Monday, May 6, 2013

Another book

Here's another book review for you.

Daemon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez

I read these two books awhile back. I was greatly impressed. These are Mr. Suarez’ first books, they will not be his last. At least I hope not. Imagine a cross between Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Terminator with much better writing. I suppose ‘Techno Thriller’ might be the genre. Whatever, it is a fascinating, frightening story (these are book one and two, with the possibility of a third). These are scarier than Chrichton’s Jurassic Park series. The monsters in this case are much easier to activate than prehistoric dinosaurs. This is eBay, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook ,Online Banking, et al on steroids. The overwhelming good accomplished by connectivity is twisted to evil in a scarily believable turn. Granted you have to set reality aside to accept that a dead, evil genius has unleashed the ultimate computer virus, but so much of what it can do is believable. Here’s a new way to dress good and evil and a couple of the most wonderful final show downs I’ve ever read, and I’m old. I’ve read a few. Don’t read this unless you love good science fiction and can abide jargon you only half understand. Fortunately ,there are characters with little tech background who demand explanations and wonderful geeks who supply them. You also need to be able to abide lots of violence and gore (think Terminator and Star Wars variety). Great fun, entertaining, but frightening as Hell itself.

Book Review

Stop Living in This Land, Go to the Everlasting World of Happiness, Live There Forever  by Woo Myung

The title of this book is almost a book in itself.

This was 'enlightening'.  It helped me a great deal, clarifying many questions I had about specific things in Christianity.  I'm not sure that was the intent, but it was what happened for me.  I finally understand God as 'I am', the pervasiveness of sin, and how important continual repentance is.  Not bad for a book I almost didn't take home (from the library, of course).

It was not easy going. The book was translated from Korean.  The author speaks of the world.  Trouble is it might be God's world, or it might be the human world.  Several references required rereading a number of times to be sure I was thinking of the same world the author was.  Even so, it was worth the effort.

I Googled the author, Woo Myung. Seems he might be a cult leader, or not.   He may be related to Rev. Moon, or not.  I really don't care.  I derived value from reading this book, and I am thankful for that.  I will not be taking his  Maum Meditation. I will not go through his 7 steps and will not be cleansed by the process and I won't even be buying his book (aren't libraries grand?).  But I may more fully understand what I do believe and that is not a bad thing.

I love books.  They never fail to provide something and there is such a wonderful variety of experiences that I could never touch upon in any other way.  How great is that?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another book review

I read some interesting books awhile back. Now, understand that my taste is quite probably unusual, compared to normal people. But you already know about all the ‘ordinary’ books, so my job is to get you to read something you might not ordinarily pick up. Right? May I suggest you give author Mary Roach a try? Titles of the books that we have here at the library are: Stiff-The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook-Science Tackles the Afterlife and Bonk-The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. These are very readable books. They include a lot of scientific information, numerous footnotes and extensive bibliographies. This lady has done her research. She writes with thoroughness, healthy skepticism and laugh out loud humor. I guarantee, whichever book you choose, you will learn something you never knew before. You may learn some things you never wanted to know, but hey, you’re learning. What I found very interesting was how very long science has been fascinated by these three subjects for centuries.

I’m currently reading Stiff. There is such a history of cadavers being donated to science. I always envisioned them being used to teach doctors and surgeons. Turns out that they are. But, did you know science has also used cadavers to safety test cars and to test firearms (one test to find bullets that cause the least damage and one test to find bullets that cause the most damage). There is also the quandary of the ‘brain dead’ patient, who is legally dead, but their heart is still beating and they are kept in that condition, with great care, until their organs can be harvested. The guillotine section of the book is equally fascinating. Told you my taste is unusual.

Ms Roach is not a scientist, but she is a curious, intelligent woman and I have no doubt that her books are accurate. I also have no doubt that they are often hilariously funny. Try one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Never mind, I'm here now

Yes I know. Just be glad I'm back. I want to share a book with you. This one is nonfiction.

The State of Jones
by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer

By following the life of a yeoman farmer, this book tells the true story of Jones County Mississippi before, during and after the Civil War. A seventy page bibliography pays tribute to the immense amount of research that was required to piece together the life and times of Newton Knight and his family. Newton Knight did not own slaves and did not believe in slavery. He was one of many within his county who were against secession. Fighting it politically was impossible. Fighting for the Confederacy was required, but bitterly distasteful. He deserted and became leader of a group that unofficially served the Union, from deep in Rebel territory. They disrupted the Confederacy and helped in its defeat. This is a brutal description of the hard times endured by soldiers and civilians, alike, during that period. The writing is exceptional and the story is riveting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"New Beginnings" Art Show


The Tilden Library Foundation is now hosting the "New Beginnings" traveling art show from Prairie Winds Art Center of Grand Island, NE, through the end of June. It is available for viewing in the Lied Auditorium of the Raymond A. Whitwer Tilden Public Library in Tilden, NE. This unique show is made up of pieces that are uniformly sized to be 7" X 7"(image) and framed to be 15" X 17". Although uniform in size, there is a wide variety of styles (abstract to realism), subject matter (non objective to objective) and media ( oil, watercolor, acrylic, collage, textiles, pastel etc). Three dimensional ceramic pieces are also included in the exhibit of about 50 pieces. The artists are the award winning professional artists and members of the Prairie Winds Art Center of 112 W. 3rd Street in Grand Island, NE. 68801. There is no charge for this exhibit. All pieces are for sale.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Between Fences

Some time back we had an exhibit called Between Fences. At that time the following poem was
submitted to be part of the display. It's a keeper.

by Jeanmarie Shermer 4-4-8

A leaning post
For a neighborly chat
A perch of safety for
A bird from a cat
The place to hang proudly
A family name
Or to run a stick over
As a noisy game
An obstacle to jump
snitched apple in hand
A divider separating
Parcels of land
A fence can be welcoming
With an open gate
Or a warning of trespass
With an ominous fate
Some fences keep things out
While others keep them in
Many are pristine and white
others rusty and dim
Fences can be a metaphor
A hurdle to conquer each day
A personal victory we scale
When they get in our way
A wall made of people
linking arms to take a stand
Or wounds we mend when
We’ve wronged our fellow man
Its something we’re on
When things are hard to decide
And often we’re jealous of
What’s on the other side
No matter what the purpose
Or where and when they’re found
A fence consists of more than
Merely posts stuck in the ground

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Peter Fletcher to perform in Tilden

I know it's unusual for me to be here this often, but I have some great news. We will be having another Alida Hall Memorial concert this fall. We will be hosting Peter Fletcher, classical guitarist. Visit to hear samples of his music and check out his schedule. He will be performing at Carnegie Hall on April 1st. Is that amazing?

He will be here at our Lied Audiorium sometime in October. Wow. I'll let you know when the date is finalized. Couldn't keep that to myself.