The page cards are just below the knights. In traditional decks, the jacks took over both of them. Pages represent youths, and in the Robin Wood tarot deck, the suit of staves represents fire. In the Robin Wood tarot deck, the Page of Wands (same as staffs or staves) stands in the desert and has …
I love stories of maritime disaster. I love tense, sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat action stories. And this audiobook was only four-and-a-half hours long! Surely this would be a great listen? And this book did provide some action so tense that I literally gasped out loud when I was listening to it. But I almost didn’t finish listening to it. This book is like the best deli meat you’ve ever had, sandwiched between stale knock-off wonderbread with spots of mold on it.
It starts out giving descriptions of the men of the coastguard who were involved in this daring rescue. It felt like a giant heap of backstory, when I had no reason to care about any of these men. I remembered bits and tidbits of the story, but they all kind of jumbled together. There were just too many of them, and I didn’t know which ones would be important. Also, they all had fairly similar backgrounds; working class white men of the mid-20th century who loved the sea. There were differences between them (this guy came from one city, this came from another, this one married his high school sweetheart, that one had his father die) but honestly they all kind of ran together. I had no reason to care about any of them.
After the first hour of just backstory, I considered just deleting the book unread. I might have, since I’m learning as I get older that life is too short for boring books, but I only had three and a half hours left and deleting it bothered my sense of completion. So I gave it another chance. About forty minutes later it started to get good.
The middle was breathtaking. The actual description of the rescue attempts made me cringe and cheer and wince and shriek in alarm. I was absolutely enrapt in the action, though because there were multiple ships and multiple rescue boats involved I got a bit confused as to what was happening. Too many characters, too many vessels. And then after the rescue, the book once again slowed down to a crawl as the author discussed the aftermath of characters I couldn’t keep straight.
If this were a novel I’d say that the author should pick one or two main characters and follow their arc. If it were a novel, I’d suggest making it about one rescue of one ship, not several rescues of two ships which had each broken in twain. I would certainly advise against the first third of the book being an infodump about people we did not yet have any reason to care about. And if it were a novel, the story would wind down much, much faster after the rescue, not have another 25% of denouement. It’s not a novel, it was a non-fiction about a real event, so I’m not sure how to improve it as the author was constrained by the material.
I hesitate to recommend this book. The middle part was five stars. The beginning and end were one stars. If you have a paper version, skip the beginning and the end and just read about the rescue. You won’t be able to keep all the characters straight anyway.
True crime isn’t my favorite genre, so I’m not sure why I got this from audible. Maybe it was the nice cover photo. I’m glad I did. It’s a gritty and fascinating story about three anti-government gun nut types who stole a water truck and ended up killing a cop that incited a massive manhunt for them in the four corners region.
I really enjoyed both the depth of the research and the skill of the writing. Schultz deeply investigated this murder and revealed it in a way that maximized the mystery behind it. If he had begun a few years earlier, he might have been able to discover more than the police eventually did. He walks a careful line, telling you all the evidence in such a way that you will come to your own conclusion as to the real story, without actually telling you things that haven’t been established as true, except at the end when he says “here’s a story.”
(view spoiler)[ To me, the most fascinating part was when Bobby’s body was found. Here we have these guys who will shoot government officials on sight, including and especially cops, and what do the cops do but prove their point for them. Or maybe it wasn’t cops. Maybe there were other militia guys out there who did it. (hide spoiler)]
The main thing that keeps this from being in my “best book of the year” category (I only give five stars if the book is absolutely stellar) is that I was disappointed at how many mysteries remained when all was said and done. There was a fourth guy who had been interviewed and knew a lot about the plot, (which might have been to blow up the Glen canyon dam), and he was dead by the time the book was published. But did anyone have copies of those interviews? What was the guy’s name? Who was he? Do we know anything about him?
Schultz whispers at a deeper conspiracy, but then he backs off. I can’t say I blame the author; I personally would not want to dig too deeply into the secrets of gun nuts who almost certainly were willing to kill even their own friends to keep the secrets hidden. I just found it disappointing as a reader.
