Posts Tagged ‘books’
If we learned anything from childhood, it was not to build our houses out of straw. After all, that big bad wolf was just waiting to blow it down. But that was before the world knew the numerous advantages of using compressed straw bales, as a key building material as outlined in the book TheBale House. This easy to understand book is comprehensive in its education on how to build with straw- so that no wolf (or tornado for that matter) can ever blow it down. The book covers why and how to build with straw bales, while also illustrating necessary details to create an aesthetically and sound home at an affordable price. To portray this point, The Bale House provides a good number of enlightening black and white diagrams as well as impressive color photographs. I would have to say The Bale House is the Bible of straw bale construction and therefore an indispensable starting point for anyone looking into the straw bale home concept. After purchasing the book (well worth the price) I had no reservations about going ahead with my own project and building with straw bales. Both new and experienced builders will appreciate the clear, simple instructions and diagrams, as well as practical explanations for dealing with building codes and insurers.
TheHouse also nurtures you on the many practical advantages of building with compressed straw bales. In addition to being inexpensive, straw bale serve as a clean, and lightweight building material that is easy to work with. The book discusses the many important advantages straw offers such as super high-energy efficiency (a need in today’s high heating costs), superior fire resistance, while at the same time seismically correct. In addition, this all-natural material, as a recycled agricultural byproduct of grain production, is a sustainable, renewable resource. While enthusiasts of straw bale construction praise this method of building for the aforementioned reasons, the actual reason so many people are turning to straw bale is because they are so often extraordinarily beautiful and inviting, as The House‘s many color photographs displays. Clearly, inexpensive doesn’t have to mean low quality nor unattractive. The natural materials used in creating a straw bale home exude a lot of chi. And so does this book. The House would be a good addition to any coffee table.
For many,are a passion that can not be passed up. These people face a challenge, though. Sure, are available in many of the finest libraries around the world. But, did you know that in the hectic society that we are living in that that are found in book stores are on their way out? Yes, it is true that more and more book stores are closing their doors. This has become a sad testament to the way we live our lives.
Often, individuals who are looking for specific books will go to the book store, request it and either buy it or go somewhere else to buy it. Those that browse from shelf to shelf, examining the bindings of several books, possibly reading the flaps of a few, are on their way out. Book store owners claim that people are just too busy to stop and browse the selections. They do not have time to touch the bindings of beautifully bound books to determine if they are worth the cost. Instead, they want the books they have seen advertised or those that have been talked about enough to where they draw the attention in. Sad, but it is oh so true.
Does this mean that less and less people are reading books? No, not necessarily. More people are finding other avenues to get the books they want to read. In some areas, libraries have grown in popularity as the cost of books has risen. It is much more economical to wait a few weeks to borrow a book, read it, then return it without spending one red penny (that is of course if you don’t have to deal with late fees). Other people are heading to discount department stores that carry many of the latest fads in books from children’s to inspirational to classics. These stores can offer smaller prices than any of the book stores we know of.
In the end, books are still books. They still hold an adventure within their pages that brings life to our lives. We can still get carried away in their thoughtful _expression and intricate details. The worlds that are within the pages can still help us to forget about our own world for at least a few minutes anyway. No matter where we get the books we read, we know that having a good one by our side is the most important of all points.
The scariest story I’ve ever read is not a horror story at all. Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″ is the story of a world whereare illegal. They’re ed by who wear the number “451″ on their uniforms because that’s the temperature at which . Its at its best, but to an avid reader like me the thought of a world without books is truly horrifying.
Bradbury’s original short story was reworked and published as “The Fireman” in the February 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. He created a future where the government keeps everyone happy by destroying anything that might cause debate or conflict.is forbidden. It is thought to be a source of discord, disorder and disturbance. Special task forces composed of are sent out to search and burn illegal books, such as literature by Whitman and Faulkner, historical texts and the Bible.
Guy Montag is a fireman. At first he enjoys his work, but after talking to Clarisse, his seventeen year old neighbor, her free thinking, inquisitive nature makes him question what he’s doing. He realizes he’s unhappy with his personal life as well. His wife is addicted to tranquilizers and, refusing to face reality.
One day while searching an old woman’s house for books Guy reads a line that catches his eye and he steals the book. The woman will not leave her house or her books. She lights the kerosene herself and burns with them. Guy is disturbed by her suicide and he takes sick leave. The fire chief visits him and explains that society in its search for happiness and political correctness prompted the government to suppress literature. Guy continues to hoard books and hides them in his own house. Betrayed by his wife, he is ordered by the chief to destroy them. Guy makes a choice that turns him into a fugitive and has him running for his life.
