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Friday, November 27, 2009

Word of the Day!

comity [kom-uh-tee]
-noun
1. A state of mutual harmony, friendship, and respect, especially between or among nations or people; civility.
2. The courteous recognition by one nation of the laws and institutions of another.
3. The group of nations observing international comity.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pocket Book Review: Thanksgiving Edition

Mayflower
By Nathaniel Philbrick

It’s all the rage these days for American historians to plunder our collective American myths in order to sell copy. McCullough did this successfully with 1776, Newt Gingrich less so with all his history-themed novels, but regardless it has become something of a fad to take new, deeper looks at well-known historical myths. Some may call it revisionist, but some stories are so well worn that they practically beg to be looked at from a different angle. So into the fray jumps Nathanial Philbrick with his at times tedious, but always sincere, Mayflower.

Mayflower tells the tale of, you guessed it, the Pilgrims and their journey across the Atlantic to settle in the New World, and the difficulties they faced once they were there. While Philbrick’s book is well-researched, thorough, and far more sympathetic to the Indians than other books about the period, there is a decisive lack of narrative tension which normally wouldn’t be a black mark against a history text, but in this case is apt because Philbrick seems so intent on engaging the reader on a literary, rather than scholarly, level. For instance, throughout the chapter describing the build-up to and carrying out of King Phillip’s War, Philbrick insists on describing the events as if the reader didn’t already know how it ends, a style choice that becomes distracting during later chapters.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a well-written, and well-plotted book with more than enough new information to keep the average history buff interested. But unlike McCullough’s highly interesting and literary tomes, Mayflower is not likely to spread to a general audience. It’s just not interesting enough.

Verdict: Well-written and thorough, but not likely to win any converts to the cult of Plymouth.

Word of the Day!

listless [list-lis]
-adjective
Having no desire or inclination; indifferent; heedless; spiritless.
-adverb, listlessly
-noun, listlessness

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Word of the Day!

verdant [vur-dnt]
-adjective
1. Green with vegetation; covered with green growth.
2. Green.
3. Lacking experience or sophistication; naive.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Word of the Day!

avarice [av-uh-ris]
-noun
An excessive desire of gain; greediness after wealth; covetousness; cupidity.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Burning Girl

By Tres Crow

This burning girl
And me a water sink
Is where I draw
All my strength
It’s going to be a perfect day

The boneyard gates
Seem like open arms
It’s going to be a perfect day

Your arms feel
More like those gates
It’s going to be a perfect day

{happy, cheerful
and always enthusiastic

My tongue
Shot through
Can’t talk
Can’t talk}

Word of the Day!

tyro [ty-roh]
-noun
A beginner in learning; a novice.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Guess whose birthday is today?