Sunday, September 25, 2011

September in the USA

By the time you read this we will be well into our USA trip.
The plans were to fly direct from Sydney to New York via San Francisco.
It will be long, long day.
I estimate from leaving home to putting our heads down on the NYC hotel pillow will be around 24 hours.
We will have a few days there by ourselves before catching up with family and doing more of the sights.

Then it will be onto Washington DC with them by train.
After a few days there they will return home and the co driver and I will fly on to Nashville.
Then we head for South Dakota to catch up with the rest of the rellies.
The co driver intends spending a few more weeks than I there so that should see me home at the end of the month.
Hopefully there will be lots of exciting things to write about on our return.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some Winter Reading

"Our Vietnam" is a chronological history of the Vietnam war told from the main players aspect by one of my favourite American history authors, A.J Langguth. I have mentioned many of his books before.
If the huge waste of life caused by missed opportunities for peace due to political expediency, nationalism, outright lies and downright stubbornness and stupidity don't make you angry while reading this, nothing will. Neither Kennnedy, Johnson nor Nixon and their administrations come out of this smelling like roses. Neither do the various corrupt South Vietnam regimes. It's a pity that conservative Australian governments of the time followed our American allies so blindly into this morass.
George Santayana, Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist, once wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
The War in Iraq unfortunately is a typical example.

A fiction novel based on fact, "Errol, Fidel and the Cuban Rebel Girls" is the story of Errol Flynn's relationship with Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution by Australian author, Boyd Anderson.
A rollicking tale full of humour, adventure and some interesting historical background to the Cuba of today. The characters, some very well known, all seem to be larger than life. But I guess that is Hollywood, even today.
A 'can't put down' book!

Thousands of jokes and one liners make "Man Walks into a Bar" a good read.
Lots of groaners too.
A great diversion when you are feeling down.
A pick up and put down book.

"Honolulu" is from the same author of "Moloka'i", a book I recommended earlier in the year.
This is the story of a Korean picture bride who left the her homeland in the early 2oth century for a 'better life' in America.
An interesting insight into Korean culture of the time plus a history of Hawaii and particularly Honolulu itself. Turns out not to be the glamour city it was protrayed to be in the 1920s and 30s. It is also a story of a the development of a multicultural society that is Hawaii today but one achieved at a cost ie. to the native Hawaiians
This is a work of fiction cleverly woven into historical fact.