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dead wake

From the #1 New York Timesbestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the disaster

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds” and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship–the fastest then in service–could outrun any threat.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game.

A really great book that sheds light on the USA entering the First World War and the sinking of the Lusitania is written by Erik Larson in Dead Wake.  This is a great read. You get to travel with the passengers on the Lusitania in 1915. It sheds light on how the Germans did not care if they sunk passenger liners with women and children, whether there was indeed ammunition on the Lusitania as claimed, and the clever code breaking done in secret. Also about Woodrow Wilson’s romance!

And a funny true little story –when the war broke out in 1904…

In Paris, the big fascination was the trial of Henriette Caillaux, wife of former prime minister Joseph Caillaux, arrested for killing the editor of the Paris newspaper LeFigaro after the newspaper had published an intimate letter that the prime minister had written to her before their marriage, when they were having an adulterous affair.

 

Enraged, Mrs. Caillaux bought a gun, practiced with it at the gunsmith’s shop, then went to the editor’s office and fired six times. In her testimony, offering an unintended metaphor for what was soon to befall Europe, she said, “These pistols are terrible things. They go off by themselves.” She was acquitted, after persuading the court that the murder was a crime of passion.

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To Read or Not to Read

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musict

I started writing when I was eight—out of the blue, uninspired by any example. I’d never known anyone who wrote; indeed, I knew few people who read. But the fact was, the only four things that interested me were: reading books, going to the movies, tap dancing, and drawing pictures. Then one day I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master.

When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation.

But of course I didn’t know that.

Music for Chameleons

TRUMAN CAPOTE, 1979

I read somewhere that 1 out of 5 (I suppose that is an average and not a mean) of books on a bookshelf goes unread. I wonder if the same apples to Kindle? With Amazon you can read a % free to see if you like it. I suppose I read 1 out of 5 that I taste so to speak.  And those that I try must have a good cover because sure,  I judge a book by its cover.

I never read romance and science fiction so I cannot speak.

But then I have become very fussy. I thought Gone Girl was rubbish! OK so I did not even finish it and I don’t know what all the hype is about. And the movie even rubbisher. But I liked The Girl on the Train, as I said to http://poeticparfait.com  it was errrrrr… engaging. Even better and it should not even be mentioned in the same breath was A S A Harrison’s The Silent Wife. Pity that she died before she saw the results of bestseller. Nicole Kidman is supposedly going to feature in the movie.

But then there are the writers that are artist of a very high standard not to be compared….

Like Julian Barnes and others too many to name. They fall in a different category.

 

Cheers 2015!!! May this be your blessed year!

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My favorite book of 2014?

Difficult to choose but this one for me takes the prize. If you like wine and you love France or is it the other way round, if you love France and well you have to be a wine lover  of course– the ghost of the grape – then you will get much enjoyment from this book. And some excitement too. I will now look at a glass of wine with a different eye. Excuse the pun!

Shadows

The reviews:-

Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romanée-Conti, Burgundy’s finest and most expensive wine.

In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison-a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder-unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation and the crime shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Vanity Fair journalist Maximillian Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by some of France’s top detectives, the primary suspect’s suicide, and a dramatic investigation. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world’s greatest wine.

SHADOWS IN THE VINEYARD takes us deep into a captivating world full of fascinating characters, small-town French politics, an unforgettable narrative, and a local culture defined by the twinned veins of excess and vitality and the deep reverent attention to the land that runs through it.

 

“A rare book that transcends the narrow interests of wine lovers.”—The New York Times, named a Best Wine Book of 2014

 

 

Maximillian Potter, an award-winning journalist, is the senior media adviser for the governor of Colorado. He was the executive editor of 5280: Denver’s Magazine, and previously a staff writer at PremierePhiladelphia, and GQ. He has been a contributing editor to Men’s Health/Best Life and Details, and contributes to Vanity Fair. Potter is a native of Philadelphia, with a BA from Allegheny College and an MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons.

Dijon 2012

Dijon48

Cheers!!!  On 2015!

Alzheimer’s in a Petri dish

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This is fiction but very good fiction from a very talented author

still alice

Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova’s—she’s an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter’s move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin to emerge. First, Alice can’t find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children.

 

But this is fact!

Breakthrough Replicates Human Brain Cells for Use in Alzheimer’s Research

 

For the first time, and to the astonishment of many of their colleagues, researchers created what they call Alzheimer’s in a Dish — a petri dish with human brain cells that develop the telltale structures of Alzheimer’s disease. In doing so, they resolved a longstanding problem of how to study Alzheimer’s and search for drugs to treat it; the best they had until now were mice that developed an imperfect form of the disease.

The key to their success, said the lead researcher, Rudolph E. Tanzi ofMassachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was a suggestion by his colleague Doo Yeon Kim to grow human brain cells in a gel, where they formed networks as in an actual brain. They gave the neurons genes for Alzheimer’s disease. Within weeks they saw the hard Brillo-like clumps known as plaques and then the twisted spaghetti-like coils known as tangles — the defining features of Alzheimer’s disease.

The work, which also offers strong support for an old idea about how the disease progresses, was published in Nature on Sunday. Leading researchers said it should have a big effect.

You can also read more here:-

 

stephen gould6_n

 

 

For sale Uranium Ore – Just too funny not to share

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Iif you are interested in a tin of uranium ore you can buy from Amazon!

 

Uranium ore_

But this ad has the funniest reviews that I have ever seen, it is hilarious!

One guy says I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty

Another  Magic stuff. Been taking 1 spoon a day for 3 weeks. I can now type this review using all 12 fingers.

And another great one Sent this as a Hanukkah gift to President Ahmadinejad. Got a thank you card back saying he loved it and I was his favorite infidel. Kudos to Amazon for a great product and fast shipping to Tehran.

But visit Amazon and read for yourself!

 

Maybe I am the crazy one?

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Crazy people are not locked up, they walk the streets (of Hollywood too)!

Somebody sent me this clip and thought I may enjoy it. Well you have to define enjoy I suppose but my reply was that maybe she committed a crime and wants to claim insanity.
In the latest episode of ‘Gwyneth Paltrow states the absolute ridiculous’, the actress has claimed that saying negative things to water can hurt its feelings.

WATER?

OK but I think I prefer Shirley Valentine talking to the wall.

I am thinking of getting this book:-

the truth

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: A successful young author suffering from writer’s block journeys to New Hampshire to visit his former professor. Shortly after he arrives, the bones of a girl are found buried in the professor’s backyard. Now the professor has been arrested for the murder of the girl–who disappeared in 1975 at the age of fifteen–and the author has an idea: he will write a book based on the case that will ultimately exonerate his professor and jumpstart his writing. Already a massive best seller in Europe (and translated into 32 languages), The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair arrives in North America amid such wild praise you might expect something groundbreaking. Instead, what you get is a wonderful, fun, and boisterous read, a book with an uncanny ability to both fascinate and amuse you. Twists and turns and oddball characters make this a rollicking bullet-train of a novel. –Chris Schluep

Anybody read it?

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – the book

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Paul Torday – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Some ebooks you simply cannot buy if you live outside the USA, Some software arrangement between publishers and the likes of Amazon. Which means if I do not buy the hard cover I and many others will not get to read the book, simple as that.

But I have bought and paid good money for a Kindle and I prefer to read on this device.

Sounds pretty unfair to me.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was one of those books (I have described it in a previous blog). So if you have the same predicament as I have here is a link to the book.

DOWNLOAD LINK