Friday, January 23, 2015

Holy Death Ship, Batman

This is a post about databases and genealogy rather than books but there you go. I love the America's Historical Newspapers (Louisiana State Package) database and I fond out a shivery piece of family history via a newspaper article I found on that database I just HAD to share.

I knew my greatx3 grandmother on the Aldige side, Alice, died on the same ship she brought her husband's body back from Paris on and that a daughter (Amelie Aldige Borde) and a granddaughter (Amy Borde) died with her on that shipwreck in 1898. I just found out that it gets quite a bit creepier than that. 

I didn't read the attached article as carefully as I should have when I first found it and I never searched the ship's manifests for Borde. Amelie Borde and R.U. Borde (her husband) were ALSO on La Bourgoyne with Alice and Jules' body 5 years before the wreck in 1893 bringing Jules' body back. Not only that but...Amelie  was definitely pregnant with Amy. Very. Because this article was August 1, 1893. Amy (the granddaughter who would die with Alice on La B.) was born Aug. 23 and R.U. would die on Dec. 17, 1893 of what I don't know.

It. Gets. Even. Creepier. The ones who met them in NY, George Aldige and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cook? George A. would die in 1904 of TB. Mrs. Walter Cook (Marie Leonie Aldige) died in May of 1894 (they had only been married since 1893, too). Only the non-Aldige, Walter Cook lived to any great degree afterwards (1870-1935).  I am happy to report, though, that MY Aldige (Anna Aldige Hindermann, variously the daughter, older sister, and aunt of those lost on La Bourgoyne) lived from 1864-1951. 

Oh, why were they on La Bourgoyne in 1898? My great-grandmother, the daughter of Anna Aldige and her Swiss husband, Hans F. Hindermann, was in Switzerland with her Swiss grandmother. Her New Orleans family was going to get her and bring her back to New Orleans. Anna and H.F. were afraid to bring her back after La Bourgogne and she ended up spending much of her childhood in Switzerland.  

The pictures are as follows, the La Borgogyne inscription on the Aldige tomb, Amy Borde, Alice Lepretre Aldige, the Aldige tomb, the article that has me currently plotzing and shivering, the article about the La Bourgoyne shipwreck, and my great-grandmother at 9 in Switzerland. Here is a link to a PDF of the La Bourgoyne article.

Ah. One final thing. Jules Sr. may have first been put to rest in St. Louis #3 but, after the La Bourgoyne when Jules Jr. had the Metairie Lawn tomb built, he moved his father's body there, as you can see from the inscription.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hardcover Hunting

I have made a list of books that I have in paperback that I would like to have in hardcover. 

Arabian Nights
Handmaid's Tale
Pride & Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Book of Lost Things 
The Deptford Trilogy
The Cornish Trilogy
The Salterton Trilogy
A Tale of Two Cities (my favorite Dickens, don't judge)
American Gods
Smoke & Mirrors
Witch's Boy
The Dark Tower series?
Tombs of Atuan
The Highest Tide
The Road
His Dark Materials series
The Harry Potter series
The Crystal Cave
The Last Enchantment
The Wicked Day
The Hobbit
The Cartoon History of the Universe books
A Short History of Nearly Everything

Thursday, October 24, 2013

100 Books

100 Books. Book Riot posted a list they made of 100 books that, if you read them, would render you well-read. I went through the list and had a few little issues (including Harry Potter instead of A Wizard of Eartsea, including Atlas Shrugged and Fifty Shades of Grey). If it is in red, I read it. If it is in blue, I saw the movie. If it is in green, I listened to the audiobook. I also invite you to see my list of 42 books that are "meaning of life" kind of books to me.

1)      The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I believe I read this in middle school. I love Twain.
2)      The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
I read these as a kid. All of them.  Love Holmes
3)      The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
I saw the movie…
4)      All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
I really should read this.
5)      The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay  by Michael Chabon
I loved this book.
6)      American Pastoral by Philip Roth
No and I’ve heard enough about Roth to know I probably wouldn’t be interested.
7)      Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I really should read this
8)      Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I read this as a kid.
9)      Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Not only no but HELL no. This is one of very few books that I feel comfortable disparaging without having read. I believe it is imperative NOT to read it.
10)   The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I should read this.
11)   Beloved by Toni Morrison
I saw the movie…
12)   Beowulf
I read this in school.
13)   The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Amazing book!
14)   Brave New World by Alduos Huxley
I read it in school.
15)   The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Good book. I listened to the unabridged audio.
16)   Call of the Wild  by Jack London
I read this when I was a kid.
17)   Candide by Voltaire
I should read this.
18)   The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
I read this in school and enjoyed it, except for the rape-as-a-practical-joke story.
19)   Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
I’ve seen several Bond movies. I don’t need to read this.
20)   Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
I haven’t even heard of this book, strangely.

