I was real disappointed. Felt like a major let down.
You could tell that he was TIRED. I knew that he must have been OLD when he wrote it. But, I did NOT check ‘HOW OLD’ until I finished. Now it is much clearer. He was 81 when he finished.
81-years old. Probably took him 2- to 3-years to write it. So, was writing it when he was in his late 70s.
ALAS, it shows. You can feel his tiredness!
This book has put me OFF Michener! I am upset by that.
But, then again I may have READ way TOO MUCH Michener — in too short of a time.
6 in two-years.
Three of them ‘Hawaii’, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘Alaska’ huge, ‘1,000’-page books.
I loved ‘The Covenant’ & learnt much from ‘Hawaii’ — as I had done with with other books, such as ‘Texas’ & ‘Chesapeake Bay’.
Not so with ‘Alaska’.
Very disappointing. I feel cheated.
In a way I feel sorry for him. I can, also, relate. I am 66. I KNOW that I am not writing ‘as well’ or with the ‘proficiency’ I did 10-years ago. And I have another decade to go to get to Michener’s age when he wrote ‘Alaska’. YIKES!
The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.
Don’t make fun of me for recommending a book that was published in 2003. Sorry. I very rarely read a book as soon as it is published — ‘The Da Vinci Code’ the one exception I can remember.
We appeared to have picked up a copy of this alluring book at our local ‘Swap Shop‘ where you can invariably find a good book or two. I think it had been languishing around the house for some time. Having read ‘Hawaii‘, ‘Miracle in Seville‘, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘ Tales of the South Pacific‘ within the space of 10-months I needed a break from Michener. I saw the book, liked the title and started reading it.
Yes, of course, millions have obviously raved about this book ahead of I. The cover itself has the splash banner that says ‘A New York Times Bestseller‘.
To I it was a less intense version of “To Kill A Mockingbird“! Set slightly later in the South but a story that revolves around the racial inequality and tension of pre-Civil Rights USA. Very cleverly done. Kind of disappointing to learn that it is all fiction. It definitely feels very real.
You want to know what happens next. As such it is quite the page turner. Yes, there is some ‘fluff’, but that is ‘OK’. I assume it was meant primarily for a female audience. That bothers me none. I enjoyed it. I have some familiarity of Black Madonna worship around the world. So, I enjoyed that aspect.
They have made a movie of the book. I watched the trailer. Hhmm. Some actresses from “Hidden Figures” a movie that I have already watched twice. But, from the little I saw, it didn’t seem to jive with the book. So, I am not going to rush into watching it.
Highly recommended. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and read it.
.by Anura Guruge
She draws these really, really cute animals, like this that she did for me for a book that I hope to write. She also makes all sorts of whimsical crafts, though she has temporarily closed shop since she is in the process of moving from Maui to Maine!
Her sister-in-law now has a store that sells Hawaiian themed clothing — many of them featuring Leanne’s work.
Check it out.
..by Anura Guruge
++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘topless’ for my other posts that mention it >>>>
I go topless most of the Summer and well into the fall. Having grown up in Europe and still being very European (or at least British) at heart I have no problems, whatsoever, with men or women going topless. As far as I am concerned, that Laconia c. 2000, ‘banned’ female flashing during ‘Bike Week’ is very un-American and discriminatory. Given all the man boobs freely on show, I would much prefer to see more delicate and delectable offerings. Going to topless beaches in Europe is just part and parcel of living there. Never had any problems when whoever I was with went topless. As I had been told ‘it is much less conspicuous to be topless than to be covered‘! Plus, as I had discovered, to my cost, they all look the same after the first ten thousand. Cracked me up the first time I went to Waikiki Beach in Hawaii in 1985. All these women going to so, so much trouble to expose as much as they could without going topless. It was hilarious. Just go topless.
Since I stoutly defended my future Queen, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, during the childish topless flap, I get quite a number of hits when folks are searching the Web for ‘topless’ references.
Today I noticed a new variation that immediately piqued my interest. Folks were falling over themselves doing searches for ‘topless in NH‘. I, being the season cynic I am, knew at once that this was NOT what it appeared to be. Though I would embrace it gladly, I know NH way too well (and I am a Granite State Ambassador (GSA)) to appreciate that it is more than unlikely that we would, in my lifetime, see ladies cavorting topless on Gilford beach. But, I was curios. As soon as I saw that the event was being held in Rumney, the ‘redneck‘ capital of NH, where dentist go to daydream of the untold riches they could have if they could just treat 5% of the residents, the game was up.
Yes, it is topless, and I hope that as with Bike Week there will at least be some surreptitious flashing, if not topless in topless. Here, this gives the game away. Enjoy.
…by Anura Guruge
President-elect Mitt Romney’s church, viz. ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints‘ (the ‘Mormons‘), is justifiably famous for its ornate, imposing, typically soaring (to pierce the heavens), usually blinding white Temples — such as the one in Boston, pictured above.
I like the look and feel of Mormon Temples. If I am close to one, I make a point of trying to visit it to have a tour. During 1980 to 1983 I used to travel to Tempe, Arizona (suburb of Phoenix) on a regular basis for extended business trips. In the evenings and weekends I would set out to explore, far and wide, in the process forming an abiding love with that amazing State and its native Indian population. One of my discoveries was the Mormon Temple in Mesa, just a few blocks from my favored hotel (‘Fiesta Inn‘) in Tempe. They used to have a very impressive collection of petrified trees. Many evenings I would stop by the Temple, park on the street, and wonder through the immaculately maintained gardens replete with those petrified trees. Yes, I have been to the ‘mother-ship’ in Salt Lake City and the one in Oahu, Hawaii (now called the ‘Laie Hawaii Temple’), which used to be associated with the ‘Polynesian Cultural Center‘ that used to do amazing programs. Though I have never visited it, in all of my time in D.C., I am also familiar with the so called ‘upturned pig‘ Temple in D.C.
There is a likelihood that the Mormon Church, which is continually building new Temples or upgrading the existing ones [e.g., Mesa, AZ], will decide to convert the current unimposing church in Woleboro, 388 Main Street (just above ‘Winter Harbor’) into a full Temple to celebrate Mitt Romeny’s presidency — the 1st Mormon President.
2 related, recent Mormon posts on my ‘Popes and Papacy with Anura Guruge‘ blog:
1/ Mormons Baptized Bl. John Paul II Six (6) Times. Plan To Baptize Benedict XVI. No Wonder Romney Jokes About The Popes.
2/ Mormon Mitt Romney, At Al Smith 2012 Dinner, Disrespects Pope Benedict XVI & Bl. John Paul II; Unnecessary & Insulting.
…by Anura Guruge
This was indeed serendipitous. I had no idea that Mike Dukakis, the Presidential Contender in 1998, and the longest serving Governor in Massachusetts history, was going to be in Laconia, NH, today. I was under the impression he had moved to Hawaii. [I asked him about that. I said: ‘I thought you had moved to Hawaii‘. He gave me the scoop. ‘I was just there for one semester. I came back after that.‘ So, I wasn’t totally off base. I had at least remembered that he had gone to Hawaii.]
After my two short stints making phone calls Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, the Obama office in Laconia had called up Friday wanting to know when I planned to show up over the weekend to go door-to-door. They never mentioned anything about Dukakis being there Sunday. It could have been a security thing. With our intent to go to the Sandwich Fair I wasn’t sure when I would make it to Laconia but promised I would put some hours in before Tuesday. This morning, with the weather looking good, I decided I will go and do my shift this afternoon, after I had gone for my run. So, as I was getting ready to go running, around noon, I called up the office to say I will be thee at 2pm. My contact there, Derek, said I should come at 1 instead, as Dukakis would be there to rally the troops. So a quick change of plan. Scrapped the run. Jumped in the shower instead. We managed to leave the house around 12:40. I grabbed two boxes of Lindt chocolate for the troops and Mr. Dukakis.
We got to the Obama office in Laconia by 1:15. It is a small office; 1/4 the size of the nice office we had in 2008. There wasn’t many people there to listen to the former governor. Maybe, at most, 25. But, that was OK. He was shorther than I expected. Deanna reckons that he must have been 5′ 6″. His fair was thinner. But, he looked good. Looked very good. He spoke quietly, without much animation, but it was heartfelt, easy to follow and clearly enunciated. It was a good speech. He spoke about the need for, and a person’s right to, good, affordable healthcare. He, like me, pointed out how so many people just don’t understand the healthcare issue. He, at 78, was on Medicare and got the older folks present to admit that it was a wonderful system. He pointed how Paul Ryan’s austerity program for the U.S. was aimed at making the U.S. be like Greece today. Hear. Hear. He highlighted how government austerity was not the right path for this country. He, obviously, knows Romney. He stressed how unpopular Romney is in Massachusetts; Romney expected to lose his home state to Obama by 30%. He stressed how well Massachusetts is now doing under Deval Patrick compared to when Romney was governor. He talked about how ‘Private Equity’ company à la Romney’s BAIN Capital had a fiduciary responsibility to make money for their shareholders as opposed to ensuring job growth or job security. It was a good, rousing speech to warm the cockles of any Democrat.
