Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book 10 of 2011 -- The Forest Laird

I happened upon this one whilst grocery shopping one day.  ANd since I like Jack Whyte's writing and needed a "nothing" book to read I picked it up.

It is a different choice.  A William Wallace story that ends as the legend begins.  THe last lines of this book talk about Wallace heading off down the road that will lead to Stirling Bridge, then Falkirk, then Tyburn Tree.  But the novel itself is maybe best described as the formation of William Wallace.

This is book 1 of a trilogy on Scottish heroes.  Next will be Robert the Bruce.  Last will be the Black Douglas.  Given that Whyte set the last book of his Templar trilogy in Scotland during the years leading up to the Bruce's victory at Bannockburn, I am sensing a trend here...

I liked this book.  Whyte has a way of writing the epic (which can be a challenge).  ANd he does a good job of weaving history with legend and fiction.  I look forward to his treatment of the Bruce.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Road Trippin' Friday 5

Over at RGBP Jan gives us this challenge:

Tell us about five road trips--in your childhood, in your family, in your recent past, with friends, and/or hoped-for-places-to-drive-to. Don't forget the one that stands out as the BEST or as the worst time. 

 1.  in 1984 we drove from Alberta to Chicago, up through Ontario to Sarnia, Toronto and Ottawa then back via the north shore of Superior.  Highlights included driving past Flint in the midst of a storm that was spawning tornadoes (quote from that section as my mother was looking at a map: "remember that mall we just passed?  that is where they just said a tornado touched down") finding out just how long the trip through Northwestern Ontario could be, and lots of grasshoppers through the prairies.

2.  worst road trip ever.  in 2002 Beloved and I were planning a trip out to BC for my grandparents 60th Anniversary.  WE were to leave on a Monday.  4:00 Friday afternoon the alternator light came on in my car, no garage open until Monday morning.  So we spent Saturday arranging for alternate transport to Edmonton where we could continue with my parents -- 28 hours on the bus.  On a full bus for most of it.  Not fun.

3.  a trip we plan to take.  Beloved and I would dearly love to fly to Halifax and take the train back across the country.  With stops to explore various places along the way.  But we want to wait at least 5 years until youngest is 6.  Sadly it will be a very expensive trip.

4.  most recent trip.  LAst summer.  Our big move.  Thunder Bay to Edmonton over 4 days, travelling in a convoy of 3 vehicles, with a 1 month-old.  It was a bit of an adventure.  Then after a couple of recovery days a final day up to our new home.

5.  last fall Beloved and I joined the other members of this Presbytery for a bus trip up to Whitehorse for the fall meeting.  First time either of us had been north of here (not surprising since the move was the first time we had been this far north [apart from interview and house-shopping on my account]).  And in 2015 the PResbytery should be due for a bus trip to Yellowknife.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Book 9 of 2011 -- Order in Chaos

I have been waiting to read this one for a couple of years.  It is the third of the Templar Trilogy.  However I read the second in paperback before the third even came out in hardcover and so I have waited (I prefer to read books in paperback whenever possible).

The trilogy as a whole is good.  Not something that is going to become a piece of classic literature by any means but good.  I also enjoyed Whyte's Dream of Eagles cycle (about the transition from Roman Britain to Arthurian Britain) and the next one I am reading is the first of a trilogy based in Scotland (where in fact this book largely takes place after the Templars are dissolved in France).

THe trilogy has been well immersed in the mythic nature of the Templar story, and this one gives a hint of the old folk legend that the Templars became the Freemasons.  I would recommend it.  It could stand on its own but obviously follows better if one has read the first two volumes.