Although the story seems to center around censorship another prevailing theme is the decline of reading due to. In Bradbury’s world mass has taken the place of reading, leading to a society where individual thinking is destroyed. It’s easy to spot the resemblance between his world and ours. His vision is prophetic in the light of today’s consciousness with easy access to television, movies and the internet. These are valuable tools, but should be used to encourage reading, not replace it.
This is an entertaining story with memorable characters. It’s also a thought provoking read that ends with redemptive hope for the future – a truethat has stood the test of time.
Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 12, 1987)
‘Stained ‘Glass’ is a great title for this collection by a bruised ex-convent girl, now a graceful Shropshire poet whose voice has been silenced more than once by the emotional trammels of life along the way. To borrow a stanza from the book…
She’s been through a lot
been shut down,
lost the plot
lost some of her hair
down the plug.
But these days, the introduction to this book tells us, ‘the fragments are coming back together’.is very much a product of the rich and beautiful landscape she grew up in and is known in Shropshire for her poetic treatments of favourite natural landmarks. Her work has appeared in a variety of regional publications and on local radio. I think of her work as ‘delicate’ and ‘light’ but there is nothing frivolous or superficial about it. She has the ability to weave words, with minimal punctuation, in a way that seems weightless on the eye, on the page – but the message they carry is as clear as cold steel. In this collection a narrator tells us that…
Just as the softness of reflected trees
begins to lull her into a painless place
dark descends, a different light calls
This poet’s love of landscape is both lusty and intimate – almost confidential. The poems are more often conversations with natural features than descriptions of them. I really enjoyed the suggestions of leaping and tumbling in her treatment of ‘The falls: Pistyll Rhaeadr’ which ends up, as anything touching that water would have to do, in the pool beneath the falls:
energy spent, quelled; now submissive
but the reader is not to be left in peace. The poem ends:
eyes travel upwards with the sound of you
constant, defiant, relentless.
The book isn’t all natural landscapes though – many issues, human and otherwise are represented. My favourite – the poem that first brought’ power to my attention, is ‘The Journey’ but I’m not going to tell you what it’s about. It is such a pleasure to read it and work it out as you follow the ancient and magical pathways of the lines. I will end my review with a recommendation, again in Richards’ words. This from ‘Shell’…
Listen, you may hear the soulful melody
lala la la lala la la winding upwards
lala la la tormented notes
from a different place, another time.
- but don’t run away with the idea that Richards is overly lost or distressed: She has a keen eye and a sharp pen which will give you pause for thought on many topics. If the joy of your favourite landscape or the tingling excitement of personal love fill you with trepidation as well as joy, try ‘’ and let Richards guide you along the paths of the human heart.
writes lucidly and simply about the chaotic over-stimulation that we human beings must attempt to live with. The pages of plummet and soar between visions of the numinous and a humiliating close up of a bathroom floor. Mann strikes me as the victim of an avalanche, unselfishly providing reassuring flashes of intelligence and humour to his peers as they tumble and roll through life.
Maybe the key to the book is in indecent exposure which paints a picture of one who is terrifyngly left to do what he can, finding himself ad-libbing into…. indecent exposure, craving a McCarthy or a Robespierre to silence him – but then on the next page, a humble and appreciative ode to the variety of birds that appear in the course of a day in rural England. Romance, but still bearing signs of tragedy dashed with humour – the knock of a woodpecker on a tree is interpreted as come out, be eaten, now! and as the heron sweeps towards the river, her supper waits for life’s cycle fully turning.
The message I found in this book is the startling contrast between the chaos we find when we thrash around within our thoughts, and the peace that can be experienced when
quiet opens to the out-
side world the window
We are offered a tiny hero in Waiting for Gulliver. Facing the enemies who stalk through this book, from psychiatrists wielding drugs and shocks to serial child killers, and the plentiful proud who excrete bio-live yogurt Against enemies such as these, our hero is an
in the boils
of the overboiled
The poems address figures of the past, famous and unknown – the man in the hands of archaeological researchers, known only by such things as the type of pollen in his colon. We talk to dragons, to Gellert the faithful hound, to Nietzche, and to the hills of Shropshire: All with a wink and a smile, and an acceptance of life’s wonder and terror.
Despite the baffling range of vocabulary, despite the frequent allusions to sickness and death, Mann’s poems are neither difficult nor depressing. I am reminded of a writer on a workshop forum, exasperated by the complications of someone’s lines, exclaiming ‘it’s not supposed to be a crossword puzzle!’ Mann is never complicated in that manipulative way. The stream of references and verbal acrobatics serves to confound the intellect and cast it aside, thus revealing ‘the royal road’ to the heart of things. The only thing that’s complicated is trying to talk about the poems, which caused me to think,– despite the fact that I’m a bit vague about what it means. I didn’t bother to go look it up. I just carried on and enjoyed the poems. And they are extremely enjoyable. This book is a treasure – go read!
