ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Who Dares Wins (RBRC)

After yet another blogging hiatus it’s beyond time to return for Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge (link opens in new tab to full challenge details).

This month I’m reading Tony Geraghty’s original non-fiction novel, “WHO DARES WINS The Story of the SAS 1950-1980″ published by Fontana/Collins in 1981 (first published in Britain by Arms and Armour Press in 1980).

Image of the author and journalist Tony Geraghty's hands, one clasping the other

Authentic Authorial Hands ~Tony Geraghty [from a 2008 photo]

This book was a special find in the BBC Children in Need charity book sale at our local Post Office some time ago now. (Sadly the charitable sales were ended with the store’s change of hands. However…) I’ve fallen long behind with reading the books I intended reading and not in desperate need of extra reading material.

By the way, as a contrasting companion read I’m also making my way through Ann Waldman’s recent book, “Trickster Feminism”, received as a Christmas gift, but that’s not at all ‘dusty’ so…

I’m only about a sixth of the way through Geraghty’s book so far, but if you’ve read any of my earlier attempts at keeping up with this reading challenge you’ll already know I am not a well-practised book reviewer(!) – I often don’t fair well with linear reading either. I have an inkling I’ll be itching to review this book better than my effort here and now.

“Who Dares Wins” is an intriguing read so far and I’m determined to see it through to the end. The end is intriguingly abrupt – yes I skipped to and skimmed the last few pages and there’s some potential relevance in current world affairs, the final pages only briefly enlightening…

Photo showing in the foreground the 1981 book by author and journalist Tony Geraghty titled Who Dares Wins The Story of the SAS 1950 to 1980. The book's red cover showing the main title in large white font, the subtitle in smaller black font above a shield emblem depicting a vertical dagger with feather-like forms to each side. The book is placed on my laptop, so the photographic background shows part of my laptop screen and keyboard. In the top left corner of the photo my screen shows the time as 12:42pm. Below this a single pack snack of a chocolate donut displays the brand name Today in red letters printed on white above the image of the donut.

Tony Geraghty’s 1981 non-fiction novel WHO DARES WINS

Reading about British involvements in military histories, other nation’s SAS regiments, and the strategic food denials inflicted by some commanders and combatants seems resonant with contemporary news stories of recent years. ‘Enjoying it’ isn’t quite the turn of phrase I’d choose, but I’m struggling for a better alternative descriptor.

I delved a little into some online research earlier today, hoping to discover a little about the author. A puzzling mish-mash of amalgamated info returned in my search results, so I’ll have to seek more credible sources than the (potentially) criminal-cultured corruptive copywriting currently pervading the web(!)

The original ISBN for Geraghty’s “Who Dares Wins” is 0006362354. There are newer versions on the market, apparently an updated version appearing to be of dubious origin, in a different authorial voice -although purporting the same author name and that potentially being creative Trademark theft in English Law – and, from that newer version’s text, confessing a ‘recycling’ of Geraghty’s original content (described in third person as “Geraghty’s garnish”), as per my screenshot from the preview option on this otherly newer books sales page, shown below:

A screenshot image of another book's online preview page

Online sales pages for the authentic version of Tony Geraghty’s book, WHO DARES WINS are swamped by otherly versions such as the one shown as a potentially evidential example above. Apologies if my speculation and conjecture are in error of fact, although I have many a reason to doubt it.

Disclaimer: I have no known association with the author(s) or publishers featured in this post. Photos are my own; screenshot images were saved by myself during my personal computing (research and reference purposes) and constitute Fair Use within the circumstances of making my post here at my blog (and this being personal and non-commercial) and this right being established in English Law. N.B: Any issues of query or complaint should be addressed directly with myself at my contact form should the public comments field not be preferred – however please allow up to 90 days for action ie. reply, should circumstances beyond my human control arise.

The Recycled Book Reading Challenge page suggests challenging a blogging neighbour to participate, maybe that’s You? (If so, don’t forget to check the host’s page link near the top of this post!)

As always, thanks for reading..!

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August 2018 RBRC

A little late again but time to join in with Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge post. Their post for August isn’t up yet having recently been travelling and I don’t know if the challenge is continuing but I’m joining in anyway. Here’s a link to the latest post, an extreme lifestyle experiment, over there in the meantime. I’ll update link if an RBRC post appears another day.

I listed this post in today’s MonthlyLookAhead post at my other blog and decided to strike while the iron’s hot instead of putting it off till tomorrow or whenever.

I’ve been missing in action a couple of months again, apologies as always.

Still not concentrating well enough for fiction reading attempts. One of these days I’ll be able to read and review a book properly!

