Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, June 06, 2014

#FridayReads up at Terri Talks Books

If you want to know what I'm reading this weekend, check out my #FridayReads video at Terri Talks Books!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

TSS: Readathon Wrap Up at Terri Talks Books

Today I wrap up the fun from the latest Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon at Terri Talks Books. If you need a teaser to go read it, here you go:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

TSS: Eclectic Reading at Terri Talks Books

Photo of my current eclectic reading over at Terri Talks Books today for The Sunday Salon.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Something New Under the Sun

A person my age is likely to subscribe to the ancient saying that there is "nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The same themes and dramas seem to play out repeatedly. The sun rises and sets. Storms come and go. Uncle Bob gets drunk again at Thanksgiving. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again" (NIV). I don't know how far back the saying goes, but the biblical reference is considered ancient. Then there is Shakespeare bringing up the same thing in Sonnet 59:

If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd,
Which, laboring for invention, bear amiss
The second burden of a former child.
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or whe'er better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
O! sure I am, the wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

"Or whether revolution be the same." So, the endless cycle bears no better result year after year. Can't even get away from it in literature. It's enough to bring on the ennui.

Where am I going with this? Oh, yeah. Curling. You heard me. Curling. Prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics I had never seen or heard of curling. In a moment of boredom I turned on the television to watch yet more ice skating with predictable moves performed to very familiar pieces of music. But instead of very fit young people twirling and leaping on ice, I saw people of all sizes and shapes and ages following a stone sliding across the ice. To my further amazement, they were furiously scrubbing the surrounding ice with brooms and yelling at the slowly moving stone. Well, it appeared that they were yelling at the stone. I'm not sure. It was in another language. But they sure seemed to be giving that stone heck. Were they angry that it was moving so slowly? Was it supposed to do tricks? I had never seen this before! It was new! A new sport! Stone harassment!

Well, it turns out that curling was invented in medieval Scotland. Did you catch that word, "medieval"? The 1500s to be exact. This sport made its way to North America and curling clubs established in the early 1800s. It was an Olympics demonstration event as far back as the 1920s but was not declared an official Olympic sport until 1998.* Apparently, not new.

You might be asking yourself about now, "Where is this essay going? Is the writer saying there IS something new under the sun or not? Is she making a positive or a negative point? Should I be hopeful or depressed?" Here is the point I want to make. The themes of life don't change. Human nature doesn't change. For some of us, the image in which we were created does not change. In this sense, there is nothing new under the sun. But each of us has the capacity to experience something new to us. You can still be amazed, or at least intrigued, by something new no matter how many times you've been around the sun. You can look for old things in new forms. Look around. Pay attention. Life is beautiful and it matters the eyes with which you look and see.

It's all about how you look at it.

*For those interested, this mini history was put together from the Curling article on Wikipedia. After looking at the cited References at the end of the article, I decided that it looked well enough cited to use here in this essay without further research.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NEW BLOG: Terri Talks Books

I'm moving!

Terri Talks Books

I've recently been doing some personal social media management and have created companion websites for all of my book related chat and reviews. The websites are branded as Terri Talks Books and use the same header and avatar. Hopefully this will benefit my readers and viewers, making it easier to find me in the various places I talk about books.

How to find me:

What about Tip of the Iceberg?
Tip of the Iceberg is not going away. It will be re-purposed back to its origins as a personal essay writing blog.

How do I find book reviews?
Old book reviews will remain at Tip of the Iceberg and new book reviews will appear at Terri Talks Books. To help readers find book reviews, I will maintain title and author book review indexes and provide a Find My Book Reviews link in the header menu at both blogs.

What if I forget how to find Terri Talks Books?
I've put a link to Terri Talks Books in the header menu above to point readers here at Tip of the Iceberg to the new blog.

Follow me!
I'd love it if you follow me at Terri Talks Books. Subscription links are in the sidebar at Terri Talks Books to help you subscribe in various ways.

Here is a button to subscribe to Terri Talks Books if you use Bloglovin':

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dawn Over the Mountains

Creative Commons Image Attribution

Dawn Over the Mountains

The city is silent,
Sound drains away,
Buildings vanish in the light of dawn,
Cold sunlight comes on the highest peak,
The thick dust of night
Clings to the hills,
The earth opens,
The river boats are vague,
The still sky--
The sound of falling leaves.
A huge doe comes to the garden gate,
Lost from the herd,
Seeking its fellows.

-- Tu Fu, from Songs of Love, Moon, & Wind: Poems from the Chinese, trans. Kenneth Rexroth

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Sunday Salon: Winter Reading

Creative Commons Image Attribution

I've recently finished reading Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and the image above seems to capture the cold, bleak beauty from that novella. Many of you are probably sick of the "cold, bleak beauty," but my home is in a place that is often quite warm during the winter months (yes, I live in the Northern Hemisphere) so I like to live vicariously through my reading by creating a seasonal reading shelf for winter. I actually do this four times a year, once for each season. I also crave certain types of reading during the year. Here is how it breaks down for me:
Classics and literary fiction (yes, I understand there is some controversy over the term "literary fiction" but I am using it here because I think most readers will understand what type of book I'm referring to) are liberally added to any seasonal shelf. I particularly like to read Dickens during the winter months though.

Creating a seasonal shelf not only allows me to read seasonally, but it also allows me to address my enormous TBR collection by creating a smaller pool of books to draw from without restricting myself too much. I might read everything on my seasonal shelf or I might read just some of those books. I like to allow myself room to read something I hadn't thought of, to accommodate a sudden urge to join a read-a-long, or to read impulsively ... because reading should be fun!

Do you create seasonal shelves?

Related links:

The Sunday

The Sunday Salon is a weekly virtual get together where readers share thoughts about their reading. We write about books and reading on our own blogs and then visit and chat with other saloners through the comments feature.