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On My Bookshelf: Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

I finished Ink and Bone earlier this week. This is book one of Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series. This was a thought provoking read about what could have happened if the Great Library of Alexandria had survived; had kept Gutenberg’s printing press from existence; and had kept control of the dissemination of books and knowledge (making personal ownership of books illegal).

A truly terrifying and captivating read! The post-it notes mark all of the passages that reference the personal journals that the characters kept. Oh yes, the Great Library issued  electronic journals to its citizens. Parents were diligent about their children “writing” in their journals every night, and when citizens died, the journals would be seized for The Great Library to archive them.

Page 34: “..the Library provided them free on the birth of a child, and encouraged every citizen of the world to write their thoughts and memories from the earliest age possible. Everyone kept a record of the days and hours of their lives to be archived in the Library upon their deaths. The Library was a kind of memorial, in that way. It was one reason the people loved it so, for the fact that it lent them a kind of immortality.” 

Meanwhile, the Library also used the electronic journals to spy upon its own citizens. Really, really scary. And timely. These people should have kept handwritten journals, not electronic diaries! Perhaps a secret diary journal?

Ink-and-bone-rachel-cain
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Thankfully, we still mostly have the right to be secure in our own papers. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we didn’t have that anymore? Chilling!

Dali17 at the Museum of Monterey

I had no idea that Salvador Dali lived (and worked) in Monterey in the 1940s. Apparently he was also an early Carmel Art Association member. What a treat of an exhibit!

Some selections from the Salvador Dali exhibit at the Museum of Monterey in Monterey, California:

Lithographs with religious themes (Dali was a devout Catholic)

planctus-david-in-mortem-soul
Planctus Dead in Mortem Soul
ego-sum-dominus-deus-tuus
Ego Sum Dominus Deus Tuus
cadaver-in-sepulchra-elisei
Cadaver in Sepulchra Elisei
arca-foederis
Arca Foederis
iosue-fortis-in-bello
Iosue Fortis in Bello
iosias-sepultus-in-mausoleo-patrum
Iosias Sepultus in Mausoleo Patrum

Surreal works with some elements of my favorite theme (melting clocks)

the-frozen-watches-of-space-time
The Frozen Watches of Space-Time
persistence-de-la-memoire-tapestry
Persistence de la Memoire (Tapestry)
mystery-of-sleep-the-hermit
Mystery of Sleep (The Hermit)
enigma-of-the-rose-death
Enigma of the Rose (Death)

As always, we log all of our adventures in our “Play” Journal by Stealth Journals. “Play” is an indexed book journal that should be used to record all of your good times!

A Journal for Non-Fiction Writers

Who knew? I actually published two more books this year. One was a journal for paralegals, and the second is a journal for my fellow non-fiction writers. It can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jamie-whitmer/non-fiction-writers-journal/paperback/product-22982625.html

non-fiction-writers-journal
Product Page for Non-Fiction Writer’s Journal
interior-message-with-index-page
Journal for Non-Fiction Writers

The index system is absolutely crucial to me for finding my notes.

Pictured below, is a sample of the daily content section.

interior-daily-content-pages
Non-Fiction Writer’s Journal – Sample Interior Daily Content Pages

Lastly, I made a special index section for you to keep track of important events and your progress throughout the year. Accountability much?

bonus-index
Special Index Section For Managing Your Annual Goals
back-pages-from-index
Back pages of Non-Fiction Writer’s Journal

I hope you love it as much as I do, and that it keeps you on track. If you purchase, please drop me a line and give me your feedback!

The Walk Up (2016) — infraredrobert

J. N. Adam Memorial Hospital — Perrysburg, New York After determining that the loud, repetitive banging we were hearing was just a door blowing in the morning breeze, we approached the hospital entrance – on our guard…just in case Modified Nikon D100 (Near infrared capture) More of my work can be seen here J. N. Adam Hospital and Tuberculosis Sanitarium

via The Walk Up (2016) — infraredrobert

AMAZING WORK OVER HERE! Go check it out!!

 

On My Bookshelf: The Bertie Project, by Alexander McCall Smith

the-bertie-project
The Bertie Project – Alexander McCall Smith

This is the latest installment in the 44 Scotland Street Series. Much like the Isabel Dalhousie series, nothing much happens. This is not to say that the books are about NOTHING. Not so. They are about life. This is my favorite series by Smith.