In the meantime, ignoring the book I last read about a local architect, can’t even remember his name right now… this month I’m dipping into this:

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‘The Little Book of Calm’ by Paul Wilson offers many fairly generic statements, gems of wisdom, perhaps enabling small but worthy enough health improvements.

This overpriced £1.99 retail price book was gifted to me by a dear friend about 20 years ago now, around my becoming a mother again, along with another similar but different one. (A different friend to the last book also being a gift). This might have been a pre-read so secondhand gift as it was accompanied by a gorgeous basketful of flowers to decorate my hospital room that my friend had arranged herself. This book always conjures that image of those flowers and the well-wishing visit so is a heart-warming reminder. I might part with it one day, when I’ve noted any useful tips in it enough.

But honestly, suggestions such as walk to the speed of a waltz, unless I have no choice to walk at ultra-slow pace, simply make attempts to walk more painful and exhausting. I imagine upbeat fast-paced tunes while I walk, I imagine the earth sliding beneath my feet as if I only have to put one foot in front of the other over and again and as if walking is then almost effortless. The book tells me to live and walk in 3/4 time as if waltzing!

Why do I have to be so atypical and awkward?

There are some hints and tips I find myself in total agreement with though, such as:

“WORRY WHEN THE TIME COMES
Most worries are future-based. They revolve around things that, in most cases, will never happen.
Concentrate on the present and the future will take care of itself.”

Paul Wilson, The Little Book of Calm’

So, I agree with such advice, but usually have an afterthought adding to it too:

It’s always a good idea to be prepared though. For instance, I’d been kicking myself for wasting my money on a mobile wifi hotspot while I never go anywhere to use it; anytime my router was on the blink I just appreciated the rest and tried to be patient – and didn’t wish to waste my little data allowance until I really need it.

Now my router’s on the blink permanently I’m glad I worried about potential internet loss enough to have emergency provision ready to hand. And I do have enough books stacking up waiting to be finished for recycled book reading to try not missing the internet until I get my services returned to me.

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PS: If I appear MIA in future, I might or might not be only micro-blogging at my swishing4th.com site (wordpress enabled of course)…

What recycled reading are you picking up this month?

 


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Recycled Book Reading Challenge May catch-up

I’m sticking with non-fiction again this month and re-reading Suzi Gablik’s ‘Has Modernism Failed’ (ISBN: 0-500-27385-5). This was gifted to me by my best friend about twenty years ago after she had to read it for her media studies course, I think she’d found it in a second-hand bookshop as it’s spine was damaged. The book cover design doesn’t include a shadow over the author’s name. It’s my shadow!

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Suzi Gablik’s author page at amazon.co.uk [non-affiliate link, no association] I’d definitely enjoy reading more of this author/artist’s books, I’m intrigued to read more of her writing – and I really should read the preceeding book, ‘Progress in Art’.

In the first chapter of ‘Has Modernism Failed’ Gablik raises the dangerous overinstitutalisation of art (this was first published in 1984, but still seems entirely contemporary and incredibly relevant):

‘With art and artists breeding like bacteria under favorable conditions … America fabricates as many graduate artists every five years as there were people in fifteenth century Florence… This rise in quantity has in no way led to a rise in quality, though few have had the courage to say so. The overwhelming spectacle of current art… has ushered in an impenetrable pluralism of competing approaches.’

It doesn’t tell the reader how many in number the population of Florence in the fifteenth century actually was, but delivers a picture enough of the saturation of individuals qualifying as artists and perhaps entering the professional field.

Gablik also describes ‘the legacy of Modernism’ as leaving the artist standing alone and having lost their shadow. References to the non-specific artist in this book appears to always be described as ‘He’. I wonder if that’s been changed in recent editions for purposes of ‘equality’. We’re led generally in society to believe art is a male dominated field of activity, and most of the individual artists referenced tend to be men.

Will I read the whole book this month? Or will I lack concentration and  fail linear reading? I might stand a chance of cover-to-cover reading if I didn’t try reading anything else or doing anything much. Guess I’ll find out. I haven’t completed reading any of the fiction books raised in my RBRC posts to date other than the children’s books! But I’ll be making notes while I study Gablik’s book (for no reason than interest).

 

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I made good use of the Chinese painting book last month although I skimmed through and skipped much of it, but had no time to enjoy Eastern Wisdom, not that I haven’t enjoyed it previously. Too much A to Z Challenge reading last month frazzled my capacity somewhat. I s’pose I knew it probably would.

It’s reassuring to retain my shadow. If being an artist means losing your shadow, I think I’d sooner hang on to my shadow, thanks.

