Thursday, November 8, 2018

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (78) Nadine Gordimer


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author with their cat(s), pictured with a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.



Nadine Gordimer (November 20, 1923 - July 13, 2014) was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity".


Gordimer's writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Under that regime, works such as Burger's Daughter and July's People were banned. She was active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned. She was also active in HIV/AIDS causes.

On her 92nd birthday in 2015, there was even a Google Doodle in her honor featuring the author with her beloved cat. She was a known cat lover.




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Thursday, November 1, 2018

#CatThursday - The girls on National Cat Day #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

Alice is not a fan of the flash. I can rarely get shots with her eyes open. She's still cute though. 



Arya doesn't seem to have a problem with it. 


Here's a little extra funny for you. 




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Monday, October 29, 2018

Cover Reveal: Genevieve Graham’s At The Mountain’s Edge


SYNOPSIS for “At the Mountain’s Edge”:

From bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.

For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together, but also to survive.



Published by Simon and Schuster 

You can pre-order the books at the outlets listed below:

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Kindle
Chapters/Indigo
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Nook

AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.GenevieveGraham.com




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Thursday, October 25, 2018

#CatThursday - Obligatory #Halloween #cat memes


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

I was going to do more vintage images, but I thought Halloween memes would be a great way to close out this year's Halloween posts. Enjoy!







Public service announcement

Happy Halloween!!!


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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dewey's 24 Hour #Readathon #FrightFall #SomethingWickedFall


This will probably be my only post here on the blog for the readathon. I will be updating mostly on Facebook (including in the Seasons of Reading group), Instagram and Twitter.

I'm keeping it scary to go along with my FrightFall Readathon, which is still going on through the end of the month, and with the R.I.P. challenge.

  • First, I want to finish The Narrows (Ronald Malfi) and read the 100 page section for the Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury) read-along

Then I will pick and choose from this list of books:

  • A Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay
  • The Bank of the River, Michael Richan
  • Bird Box, Josh Malerman
  • The Vampire Armand, Anne Rice
  • Shirley: A Novel, Susan Scarf Merrell
Also, perhaps some short stories by these authors:
  • Poe
  • Lovecraft
  • Shirley Jackson
  • Algernon Blackwood
  • M.R. James 
  • Ralph Adams Cram
Getting to know you survey:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Nashville, Tennessee
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Not really sure...probably A Head Full of Ghosts.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I have to go out today so will buy my snacks then. Going to see HALLOWEEN!!! (I'm excited. Can you tell?)  I'm not sure but hoping for some nice chips.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm an avid reader, very active in the online book blogging/reading community, and master procrastinator. I have two teen sons and two cat daughters, and I'm working on a novel.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I doubt I'll do anything differently. I don't know...perhaps try not to fail miserably. lol

Good luck and happy reading to all!!!



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Thursday, October 18, 2018

#CatThursday - Vintage #Halloween #Cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

I love these vintage greeting cards/postcards. This post might be one of two, with a continuation next week. We'll see...









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Thursday, October 11, 2018

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (77) Frans de Waal


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author with their cat(s), pictured with a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.


I wanted to feature someone special this month since it's my birthday month. (I turn the big 5-0 on Monday!) I can't believe I have never heard of this author before. Now I'm really interested in reading his books. I couldn't believe my luck when I found images of him with his cats. 


Frans de Waal (b. October 29, 1948) has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. The author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. (from Goodreads)




What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.

People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence. 

Check out his other books on Goodreads.




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Thursday, October 4, 2018

#CatThursday - #Cats in #Art (33) Scary cats for #Halloween


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

Sorry! I'm late today!

Arthur Rackham, By day she made herself into a cat (1920)

Georg Baselitz, Cat Head (1966–67)

Hieronymous Bosch, The Temptation of St. Anthony (right panel) (circa 1501)
Two Cats Fighting by John James Audubon 1826




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Thursday, September 27, 2018

#CatThursday - #Cats react to #BannedBooksWeek


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

Guys, I can't believe I forgot to post last week! I'm SO sorry! I've had to set a reminder on my calendar. I know, right? Wow.

It's Banned Books Week and cats are joining in and reacting. Be sure to check out my other posts from this week, including my write up on To Kill A Mockingbird.



These cats are reacting to the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2017...



Celebrate your freedom to read!





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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird #BannedBooksWeek #theclassicsclub



I finally read this book over the summer. Long overdue!

