olde_fashioned: (American faith -- prayer at Valley Forge)
Lately I haven't been in the mood for navel gazing, so I figure I'd better take advantage of a lark while I have it, and give a real life update. ;)

I'm sick (again), probably bronchitis since my coughs usually turn into that. I'm over-worked, under-paid, tired, tired of having to work so much, and tired of being tired. I've had to call out sick a number of times during these past two weeks thanks to my good old friend the nasty cough.

The only good thing about this is I've had some time to actually read for a change, and finally finished The Scarlet Pimpernel (which I was getting sick of seeing on my sidebar, heh). Not a bad book, but definitely better in the general concept than the execution. Lots of generalized descriptions and over-used phrases which I found highly annoying, most especially Orczy's habit of describing Chauvlin as "fox-like" and perpetually having him rub his "long, bony fingers together". Yes, we know he's the villain. No, I don't need to be reminded of it every other page.

Now I've embarked on David McCullough's 1776, which I had to abandon 66 pages in three years ago (stupid library renewal limits). Actually owning a copy entirely removes any pressure from having to finish it by a certain time frame, which is lovely. I'm already past my previous point of progress, and am once again reminded of how heroic our Founding Fathers were. The things they endured! We have much to be grateful for, and very large shoes to fill. In the case of George Washington, I know he's generally lauded, but goshhe's wonderful--I think they broke the mold after he was born.

I almost hate to say this, especially as it's my own fault, but I was hoping for just a teensy bit more of backstory on the beginnings of the war; how it came about, etc. Apparently 1776 is more of an appendix to John Adams, so perhaps the latter has more of the information I'm seeking? Do any of my readers know? It wasn't high up on my reading list, but if his biography also contains a "play-by-play" of the steps leading to war with Britain then it would automatically become more interesting. ;)

Going back over some of my previous book reviews, it's become apparent that I've written considerably less and less of them in recent months. Part of this is natural; I've read less, due to having to work. Another facet of that issue, is it takes me longer to get through a book, which in turn means that my impressions and remarks fade much more quickly. Short of stopping the actual reading process to take scrupulous notes (which I've done, but it's tedious and very disruptive), how do you all prepare for composing book reviews, if you write them?
olde_fashioned: (America the beautiful (a))
Taken from an American Vision email newsletter kindly forwarded to me by my brother. ;-)

"On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in (what we now call) Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The session began with Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia delegation reading his resolution in favor of independence from England. What transpired after the reading of Lee’s resolution became the single most significant event in American history. The unanimous vote for independence (New York abstained, but voted in favor one week later) is often something that we take for granted in our 21st century way of thinking. We tend to forget the difficult decisions that were agonized over and the compromises that were made in order to achieve such a bold act of courage by men who were just as human as we are. We tend to look back on these men—the “founding fathers” of our country—with romantic notions of valor and bravery. We tend to think that when they made their declaration of independence that they were ready with a battle plan, that the declaration was merely a formality of a foregone conclusion. But nothing could be farther from the truth."

Read the rest of the article HERE

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