21)   The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I read this in school.
22)   Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
I read this when I was a kid.
23)   Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Complex, beautiful, life-changing. I read the book twice, then listening to the unabridged audio. I also saw the movie after my first reading.
24)   The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
I read a few of these when I was in school.
25)   The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
I adore Poe. “The Cask of Amontillado” is my favorite.
26)   The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor
I really should read these.
27)   The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
I listened to the audiobook. It was alright.
28)   Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
I should probably read this.
29)   The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Are you serious, Book Riot? Yes, I read the book and saw the movie but it does not belong on this list. If the subject matter interests you, read Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
30)   Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
I read this in school.
31)   Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
I love Don Quixote.
32)   Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
Not one I’ve even heard of.
33)   Dune by Frank Herbert
I read this a long time ago and didn’t care enough to seek out the sequels.
34)   Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
I saw the movie.
35)   Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I read it in school. Everyone should read it.
36)   The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
It is on my to-read list.
37)   Faust by Goethe
I should read this.
38)   Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I’ve read this several times.
39)   A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
Yes but this is one of the rare cases where the T.V. series is better.

40)   The Golden Bowl by Henry James
I should probably read this.
41)   The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
I have not heard of this one.
42)   Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
It is on my to-read.
43)   The Gospels
I’ve read the Old and New Testaments.
44)   The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
I read this in school. Good but bleak.
45)   Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I read this in school. Not my favorite Dickens.
46)   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this in school.
47)   Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Love me some Shakespeare.
48)   The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Great book. Every person, certainly every female person, should read it.
49)   Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Yep. I wish I had had those books as a kid. However, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books are superior literature by far.
50)   Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
I read this in school and disliked it. At least it is short.
51)   The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Another one that doesn’t seem as if it should be on this list. I might read it but probably not.
52)   Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I know where my towel is!
53)   The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Oh, yes! Many times since earliest childhood!
54)   House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
Not heard of it.
55)   Howl by Allen Ginsberg
I should read this before seeing “Kill Your Darlings.”
56)   The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Yeah. I liked her Gregor the Overlander series better, though.
57)   if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
It is on my to-read.
58)   The Iliad by Homer
Yes but I hated Achilles so much and wanted the Trojans to win. I loved The Odyssey.

59)   Inferno by Dante
“In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.”
60)   Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Should probably to-read this.
61)   Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
I should probably read this.
62)   Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
I can’t remember if I read this in school or not.
63)   Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Loved it. I read it, then saw the movie.
64)   The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
I read this and its sequels several times.
65)   The Little Prince by Antoine  de Saint-Exepury
I read this when I was a kid.
66)   Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I read this awhile back.
67)   Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I should read this.
68)   Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
I had to read this in school.  Hated it.
69)   Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
I haven’t read this.
70)   Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
I read this in school.
71)   Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
I should probably read this.
72)   Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I saw the movie.
73)   The Odyssey by Homer
Better than the Iliad.
74)   Oedipus the King by Sophocles
I read it in school.
75)   On the Road by Jack Kerouac
I should read this.
76)   A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
I read this a long time ago and saw the movie.
77)   The Pentateuch
I haven’t heard of it.
78)   Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Read the book, saw the movie, got the t-shirt.

79)   Rabbit, Run by John Updike
Nope and am not likely to.
80)   The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I love post-apocalyptic.
81)   Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love Shakespeare.
82)   The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I read this in school.
83)   Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I should read this.
84)   The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
I don’t feel like slogging through dialect.
85)   The Stand by Stephen King
Classic post-apocalyptic!
86)   The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The only Hemingway I remember reading is the short story “Hills Like White Elephants.”
87)   Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
I should read this.
88)   Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I should read this.
89)   Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
I’ve not heard of this one.
90)   The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
On my to-read.
91)   To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I read this in school.
92)   Ulysses by James Joyce
Yeah. No.
93)   The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
I should probably read this.
94)   A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
I’ve not heard of this one.
95)   Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
Nor that one.
96)   Watchmen by Alan Moore
It is a classic of its genre, granted but IF you’re going to put a graphic novel on this list, it should be Sandman for pete’s sake!
97)   The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami
I started the audiobook.
98)   Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Yes and it is a classic but Jane Eyre is my preferred Bronte.

99)   1984 by George Orwell
Everyone should read it.
100)           Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

No, I never will, and now I think I’ve been “Punked.” 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Thrills

Who knew that spending the summer in 1970s Laos could be so much fun? The Dr. Siri Paiboun books of Colin Cotterill are equal parts political parody, mystery, historical fiction, and travelogue and graced with a main character that is wonderfully sarcastic and wise. If you enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe books, you should enjoy these, though the humor is more biting.

 The first book in the series is The Coroner’s Lunch, which introduces us to Dr. Siri Paiboun, reluctant coroner and able sleuth. He thought he would be retiring but is pressed into service as the national coroner of Laos. Supporting characters like Nurse Dtui and morgue assistant Mr. Geung are also engaging.

 The title comes from the baguette lunch Dr. Siri has every day with his friend, Comrade Civilai. These lunches provide some but not all of the laugh-out-loud lines to be found in this book and its sequels. The humor perfectly leavens the more serious aspects of the book as the bodies of Vietnamese soldiers and the death of the wife of a party official occupy Siri. This book and its sequels are highly recommended for anyone who enjoys mystery and sarcasm.

 Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy is an engaging non-fiction about the virus with the highest fatality rate known to science. The authors talk about the connection between Rabies and myths of vampires and zombies. They also describe rabies cases from that of a noblewoman bitten by her dog to a modern case precipitated by a bat bite.

 The authors do an excellent job of keeping up the dramatic tension. The most notable instance of this is their description of Louis Pasteur waiting to see if his vaccine will cure or kill a little boy. Few works of fiction have moments so thrillingly nail-biting. Also, I loved the “People’s Scientist” title they give Pasteur. This book is definitely recommended and you may also like The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson.