Ten Word Tuesday: “Skipping Grace?”

I’d like to introduce a new meme or challenge to the blogosphere. Ten Word Tuesday will be a challenge to tell a short story in only Ten Words given only a Single Word or Phrase to prompt your creative juices. It’s easy:

  1. Create a post on your blog
  2. Make sure there’s a Link back here to this Post
  3. Or just leave yours as a Comment or Link here in mine
  4. Follow along by checking out Others’ contributions

I’ll share mine for this week.


“We never take out the Christmas buckets until after Thanksgiving.”

In our household, the tradition carried on from my wife’s family is bringing the Christmas tree and decorations for the house out from the garage on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a big ordeal, you know, marking the beginning of the Christmas Season and all, you know.

But it also marks the end of Thanksgiving and Autumn as well. It always irks me a bit more every year when… Every year it seems… our culture here in the US pushes Thanksgiving out the door and “brings in the Christmas buckets” earlier and earlier.

Radio stations, shopping malls, sales circulars, junk mail and neighborhood Christmas lights on homes… they all usher IN Christmas earlier and earlier… and in turn usher OUT Thanksgiving. It used to be “not until after Thanksgiving”, but now it’s more like just after… or even before in some cases… Halloween.

Family dinner, simple joy and Rememberance without the push to spend and buy and rush and decorate elaborately… all of these with that emphasis on Thankfulness and Gratitude for what already have, and Who you still have around the table this year… and even sadness for those who aren’t, who were last year. I’m afraid that the rush to Christmas is pushing out all of these.

My encouragement on this Ten Word Tuesday is… Don’t let it happen. And in advance of the Thanksgiving Holiday that everyone else wants to ‘get thru’ to get TO Christmas, stop and remember, eat, laugh, and enjoy family and friends in simple Thanks and Gratitude, remembering that these are what make life worth living.

“We never take out the Christmas buckets until after Thanksgiving.”



Now it’s your turn. Leave a Comment or a Link to your post in the bucket down below. Lets do this!!



Sunday at Barnes and Noble: Fantasy

With a nod to Ark and a hat tip to Witch Week this year last month, we’re at B&N checking out some Terry and Ursula.

What’s your choice for Fantasy on Sunday mornings?


Currently Reading: The Black Hand

Yes… I’m still here

Happy Sunday to all you Readers, writers and fellow travellers in the Journey of books and bookish things. First, my apologies for not posting anything at all this last week. Work and my responsibilities caught up to me. I work in customer service and tangentially the healthcare industry, so this time of year, coming up to December 31st and the New Year, is the very busiest and most stressful time of the year for us.

“Work” is a four letter word

I’ve taken up responsibility for training and overseeing, along with others, a group of newer reps who are helping us during this season of increased activity. Late hours, late dinners and early wake-ups have a way of reminding us that we are not immortal, nor are we indefatigable. So again… Mea Culpa and please forgive the lapse this week.

Apparently, we’ve always had “immigration issues”

I am still reading though this wonderfully written book by Stephan Talty titled The Black Hand about the rise of Italian Organized Crime in New York during the first decades of the 20th century. This story is specifically about the first major Organized crime syndicate or ‘secret society’, The Black Hand, and the Italian immigrant detective, Giuseppe “Joe” Petrosino, who set his considerable talents of investigation and his dogged determination for justice against them.

I’m only two chapters in but the story of immigration to the US from other impoverished and desperate countries in Europe in the last decades of the 1800s and the early ones of 1900s, with all prejudice, bigotry and systematic corruption against the Newcomers by the previous waves of now naturalized and assimilated immigrants also from desperate and impoverished circumstances certainly struck me as poignant and familiar with our own times.

It made my think of our own issues with immigration, both legal and illegal, and how immigrants… both legal and illegal… are looked upon and treated these days as they arrive here in the “Land of Opportunity” and Equality from Europe and other lands perhaps just as desperate and impoverished as those in the early days of Ellis Island.

I especially enjoyed the personal tale of how Joe came to this country with his parents as a thirteen year old non English speaker, only got a sixth grade education before he had to start working as a “shoe shine” and a street cleaner to help support his family, then became a beat cop, then the first Italian American police detective in the nation, befriended by Teddy Roosevelt himself.

As I progress thru this book for Non-fiction November, I’ll try not to lose that insight. People come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ‘identities’. It’s up to all of us to welcome them and help them out when we can. Even as a nation, we must remember that we all came from somewhere else to this Land of Opportunity, prosperity and equality just as they are now. Yes, we have issues with immigration and immigrants, both legal and ‘illegal’ or undocumented, to our country. But I believe we are big enough and compassionate enough, and welcoming enough to work it out. Don’t you?

If you’ve read this book, what did you think? Tell me in the comments below. Have a great Sunday.


Sunday Morning Musings: “Veterans Day”


Sunday Book Haul: B.O.A.S. pt3

I know… but they all looked so good.

Happiest of Sundays to all you Readers out there. Wow… did I go overboard again or what? It’s no secret here that we have an issue with Book Over Acquisition Syndrome. I did a post before on it and I guess I’m still in Recovery. But for a booklover and a reader, there really is only one sure way to keep them from buying more books… that would be keeping us away from the bookstore in the first place, and that is much easier said than done. Especially when there are Goodwill and Savers Thrift stores everywhere in a major metro area like Phoenix.