 

 

I’m combining this post as my catch-up with Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge and as I’ve featured contemporary art issues, catching up with challenges and my own (Colette’s) shadow it can double up as my letter C post for #May-be-A-B. (So my next challenge will be posting a letter D post using a letter B writing prompt!)


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Time to rekindle my participation in milae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge [1500words]

I’m way overdue for continuing this (and plenty of other previously planned blogging intentions). Never mind.

I’m still not managing linear reading well and struggle to retain what I’m reading as I journey longform, so dip in and out of stories rather than read from front to end. I’ve probably not finished reading any of the books I mentioned in any previous posts for this and definitely haven’t got as far as any writing on any of them.

The challenge host, milae has reviewed the book read during February and made an excellent post.

I’m beginning to think that writing book reviews is just way out of my league and so I’ll continue admiring in awe those more able and take part slightly differently. My efforts have always received warm welcome and I’ve missed doing this during absences.

Anyway, as I’m a scatty and sporadic reader, this month I hope to focus on four books pictured below).

arrangement of four books

Four books I hope to focus on this month

I’ll definitely be able to cope with starting and finishing the first book: ‘Our plane’ written by Beatrice Phillpotts and illustrated by Margaret Souza. It was first published in 1987 © Templar Publishing Ltd and first published in Great Britain by Macdonald and Co (Publishers) Ltd (also 1987).

This edition I bought in a bargain bookstore – for new surplus stock and cut-price books with plenty of print errors in some of them – so I probably bought this for my eldest child by about 1993 or thereabouts and it probably cost about 99p or £2 or less at the time. I’d guess for this kind of product in that type of shop (still trading today) the retail prices have probably remained quite similar even after all these years, but I haven’t been to town to recently to check that fact before writing this post.

back cover of the young children's book, 'Our plane' showing a boy and girl looking out of the window at a white bird, maybe a dove.

from the back cover of the young children’s book, ‘Our plane’

This edition (copyright 1987, as detailed in previous paragraph) was published in 1990 by Award Publications Ltd (London) and printed in Singapore. So boy did that book travel a long way and have a large carbon footprint. I don’t recall sight of any errors in the text though. I did however ponder upon how many times in the story I would feel a need to adjust my reading of the tale these days, if I were reading it to any of my grand-children. There seemed to be many sticking points along the way where I felt things needed rephrasing and were somehow less appropriate than i might have noticed as a young parent. It remains however a beautifully illustrated and well-told tale even if the characters are stereotypically: one boy, one girl, mum and dad, white family.

I have already re-read this story recently and have read it many, many times in the past with my children when they were young. I expect I must have added conversation about home safety with the reading of the story as two children play at making a plane by balancing a surf board across an ironing board to pretend it’s a plane and make an imaginary journey. Surf boards aren’t common household and leisure items owned by British families usually, so my guess is it’s an American story and I assume I realised that at the time I bought it. I can imagine myself leafing through to check the text for appropriate English spelling before buying. It has only universal English words where there would be no difference. What I didn’t notice at the time was the potential (small) racism contained in the story, in portraying desert people as ‘desert bandits’. I expect we talked about that while reading it too.

That’s not to say I won’t happily buy from American authors when I know it’s probably gonna be American English cos they can’t be bothered translating to proper English for their audience (or don’t know how and can’t afford translation costs) and as a reader I can just take a red pen and correct all the translation issues needed, explore meanings and make notes when I simply don’t understand what looks like the same language but sometimes isn’t. I suppose that’s what Americans do with our English, when they’re not trying to claim English as theirs (so ours is Anglisch is it? Well, if we’re descended from Angls, it could be…

As a paragraph previously track-pad-glitched to the-system, and I’m getting exhausted, I’m drawing a close here quite soon. Is what I was telling myself at that point.

Book number two, so far, is a fantastic book for children and an interesting easy-read for adults like me who just wanted to check for myself if it’s suitable reading before maybe passing it on or keeping it to read with grandchildren. First published in 1989, it’s cover price of £2.99 seems fair and it’s about what I’d expect to pay for a book of it’s small size (approx 130 pages, quite large print), even nowadays, although I sourced this from the fund-raising charity book sale quite a many moon ago now and I’d be happy if I paid £3.99 for it, as it seems very good quality writing. This is ‘Hippo Ghost’ by Lance Salway, ISBN: 0-590-13599-6 (I took the photo below of the front cover of the book and this shows my shadow over it. I like how that shadow fits with the subject matter of the story so far – I hope to manage reading this book through to the end during this month! – I also hope the author and publisher don’t object to my use of appropriative method, but my photo being low-resolution, illustrative, in context, and I assume Fair Use, as per all the images I’m using in this post. (As a personal, hobbyist blogger).

