I purchased John Holland’s poetry book Dry Bones as a gift for my librarian sister-in-law. I won’t comment on the book because poetry is personal. I did read it before I gave it to her. The only regret is that I didn’t buy the book directly from John and ask him to sign it. After reading Dry Bones I wanted to read more of his work so I purchased Heartland.
Listening to Johnny Cash sing Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt” and to Mazzy Star’s “Into Dust” made sense while I started reading John Holland’s Heartland: Four Novellas set in the Australian Outback. But as I continued to read I think listening to David Bowie or Peter Gabriel singing Heroes made even more sense.
The environment and animals are uniquely Australian but the human essence of the stories could take place anywhere.
Each story drew me in as though I was a character sharing the same experiences as the main characters.
All the stories could easily be made into a movie or mini series. And considering John’s background there is a great deal of sage advice mixed into the telling of “Left of the Rising Sun”. Knowledge that could save someone’s life.
The ebook and paperback are available for Kindle and Amazon Books.
A couple of weeks ago I decided I needed to take a break from working on my own stories and read someone elses. As I walked down the aisles at Indigo’s in Cambridge (Canada) I came across an interesting title called “The Three-Body Problem” in the science fiction section.
This is a Hugo winning story for best science fiction originally written in Chinese and later translated into English and German.
After years of reading science, fantasy, and historical fiction along with other genres I didn’t think I could find something completely original to read. Cixin Liu’s book caught my attention and held it until the end. I’m not an astophycisist, nor an engineer, nor a mathematician so I am grateful he does an amazing job of explaining the sophisticated scientific concepts that run throughout the book. There is also the fascinating matter of taking me on a journey through Chinese history and way of thinking.
Ken Liu sums up the book for those of us brought up in the West in the postscript of the book: “The English words are arranged in such a way that the reader sees a glimpse of another culture’s pattern of thinking, hears an echo of another language’s rhythms and cadences, and feels a tremor of another people’s gestures and movements.”
A marvel of a story to read outdoors, or inside across from a large bay window, where you can glance up at the stars.
Occasionally I’ll review a book on here, or promote a friend who is an author or artist.
A friend lent me an amazing book called: “On Hitler’s Mountain” by Irmgard A. Hunt. Irmgard lived in the mountains of Berchtesgaden where Hitler had his retreat. She relates how Hitler came into power, what happened to those who opposed him, the indoctrination of German and Austrian youth into Nazi beliefs, the effects of war, and what happened up until the Marshall Plan. Her mother makes an interesting comment later in the book about American or any other democracy: “If there were a bad economic downturn or perhaps a war with the Soviets, Americans too might accept a leader who promised to save them and the fatherland. We did not know how fast Hitler would change everything once he was chancellor. But he did.” The book reminded me how events affect different people in different ways and that, whether we want to hear it or not, it is vital not to alter substantiated historical information so those events never happen again.