For the Bookworm
Is a dictionary compiler free to exclude words because he or she does not approve of such a word?Or words used in ordinary vernacular , but which don’t exist in written usage, be rejected? These are just two of the questions which come into the mind as one reads Australian PipWilliams first and most engaging novel. Although fiction, Williams sets her her novel in the grandly named “scriptorium”- in reality a tin shed- in Sir James Murray’s Oxford garden – somewhere he can supervise the lexicographers(including his own 11 children) as they sort through the mammoth numbers of words collected and suggested, to decide what was and what was not to be in the first Oxford Dictionary in the 1870s and 80s .The contributions came from all over the English speaking world and many readers will already know about the incarcerated insane murderer who made such , from his prison and made famous in Simin Winchester’s “The Surgeon of Crowsthorne”.
In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky. Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government's new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instil literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.
Set in 1946, World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfil the promises made to the men they wed in wartime. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever.
A book group is a great way for people who enjoy reading to get together and share their opinions on a variety of books chosen by the members or host. Offer to become a book group leader amongst a group of friends, at your local senior citizens centre or a retirement village. Many seniors can be limited in their physical movements, but still crave an activity that will engage their minds. Book groups provide a place to discuss ideas and exchange opinions as well as generate enthusiasm for reading as an enjoyable pastime.