Written by: James McBride, Copyrighted in 2013
Published By: Riverhead Books, (Hardback)
“I was born a colored man and don’t you forget it. But I lived as a colored woman for seventeen years.”
The Good Lord Bird is written in three parts Free Deeds (Kansas), Slave Deeds (Missouri), and Legend (Virginia).
Henry was a slave who along with his father (Pa) belonged to the owner (Dutch Henry Sherman) of Dutch Henry’s Tavern, in southern Kansas. Henry’s father worked as a barber at the tavern. An old man took the barber chair who Henry describes as “a stooped, skinny feller, fresh off the prairie, smelling like buffalo dung, with a nervous twitch in his jaw and a chin full of ragged whiskers.” The old man talked to Henry’s Pa about the Bible which was Pa’s favorite subject since he thought preaching the Gospel was his main job. Soon the subject of slavery came up and the old man made it clear he stood against slavery. The old man thought Henry was a girl, him having curly hair and being clothed in a potato sack. Pa tried to tell him, “Massa, my Henry ain’t a …,” when the old man interrupted him. That’s how Henry became Henrietta. Dutch Henry did not like the way this conversation was going and soon became aware that the old man who had identified himself as Shubel Isaac was in fact John Brown, the abolitionist. A shootout ensued and Henry’s Pa was killed. John Brown rode off with Henry.
Henry considered himself kidnapped by the old man and his thoughts were geared to getting back to the tavern, ASAP. Plus, he had not forgotten the old man had gotten his Pa killed. The old man talked to Henry as if he should be happy to be free. He handed Henry his good luck charm which Henry did not know what it was but assume he had be handed food took a bite out of the small onion. That when Henry/Henrietta got the nick name Onion. They soon caught up with the old man’s army (about fifteen (15) men) which consisted of mostly of his sons. He introduced Onion as a girl and Henry did not speak up otherwise. Onion was put under the care of Fred who was considered slow minded. Fred soon found out the Onion was not a girl, but did not tell.
Henry has many adventures, comparable to a Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn; during his time with the old man in Kansas, but soon finds himself in Pikesville, Missouri. In Pikesville he meets Pie a mulatto prostitute at the Pikesville Hotel. Henry falls for Pie and is ready to take off the nice dress the old man had given him, but, he kept up the charade and remained a girl. The time span from leaving the old man in Kansas until he sees him again in Pikesville is about two (2) years. However, McBride covers this time in six short chapters.
The last part of the story is titled Virginia; however, the old man and Henry do quite a bit of traveling during the next sixteen (16) chapters. They meet Harriett Tubman in Canada and Frederick Douglas in New York. We all know the story ends in Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry was then part of the state of Virginia. There is historical evidence that John Brown did actually meet with Tubman and Douglas, though we know Henry was not with him.
The story was humorous with Henry escaping trouble many times. Henry had one time to be responsible and missed this when he failed to give John Brown and important message concerning a password and response. This off course may have changed history. I noted that while Henry says he “lived as a colored woman for seventeen years,” the story only covers him from age ten (10) to fourteen (14).
I recommend this book to anyone interested in John Brown or a good story. The book was well written and the author received the 2013 National Book Award for fiction.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
The “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is a painting done by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, around 1665. Not much is known about Vermeer which gives Chevalier creative license to develop what I believe is an interesting story. The painting is currently on exhibition in New York, at the Frick Collection. The exhibition is scheduled to be there until January 19, 2014.
The story told in first person by Griet the protagonist starts in Delft (South Holland), in 1664, when she was sixteen (16). Griet is the daughter of a tile painter who has recently lost his sight. Griet parents hired her out as a maid to the Vermeer family. Griet was expected to help out her family by bringing home the fruits of her labor. In the first few pages of the book there is considerable change in this family. The father has lost his sight, her brother Frans (thirteen (13)) has left home to start an apprenticeship, now Griet is leaving home to work. Her younger sister Agnes is upset because she will be without both siblings. Griet is concerned because her family is Protestant and while the Vermeer’s are Catholic.
When the Vermeers visits Griet’s house to determine her suitability for the job as maid they each looked at her differently. Catharina, Vermeer’s wife was concerned about Griet’s physical ability to perform the job while Vermeer noted how she had laid out the vegetable she was cutting up for a stew separating them by color, in a circular pattern.
The Vermeers have five (5) children with one on the way. Vermeer’s mother-in-law, Maria Thins, also lives in the house. There are a couple of other servants who assisted in running the household, which gave room for more conflicts in the story. Griet’s main job is doing the laundry and cleaning Vermeer’s studio, but, she also helps with the kitchen and taking care of the children. Griet was challenged by many conflicts primarily with Catharina, Cornelia (one of the children), and Tanneke (a long term servant). She also has to fight off Vermeer’s patron, van Ruijven. He is married but has a reputation for chasing young maids.
