death in Ancient Chi­na by Con­stance A. Cook [review]
22001. (Fer­nan­do Almarza Risquez) Del Miot como anti-caos al Mito como caos mis­mo
. . . . . [arti­cle]
22002. (Mark J. Kaswan) Demo­c­ra­t­ic Dif­fer­ences: How Type of Own­er­ship Affects Work­place
. . . . . Democ­ra­cy and its Broad­er Affects [arti­cle]
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READINGJULY 2014

21960. [7] (Edgar Pang­born) A Mir­ror for Observers
21961. (Mikhail Vasi­lye­vich Lomonosov) An Evening Reflec­tion Upon God’s Grandeur
. . . . . Prompt­ed by the Great North­ern Lights [Вечернее размышление о божием
. . . . . величестве при случае великаго северного сияния] (poem)
21962. (Mikhail Zoshchenko) Hon­est Cit­i­zen [sto­ry]
21963. (Bri­an M. Sta­ble­ford) Jour­ney to the Cen­ter
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We have seen thee, queen of cheese

The orig­i­nal 7,300 lb Mam­moth Cheese of 1866, depart­ing its birth­place in Inger­soll, Ontario.

I’m doing a lit­tle research on Cana­di­an lit­er­a­ture of the 19th cen­tu­ry. This is not a field that over­whelms the researcher with an abun­dance of mas­ter­pieces. Cana­da, at this time, was an emp­ty, rugged, pio­neer­ing place, vague­ly British in the soci­ety of its small urban elite, but for most peo­ple cul­tur­al­ly clos­er the the west­ern parts of the Unit­ed States. Mon­tre­al had a mod­est lit­er­ary life in French, draw­ing on sev­er­al cen­turies of folk­lore and even pro­duc­ing a few operas. These works were unknown in the rest of the French-speak­ing world. Eng­lish-speak­ing Mon­treal­ers were more inter­est­ed in com­merce than cul­ture. Out­side of Mon­tre­al, the only real city, there was not much oth­er than small towns, farms and wilder­ness.  Read more »

READINGJUNE 2014

21899. (Thomas Piket­ty) Le Cap­i­tal au XXIe siè­cle
21900. (John Dry­den) An Essay of Dra­mat­ic Poesy
21901. (Jan Michal Bur­dukiewicz) Microlith Tech­nol­o­gy in the Stone Age [arti­cle]
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READINGMAY 2014

21862. (Th. Her­sart de La Ville­mar­qué) Barzaz-Breiz: chants pop­u­laires de la Bre­tagne
21863. (Hervé Lossec) Les Bre­ton­nismes
21864. (Khashchu­lu­un Chu­lu­un­dorj) Cur­rent Sta­tus of Mongolia’s Eco­nom­ic and Social
. . . . . Devel­op­ment and Future Trends [arti­cle]
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