Word of the Day


backdate (back·date)

Syllabification:

Pronunciation:/ˈbakˌdāt/

verb

[with object] put an earlier date to (a document or agreement) than the actual one:they backdated the sale documents to evade a court order

“backdate”. Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010. Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010. Oxford University Press. http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1224281 (accessed June 30, 2010).

Advertisements

Joyeux 110e anniversaire, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry!


Flickr CC | The Little Prince | Photo by: digipam

June 29, 2010 is the 110 anniversary of author, illustrator, aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. One of his works is the incredible The Little Prince; a personal favorite as well as a 1001 Books Book.

J.D. Robb’s In Death Series


Ericksen, S., & Robb, J. D. (2004). In Naked in death. Brilliance Audio on compact disc. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio. 9781593558284

Ericksen, S., & Robb, J. D. (2004). In Glory in death. In Death, #2. Grand Haven, Mich: Brilliance Audio. 9781593558314

McMurdo-Wallis, C., & Robb, J. D. (2001). In Immortal in death. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books. 9781402515385

Robb, J. D., & Ericksen, S. (2006). Rapture in death. Brilliance Audio on compact disc. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio. 9781423313533

Robb, J. D., & Ericksen, S. (2001). Ceremony in death. Grand Haven, Mich: Brilliance Audio. 9781423313717

With a new car and a new CD player, I once again became  an “audiobook reader.” So, I chose to give Nora Roberts’ turn as J.D. Robb a shot.

The “In Death” series offers a bleak look at the future. The main character is Eve Dallas, a thirty-year old NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) lieutenant in the year 2058. Before we become depressed though, I’d like to say Dallas’ world is a phoenix rising from the ashes of the Urban Wars a few decades before Naked in Death. Technology is grand and inspiring and people regularly do business “off planet.”

Lt. Eve Dallas investigates homicide on (and off) the mean streets of New York City. She’s a phoenix herself; having been found as an eight year old girl on a Dallas, Texas street with a broken arm and covered in blood.  A social worker names her “Eve Dallas.” Before this, she lived with her abusive father that she only recalls in the aforementioned nightmares.

Eve grows up in the foster care system. As an adult, Eve joins the police force in 2051. While working on a homicide case involving murdered licensed companions (legal prostitutes), Eve meets Roark, an Irish multi-millionaire, who romances her.

As anyone can see, I’ve continued with the series and I’m working on the fourth book, Rapture in Death. Having read Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb would be my preference. There’s continuity, the futuristic aspects, and a bit of grit. While I hope there are no events such as the Urban Wars, I look forward to traveling to Mars and parents receiving government paychecks for being parents.

I strongly recommend reading these in order.

Three out of Five Pearls

Word Bank: Check out the Glossary on J.D. Robb’s site.

Places: New York City, Dallas, Texas, East Washington, New Los Angeles, Ireland, Mexico, Mars, “Off planet”

For more on J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series, please check out the following sites:

Google Doodle honors Jean-Paul Sartre Today


Flickr CC | Sartre | Photo by: Adam NFK Smith

By Luigi Lugmayr

The Google homepage diversion today is in honor of Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sartre was born on June 21st 1905 and died on April 15th 1980. Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading figures in 20th century existentialism.
You can find out more about Sartre on Wikipedia before you continue you work. To dig even deeper, you can read these books written by Sartre.
Just do not forget what you were actually searching on Google for.
Past Google Doodles are listed here. 

The Google homepage diversion today is in honor of Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sartre was born on June 21st 1905 and died on April 15th 1980. Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading figures in 20th century existentialism.
You can find out more about Sartre on Wikipedia before you continue you work. To dig even deeper, you can read these books written by Sartre.
Just do not forget what you were actually searching on Google for.
Past Google Doodles are listed here.

TBRs – Kerry Miller’s Passive aggressive notes…


Miller, K. (2008). In Passive aggressive notes: Painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings, and just plain aggressive. New York: Harper Collins. 978-0061630590

Title – Passive aggressive notes: Painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings, and just plain aggressive

Author – Kerry Miller

Found – As one of my coworkers was checking the item into the system on June 02, he said, “Jorie, you’ve got to see this.” I later asked if he was trying to tell me something.

From the back cover – “Part voyeuristic entertainment, part group therapy, Passive Aggressive Notes offers a fascinating look at the all-too-familiar frustrations of embattled office drones, apartment dwellers, parents, and pet owners everywhere…”

Did I check it out? – No, but I requested it.