front cover of Lance Salway's Hippo Ghost, a book for younger readers - cover design overcast by my shadow as I took the photo

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The third book, Oliver Twist is from a collection of about eight retold classics, bought for my eldest, never read by him, nor my youngest nor any between. As I found when I unpacked them from their stuff from their childhoods being kept at my house, these books still appear mostly untouched. But even for me, trying to read and understand ‘Oliver Twist’, again it’s probably the same issue: American language. And it’s uncomfortable when the authentic English voice of the story is lost, although it’s ok in most parts, but it causes stumbling blocks and confusion. I’d seen these sets of books in the same bookstore as the first book, at knockdown price of £4.99, previous RRP £9.99, maybe during the mid-1990s; my eldest received these as a gift about twenty years ago. This adaptation is ©1969 and this edition quoting a 1988 copyright act; it states it was ‘Printed in India. Reproduced in the UK.’ I’m not quite sure what that means. Really? As there is a ‘no unauthorised act in relation to this publication or…’ stipulation and as I do not recommend this text for British children and have no due regard nor respect for this product whatsoever I am not giving any detail at all. Not for fear of that ridiculously unprofessional clause, but so as not to inflict those particular books upon any other British English reader. Does the Trade Descriptions Act not apply to publishing industries when generating such misleading sales to consumers in the UK?

I’ll be making  a separate post (elsewhere) sometime in the future, exploring the irony of this issue. If you are a Charles Dickens fan, you’re probably already aware of plenty of things I am yet finding to be interested in. The Gutenberg Project has many files pertaining to Charles Dickens and I assume most of them to be authentic texts but have already found one there that is so unlikely to be by THE Charles Dickens and has to simply be by an American author of the same name, so that was disappointing, but has to be expected really.

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Finally, an old favourite, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Until I picked it up again recently I’d have swore the first chapter was ‘Shopping’ and had completely forgotten the gymnasium scene. I read this several times but want to delve into the detail of the story again, particularly the ‘PRAYVAGANZA’ scenes, as I don’t remember those featuring in the film, but could be wrong. I aim to check it against the film eventually as I should still have the VHS in a box here somewhere. Another thing for the evergrowing endless toDo list.

I thought I first read this book during A-level class as a teenager back in the mid-1980s, but my copy here is from 1993 when I tried A-level Literature evening class (completed the book, not the class – the teacher objected to teaching non-English authors in English literature class and wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved, rushing through and deriding it. At the time I thought that was daft as the exam title was ‘Literature’ and not ‘English Literature’. I wasn’t incentivised to resolve childcare and transport issues to continue the class and obtain my exam. Anyway, the language used is British English style in the main and I never had any stumbling over variant English differences with this text.

Detail from back cover of Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale ISBN 0 86068 866 6 with a quote from Conor Cruise O'Brien stating 'moving, vivid nd terrifying. I only hope it is not prophetic.'

Detail from back cover of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale ISBN 0 86068 866 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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RBRC 2017 – restarting ‘The Zen Gun’

Hoping my WordPress doesn’t crash this time (almost twelve hours later)! I’m having some helluvatimes with all kinds of issues again right now. Not WP issues, just generally! Anyway…

Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge

I’m going to try and keep up with this this time round! Here’s a book I have read before, a long time ago now. I restarted it a couple of times already. (I should really try finishing the new book I started reading before I get back to this one!)

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I’m not going to try and write ‘book review’ type posts, I’m no good at them for one thing! I find it incredibly difficult to not only be comfortable to read but also to hold a book to read and then to even remember the storyline enough to keep reading linear texts! I tend to dip in and out and read fragments of all sorts rather than read properly. But I loved this story the first time round. I never even knew what a chimera was until I read this. The American version of this book has a different cover and looks stupid! It also looks like there might be some factual discrepancies around potential misrepresentations or questionable representations. The English author of this book is reported to have died in 2008 of bowel cancer.

“Under the vast spans of Archway City all apparently was at peace. The sky boulevards, beneath which gentle clouds floated, sparkled brilliant as ever…

But within that tranquil architectural grandiosity was an atmosphere of uncertainty and dismay…

…Still, it was lucky they had not bought in the two Star Force fleets, as had been planned. With one on the side of the Council and one on the side of the Biotists, well…”

 

[fragments extracted from pages 120 to 121 of the UK edition of ‘The Zen Gun’ by Barrington J. Bayley ©