Break for books

I’ve had a bit of a respite from School Board work for gardening and books the latter of which keeps my mind busy.

On my trip to St. Louis and back last weekend I took in the first half of an audio book about Andrew Jackson by Jon Meacham. Claudia found it on the Duluth library and downloaded it to my cell phone but I bought a copy of it a few years back and its been one of a dozen I’ve meant to read. I’ll start working on the second half shortly. I’m still slogging through the Old Testament a chapter or two just before bedtime. Last night I discovered the particulars of Solomon’s source of wisdom in First Kings. I did not know that the two mothers who brought the baby to him that he threatened to divide in two were prostitutes. That part wasn’t in my Sunday School book. His decision brought him renown in Jerusalem but he also saw to it that he executed a fellow who he’d pardoned earlier when the pardonee violated an order by Solomon not to enter into the Kidron Valley. I was just there a few months ago to visit the Garden of Gethsemane. Fortunately, I wasn’t a Palestinian when I crossed into it.

At this rate it will take me till December to get to or near to Malachi. But I finished my fourth book of the year (not counting kids books) Empires of the Sea by Roger Crowley. I have dutifully added it to my reading list on my old site. If I finished the Meacham book I’d have a book for each month of the year so far.

I’d started reading it out loud to Claudia much as I had The Wreck of the Medusa a few months back but like the Medusa it wasn’t quite sprightly enough for reading aloud. But the subject was interesting and once I began reading it on my own it went fast. It intrigued me how much the terrorism of ISIS today harked back to the example of both Christian Europe and Islamic Turkey in the 1500’s. Heads, and just about every other body part, rolled then as they do today…….That goes ditto for King David. Jackson just shot the folks who insulted his wife or marched them off to Oklahoma in the Winter if they took up too much space where the White Race wanted to settle.

The book is bookended by Suleiman the Magnificent’s conquest of the Isle of Rhodes and his son Selim’s defeat in the sea battle of Lepanto The Britannica puts battle deaths at about 16,000, Crowley says 40,000. Whatever it was it was hellish. Imbetween there was a battle for the small Island of Malta later famed for Dashiell Hammett’s Falcon. BTW Suleiman is the Arabic for Solomon. Its likely that his troops split a few babies in two. This fifty year period saw the end of the much feared swallowing up of Christian Europe by the dreaded Turks. There was no love lost between the Catholics and the Protestants at this stage of the Reformation but even most Protestant nations cheered the defeat of the Turks at Lepanto.

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