Sunday, 27 January 2013

Heinlein on the Competent Man, and New Books by Jessica Bell and Malachy McCourt

Learning something new every day is so much fun!

I've learned a few new words from reading lots of Josephine Tey this past week. Love her Englishness and mystery and the gentle wittiness of her characters.

And thanks to India Drummond's recent post on learning, I've discovered that a moment is actually a real unit of time; a medieval unit equal to 90 seconds!

India also quoted Heinlein: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly."

In keeping with my how many books from which countries have I read question, let's see what I've got from the above list:

I can: write a sonnet (with help from Stephen Fry), balance accounts, take and give orders, cooperate and act alone (this sounds like a cover letter for a job application), solve equations (as long as it's algebra and not calculus), analyze a new problem, programme a computer (er, maybe?), and cook a tasty meal.

I've not had a chance, but would like to: change a diaper, butcher a hog, conn a ship (whatever that means), design a building (does LEGO count?), build a wall, and pitch manure.

I have never, and hope I don't need to: plan an invasion, set a bone (unless I was a doctor, but here I'm imagining a field of injured following the planned invasion), comfort the dying (as in, I don't want anyone close to me to die any time soon, and that's why I don't plan invasions), fight efficiently (though I hope I could, if an invasion ever came to pass), and die gallantly (well, we'll see about that one someday).

What else would you add to this remarkable list?

I hadn't known the competent man was a bit of a trope - I'm very surprised that Jamie Fraser isn't on that list!

In other new items, there are two new books coming out!

Through Irish Eyes, A visual companion to Angela McCourt's Ireland, with a foreword by his brother, Malachy McCourt:


And then there's the awesome Jessica Bell!
~~~

Ever wondered how a five-year-old girl perceives the world? Then you definitely need to get your hands on THE BOOK, a novella by Jessica Bell.

Check out these awesome reviews:
"Jessica Bell’s surprising risks with language capture a child’s clear vision in a world of adult heartbreak. Indelible. Courageous." ~Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger's Glasses and Enchantment

"THE BOOK is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It's going to rip your blood pump out of your chest, kick it around like a football, and then shove it back inside you, leaving you with a potently reinvigorated faith in humanity. A curiously captivating read that somehow manages to encapsulate the length and breadth of love and family in one slim volume." ~Josh Donellan, author of Zeb and the Great Ruckus

Here's the blurb:
This book is not The Book. The Book is in this book. And The Book in this book is both the goodie and the baddie.

Bonnie is five. She wants to bury The Book because it is a demon that should go to hell. Penny, Bonnie’s mother, does bury The Book, but every day she digs it up and writes in it. John, Bonnie’s father, doesn’t live with them anymore. But he still likes to write in it from time to time. Ted, Bonnie’s stepfather, would like to write in The Book, but Penny won’t allow it.

To Bonnie, The Book is sadness.
To Penny, The Book is liberation.
To John, The Book is forgiveness.
To Ted, The Book is envy.
But The Book in this book isn’t what it seems at all.

If there was one thing in this world you wished you could hold in your hand, what would it be? The world bets it would be The Book.

Intrigued?

Available at all major retailers in e-book and paperback, including Amazon US and Amazon UK.
~~~

I'm chugging along on my ROW80 goals. Next up is typing up a few scenes that were missing, which I wrote last month, and editing them as I type. I sent off a couple more queries...

I can't wait until I'm at a stage - hopefully by the end of the year - when I have (*counts on fingers*) four edited novels, one edited novella, and a couple of edited short stories. Then I can query in earnest!

And I leave you with images! I've blabbed about Shari Blaukopf's drawings before (especially during our snowstorm); recently she featured a lovely panorama of Montreal:


And then there's this one from the local paper, taken during our week of c. -35C (Yes. It was absolutely icebox):


Hope everyone's having a warm week!

15 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Thanks for posting about my book. :-) You'd like to butcher a hog??? LOLOL

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Think I'll pass on the manure and baby.
Excited for Jessica - cool concept for a story.

Zan Marie said...

You've inspired me to measure myself against Heinlein's definition. ; )

And I'm doing well. I lack planing an invasion, butchering a hog, conning a ship, setting a bone, and dying gallantly. Not too shabby.

As always, your blog gives me food for thought.

Jessica, your novella sounds fascinating!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. my uncle was extremely keen on Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time - and I must settle and read it as I now have his copy.

I think India quoting Heinlein - has a point in this day and age .. I'm not sure we're as capable of doing things as post war ... and love 'die gallantly' ...

So much I'd love to be able to do .. I certainly have lost some skills of yore ..

Jessica's book - I must buy that ... it does sound intriguing ...

Good luck with those writing goals, let alone reading ones ...

The photos are great .. icebox sounds the word - looks positively freezing!! Hope you warm up .. we're out of the frost belt here ... thankfully ..

Cheers Hilary

Nas said...

Jessica's book looks interesting.

And Deniz, all the best with your goals.

Interesting about Heinlein.

S.P. Bowers said...

I did not know that about moment but now I can't wait to tell everyone!

Hey, if you ever want to change a diaper I can help you out.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Deniz,
Somehow I got it stuck in my head that a moment was 60 seconds. You learn something new every day.

I've seen Jessica's book around. Sounds interesting.

Ciara said...

Those are some amazing reviews and praises for Jessica's book!

nutschell said...

wow. Jessica's book sounds very intriguing!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Deniz Bevan said...

I don't think I could, Jessica, but I'd like to try. Maybe...

Me too, Alex!

You must have an invasion in your SF story, Zan Marie?

Ooh, I hope you like it, Hilary! I love Josephine Tey!

Thank you Nas and Ciara!

Thanks Sara :-)

Me too, Joy. I'll have to remember that a moment is longer than a minute... especially in my historicals.

It does, nutschell!

Carrie-Anne said...

I've never changed a diaper either, though I've observed it a few times. I'm crunchy within reason and so will be using cloth diapers if I have kids, and I'm so glad that these days cloth diapers no longer have pins. I've had a small brown dog-shaped scar on my right hip since babyhood because my dad couldn't change a diaper properly!

Deniz Bevan said...

I'd like to try cloth diapers too, Carrie-Anne! Aww, bet your dad felt so badly after!

Medeia Sharif said...

I nodded my head with your "I never" list.

I bookmarked the Amazon page for Jessica's novella.

Glynis said...

Mm, I might have to ask the farmer next door if I can do the Easter slaughter. LOL!

Good luck with all your projects during 2013, Deniz. :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for coming by Medeia!

Aww, thanks, Glynis :-)

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html