Tag Archives: Arts

Book Review: You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes – by Chris Hadfield

You Are Here
Book: You Are Here: Around the World 
in 92 Minutes: Photos from the 
International Space Station
Author: Chris Hadfield
Publisher: Random House Canada
Date: October 14, 2014
Genre: Arts and Photography
Pages: 208
Price: Hardcover: US $26; CDN $29.95;
       Kindle: US $13.35; CDN $15.99
My Rating: Sensational, stirring, amazing photography!

This is one of those books that easily qualifies as a coffee table book because you hate to hide it away on a book shelf. The photography in it is truly “out of this world.”

As you may recall, I am a fan of astronaut Chris Hadfield. He is among the very few famous people I greatly admire, so I was thrilled when my nephew gifted me his book, You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photos from the International Space Station. I love it! It is full of the magnificent photos Chris Hadfield took during his last mission – from December 2012 to May 2013 – on the International Space Station. His view of the world from way out there was captured in many amazing shots. Out of the approximately 45,000 photos he took, the ones in this book are some of his favourites, most never seen before.

The book is divided into chapters:

  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Oceania
  • North America
  • South America

Each section gives us a perspective only attained from space combined with Chris Hadfield‘s wonderful way of explaining what we’re seeing. At the end of the book is a photo location map. “Every photo’s page number is pinned to the corresponding location on a world map.”  (quoted from page 194) It is fun to go back and look at the photo that matches up with the number on the map.

You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photos from the International Space Station is such a beautiful book. It’s one I urge you to purchase, if only to get a better grasp of our mysterious and wondrous planet. You will be awed.

You can find You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photos from the International Space Station listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!


Book Review (Part 2): Greet the Dawn:The Lakota Way – by S.D.Nelson

Today I am doing something a little different. I’m posting a second part to one of my reviews – Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way by S. D. Nelson. Please be sure to refer to part one of my review HERE to gain a more complete appreciation of this book.

Greet the Dawn the Lakota WayThe reason I am doing part two is because I want you to get a taste of some of the astounding illustrations created by Mr. Nelson, the author of the book. After sending a request to the Marketing Director of South Dakota Historical Society Press  – where this wonderful picture book was published – I received gracious permission and the illustrations I selected to post on my blog. (Thank you, Martyn Beeny!) Please visit their website HERE.

All the pages in Greet The Dawn: The Lakota Way are fully illustrated, edge to edge, in gorgeous colour.

Here are three for you to admire and … ENJOY!

You can find Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Do you use a pen name? Here are famous ones.

Pen names.

I got thinking about this strange name game that writers employ. Which famous writers are better known by their pen names? Why did they adopt a different name? I decided to do a search to see what fascinating things I could find out about famous writers – or rather, their famous pen names.

There are many more, but here is a list of what I found, with the pen name mentioned first:

Acton Bell was Anne Bronte
Anatole France was Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault
Andre Maurois was Emile Herzog
Angela Knight is Julie Woodcock
Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien
Ann Landers was Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer
Artemus Ward was Charles Farrar Browne
Boz was an early pen name for Charles Dickens
Clive Hamilton and N.W. Clerk were both pseudonyms C.S. Lewis used
Currer Bell was Charlotte Bronte
Dr. Seuss was Theodor Seuss Geisel
Elia was Charles Lamb
Ellery Queen was Frederic Dannav and Manfred B. Lee
Ellis Bell was Emily Bronte
Ernst Ahlgren was Victoria Benedictsson
Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen was Brian O’Nolan
GBS was George Bernard Shaw
George Eliot was Mary Ann Evans
George Sand was Amantine (also spelled Amandine) Lucile Aurore Dupin later to become Baroness Dudevant
George Orwell was actually Eric Blair
Isak Dinesen was Karen Blixen
Irwin Shaw was Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff
J. D. Robb is Nora Roberts who was born Eleanor Marie Robertson (Nora Roberts is really her first pen name)
John le Carre was David Cornwell
Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
Lemony Snicket is Daniel Handler
Lewis Carroll was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
Mark Twain was Samuel Langhorne Clemens and also Sieur Louis de Conte
Mary Westmachott was Agatha Christie
Maxim Gorkey was ALex Makimov Peshlov
Moliere was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin
O. Henry was William Sydney Porter
Orion was J. K. Chesterton
Pearl Grey was Zane Grey
Poor Richard was Benjamin Franklin
Publius was a pen name for Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, when they were writing the Federalist Papers
Richard Bachman is Stephen King
Saki was H. H. Munro
Toni Morrison is Chloe Anthony Wofford
Voltanic was Francis Marie Arouet

