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  1. Conan_Doyle

    Stress Test By: Katie Dockeray

    Stress Test Kate Dockeray (Author) Sara Malloy lives an average life in an average neighborhood. Her quiet, content life is interrupted when she allows a friend of a friend to rent a room. Her well meaning favor backfires when she realizes she's got the roommate from Hades. Her luck goes from bad to worse when the lunatic ex of her recently reunited boyfriend suddenly resurfaces. The pressure mounts as she endures betrayal from the man she thinks she loves as her neat little life comes unfolded piece by piece. Experience hilarity and heartbreak as you follow Sara from one extreme to the next. Kate Dockeray - Writer Kate Dockeray - Writer | Facebook Kate's Kafe Musings on writing a manuscript, on recreational photography, on dealing with anxiety, on life. Kate's Kafe
  2. Sounds horrible. Thank you for taking the time to warn all of us.
  3. Conan_Doyle

    Kristin Lavransdatter by: Sigrid Undset

    I just finished reading it and it is fantastic.
  4. Kristin Lavransdatter by: Sigrid Undset In her great historical epic Kristin Lavransdatter, set in fourteenth-century Norway, Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset tells the life story of one passionate and headstrong woman. Painting a richly detailed backdrop, Undset immerses readers in the day-to-day life, social conventions, and political and religious undercurrents of the period. Now in one volume, Tiina Nunnally’s award-winning definitive translation brings this remarkable work to life with clarity and lyrical beauty. As a young girl, Kristin is deeply devoted to her father, a kind and courageous man. But when as a student in a convent school she meets the charming and impetuous Erlend Nikulaussøn, she defies her parents in pursuit of her own desires. Her saga continues through her marriage to Erlend, their tumultuous life together raising seven sons as Erlend seeks to strengthen his political influence, and finally their estrangement as the world around them tumbles into uncertainty. The cycle follows the life of Kristin Lavransdatter, a fictitious Norwegian woman living in the 14th century. Kristin grows up in Sel in Gudbrandsdalen, the daughter of a well-respected and affluent farmer. She experiences a number of conflicts in her relationships with her parents, and her husband Erlend, in medieval Norway. She finds comfort and conciliation in her Nordic faith. With its captivating heroine and emotional potency, Kristin Lavransdatter is the masterwork of Norway’s most beloved author—one of the twentieth century’s most prodigious and engaged literary minds—and, in Nunnally’s exquisite translation, a story that continues to enthrall.
  5. The Museum is the Smithsonian Museums & Zoo | Smithsonian <--------------Official website...
  6. Conan_Doyle

    Fahrenheit 451

    These titles are good dystopian novels as well. Iron Heel by: Jack London Novel by Jack London, published in 1908, describing the fall of the United States to the cruel fascist dictatorship of the Iron Heel, a group of monopoly capitalists. Fearing the popularity of socialism, the plutocrats of the Iron Heel conspire to eliminate democracy and, with their secret police and military, terrorize the citizenry. They instigate a German attack on Hawaii on Dec. 4, 1912; as socialist revolutions topple capitalist governments around the world, the Iron Heel has 52 socialist members of the U.S. Congress imprisoned for treason. Elements of London's vision of fascism, civil war, and governmental oppression proved to be prophetic in the first half of the 20th century. Amazon.com: The Iron Heel (Penguin Classics) (9780143039716): Jack London, Jonathan Auerbach: Books It Can't Happen Here by: Sinclair Lewis The only one of Sinclair Lewis's later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith, It Can't Happen Here is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression when America was largely oblivious to Hitler's aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a President who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, rampant promiscuity, crime, and a liberal press. Now finally back in print, It Can't Happen Here remains uniquely important, a shockingly prescient novel that's as fresh and contemporary as today's news. Amazon.com: It Can't Happen Here (9780451216588): Sinclair Lewis, Michael Meyer: Books We by: Yevgeny Zamyatin First published in the Soviet 1920s, Zamyatin's dystopic novel left an indelible watermark on 20th-century culture, from Orwell's 1984 to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil. Randall's exciting new translation strips away the Cold War connotations and makes us conscious of Zamyatin's other influences, from Dostoyevski to German expressionism. D-503 is a loyal "cipher" of the totalitarian One State, literally walled in by glass; he is a mathematician happily building the world's first rocket, but his life is changed by meeting I-330, a woman with "sharp teeth" who keeps emerging out of a sudden vampirish dusk to smile wickedly on the poor narrator and drive him wild with desire. (When she first forces him to drink alcohol, the mind leaps to Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel.) In becoming a slave to love, D-503 becomes, briefly, a free man. In Randall's hands, Zamyatin's modernist idiom crackles ("I only remember his fingers: they flew out of his sleeve, like bundles of beams"), though the novel sometimes seems prophetic of the onset of Stalinism, particularly in the bleak ending. Modern Library's reintroduction of Zamyatin's novel is a literary event sure to bring this neglected classic to the attention of a new readership. Amazon.com: We (Modern Library Classics) (9780812974621): Yevgeny Zamyatin, Natasha Randall: Books Erewhon by: Samuel Butler Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902) was a Victorian novelist who wrote in many genres. The Way of All Flesh and Erewhon are his most famous novels. Besides fiction Butler also wrote on evolution, Christian orthodoxy, Italian art, literary history and translated the Illiad and The Odyssey. Erewhon is a utopian satire of Victorian England published in 1872. The title is the name of a fictional country and it is also the word nowhere spelled backwards. The beginning of the book deals with the discovery of Erewhon, which is based on Butlers time in New Zealand where he worked on a sheep ranch for four years. The novel satirizes religion, anthropocentrism, and criminal punishment. Amazon.com: Erewhon (9781438527871): Samuel Butler: Books
  7. Conan_Doyle

    Beowulf by Unknown author

    Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics In the following excerpt from a 1936 British Academy lecture, Tolkien asserts that Beowulf, in addition to possessing historical and linguistic significance, is the most successful poem in Old English literature based upon its aesthetic qualities. (Read the entire article here for free in PDF form.) http://teacherweb.com/NJ/DeptfordTownshipHighSchool/MrMosiondz/Tolkien---Beowulf-the-Monsters-amp-the-Critics.pdf
  8. Conan_Doyle

    Faceless Killers

    Faceless Killers by: Henning Mankell I just finished reading Faceless Killers by: Henning Mankell I found it to be a very entertaining detective novel. The action of the novel takes place in Sweden, an aspect which made the novel even more interesting. I recommend it. One frozen January Morning at 5 am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he expects is a routine call out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath. An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely alive beside his shattered body, victims of violence beyond reason. The woman supplies Wallander with his only clue: the perpetrators may have been foreign. When this is leaked to the press, racial hatred is unleashed. Kurt Wallander is a senior police officer at Ystad, a small town in the wind-lashed Swedish province of Skåne. His life is a shambles. His wife has left him, his daughter refuses to speak to him, even his ageing father barely tolerates him. He works tirelessly, eats badly and drinks the nights away in a lonely, neglected flat. But now winter closes its grip on Ystad, and Wallander, his tenacious efforts closely monitored by the tough minded (and disarmingly attractive) district attorney Anette Brolin, must forget his trouble, and throw himself into a battle against time and xenophobia. In Faceless Killers, an elderly couple are murdered on an isolated farm after being brutally tortured and the woman's final word 'foreign' unleashed a ferociously anti-refugee sentiment in Ystad. The novel was an immediate national success claiming several awards. However, it was not until the third book about Wallander, The White Lioness, that the series about the detective from Ystad became the international bestseller it is today. Author Henning Mankell (born 3 February 1948) is a Swedish crime writer, children's author and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most famous creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander. Henning Mankell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  9. Conan_Doyle

    Democracy In America by Alexis de Toqueville

    Read the quotations below by Alexis de Toqueville from Democracy in America, which cover topics such as religion in American life and American politics, Americans' belief in the importance of material goods, the power of public opinion in the United States, and the weakness of social bonds in a democracy. "[T]here is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America." "Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions... I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion... but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions." "It may be asserted that in the United States no religious doctrine displays the slightest hostility to democratic and republican institutions." "In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country... [To find out why,] I questioned the members of all the different sects; and I more especially sought the society of the clergy... [T]hey mainly attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country to the separation of Church and State... I did not meet with a single individual, of the clergy or of the laity, who was not of the same opinion upon this point." "I learned with surprise that [the clergy] filled no public appointments; not one of them is to be met with in the administration, and they are not even represented in the legislative assemblies... And when I came to inquire into the prevailing spirit of the clergy I found that most of its members seemed to retire of their own accord from the exercise of power, and that they made it the pride of their profession to abstain from politics." "The American clergy... saw that they must renounce their religious influence, if they were to strive for political power; and they chose to give up the support of the State, rather than to share its vicissitudes." "I know of no country . . . where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men [than in the United States]." "A native of the United States clings to this world's goods as if he were certain never to die; and he is so hasty in grasping at all within his reach, that one would suppose he was constantly afraid of not living long enough to enjoy them. He clutches everything, he holds nothing fast, but soon loosens his grasp to pursue fresh gratifications." "If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the unlimited authority of the majority, which may at some future time urge the minorities to desperation, and oblige them to have recourse to physical force. Anarchy will then be the result, but it will have been brought about by despotism." "[T]he most absolute monarchs in Europe are unable to prevent certain notions, which are opposed to their authority, from circulating in secret throughout their dominions, and even in their courts. Such is not the case in America; as long as the majority is still undecided, discussion is carried on; but as soon as its decision is irrevocably pronounced, a submissive silence is observed, and the friends, as well as the opponents, of the measure unite in assenting to its propriety. The reason of this is perfectly clear... The authority of a king is purely physical, and it controls the actions of the subject without subduing his private will; but the majority possesses a power which is physical and moral at the same time; it acts upon the will as well as upon the actions of men... I know no country in which there is so little true independence of mind and freedom of discussion as in America." "In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own." "When an opinion has taken root amongst a democratic people, and established itself in the minds of the bulk of the community, it afterwards... is maintained without effort, because no one attacks it. Those who at first rejected it as false, ultimately receive it as the general impression; and those who still dispute it in their hearts, conceal their dissent; they are careful not to engage in a dangerous and useless conflict." "Aristocracy had made a chain of all the members of the community, from the peasant to the king: democracy breaks that chain, and severs every link of it. As social conditions become more equal, the number of persons increases who, although they are neither rich enough nor powerful enough to exercise any great influence over their fellow-creatures, have nevertheless acquired or retained sufficient education and fortune to satisfy their own wants. They owe nothing to any man, they expect nothing from any man; they acquire the habit of always considering themselves as standing alone, and they are apt to imagine that their whole destiny is in their own hands. Thus not only does democracy make every man forget his ancestors, but it hides his descendants, and separates his contemporaries from him; it throws him back forever upon himself alone, and threatens in the end to confine him entirely within the solitude of his own heart."
  10. Conan_Doyle

    Democracy In America by Alexis de Toqueville

    Dr. T, If you enjoyed reading that you may want to give these titles a look. John Adams [Paperback] David McCullough (Author) Amazon.com: John Adams (9781416575887): David McCullough: Books The Portable John Adams (Penguin Classics) by John Adams and Jack Diggins Amazon.com: The Portable John Adams (Penguin Classics) (9780142437780): John Adams, Jack Diggins: Books Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine (Signet Classics)Amazon.com: Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine (Signet Classics) (9780451528896): Thomas Paine, Sidney Hook, Jr., Jack Fruchtman: Books The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates (Signet Classics) Amazon.com: The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates (Signet Classics) (9780451528841): Ralph Ketcham: Books The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics) Amazon.com: The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics) (9780451528810): Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Clinton Rossiter, Charles R. Kesler: Books
  11. Conan_Doyle

    Elmer Gantry by: Sinclair Lewis

    I finished reading this book last week, Elmer Gantry a novel by Sinclair Lewis, based on it's historical setting, structure, and out-dated language used, reading it was like watching an extremely dark episode of 'The Waltons.' I found it to be a very worthwhile read. Elmer Gantry a novel by Sinclair Lewis, a satiric indictment of fundamentalist religion that caused an uproar upon its publication in 1927. Sinclair Lewis proves to be possibly the best student of hypocrisy since Voltaire This portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist-who lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and self-indulgence-is also the chronicle of a reign of vulgarity, which but for Lewis would have left no record of itself. The title character of Elmer Gantry starts out as a greedy, shallow, philandering Baptist minister, turns to evangelism, and eventually becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Throughout the novel Gantry encounters fellow religious hypocrites, including Mrs. Evans Riddle, Judson Roberts, and Sharon Falconer, with whom he becomes romantically involved. Although he is often exposed as a fraud, Gantry is never fully discredited. Amazon.com: Elmer Gantry (Signet Classics) (9780451530752): Sinclair Lewis, Jason Stevens: Books
  12. Female GIs struggle with higher rate of divorce AP – Staff Sgt. Robin Duncan-Chisolm gets a hug from her son Seth in Upper Marlboro, Md., on Monday, March … .By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Kimberly Hefling, WASHINGTON – Two failed marriages were the cost of war for Sgt. Jennifer Schobey. The breaking point in her first marriage came when her husband deployed to Afghanistan, the last in a long line of separations they had endured as they juggled two military careers. Schobey married another combat veteran, but eventually that union failed under the weight of two cases of post-traumatic stress disorder — his and hers. They are now getting divorced. Separations. Injuries. Mental health issues. All are added weights to the normal strains of marriage. For women in the military, there's a cold, hard reality: Their marriages are more than twice as likely to end in divorce as those of their male comrades — and up to three times as likely for enlisted women. And military women get divorced at higher rates than their peers outside the military, while military men divorce at lower rates than their civilian peers. About 220,000 women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq in roles ranging from helicopter pilots to police officers. Last year, 7.8 percent of women in the military got a divorce, compared with 3 percent of military men, according to Pentagon statistics. Among the military's enlisted corps, nearly 9 percent of women saw their marriages end, compared with a little more than 3 percent of the men. Like all divorces, the results can be a sense of loss and a financial blow. But for military women, a divorce can be a breaking point — even putting them at greater risk for homelessness down the road. It has an effect, too, on military kids. The military has more single moms than dads, and an estimated 30,000 of them have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why military women are more burdened by divorce is unclear, although societal pressure is likely a factor. "It's a strange situation, where there's a fair amount of equality in terms of their military roles, but as the military increasingly treats women the same as it treats men in terms of their work expectations, however, society still expects them to fulfill their family roles. And that's not equally balanced between men and women," said David Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. One speculation is that while more traditional men join the military, women who are attracted to military life are less conventional — and perhaps less willing to stay in a bad marriage. About half of all married women in the military are married to a fellow service member, compared with less than 10 percent of military men. While it can be an advantage to be married to someone who understands military life, balancing two military careers poses challenges. Former Army Sgt. Daniela Gibson, an Afghan war veteran, knows that first-hand. Gibson, 24, spent more than four years apart from her military husband and thousands of dollars on long-distance phone calls as they each did war deployments, training and moves. She said it's tough to not feel insecure about your own marriage as you watch others falling apart around you and see fellow service members cheating on their spouses, which she says is all too frequent during deployments. "Even just rumors of cheating can really affect you," Gibson said. Gibson left the military after she got pregnant. She's now raising their 1-year-old in Mannheim, Germany, while her husband continues his military career. Fortunately, she said, they were able to make their marriage work. "It was really hard. . We've gone through a lot of difficult points in the relationship and sometimes we weren't even sure how it was going to end up. But at the end I think it made us closer because it kind of made us prove to ourselves how much we wanted it," Gibson said. "We weren't about to just give up." Female service members married to civilians face their own challenges. The rate of divorce among military women is higher for those married to civilians, said Benjamin Karney, a psychology professor at UCLA who studied the issue for the Rand Corp. Research has found that the husbands of female service members were less likely to be employed than military wives. "You've got to look at the realities of what military life is like on the family, and it really is kind of set up around a traditional married model of a husband and a wife that runs the house, if you will," said Kimberly Olson, a retired Air Force colonel who is executive director of Grace After Fire, a support organization for female veterans. Olson said many female warriors don't get the support and space they need after war service to transition back to their roles as wives and mothers. "The expectation that you can just turn that emotion back on like a light switch just because you walk off the airplane and they got signs and balloons and your baby runs to you, it is not very realistic," Olson said. "It takes a while to get back into that tender, loving woman that's a mother. And if you're married, that tender loving woman that's the wife. And of course, a lot of people demand a lot of things from women, because we kind of have a bad habit of taking care of everybody else first and ourselves last," she said. When divorce does happen, it only adds to the stress faced by an already stressed-out population. Staff Sgt. Robin D. Duncan-Chisolm, 47, of Landover, Md., was deployed to Iraq last year with the District of Columbia National Guard while she was getting a divorce. She said she worried the entire time that she'd lose custody of her teenage son or lose the house that she and her husband had shared. "I was able to smile ... but inside I had a lot of turmoil I needed to have resolved, things I needed to bring closure to," Duncan-Chisolm said. She credits her friendships and support in the Guard with helping her get through the divorce. She and her son were able to take advantage of support programs offered through the Guard's "Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program" to help with her transition home. "If you don't have anybody to talk to and anybody to turn to, sometimes it gets a little difficult, and I'm glad I had that system in place," Duncan-Chisolm said. Former Army Sgt. 1st Class Tashawnya McCullough, 38, said she didn't have that support when she returned from Iraq in 2004 to where she was stationed in Germany. Divorced at the time from a service member she says cheated on her, lonely and struggling with her combat experience, she turned to alcohol. It took two months for her to get her girls, then ages 4 and 11, from the United States, where one lived with her ex-husband and the other with friends. "My home was so quiet it drove me nuts, and I was by myself. It really affected me horribly. I was not doing well," McCullough said. "I was just trying to not feel or think about anything. I had a really hard time with drinking." McCullough eventually got help for her drinking, remarried and found work in Texas with Grace After Fire helping other female veterans. Each of the military services today offers a variety of programs focused on strengthening or enriching marriage. The Army, for example, offers a program called "Strong Bonds," which provides relationship help to married couples as well as single soldiers and "resiliency" classes for spouses of both sexes. Despite these efforts, Christina Roof, national acting legislative director of AMVETS, said there are not enough programs specifically targeting divorce among female service members. She said some husbands just don't feel comfortable being surrounded by wives as part of military family support programs, but they need to be educated about issues their wives may face when they return from war. "I think that stress of a woman coming home ... and the man having no real training of someone sitting down and saying this is what it might be like when your wife gets back, that's just a recipe for disaster," Roof said. Genevieve Chase, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserves who founded American Women Veterans, said she hears complaints from female service members who say how hard it is for their civilian husbands to understand what they do and feel accepted. If the husband has served and leaves the military to support the woman's military career, she said he endures constant remarks from others. "Unfortunately, male military spouses don't get any credit or recognition," Chase said. Schobey said she's proud to serve in the military but it's not always easy on the service member — or the service member's spouse. "I think a big issue, or something a lot of couples have to work through is the fact that at any time we can get that phone call ... you're deploying again, or for me, here's some orders, you're moving to another state," Schobey said. "Then, you're uprooting your entire family and you're moving. Your spouse is expected to be supporting you, but that's not always the case, obviously. For two times now, that's not the case for me." _____ Online: American Women Veterans: American Women Veterans - Advancing and preserving the legacy of women in service to our nation Grace After Fire: Grace After Fire Army Strong Bonds: Welcome to Strong Bonds :: Building Ready Families Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America AMVETS: Welcome to AMVETS - The Official Web site of AMVETS National Headquarters
  13. Conan_Doyle

    The Informationist By: Taylor Stevens

    'Informationist' lives up to Stieg Larsson comparisons It was bound to happen. In the wake of the stunning success of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo comes a thriller by an American writer whose protagonist is drawing comparisons to Lisbeth Salander. The good news: Vanessa Munroe, the woman at the center of The Informationist, Taylor Stevens' debut novel, lives up to the hype. Best of all, Munroe evokes the spirit and intelligence of the gutsy, damaged Salander, but she's far from derivative. In fact, she's an original and freshly imagined character. Known for her ability to ferret out the most hidden secrets and information, Munroe has been paid by governments and corporations to get to the truth. In The Informationist, Munroe is hired by a wealthy tycoon to find his daughter Emily who disappeared in Africa years before. For Munroe, traveling to Equatorial Guinea means a return to the land of her childhood and to the memories that remind her of the roots of her damaged psyche. Accompanied on her search by security expert Miles Bradford, an employee of the Houston oilman who has hired her, Munroe's intrepid journey into a lawless Africa pits her against government corruption, a former lover and secrets from her past. Stevens has an aptitude for breathless action scenes. Munroe cunningly survives multiple physical attacks thanks to her guts, determination and a hunger for retaliation and revenge. The novel's cinematic pace is revved by high-speed chases (Munroe, like Salander, rides a crazy fast motorbike), bloody hand-to-hand combat and lots of sexual tension. The international scope of The Informationist— the action blasts from the USA to Europe to Africa — will more than satisfy fans of Robert Ludlum, John LeCarre and Frederick Forsyth. Much will be made of the similarities between Munroe and Salander. But in some ways, Munroe's brooding personality and her ability to blend in to her surroundings bring to mind the provocative Jason Bourne. Thank goodness a sequel to this fiery novel is in the works
  14. More divorced couples say Facebook hurt their marriage Facebook may be a fan favorite, but a new report claims it could be bad for your marriage. According to Loyola University Health Systems, more than 80 percent of divorce lawyers report they've seen a jump in divorce cases involving social networking. Facebook seems to be the number one offender with one in five divorced couples claiming the popular site led to the end of their marriage. Many of those cases involved flirty messages and photographs, as well as reuniting with old flames and past hook-ups. So what do you think? Do Facebook and other social networking sites hurt marriages? Weigh in with your comments below.
  15. Conan_Doyle

    Check out my new book!

    Congratulations on your new book.