I'm not going to go on and on about the literary genius of this book. We already know it's a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. We also know that it is a beloved classic around the world, and it made PBS's Great American Read 100 Favorites list (voting is still open, until October 18). What I want to do is share a few thoughts about it, and what it meant to me. I loved it. I literally hugged it when I finished. Not kidding.

Lee perfectly captured small town life in 1930's America. She got the inner mechanics right and she shrewdly depicted the people. Most importantly, she brought to light the true nature of race relations of the time. It's sad too...to think we really haven't made much progress in all these years that have passed (I don't care what anyone says, racism is still alive and real in this country).

It's my opinion that racism (and other social judgment) are learned behaviors. I believe that point is proven when reading this book with these hard issues told from the point of view of children. This quote from Jem is quite telling on the matter...

“If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time. It's because he wants to stay inside.” 

Another point touched on by Atticus regarding Christians who do not think racism is wrong. This is something that I have struggled with personally and is part of that which eventually led me away from Christianity and religion in general. How can someone profess to be a Christian and yet support some of the most abject in society (Trump, KKK, and so on)? It's truly mind boggling.

“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

“They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”



Finally, since it is Banned Books Week, I wanted to touch on some of the reasons this book has been frequently challenged over the years. In fact, it is on the list of the top 10 most challenged books of 2017. 

Reasons: 
  • 2017: This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.
  • 2011: offensive language, racism
  • 2009: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
The challenge of To Kill A Mockingbird was a big censorship story of 2017:

After a mother told a superintendent that her son was uncomfortable with the N-word in To Kill a Mockingbird, the novel was removed from the eighth-grade curriculum at Biloxi Public Schools (Mississippi) in the middle of teaching it, without following policy. After national outcry, the book is available to be taught as an optional assignment with parental permission. Learn more on the Intellectual Freedom Blog.


The book is also on the Banned and Challenged Classics list for one of the most frequently challenged classics. Here are the list of reasons over the years (since 1977):
  • Challenged in Eden Valley, MN (1977) and temporarily banned due to words "damn" and "whore lady" used in the novel.
  • Challenged in the Vernon Verona Sherill, NY School District (1980) as a "filthy, trashy novel."
  • Challenged at the Warren, IN Township schools (1981) because the book does "psychological damage to the positive integration process" and "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature." After unsuccessfully trying to ban Lee's novel, three black parents resigned from the township human relations advisory council.
  • Challenged in the Waukegan, IL School District (1984) because the novel uses the word "nigger."
  • Challenged in the Kansas City, MO junior high schools (1985). Challenged at the Park Hill, MO Junior High School (1985) because the novel "contains profanity and racial slurs." Retained on a supplemental eighth grade reading list in the Casa Grande, AZ Elementary School District (1985), despite the protests by black parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who charged the book was unfit for junior high use.
  • Challenged at the Santa Cruz, CA Schools (1995) because of its racial themes. Removed from the Southwood High School Library in Caddo Parish, LA (1995) because the book's language and content were objectionable.
  • Challenged at the Moss Point, MS School District (1996) because the novel contains a racial epithet. Banned from the Lindale, TX advanced placement English reading list (1996) because the book "conflicted with the values of the community."
  • Challenged by a Glynn County, GA (2001) School Board member because of profanity. The novel was retained. Returned to the freshman reading list at Muskogee, OK High School (2001) despite complaints over the years from black students and parents about racial slurs in the text.
  • Challenged in the Normal, IL Community High School's sophomore literature class (2003) as being degrading to African Americans.
  • Challenged at the Stanford Middle School in Durham, NC (2004) because the 1961 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel uses the word "nigger." 
  • Challenged at the Brentwood, TN Middle School (2006) because the book contains “profanity” and “contains adult themes such as sexual intercourse, rape, and incest.” The complainants also contend that the book’s use of racial slurs promotes “racial hatred, racial division, racial separation, and promotes white supremacy.” 
  • Retained in the English curriculum by the Cherry Hill, NJ Board of Education (2007). A resident had objected to the novel’s depiction of how blacks are treated by members of a racist white community in an Alabama town during the Depression. The resident feared the book would upset black children reading it. 
  • Removed (2009) from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton Ontario, Canada because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the word “nigger."
I'll leave you with one final thought (I feel like I'm channeling Atticus here). It doesn't matter how much of a Christian you are, or how much of a good person you (think) you are, or how good you are to your fellow parishioners, friends, family. If you harbor even a smidgen of racism in your heart, you just are not a good person. That's just the honest truth.

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” 

Banned Books Week information obtained from ala.org.



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