Thursday, January 18, 2018

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables (c) 1908 by Lucy Maud Montgomery
The Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery, especially my favorite, the first book, is a fresh, uplifting series of stories about Anne Shirley, an orphan who moves in with an elderly brother and sister, Matthew and Marila Cuthbert when she is eleven years old. They live in Green Gables, a house near the town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Canada.

In Anne of Green Gables, first published in 1908, Anne is heartbroken at first when she learns that the Cuthberts had wanted the orphanage to send them a boy, and that there had been a mix-up. But when the Cuthberts decide to keep her anyway, she cheers up. What follows is a hilarious series of adventures and misadventures as Anne gets herself into one predicament after another, only to get herself out again because of her pluck and tenacity, from accidentally flavoring a cake with linament oil instead of vanilla, and jumping onto a bed only to find a poor old lady, (her best friend Diana's great-aunt Josephine) already in it!

I enjoy all of L. M. Montgomery's stories about Anne, and Anne of Green Gables is my favorite of them all. I highly recommend it to adults as well as children!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New LDS Church Presidency

Russell M. Nelson, President
While I was sad on the 3rd to find out that Thomas S. Monson, prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had died, I was pleased recently to learn about the calling of his successor, and his counselors.

Russell M. Nelson has been called to serve as the President of the church, and has asked Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring to help him as his counselors. I'm glad, because I like both Elder Oaks and Elder Eyring.

Dallin H. Oaks, 1st Counselor
Elder Eyring had served as one of President Monson's counselors, and so has experience serving in the presidency. Elder Oaks has been an apostle since 1984. Both of them have a good amount of experience as General Authorities, and I am confident that they will help President Nelson considerably.

Henry B. Eyring, 2nd Counselor
I think these three men will do a marvelous job leading the LDS (Mormon) church, and my prayers and support are with them.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales characters, by Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales, written, oh, gee, a long time ago, (between 1387 and 1400) by Geoffrey Chaucer, is an example of a story within a story narration. A group of travelers, the narrator plus twenty-nine others, meet at an inn before they set out for Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. The group of them decide to travel together.  The innkeeper decides to go with them, and suggests to the group that to make their journey more enjoyable on the way, that each of them will tell two stories on the way there and two on the way back, and he, the innkeeper, will decide which is the best story. Then, the winner will be given a meal paid by the others at the journey's end. The tales were never finished because Chaucer died before completing them. But the stories the characters gave, and the descriptions of the many characters give us a glimpse into what life was like back in the day. I particularly enjoyed the story about Chanticleer and Pertelote, a mock-heroic story which was
a romance between a rooster and a hen, and the Pardoner's story. The nun's priest's tale, the one about Chanticleer, the rooster, and Pertelote, the hen, was funny, and the Pardoner's story was a good reminder that greed can do great damage.
I recommend The Canterbury Tales to people who enjoy stories from history, and learning about life from long ago.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Clinton City Storytelling Festival

Yesterday, I had the wonderful priviledge of participating in the Clinton City Storytelling Festival, hosted by Clinton City Recreation.
About a month ago, my former brother and sister-in-law contacted me, and said her dad was helping to put together some authors and storytellers who would participate in the Festival, and asked if I would be willing to come and read some of my work. I was very happy to do so, and came out to participate.
I'm so glad I went! I really enjoyed it! I didn't read as much of my work as I had hoped, because I didn't want to go over the six minutes I'd been given, but I hoped what I read was enjoyable to the adults and kids who were there. I sure enjoyed myself.
There were storytellers of various ages, including one young lady who was ten! And their stories and songs were very fun!
If I am not mistaken, this was the first year that Clinton City, Utah has done a Storytelling Festival. And I hope they continue to do so for many more
years!

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (c) 1876 by Mark Twain
I recently finished, again, an enjoyable classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, which was the pen name for Samuel Clemens who wrote many books during the late 1800s, including A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, first published in 1876,
was a fun, entertaining book that explored a few months in the life of Thomas Sawyer, a boy who lives with his aunt since his mother died. He is an adventurous boy who doesn't like school or manual labor, but he does find that he likes Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town. With his pal Huckleberry, who after this book has an adventure of his own, he gets into all sorts of scrapes, including being witnesses to a murder! While some might say that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it ended up being a good thing they were there, since Injun Joe, the real murderer, tried to frame innocent Muff Potter for the deed, and the boys, while mischievous, are at heart compassionate boys and do the right thing in witnessing in Muff Potter's defense, saving him from being hanged for a crime he didn't commit. But then when Injun Joe escapes, Tom starts worrying that Injun Joe is going to come after him next! To maker matters worse, when he and Becky, on an outing with some other kids, find themselves hopeless lost in a cave, the only person they come in contact with as they're trying to find their way out, is Injun Joe!

I really enjoyed the story, and while it dragged in a few places, it was a fun adventure story over all. I recommend it to people who enjoy classical literature, and fun adventure!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Far World: Air Keep by J. Scott Savage

Far World Air Keep (c) 2013 by J. Scott Savage
I recently finished, again, a very entertaining book, the third of a series by J. Scott Savage, entitled Far World: Air Keep. It is preceded by Far World: Water Keep, and Far World: Land Keep, and it is followed by Far World: Fire Keep, the last book in the series.

In the book Marcus and Kyja, the hero and heroine of the story are tasked with finding and getting the help of the Air Elementals, about whom there is very little known. As they go on their journey, they are joined by Mr. Z (short for Zithspithesbazith) whom they met in the previous book and who guides them along. As they go, they discover the capriciousness of the Air Elementals, and begin to despair if they will ever get their help. What do they do to finally gain the Air Elementals' trust? Well, read the book and find out!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy (c) 1954 by C. S. Lewis
The Horse and His Boy, another of the many great books in the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, follows the story of Shasta and Bree, a young human and a talking Narnian horse who work together to escape slavery in Calormen. Along the way, they meet up with Aravis and Hwin, a young Calormene noble woman, and a talking mare who are also escaping together. Aravis is running away from an unwanted betrothal, and Hwin, like Bree, was kidnapped as a young foal.

The four of them have various troubles and setbacks on their journey north, particularly in the city of Tashbaan, but doing so they learn important information about a planned invasion by Prince Rabadash on Archenland and Narnia that they take with them as they escape Tashban and cross the desert toward Archenland.

The story was an enjoyable one, and like the other books in the Narnian Chronicles, is a story that I believe both adults and young people will enjoy. Mr. Lewis, as he does in all his books, shows the natural consequences that come when people choose wisely and unselfishly, as with Shasta and Aravis' choices, and the natural consequences when people choose unwisely and selfishly as with Rabadash's choices.

I enjoyed the book very much, and heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy/adventure story!