He cracked a few jokes, mainly about Bill Clinton’s meandering nomination speech at his 1988 DNC convention, contrasting it with Bill’s amazing performance this year. He wanted to know why Bill didn’t make such a speech in 1988. He also then had this. According to Mike, Bill Clinton was asked by a morning TV show, in 1992, as to why he was running for President, to have Bill respond: ‘So I can finish the Michael Dukakis nomination speech‘. That cracked me up. He took questions. I asked him about Jack Welch’s stupid, unbecoming Tweet on Friday accusing the administration of cooking the 7.8% unemployment number. Mr. Dukakis agreed that it was totally uncalled for and defied logical explanation.
We all got to meet with him and shake hands. He was very pleasant. Made a point of getting the names of the kids right. Teischan offered him a chocolate and he took one after asking her to recommend which one he picked. It was impressive. I am glad we made the effort to go see him. Made my day. Good for the kids. The most important person that they have met so far (though there grandfather might argue otherwise).
Inspired by Mr. Dukakis ‘we’ went and covered about 40 houses in Gilford; shades of 2008 for me, because I also did Gilford that time.
…by Anura Guruge
A Link for those that really, really want to see the French pictures
— though there is a good chance that this site (referred to by the link) might get taken down.
The news of this, being reported breathlessly by a female CNN anchor, was the first thing I heard this morning when Deanna woke me up. I had to laugh. What is the BIG deal (and I not sure she is particularly big in that department to begin with).
As a Brit, who has visited European beaches with British women, and is now living in New Hampshire, I feel compelled to comment on this because I do have first hand experience.
European beaches have been topless for as long as I know. Going topless was not that common in Britain, even in the 80s, though I don’t think there were any ordinances against it, and yes, you certainly would see topless women when you least expected them. So in the 80s British women faced a dilemma when they were in Europe. Most succinctly put, keeping a top on made one more conspicuous than not having one. Unless you have been to a European beach you can’t really visualize it. We are talking thousands of topless women, acres of them. As I used to say: ‘once you seen your first 10,000 boobs they all look the same’; and you could see 10,000 in a day in Europe (i.e., just 5,000 women).
I have, and never have, had any problems or issues with boobs. Perfectly natural, and unless you were amazingly deprived, every kid should have seen at least one set of breasts as a child; and I am a huge believer in babies being breast fed (though Teischan’s penchant for it even when she was 27 months tested even my will).
So, it is the Duchess’ prerogative. We all know she has them. Yes, she will be my Queen, though possibly not in my lifetime. That she has exposed her breasts, in ‘private’, does not phase me. When in Europe, do as the Romans do. They know what technology can do. So they took a risk. All fine. All good. All very British.
What puzzles me is the supposed reaction by her and the Palace. They should have all laughed it off. What is the big deal. She is a modern British woman, and in my experience most British women when in Europe experiment with going topless. So, I have no issues. She has in no way offended me.
I have never understood the American aversion to the public display of breast. There was a time I used to visit Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii, on a regular basis — initially on business trips. I like Waikiki Beach; it was, in the late 1980s, nearest thing in the U.S. to an European beach. It would crack me up as to the trouble and expense that women went to so as to still cover their breast but expose as much of them as they could. It was crazy; if you are showing so much just go topless.
In Britain I grew up with the famous Page 3 topless picture, Monday to Friday, in the tabloid ‘The Sun‘. I didn’t use to buy ‘The Sun‘ or have it delivered. I was a ‘Daily Mail‘ man. But, if I was somewhere and saw a Sun, I would open it up and look at Page 3. It was the British thing to do. Kids would see it. Their parents would read ‘The Sun’. It was available at libraries and was widely read by teachers in school. I really do not think we lost the Empire because of ‘The Sun’ page 3. There was a time I used to go back to Britain quite frequently. During my first two years in the U.S., as part of my job (given that I was here with a British company), I was allowed to go back as often as I wanted — plus I used to do seminars in Europe. On those trips I would collect copies of the Sun and bring it back for Americans. There was at least one devout Catholic, who went to Mass 3 times a week, who got addicted to my Suns. As soon as I would get back he would say: Did you bring back some papers for me?
Do not see what the big deal is. Upsets me when I hear about women breastfeeding getting harassed.
That Laconia, which is so proud of its ‘Bike Week’, outlawed ‘flashing’ to me is un-American and a violation of NH’s ‘Live Free or Die‘! Flashing is such an integral part of a Bike Week. Yes, I remember when flashing was permitted. I have also seen flashing when it was not permitted. One Sunday, possibly 1999, I was taking the kids (then 10 and 7) to see Bike Week (which we did on a regular basis) — driving by car from Laconia to Weirs on the side of Paugus Bay. Tons of traffic and we were crawling along. The kids, per the rules, were in the back. There was a red pickup truck directly in front of us. Two girls in the back … with bales of hay for their comfort. They flashed constantly. At least 20 times. The kids never noticed! No big deal.
So, Kate … no problem. Go for it.