You may not be familiar with all of the above-mentioned authors, but were any of them a surprise to you?

Why do authors use pseudonyms? Reasons I have found are varied.

  • Some writers do not want people knowing that they write in a certain genre, examples being erotica or genres commonly written by men. In the latter case they often use their initials, as in the case of J. K. Rowling.
  • Some prefer a name that better suits what they write. An example is Pearl Grey who used Zane Grey for his western writing.
  • Some, an example being Stephen King, are advised by their publishers to use an alternate name so that when they have a few titles released around the same time the public will still buy them.
  • Many women would use a man’s name because it used to be that women were not accepted as authors.  Mary Ann Evans, aka George Eliot, is a good example of this.
  • Some writers simply want a name that stands out better than their own.  There are other reasons, too, but these are the most popular ones.

If you were to use a pen name, have you thought about what it would be?

For what reason would you use a name that is not your own?

If you do use a pen name has it been a positive experience for you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂


Would you knowingly write a potentially ‘banned’ book?

I have been thinking more about the writing process, since NaNoWriMo is coming up in November and I probably will participate in that.  I have been reading more, too, and you will see the updating of ‘my “have read” book list’ page.

In wondering about banned books and those that are challenged – the hope of the challenger being that the book will be banned – I posted a list that I found of some of those classics:

Banned and Challenged Classics:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
  11. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  14. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  15. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  16. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  17. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  18. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  19. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  20. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  21. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  22. Native Son by Richard Wright
  23. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  24. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  25. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  26. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  27. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  28. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  29. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  30. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  31. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  32. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  33. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  34. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  35. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  36. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  37. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
  38. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  39. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  40. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  41. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  42. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
  43. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  44. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  45. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  46. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I would think that books with that reputation would get an increase in sales, thanks to the curious.  What do you think?  Have you read any of those books, and if so do you understand why the book is on this list? Do you agree?

Let’s take this a little further.  Have you ever written a book that has been challenged when it was not your intention for it to receive that kind of publicity? Or, do you have a subject burning in your soul that you want to write about, but you know it could be challenged or even banned?  Would you write it anyway?

I hope to hear from many of you on this topic.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

NaNo Writing

It was so fun giving out awards to other bloggers earlier this week.  Even more fun was receiving replies from some of them.  It was so inspiring to me (thanks to Laura A. Best) that I am eager to post again so soon.

Now I am again thinking about NaNo writing.  Have you ever heard about it?  I learned about NaNo last year but didn’t get up the ‘courage’ to attempt it.  National Novel Writing takes place the whole month of November.   The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days!  Sounds like a huge challenge, doesn’t it?  And it is – especially where the writer does not start with anything at all or simply an outline.   The rule is to write, write, write .. whatever comes to mind, with NO EDITING all the way through to the end of the month or upon reaching the 50,000 word count – and the challenge has ended.

Check it out at: http://www.nanowrimo.org

I am thinking of doing this, but … can I manage it?  Of course, there is no shame in not reaching the goal, and most don’t, so if I don’t get anywhere near it I at least got started.  The purpose is to write and get inspiration from just finding out what you can do.  It is suggested to have a support group so that you can encourage one another along.

Have you ever taken part in NaNo?  What did you learn about your writing?

Are you interested in participating?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