Alexander McCall Smith sometimes seems to me to be to literature what the great Observational Comics are to comedy. Not always funny, per se, but masters at telling stories about “real” life. And how timely some of these stories are.

In this installment, Smith cracks wise a bit about political correctness, and how everything is out of bounds now “interdicted by self-appointed guardians of sensitivity.” Domenica and Angus have a conversation on which she remarks “Now we’ve come to expect that everybody we see wants to kill us.” A most interesting remark.

Smith is one of my favorite authors, and I think I have read just about every book he has published. Beautiful, beautiful, words.

I was nearly in tears when I thought one of the characters was dying. Although, the description of his last thoughts is perfect. If we must go, please let it be like this:  Page 159 –

“He was aware of movement; some pressure on his arms, as if somebody were pulling him, and for a few moments he resented that there should be this intrusion. But then he felt sleep claim him, and all sensation drained away, faded, and he no longer cared. So this was what it was like to die: it was an abandonment, a giving up, an allowing of life to drain away. It did not mater, he thought. It did not matter.”

The Irene/Stuart relationship is getting interesting and very controversial. I was not in agreement with Stuart’s choice, but I bet many others are.

Lastly, a piece of advice from our friends across the pond:  “Never eat at a restaurant called Momma’s.” Now that remark, I would normally have to take umbrage against. However, I have not eaten at any such establishment called “Momma’s,” although growing up, we often visited “Mama’s.” Well, obviously that’s just different.

Lovely time!

On My Bookshelf: Deadfall Hotel, by Steve Rasnic Tem

Deadfall Hotel
Deadfall Hotel, by Steve Rasnic Tem

I read this book for the second time this year, and it was almost even more enjoyable! I highly recommend this one for those of you who like your literary fiction on the “haunted” side. I can’t help but be vaguely reminded of the animated “Hotel Transylvania” film franchises (which I enjoyed, thank you very much), although this really is not a romping good time at all (though it is not without hope and redemption).

The author can go a little surreal on you from time, and certainly does with the whole cat thing, but “The King of the Cats” in Chapter 3 is just about as perfect as it gets if you want to see an example of how to write the ordinary into sheer horror (how can a little kitty be scary, you ask? Just read.).

I have underlined so many passages, but I will leave you with this to chew on from Page 284:

Most ordinary people, certainly, were monsters…They dreamed all their lives, and in almost every instance they settled for something less than what they dreamed. They took the job they could get, they married the person who would have them, they did the things they knew they could do without pain or humiliation. They lived haunted by the ends to come…They settled.”

If that doesn’t concisely sum up contemporary real-deal American Horror, I don’t know what does. “This is what we have. You do what you can do.”

Wow.

Some of My Favorite Photos From Missouri State Pen & Tooele Hospital

Throwback to traveling days for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. A sampling of some of my favorite photos!

Missouri State Pen

 

Tooele Hospital 

2014-12-23_1419306639.jpg

 

2014-12-31_1420059382.jpg
To purchase your copy of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, head on over to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Asylums-Prisons-Sanatoriums-Institutions/dp/073873750X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

On My Bookshelf: The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield

the-thirteenth-tale
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

This is my second reading, the first being not long after the book’s release date in 2006. I honestly could not remember a great deal of the plot or why I liked it so much the first time, so approximately ten years later I gave it another look. The second read did not let me down, but I must say that I am noticing that I am getting a little sensitive to violence and any general unpleasantness in my entertainment choices as I age.

The book is not light fare. There are dark family secrets to be unearthed, and you will not be disappointed with the mystery or the way in which it unravels. The 400 pages go by quickly, and I found myself caught up in the story and reading more than usual in long stretches in a desire to know how the story would end.

I almost think of it is a “Secret Garden” for adults, but I don’t know why. Must be the whole English Moors / old mansion thing. I really liked the way Setterfield used the character of Margaret as a biographer for the famous English author Vida Winter, to tell the story. A contemporary gothic mystery novel. I very much liked it still.

Some of My Favorite Photos From Yorktown Memorial Hospital & Farrar School

Throwback to traveling days for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. A sampling of some of my favorite exterior photos to get into the Halloween spirit!

Yorktown Memorial Hospital – Yorktown, TX 

Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Yorktown Memorial Hospital

Yorktown Memorial Hospital

Yorktown Memorial Hospital

Farrar School – Maxwell, IA 

Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School

To purchase your copy of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, head on over to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Asylums-Prisons-Sanatoriums-Institutions/dp/073873750X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

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