House of Ashes by Monique is an absorbing tale written by an author who was born in Trinidad in 1965, and knows Caribbean history well. House of Ashes, her fourth novel, is a thriller set in 1990 in a fictional Caribbean country called Sans Amen.
In an echo of Trinidad in 1970, when the uprising came close to toppling Trinidad’s prime minister Eric Williams, the island’s national palace is stormed by a group of “badjohn” freedom fighters who hold the prime minister and his staff captive.
“The City of Silk is seething. The corrupt government has been ruling over the people too long and the city is becoming restless. Then one hot evening The Leader, a head of a group of rebels, gathers his followers and tells them: ‘Today, we will be making history. For ourselves, and our fellow countrymen of Sans Amen.’And so a ragtag collection of men and boys take up arms and storm two of the most important buildings in the city: the house of power and the television studios. Together they will take back what is rightfully theirs.
Caught up in the madness is Ashes. A bookish, learned man, he has been swept up by The Leader’s powerful rhetoric. But now that words have turned to action he is not so sure anymore. And trapped inside the government building with the rebels is Aspasia. A proud woman, a mother of boys, she sees much of her sons in these boys with guns in their hands and power in their eyes.A powerful, evocative and important novel from the author of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle”
Here’s a nice idea from Edinburgh Libraries, a crime map of books set in all sorts of far flung places.
Can’t get enough detective fiction? Explore a world beyond the usual (British and American) suspects with our map of international sleuths Around the world in 80 D.I.s
Innermost One by Rabindranath Tagore
He it is, the innermost one,
who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.
He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes
and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart
in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.
He it is who weaves the web of this maya
in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green,
and lets peep out through the folds his feet,
at whose touch I forget myself.
Days come and ages pass,
and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name,
in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and of sorrow.
Bruce Springsteen has written his first children’s book about bank-robber Outlaw Pete and it was inspired by memories of 1950s children’s book Brave Cowboy Bill which his mother read to him as a child.
It’s an illustrated cowboy story for youngsters about a bank-robber “trying to outrun his sins”. Pete, based on an eight-minute ballad from his Working on a Dream album, will be published by Simon & Schuster in November.
Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster’s president says the story will appeal to adults too“It’s a book for anybody who loves a good Western. It’s for readers of all ages,” he said. “It has an adult sensibility, and so does the book. Outlaw Pete is a quintessentially Springsteen character, brought to life here, and like the song, it’s a meditation on fate. “Pete is robbing banks at a very young age, and he does a lot of things he regrets, but as the lyric says, you can’t undo the things you’ve done.” Springsteen has also been working on an autobiography
Madonna, Sting and Sir Paul McCartney have also written kids’ books in the past but Springsteen’s is going to be ‘grittier.’
“The Boss” does face competition in the shape of another ‘older’, Keith Richards. The Rolling Stone publishes a picture book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar in the next few weeks.
2.6 million public domain images, all taken from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period – up to 1922 when copyright kicks in – can now be searched on the internet. The image on the right is one of the oldest in the collection dated 1502
Other projects have digitized books, focusing on text. This project concentrates on images. Kayleev Leetaru, the American academic who began the work at Georgetown University as part of a fellowship sponsored by Yahoo, who own Flickr said “For all these years all the libraries have been digitizing their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works.” “They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.” It is anticipated that the archive will grow to 14.6 million images.
There’s now even more pictures of cats on the internet
The Flickr project draws on 600 million pages that were originally scanned by the Internet Archive. It uses special software to extract images from those pages, plus the text that surrounds the images. The page associated with the image tells you where the image comes from. It’s all fascinating
To search the archive, from the home page, you can do a keyword search. As you fill in the keyword, Flickr autopopulates the box with the words “Internet Archive Book Images’ Photostream.” Click on those autopopulated words, or else the search results will include images from other parts of Flickr.
Or go to the interior page and do a search which brings up results from the book image archive only. All images can be downloaded for free a they’re all public domain.
The Ice Bucket Challenge might be on the wane and the more comfortable Book List Challenge has appeared on Facebook. That’s asking you to list your top ten books which we’d find that quite hard, though we would love to hear about your top ten on Leeds Reads.
An easier challenge might be the ‘Are you well read’ challenge though we’re not saying what we scored, it wasn’t brilliant!