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to sleep or to read??

A good mystery is hard to put down!!

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snippets from books

From his perch on Skull Rock, they looked like pale eggs sunny-side up moving just beneath the water’s surface.  Some kind of jellyfish.  Half a dozen, pulsating vigorously through the black surf like muscular parachutes.

Odd.  Jack Koryan had spent several summers of his childhood out here and could remember only a few occasions seeing jellyfish in the cove, mot of them washed ashore by the night tide–dinner-plate-sized slime bombs with frilly aprons and long fat tentacles.  But these creatures were small round globs, translucent jelly bells with noting visible in trail.

Maybe some tropical species that the warm water brought in, he thought.

Jack watched them pump by in formation, driven by primitive urgings and warm eddies.  Somewhere he had read that jellyfish were ninety-five percent water–creatures with no brains, bones, or blood.  What enabled them to react to the world around them was a network of nerves.  What a lousy fate, Jack thought–to relate to the world only through nerve endings: a life devoid of thought, passion, or memory.

Writer Joseph Finder (New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia) writes that “Gary Braver’s Flashback combines an irresistible premise with the medical intrigue of Robin Cook and the scientific plausibility of Michael Crichton–a powerful, gripping, and moving tale with a beating heart.”

 

NOTE:

What do jellyfish and your brain have in common? Scientists at the 2010 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Honolulu report that the jellyfish protein apoaequorin may improve cognitive function in people who have memory problems.

I’d rather be reading

Visiting with friends the other evening, the talk turned to television viewing.  Last week, my husband and I saw an On Demand movie on the television screen that was very good: Winter’s Bone.

Other than that movie, I cannot recall the last time I sat in front of a television to watch anything.  When our friends and Dear Hubby mentioned the television programs and sitcoms and reality shows they enjoy, I was at a loss to remember any but that recent movie (which I highly recommend).

When we participated in a television viewing analysis last year, I watched a total of two hours television in one month (a documentary if I recollect and I doubt the TV company gained much insight in the viewing habits in our household – at least from my perspective).  Although (don’t tell him I wrote this!), DH more than made up for my lack of television watching.

However, I WILL watch a basketball game now and again – if I don’t have a Good Book at hand.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

May and I have no intention of getting on that boat.  We couldn’t even if we wanted to because I threw away the tickets, but our parents don’t know that.

I couldn’t put this book down

I read  Room by Emma Donoghue in one sitting.  You will too (I bet).

snippets from books

Which is the proper response to a written invitation?  When introducing couples what name is given first, the gal’s or the dude’s?  When does a man take his hat off, and why is he wearin’ one anyhow?  What is the usual hour of the day to start passing the jug around at an informal wine-tasting party?  Does shrimp cocktail call for this fork or that fork or some other goofy utensil you never heard of and wouldn’t recognize if the First Lady stabbed it into the back of your  ******* hand?

Jamalee had acquired a great thick dilapidated and somewhat dampened book of manners, and the book smelled like a cotton picker’s hatband.  She spotted lessons in that volume and tossed them before us, and we three snuffled after the kernel of meaning.  The main idea was that we should each of  shed the skin that limited us, the social costumery we wore that communicated our low-life heritage at a glance, and adopt a new carriage and a routine of manners and that air of natural-born worthiness that the naturally born worthy displayed.

“We weren’t raised with decent values,” she said.  “We’ll have to memorize some on our own.”

Jamalee needed to borrow a desert of hot sand and scour it through our skulls so we could start over with scrubbed-clean skulls and build uncrippled brains to stock anew with useful thoughts and habits and intentions.

This process went on over a span of days.

Jamalee would bow her tomato head, dive into the warped pages of that book, then trot out more protocol you couldn’t imagine ever needing to know.  She was teachy around many themes: learn this, taste this, become that different thing.  She wanted us to become “civilized,” which I think to her meant to ape the quality folks right down to spittin’ at our own shadows.

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell

Finders Keepers

If you have not been to the McKee ‘dig’  in Seguin, take a trip out there and learn about all of the artifacts that have been (and are being) found on this property.  It is amazing.

Michael Cary wrote about this find in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise June 17, 2008:

SEGUIN — Local archeologist Robert “Bob” Everett paid a visit Thursday morning to an excavation site where hundreds of arrowheads, spear points and other Native American artifacts were recently uncovered along the banks of the Guadalupe River.

“This is the richest archeological site I’ve seen on the Guadalupe River in 35 years,” said Everett, a steward with the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Archeological Stewardship Network.

Craig Childs writes “with lyrical grace” about searching for relics.  Finders Keepers is a Great Read.

From Child’s book:

“It is a job.  Workers go out and dig.  They pull up every artifact they find.  Perfectly legal and not entirely academic, it is a workingman’s science.  Plats and blueprints tell where to excavate.  Practitioners are known as “salvage” or “rescue” archaeologists.  In information circles, they call themselves “shovel bums,” toiling through cities and along pipelines, where they remove all pertinent archaeology in the way of development.

“There is a growing demand for this particular brand of archaeologist.  Backhoes are digging up slave cemeteries and ancient pagodas, forcing cities to cough up their dead, and somebody has to deal with it.  Roman burials are cropping up in London while archaeologists in downtown Miami ponder a circle of postholes that were cut into bedrock a couple of thousand years ago, doing so on behalf of a frustrated developer who has been planning luxury condominiums for this spot.  After thousands of years of traffic, a marketplace in Cairo recently revealed a temple containing a four-ton statue of Ramses II that had been right under people’s feet.  Even in the slums of Mexico City, pieces of the fallen Aztec Empire keep showing up.  In 2006, construction work exposed a thirteen ton stone carving of an earth goddess, and when salvage archaeologists went in they discovered it was topping the tomb of an Aztec emperor.  This could be the biggest discovery in Mexican history, as they dig through the city’s wet,mucky foundations to find it.”

“. . . In his essay on whether we can actually harm the dead, Geoffrey Scarre of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Durham, England, wrote, ‘Whilst a bone may be no more animate than a stone, it is the relic of a man or woman who once thought and felt, was happy and sad, loved and feared as we do.  To disinter or disturb it, or to subject it to chemical or physical analysis, is to take a liberty–not with the thing itself but with the person to whom it once belonged.’ “