Bookmans should be Off limits

This time it wasn’t Goodwill or Savers Thrift. It was Bookmans that got me good. As many who know me are aware, I love hardback books. If I know I will be re-reading or keeping a book on the shelf, I’d much rather have a hardback over a softcover copy any day. So when I found hardback copies of Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Patrick Taylor’s An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War, all books I have in softcover, I really had no choice now did I?

I also picked up a copy of a classic in African-American Literature, Native Son by Richard Wright that I plan to read and review in February along with Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man for Black History Month. I’m really looking forward to reading these classics as I’ve never read either.

The other books in my Saturday Book Haul excursion were three hard back copies of Matthew Pearl’s books, two of which I have read and one I have not, The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens that I most recently read about the race to keep unscrupulous scoundrels from publishing counterfeit and ‘pirated’ works in Dickens’ name after his untimely death in 1870, and the follow up novel to that about the ‘Bookaneers’ who found themselves in a last dash, ‘last big heist’ situation as the International Copyright laws were going into effect at the end of the 19th century. The book is titled appropriately The Last Bookaneer and I’m probably not going to get to it until this coming March.

The next is a debut historical novel from 1992 by author Liza Pennywitt Taylor in very much the same style as Matthew Pearl called The Drummer was the First to Die about the cholera epidemic and deaths in India and London in 1854. I loved Pearl’s writing and style so maybe I’ll love hers as well. It is her first novel and 26yrs old but if I enjoy it, I may be willing to seek her other works out as well.

And the very last in line is Circe, the 2018 follow up novel from The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller. This book I actually got hardback as well, and brand spanking new, off the shelves. We do have The Song, and now we have Circe, so when we have breathing room from our TBRs for the first part of 2019 that are already deeper than we had expected, we will be reading BOTH of these books for review.

Lots of books to “Grab” off the shelves at our home. How about you and yours? Have any of you read these books? What do you think? What are you reading these days? Drop me a comment down in the bucket. Good Reading and happy Sunday.


Saturday Six Word Musing: “Sunflower Showdown”

For Debbie Smyth’s Saturday Six Word Musings

Here is mine for today:

“EMAW means: Every Man a Wildcat!!

Good morning all you Book Lovers, Readers and aspiring Writers out there. It’s time for Saturday Six Word Musing here at “Grab a Spine”.

This week, today actually, continues the hundred plus year tradition and intrastate rivalry between my K-state Wildcats and the other guys down the block, The ‘yard birds’ or Jayhawks of the University of Kansas, as they square off in The Sunflower Showdown.

Go Cats!!



Friday’s Bookish Haiku Challenge: “Nonfiction November”

Hi there all you wonderful readers, writers, aspiring poets and Bards of all colors and stripes. Welcome to this week’s post for Friday’s Bookish Haiku Challenge on “Grab a Spine”.

My apologies again for skipping last week.

The regular General Challenge will be rather Open Ended: Create a Haiku or haikus dealing with a favorite author, book or series of books. My entry this week will be based on this month’s Bookish Theme Tag going around WordPress “Nonfiction November“. Pleaee do visit the blogs listed in the picture atop the page. I sadly have no linked here on this post.

From my 2018 Current Reading List page “What I’m reading in 2018“, you might be able to tell that my interests and Reading genres are diverse. Yes, I do enjoy my novels and classics and poetry. But “I LoveLoveLove” reading Nonfiction, Historical Narratives and stuff based in hard rock reality. Some of my favorite authors are Simon Winchester, David McCullough, Steven E. Ambrose, Charles C. Mann, Erik Larson among many others. I also enjoy reading about science, although I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a slow learner for science and math stuff.

Currently I’m finishing up Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright but next up will be The Black Hand, a book about the birth of the Italian Mafia in New York and America by Stephan Talty. Then closer to Thanksgiving (wow just two weeks out!!) I’ll be reading the classic work on the systematic oppression, discrimination, and extermination of Native Americans during the 1800s here in the U.S., Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. I know… heavy stuff, but I have a few others on the shelf and read already that begs me to learn more. Especially during Thanksgiving holiday. But enough of that for now…

Here are my entries:

Stories and fables

Pieces of our history

Too strange to be true.


We read to enjoy

The lives that others have lived

Moving us forward


Both proud and ashamed

We cannot ignore our past

Without repeating



Now it’s you turn

Haiku are three line, ‘minimalist’ poetry of 5, 7 and then 5 syllables. They usually have something to do with nature and forces and allegorical application to life. But they don’t have to. If you’d like to play along,

Here’s what you do:

  1. Create a Friday’s Bookish Haiku Challenge post on your own blog.
  2. Then add a link to your blog post in the comment box for the relevant weekly challenge post on this blog, Grab a Spine. (Or if you aren’t posting a separate blog, just use the comments section in mine. 🙂 )
  3. Remember to follow my blog Grab a Spine to check for the challenge for the week. And check out the work of others.
  4. So that others can check out your haiku and images make sure you put “Friday’s Bookish Haiku Challenge” in your tags on your own post.

Why not try it out? Let’s make it a weekly challenge post to talk about.