Since I’m from Arizona and have been to the four corners region on several occasions, I found the wild-west romanticism of the region to kind of miss the mark. It’s not the the wild west days of Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp weren’t fascinating, it’s that there’s so much about that area and the people who live there NOW that’s interesting. Going back a hundred and fifty years ago feels like a nod to people who don’t know anything about the west and find it foreign and exotic. I would rather have had some more recent examples of this cowboys and outlaws behavior to back up the supposition. Like, “twenty years ago, someone was caught stealing cattle and he disappeared” or “Federal Surveyors reported being shot at when they came out here back in the 60’s” rather than “That one famous thing that you (who know nothing about this area) know about defines the culture of this region.” I would rather have had more description of the actual people who live there now and recent events than relying on the shorthand of a Hollywood stereotype to fill in the gaps.
Since the militia movement so strongly influences the story, I would have liked to know more about those people. Why weren’t they interviewed? Why did we not learn more about the other people who trained with them? Is it because they wouldn’t talk to reporters, or because Schultz couldn’t find them? As fascinating as this book was, it leaves more questions than answers.
I think this would be a great book for a book club because Schultz seems sympathetic with neither side, and because it touches on a lot of debatable topics. Gun control. Environmentalism. The irony of anti-government, anti-law enforcement types who call themselves “patriots” and “militia.” And above all, the question of what really happened. Who really killed these guys? I’ll keep my eye out for the book that finally tells the rest of the story.
I liked this book, though this review will get way, way more into it than it would had I read it when I was in its target demographic. If I had read it as a young girl, I would have longed to live on a quaint Canadian island in the early 20th century. Anne is the kind of girl who lives her life to the fullest, a near caricature of someone who is grateful for every breath, the kind of girl who’s biggest problem in life is that she’s too thin and she has naturally red hair. It’s pure, escapist fantasy. Can you imagine thinking that being too thin and having naturally red hair is actually a problem?
It’s also great escapist fantasy in that Montgomery describes the countryside with the eye of a lover. Everything is beautiful beyond measure, which her protagonist fixes on. There’s always some new blessing of the changing seasons, some glorious flower or atmospheric wonder to behold. Anne is enrapt with poetry, and so pleased by the most banal of delights–such as having a dress with puffed sleeves. She’s also very “feminine” by which Montgomery means “vain.”
The best thing about this book is Anne’s delight in everything. I can’t imagine a life in which fantasizing about a Sunday School picnic would put a smile on my face for weeks, or where going to a recitation and choir concert at a hotel would make me feel as though my life had surpassed all capacity for joy. That sounds like a very dull life, if such things counted as blissful entertainment.
Which brings me to the worst thing about this book: as I am a literalist with an active imagination, I couldn’t help but imagine what life would be like living in that time and place, and it sounds quite dreadful. These are people who refuse to tell loved ones that they love them because of some backwards Calvinist delight in eschewing any kind of pleasure. Anything which marks you as different from anyone else is “wicked.” Dyeing your hair? Wicked. Thinking the minister is boring? Wicked. Brewing red currant wine for medicinal purposes? Wicked. Gossiping or reading exciting novels or writing stories or doing anything else even remotely entertaining? Wicked. They are also very, very keen on preserving ones rigid place within the highly stratified hierarchy. If you are very “good” you might become a minister’s wife and serve as an example to other women on the virtue of being predictable and conventional. Education is wasted on women, Mrs. Lind says, because it makes them unfit to serve in their roles. Anything that makes people seek for more than the small place allotted them is wicked and disruptive. When Anne is trying to be “good” what she is really doing is trying to shove herself into a small box to please those with more power than her, such as Marcella and Mrs. Lind. When Mrs. Lind is rude to Anne and Anne says sharp things in return, it’s Anne who has to apologize, not Mrs. Lind. When Anne stops making up stories and daydreaming she writes it off as growing up, instead of excising the parts of her that make her most interesting in order that she might fit better within the rigid and stratified conservative life on the island.
