"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Stuff that keeps me awake in the wee hours of the night, Part Four

Cover artRounding the Horn, Being a Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives—a Deck’s-Eye View of Cape Horn by Dallas Murphy.   I was on a trip to this part of the world when I started reading this book, and I couldn’t put it down.   My friend/roommate Kathy must have gotten very tired of my raving about this book.  The author intersperses a sailboat journey to Cape Horn with a huge helping of very readable history of Patagonia and the explorers and missionaries who ventured there, along with the native tribes who subsisted in a harsh climate and how they were affected by the Europeans.   I've read it twice now.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanI am Malala. The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafazai with Christina Lamb.   There are some books, after I've finished them, that I hold in my hands for a few minutes before I set them down.   I feel the impact of the story and sorrow that the book has ended.   This is one of them, the story of the 15 year old Pashtun girl in Pakistan who advocated for education for boys and girls and was almost assassinated by the Taliban as she sat in her school bus.  Lots of history, culture, and insight into the life of Pakistanis as told by a remarkable young girl, the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.   I expect lots of dynamic things in the future from this young lady, who wants to go into politics.

And on top of the pile on my night stand are:

Things That Matter, Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics by Charles Krauthammer.   Oops, make that "...Passions, Pastimes and Politics."   Charles didn't use the series comma.  I will confess to sometimes planning my daily activities around the time Dr. Krauhammer will appear on TV to comment on the latest news.   I find him insightful, acerbic, and devilishly witty.

Mawson's Will by Lennard Bickel.   Billed as the Greatest Survival Story Ever Written, this is the story about Australian Dr. Douglas Mawson, his 1908 trek to the magnetic South Pole, and the horrendous conditions he suffered.


Shackleton's Forgotten Men, The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel.  Wile Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men of the Endurance were trying to survive in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica, the men of the Aurora were fighting a similar battle on the opposite side of the continent.  These were the men who were to stash supplies for Shackleton as he attempted to cross the continent. 


  1. Lots of heroic folk on your list.

  2. I can NOT grasp ALL OF what you seem to be able to do .. you make me feel like the 'piker-of-the-world' when I see your web site and realize how MUCH ELSE YOU ARE DOING ALSO .. Smiles .. Cap