The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory — HappymessHappiness

I very much enjoy historical fiction, in fact, it is my favorite genre, and reading (or watching) about the Tudors is always highly enjoyable. This is my second read from Philippa Gregory this year, the first being The Constant Princess, which I should say I really enjoyed and learned a lot from. I wasn’t sure […]

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory — HappymessHappiness

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Newbery Medal, Old Age

Newbery Medal

• A couple of mishaps occurred when Betsy Byars accepted the Newbery Medal for her book The Summer of the Swans. Her favorite dessert, blueberry cheesecake, was served at the ceremony, but before she gave her speech she was so nervous that she couldn’t eat any of it. Near the end of her speech, she started to think about the cheesecake and she started to read her speech more quickly. Unfortunately, when she was finished with her speech and she went to the dessert table, all of her favorite dessert was gone. In addition, a couple of teenage boys wearing pageboy costumes and carrying banners led the VIPs to their seats of honor at the beginning of the ceremony. This pleased Ms. Byars, but she heard one of the teenage boys say to the other teenage boy, “I could just kill my mom for making me do this.”

• When children’s book author Lois Lowry won the Newbery Medal (which is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished American book published that year in children’s literature) for her book The Giver, she was on a ship traveling in Antarctica and had no one with whom to share the good news. (Ms. Lowry likes to travel alone.) Therefore, she turned to a total stranger and said, “You’ve probably never heard of this, but I just won the Newbery Medal.” Actually, the stranger had heard of the Newbery Medal, which is very famous among librarians: “My goodness,” the stranger said. “I’m the former president of the American Library Association.”

Old Age

• Mark Twain retained his sense of humor in his old age. When his wife, Livy, worried that his spending lots of time in bed reading and writing might sap his strength, she had their daughter Clara read him a biographical passage about the poet William Cullen Bryant, who at age 80 was still taking vigorous and invigorating early-morning walks. Mr. Twain said, “Mr. Bryant was wonderful to do those early risings, and all that at eighty. If ever I get to be eighty, I mean to do them, too.” When he was even older, and a widower, he built and lived in a house he called Stormfield. Quickly, burglars stole the silverware from the house. Also quickly, Mr. Twain posted this note on the front door of the house: “To the next burglar. There is nothing but plated ware in this house, now and henceforth. You will find it in that brass thing in the dining-room over in the corner by the basket of kittens. If you want the basket, put the kittens in the brass thing.” Before he died, he felt ill. Of course, he was widely loved by the reading public, and many fans sent him home remedies in hopes that they would make him feel better. He replied, using this letter: “Dear Sir (or Madam). I try every remedy sent to me. I am now on no. 67. Yours is 2,653. I am looking forward to its beneficial results.” In his old age, Mr. Twain was still capable of savage satire: He advocated the passing of a law that would forbid white people from lynching black people on Christmas.

• Lewis Carroll’s title character in his books about Alice — Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass— was based in part on Alice Liddell. Unfortunately, after she grew up, they had a falling out. One possible explanation is that Mr. Carroll, whose real name was Charles Ludwidge Dodgson, fell in love with her and she declined to marry him. Whatever happened, he no longer wanted anything to do with her. Late in her life, after she had become a widow, she fell on hard times, and she had only one thing of value — the original manuscript of Alice in Wonderland, which Mr. Dodgson had originally titled Alice’s Adventures Underground. Even though Mr. Dodgson had grown to dislike her, the manuscript provided for her in her old age, for she sold the manuscript for $74,259


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Jasko — “Over It”


Music: “Over It”


Artist: Jasko

Artist Location: New York, New York


“I can’t understand your lyrics, Todd.” – My dad 

“The fourth song is okay.” – My brother 

“This is better than your band. That stuff is too heavy.” – My mom 

“Dude, I want to hear some synths!” – Pete L. 

“You write music? Is this you?” – Jack T. 

“I like 80’s music. Are any of your songs more like that?” – Jill B. 

“How do I put this on my stereo system? Is this the I-toons?” – My aunt

Vocals and Guitars: Todd Jasko 
Bass: Mary Noecker 
Drums: Justin Hofmann 
Piano: Bryan Reeder 

Price: Name Your price (Includes FREE) for track or for six-track album

Genre: Pop. Singer-Songwriter


Jasko on Bandcamp

Brick City Three (Jasko’s Rock Band)