So, it’s a sweet and charming book, as long as you don’t put yourself into it too deeply. It’s probably a great book for the children of your most conservative friends, to espouse on the virtue of making yourself small and dull so that you can fit in with simple people who have small lives. It’s a love letter to homogeneous societies, wrapped in romanticism.
A novel, or memoir, at its best, will give you a window in to the life of someone you might never meet in real life. This memoir, if you can call it a memoir when half of it is about the author’s mother, succeeds admirably. Where else would I have learned what it was like to be a poor Jew living in the south in the 1930s? Or what it was like to be part of a giant mixed-race family in New York in the 50s and 60s? Okay, maybe that last part is a lot more common, but it was still fascinating.
This book is definitely about race and class as much as anything. The author’s mother was Jewish at a time when that really meant something, where people would exclude you for it, though maybe I’m being naive and in some places they still do care deeply about ostracizing anyone who isn’t the right flavor of Christian. It also feels, in some ways, like a love letter to New York and all the opportunities that were there even for people who were black and desperately poor (if you had someone like his mother who was intent on partaking of them.)
I also liked that this book wasn’t as emotional as I feared. There were a couple of sections where I cried, but it wasn’t an “uplifting” book where people are tortured extensively and suffer for decades and we’re supposed to feel that it’s a testament to the human spirit or some such backflap dreck. It’s just a well-written book about some people with different and rather interesting lives.
I’m still very much enjoying this series, though this book wasn’t as excellent as the last one. It’s still good though, a rollicking adventure with high stakes in an exotic land. Novik presents early nineteenth century Australia as a rough land of rough men, and the countryside as a forlorn wilderness.
The characters are the same characters we’ve loved from the other books, including Rankin, the horrid captain who caused the death of his dragon in the first book. He’s come to Australia in hopes of securing one of the dragon hatchlings as soon as their eggs hatch. Only for political reasons, the crews have to take to the outback, and while they take the dragon eggs with them, one of the eggs is stolen.
Tharkay, the half-Nepalese soldier/spy from earlier books is also along, and he’s got a goal of his own: to find out how Chinese trade goods are dribbling into Sydney, undercutting the East India Company’s monopoly. Roland and Dumain are also along, and Granby with Iskierka. So all your fun friends are along, with plenty of conflict to keep them going. Temeraire tries very hard to convince the new hatchlings to ignore Rankin, but when the hatchlings are born, we realize that dragons have their own personalities which do not always suit their elders–a lesson many parents must learn time and time again!
The plotting, while tight, is kind of my only gripe about this book. Gripe is too strong a word. It’s still an excellent story, it’s just that many of the characters aren’t really invested in this story. People die, but they are all redshirts who don’t really matter. And they want to get the egg back and find out about the trade, but it’s not really personally important to the characters, it’s just a job they’re doing to get out of Sydney until things cool down. The mood of Lawrence is tired, tired and sad and wanting a home. And Temeraire spends a lot of the book sick from a cough, so it felt more like the sad part of an adventure, when you’re tired and hungry and hot or cold and thirsty, and less like the fun part of an adventure, where you blow up the enemy ship and everyone cheers. Still a great book, and I’ve already bought the next in the series.
For the sky on this one I used a crystal glaze. There’s only one crystal; I’m not sure why it didn’t turn out better. When they say you need 3-4 coats, they aren’t lying. In retrospect, I would have liked to make the distant island emerald green. This card symbolizes safe passage through a difficult …
This is one of the most well-known tarot cards. Our local bookstore uses it as their logo. I made the sky pink for two reasons. One, because I thought it would look like dawn (it doesn’t) and two, because I was running out of shades of light blue and didn’t want them to all look …
To make the surface decoration on this cup, I trailed slip made out of the same clay body. It came in handy that I had drawn several flocks of birds in my comic, coopdegrace.com, because I could draw them again without a reference. This cup, alas, is unuseable, because it has a longitudinal crack inside. …