22 Betterton Street
If you’ve ever had anything to do within the UK you’ll probably recognize this address. It’s the home of the Poetry Society in Covent Garden. I’ve written it on envelopes stuffed with my hopeful submissions so many times. Never having visited, I developed a strangely romantic idea of what must be there, at the centre of all things poetic.
So when I received an invitation to a Survivorslaunch at that magic address, what did I expect? A high altar? Purple curtains? Nope, it’s a funny little back-street café that would seat twenty at a push and, like poetry venues the world over, the café-bar is run like the refreshments stall at a church bazaar. They’d actually run out of ingredients for meals by the time we arrived and Sally’s friends from Shrewsbury had to make do with bread and cheese for their long-awaited supper. Downstairs, an odd assortment of chairs and some cobbled together curtains have been employed to make the basement into a performance area and again, like poetry venues the world over, they haven’t yet learned that you shouldn’t stomp around upstairs collecting crockery when people are trying to read downstairs.
Am I complaining? No! It’s a warm, friendly, quirky place and the poetry and the company, on this evening at any rate, were superb.
Sally Richards Well I already knew I liked Sally’s poetry and I’ve read ‘’ about 15 times now but I’m still really glad I attended the launch. I’ve said recently that I’m not that mad about poetry readings but I can now qualify that statement: I prefer readings by poets who are good at reading. Sally brought the poems to life, really seemed to be living them rather than reciting them. Totally absorbing and I wish she’d had time to read the whole book.
Catherine Tate Who the heck is Catherine Tate you may be saying. Well, here’s why I know the answer to that: Steve Mann’s reading was the first one I’ve ever seen where the reader begins, having never seen his book before, by stepping up to the mike, turning the book over and over in his hands with an air of Christmas morning in his expression, grins at the audience and says ‘it’s green!’ then looks at his publisher and says, ‘it’s a nice book, thanks.’
The publisher is the first I’ve ever seen who, when thanked from the stage at a reading can only grunt in reply. He’s still in shock and whimpering to himself having emerged from the printers with a box of, leapt into a taxi and yelled ‘get me to the Poetry Café by nine o’clock or else!’ and then suffered a taxi ride so hair-raising that the driver banged his own head on the windscreen several times.
Anyway, singer-songwriter Catherine Tate was launching her CD ‘Leaky Umbrellas’ that night, and kindly did a set that started when Steve had been due to read, entertained us with sweetly finger-picked guitar, a good voice and some quirky lyrics, and stepped down with good grace the moment thearrived. So…
Steve Mann The launching of ‘cui bono?’ took us all rather by surprise, Steve being a modest type who didn’t say an awful lot about it before hand and his publisher doing a hell-for-leather run to get the book out in time for the Betterton Street launch. Nevertheless it’s a well-produced book and Steve’s an accomplished reader. His work can be difficult to take in at first read but his placid, good-natured delivery brings it alive. An enjoyable performance, and one that left me delightedly reading snatches of the work out loud on the train all the way home. Excellent!
Find out more about Sally and Steve at here.
There was a time whenwere considered to be strictly the domain of nerds, of those who spent about 90% of their waking moments in their rooms, and generally of those who would probably work at universities or at NASA twenty years from now. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these but of course it is never a good thing to be labeled uncool.
Good thing times have now changed and actually having a good brain on your head is considered one of the best characteristics a man or woman can hope to have. So in order to impress someone of the opposite sex, it is not a bad idea to have a book with you. If you haven’t read a book that high school didn’t require you to read before here are a few things that you might want to be seen with:
- ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’: This tale of adventure, obsession, revenge and redemption is not only one of the best sellingof all time, having it in your possession most likely means that you have both impeccable taste in reading material and you have amazing literary idol right there. If you have neither, well, the sheer thickness of the book will keep girls staring in admiration of your ‘brains’.
- Don Quixote: Speaking about long books, this work by Miguel de Cervantes is one of the best studies in extreme realism and extreme idealism. And with 500 million copies sold, it is also the largest selling work of fiction ever. So not only do you have great fiction under your belt, you also have a lot of great company to discuss its plot with!
- Pilgrim’s Progress: Though not as immediately recognizable as the two that preceded it, this monumental work of Christian literature has influenced countless works after it. An everyman character is the protagonist of this work that leads us literally from this world to the heavens.
These are only a few of the literary works that you must definitely have before you even engage an intelligent girl or guy in conversation. Not only does it build your confidence but reading such works can help you to speak, write and think better. Not bad, eh?