Sherlock Holmes

March 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

sherlock1 sherlock2Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels & Stories
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
published by Bantam Dell

Over the years reading, and re-reading, Conan Doyle’s stories of the great detective and his friend and colleague, has been one of the most gratifying ways in which I have spent an afternoon; those lazy Sunday mornings; or for that matter any time of day. It was the works of Doyle and Roald Dahl that imbued me with a zest and passion for the written word at an early age; their words stoked my imagination and crafted worlds that I reveled in for hours on end, all from the comfort of my armchair.

Owning The Complete Novels and Stories is the only way to enjoy the adventures of Holmes and Watson.¬†Over the course of 1800 pages we’re introduced to the calculated, precise, sometimes manic and not necessarily infallible genius of Holmes; the extremely tenacious and loyal Dr. Watson, and follow them through their exploits ranging from the sinister, to the bizarre, to the light-hearted.

The greatest duo ever created. A fine writer. And a gem of a collection.


The Six Day War

March 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Six Day Warsixdaywar
by Randolph S./Winston S. Churchill
published by Heinemann

The Arab-Israeli War of ’67 concluded with Israel establishing her military dominance in the Middle East and tripling her land mass to include: the Gaza Strip, Sharm-el-Sheikh, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank of Jordan, and the Old City of Jerusalem. The aftermath of this conflict would not only affect the subsequent Yom Kippur War in ’73 (through Israel’s seizure of chiefly strategic regions such as the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula), but Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories,the Golan Heights, and the ensuing displacement of Palestinians, remain contentious issues to this day. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Road Not Taken

March 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

by Robert Frost

Martin Luther King Jr.

March 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

MLKJr“In order to be a good writer one has to be a good reader… And of course public speaking is a natural extension of the two.”
—Christopher Hitchens

Couldn’t agree more with Hitch. With that in mind I would be remiss if I didn’t include the words of one of the greatest orators, on my blog. Below is a particularly moving excerpt from MLK’s speech in Oslo in ’64:

“…I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the ”isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ”oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him…”

Another testament to Dr. King’s great oratory skills and his unyielding belief in man’s capability to transcend his mere mammalian existence.

Image: “Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.]” by Rowland Scherman; restored by Adam Cuerden (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [CC0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Harp Song of the Dane Women

March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?

She has no house to lay a guest in-
But one chill bed for all to rest in,
That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in.

She has no strong white arms to fold you,
But the ten times fingering weed to hold you-
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken-

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter quarters.

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables-
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth fire and the home acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?

by Rudyard Kipling

Operation Overlord

March 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

overlordOverlord D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944
Author: Max Hastings
published by Pan Books

There are few dates in history that resonate as deeply as the 6th of June 1944. Operation Overlord, perhaps more commonly remembered as the Invasion of Normandy, was one of the largest military operations in the history of human conflict; staggering in its complexity and sheer magnitude. And for these reasons it has passed on into legend. Yet stories that become legends have a tendency, over time, to stray from the truth. « Read the rest of this entry »

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises

March 15, 2015 § 2 Comments

fiestaFiesta: The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway

published by Arrow Books

“Oh, Jake” Brett said, “we could have had such a damned good time together.”

Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.

“Yes.” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” « Read the rest of this entry »

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