More to see on Kerry Miller’s Passive aggressive notes: Painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings, and just plain aggressive :

Zu Vincent’s Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia


Vincent, Z. (2009). Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia. New York: Franklin Watts. 0531207382

The first time I remember hearing the name “Catherine the Great” was as a child. Some art expo was in town and the theme dealt with her. Seeing the paintings of an older woman in eighteenth century getup, I judged her to be long gone. So, I asked my mom, “Who was she?” Mom told me how she was a Russian Empress. Soon after, one of the less official television networks ran a movie about Catherine the Great as a young woman. She was beautiful, her husband – Peter, was a tool, and Catherine and her lover Gregory Orlov pulled a coup for the empire.

With my recent introduction to A Wicked History series, I read Zu Vincent’s Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia. The cover shows an imperious Catherine with the word “Despot” spray-painted across her. Inside this book, I found a cunning young woman striving for survival, then power.

Born Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1729, she was the daughter of Prussian Prince Christian August and Princess Johanna. Princess Johanna found the Prussian town dreary and wanted escape and she would use the young Sophie to do so.

Thus, at the fifteen year old Sophie and Princess Johanna arrived in Russia. Sophie sought the hand of Crown Prince Peter, a marriage of power, not love. His mother, Empress Elizabeth, liked Sophie, and soon, Sophie became Catherine and married Peter.  Peter couldn’t stand her and Elizabeth feared Catherine’s intellect. Catherine bid her time for nearly twenty years, enduring mistreatment and abuse by Elizabeth and Peter.

When Elizabeth died, Catherine, with the help of numerous others, overpowered her jerky husband’s power. To the amazement of all of Europe, Catherine lived a long life, ruling her adopted home of Russia.

An important question Vincent asks is “Was she wicked?” After reading this biography, let me know what you think.

Four out of Five Pearls

Quote:

The glory of the country is my own glory – to raise the Russian Empire to a degree of power above that of the other empires of Asia and Europe.

– Catherine the Great

Word Bank: (from the glossary of this book)

  • alliance – an agreement to work together
  • bureaucrat – an official in a governmental department
  • Cossacks – people of Southern Russia, Ukraine, and Siberia who were known for their independence and military skill
  • coup – a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power
  • empire – a group of countries or regions that have the same ruler
  • Enlightenment – a philosophical movement of the Eighteenth Century that emphasized the use of human reason to build a better world
  • khan – a ruler of Turkish or Tatar tribes during the time of Catherine the Great
  • open letter – a document that is addressed to a person but meant to be read by a wide audience
  • Protestant – a Christian who does not belong to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church
  • pustule – a small blister or pimple on the skin containing pus
  • Russian Orthodox – describing the major church of Christianity in Russia
  • scythe – a tool with a large, curved blade used for cutting crops
  • sovereign – the supreme leader of a country
  • steppe – a vast, treeless plain
  • sultan – an emperor or ruler of a Muslim monarchy
  • treason – the crime of betraying one’s country
  • tsar – the emperor, or “Caesar,” of Russia
  • tyrannical – ruling others in a cruel or unjust way

Places: Prussia, Russia, Constantinople, Poland, France, Great Britain

For more on Zu Vincent’s Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia, please check out the following links:

St. Thomas More School Media Center

Scholastic Series – A Wicked History


When I began reading on my own, I gravitated towards biographies. I recall reading about pioneers, heroes and heroines. These folks inspired others. I followed the struggles and triumphs of the likes of Elizabeth Blackwell and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Then, I found out some biographers equivocated in their writings of these “good guys.” Well, folks said to me, they couldn’t tell the kids. Thus, I turned towards the wonderfully made up world of Fiction.

One of my coworkers mentioned Scholastic’s series called “A Wicked History” in a staff book club meeting. These short biographies focus on despots, barbarians, evildoers – basically the bad guys of history. My coworker showed us the one on Napoleon. These biographies may say they’re for kids but I’d recommend them to teens. HCPL keeps the Wicked Histories in the Young Adult nonfiction.

While I checked out the one on Napoleon, I requested one about Catherine the Great. Then, my dad and I had to duke it out over who read what first. Within a couple of days, both of us found these biographies to be candid (no equivocation for teens), informative, and well-contained. This is one of those nice series that doesn’t require reading in a certain order. (Thank you!) These biographies are written by different people as well.

I’ve read a few of these already and taken note of similar formatting. The covers present almost a caricature of the subject. Each villain has a word graffiti-ed across them.  In addition, the books present a map entitled “The World of ______,” “A Wicked Web,” “_____ in Pictures,” “Wicked?,” “Timeline of Terror,” “Glossary,” “Find Out More,” and “Author’s Note and Bibliography.”

So far, so good! I’ve read some and intend to read more. I anticipate more Wicked Histories on more women. . . hint, hint.

For more on A Wicked History series, check out the following links: