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I doubt I will buy the 2022 one. In this one is a quote from one Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, “global food analyst.” I will repeat only the first sentence, which was “Plant-based eating will continue to expand.” I told my brother this, and he said that as a kid he’d always admired the Old Farmer’s […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Completion of an Epic Fantasy Trilogy

 

In 2011, “Toward the Gleam” appeared. A fantasy, the book’s premise was that J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth legendarium were based on actual events. Author T. M. Doran bases a central character on Tolkien, John Hill, who find a prehistoric manuscript preserved over thousands of years. Set in the twentieth century, “Towards the Gleam” follows forces of good and evil contending for possession of the manuscript.

A sequel, “The Lucifer Ego” followed in 2018. The manuscript, safely hidden at a monastery gets stolen. Oxford University archaeologist Frodo Lyle Stuart gets recruited by his Uncle Henry to recover the document, the inspiration for “Lord of the Rings.” That book ends with the manuscript returned to safe storage, there to remain.

Or will it?

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard talk with Ignat Solzhenitsyn, a pianist, conductor laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and son of the Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. They discuss his father’s legacy, his courageous work to debunk the Soviet Union’s utopian myths, and key lessons American educators and students should draw from his life, writings, and battle with Soviet communism. They also explore his warning to Western democracies in his historic “A World Split Apart” Harvard Commencement speech, about their own crippling “short-sightedness,” “loss of will,” and crisis of spirit. Ignat describes his family’s 20-year exile in rural Vermont, recounted in his father’s newly released memoir, Between Two Millstones, Book 2, in which Solzhenitsyn expounds on the vital importance of local self-government, the rule of law, liberty, and what he called “self-limitation.” Ignat describes the education he and his brothers received at home, his own impression of the strengths and weaknesses of American education, and what inspired him to become a classical musician and conductor. He concludes with a reading from one of his father’s works.

Related: 2018 op-ed by Jamie Gass: “As we mark 100th anniversary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth, we appreciate importance of historical literacy

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Feasting Slowly: An International Smorgasbord of Books

 

My mom read sixty books this year. That’s more than a book a week. Another Ricochet member offered an impressive post on his 2020 reading list where I see that others enjoy a similar diet. I don’t know how you all do it. I read nightly, snacking on my stories for a few minutes before falling asleep, and then partaking of extended meals on occasions when I’m awake in the wee hours. I always have a book or two on my plate. Despite this, it takes me weeks to finish a work, and I realized that I’ve completed only a handful of books in 2019/2020 and sampled a few others. I count my daily grazing at Ricochet as reading, too, so I suppose I could figure in the equivalent of a year of bi-monthly magazines to account for that.

I usually skip the dessert of fiction that keeps me up at night and stick with autobiographical stories and engaging histories with subtle, well-rounded layers. These works, often two-dollar Kindle deals, can have imbalances that earn them a few one and two-star ratings on Amazon. However, I often find them satisfying or even deeply nourishing. Most selections originate from places and times outside my own: the South Seas in the 1700s, Europe, Africa, the Middle East. Some of these international repasts were unforgettable, others savory and filling, and a few meriting abandonment after several bites.

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Here are the books I read this past year! In an absolute first, HALF of them are non-fiction. Pretty sure I’ve never even come close to that before. Earlier in the year, I made a list of 50 classic books I need to read that I never have, and three of these books are from […]

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Louis Auchincloss comes across as a male, lawyerly Judith Rossner. Like J-Ro, he is not so much telling a story or even imparting information as creating a mood. That isn’t testable. What is testable is: as with J-Ro’s writing, I would enjoy it and yet suddenly and without regret stop reading it. Having figured I’d […]

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Do talons ripping into flesh cause lacerations or puncture wounds? The talons in question would be between 3.5 and 4 inches long and belong to a species of avian predator. Treatment of said wounds is a plot point in chapter four of the next book I am working on. And since I am here anyway, […]

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Marie Ponsot (pahn-SOH, she married a French painter) is a poet I read every day. This poem, “Gigue for Christmas Eve”, so exquisitely wrought, is simply too beautiful not to share. A couple days early I know; I figure that’s OK, the first read of a poem you’re busy deciding if you want to accept […]

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(Majorie Pickthall was a Canadian writer. She was born in England in 1883 and moved to Canada when she was seven. She was thirty-eight when she died in Vancouver in 1922. I came across this story in an English Lit course in college. It wasn’t part of our assigned reading. It was just a delightful […]

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Part Three Part Four I had never been on a honeymoon before. It started as a very wonderful experience. On Monday morning, we had Race and Spence get out the air coach, and we flew from estate to estate like wanderers. I had never visited any of my estates other than my palace in Constantinople, […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Action in the Dark Days of the Battle of the Atlantic

 

C. S. Forester was one of the most popular authors of the middle twentieth century. He died in 1966. Best known for his Horatio Hornblower novels, he wrote many other books, including mysteries and many other sea stories.

“The Good Shepherd,” by C. S. Forester, was one of those other sea novels. Originally published in 1955, it was adapted into the movie “Greyhound” by Tom Hanks. Released in 2020, the movie led several publishers, including the Naval Institute Press, to republish the book.

“The Good Shepherd,” set in World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic, recounts 52 hours of a 1942 winter crossing of the Atlantic by a slow convoy. It was the worst part of the Battle of the Atlantic. The escort is inadequate; German U-boats numerous.

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Part One Part Two I woke up the next morning with my arms around the elf girl. There was a strangeness that I could not identify, something missing, perhaps? I just didn’t know what seemed to be different. Having my arms around a woman was certainly different, but that was something added, not something missing. […]

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Part Six Part Seven The four of us sat there in our own little worlds. Spence and Race were on opposite ends of the couch, both messaging people elsewhere and going through files, either in private archives or on the Omniscience. Nicky was deep in thought on my reclining chair. I was at my desk […]

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Part Five Part Six We parked the coach in the coach house of Nicky’s building and walked the four blocks to the bar. It was nice to be able to do so with Percival and Walpole controlling the weather for the three of us, having a dry bubble to walk in and not being buffeted […]

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Part Four Part Five That night, I slept in my own bed for the first time in at least six weeks. When we arrived, Spence and Race helped me unload the coach of various things that I had accumulated that they had not already teleported to my home. That included, among other things, my copy […]

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