Griet later took on more responsibility which included purchasing food for the family. She noted that the Vermeer family use Pieter for their butcher. She was to shop for the family daily and purchase the meat for the day. Pieter had a son who showed interest in Griet, which was at first not returned.
Griet showed interest in Vermeer’s painting and asked him questions which he seemed to encourage. He later showed her how he made his colors for his paintings. Griet later became the subject of a portrait which he was commissioned by van Ruijven to paint.
I think the author struggled at times to write as a sixteen (16) year old would think. However, I enjoyed the book.
What is Scrivener? Scrivener is a word processing package that keeps your projects organized. It is basically setup like other packages with a menu bar, toolbar, etc.
“Scrivener’s core purpose is to help you write. It’s not intended to tell you how to write or force you to get the work done. Instead, Scrivener provides an environment in which you can keep your writing, character sketches, synopses, outlines, and images in one project file.”
“Scrivener For Dummies”
Many of us are familiar with the “…….For Dummies” format, with its “Tip,” “Remember,” Technical Stuff,” and Warning!,” icons, no difference here.
The book is divided into seven (7) parts:
Part 1 - Getting to know Scrivener – Creating a project and Scrivener Interface
Part 2 - Meeting the Inspector – Understanding the synopsis, metadata, and notes
Part 3 - Starting to write – Editor function, corkboard, and outliner
Part 4 - Getting your manuscript out there – Compiling, exporting to eBook or Kindle, etc.
Part 5 - Customizing your Scrivener experience – Word count, custom layouts, templates, etc.
Part 6 - Getting the most out of Scrivener – Searching, snapshots, etc.
Part 7- The part of tens – Advanced features and accessing more help
The book provides a step-by-step approach that takes one from writing and collecting information for your projects to compiling a manuscript ready for the publisher, eBook, or Kindle. Also, this is a great reference book. I have used it when I need to resolve a Scrivener problem.
The author also teaches an on-line Scrivener class at: http://www.wiziq.com/
There is a class for Mac and for Windows.
Links to various Booklikes tutorials around the site. Thanks to all the hardworking BL members and team who contributed. This is a work in progress. More links will be added as I find them.
Official Booklikes stuff:
http://blog.booklikes.com/post/551754/post (exclusive status for your books)
The Booklikes blog (new features added every week):
The Goodreads Booklikes group:
Tutorials created by Booklike members:
Easy tips for customising your Booklikes blog:
How to customise your BL blog:
Customising Booklikes Tutorials - parts 1 - 4:
'Reactive' links (round links on a 'shelf' page)
Adding the Booklikes Reading Challenge to your blog:
How to change colour of text on your banner :
Added pages - I can't read it! My background is dark and font is black! And I want to have a comment section!
How to make your comments icons a link:
Customising shelf sort order:
Changing appearance of followers/following counters and repositioning them:
Adding a scrolling quotes marquee to your blog:
How to block followers on Booklikes:
Setting up google analytics on your BL blog:
Changing font colour (text, links, comment section):
Customising Booklikes tutorial - Adding bells and Whistles - blockquotes
How to easily embed a font:
A simple tip - everything is too big - zoom out:
Background for a search bar (what to do when it's invisible on a dark background):
Let's clean our designated comments pages regularly - no more notification floods:
Reading Challenge - how to post it on your site and a few simple customization options:
Your book counter - make it fun and pretty:
How to avoid losing the original source of a post:
It's time for Thursday Release and it's a feature many of you requested :-) Now when a given book doesn't fit any default status on your Shelf (Read, Planning to read, Currently reading) you can create your own exclusive book status.
How? You can create and organize your books with new statuses in several ways.
Go to your Shelf Page and create your new status with your name, e.g. Not finished. New status will be added and visible at once on your Shelf.
You can also create exclusive status directly in book pop up, select it and Save for a given title. The book will receive new status immediately.
If you want to reset previously given status (Read, Planning to read, Currently reading), click on it and Save. It should go white (inactive) and notion "On Shelf" will appear instead.
You can also create exclusive status on Table view of your shelf (the entrance is on Shelf page). It is also a place where you can re-arrange your books one by one:
or move several books at once:
You can still create thematic shelves which will be added to your Shelf on the left and organize them the same way in table view.
There are quite a few tutorials on how to change the layout of your BookLikes blog. I figured it's good to have them all in one post, and I'd like to thank all who put a lot of work into making them so others can enjoy BookLikes.
Let's start with the customization blogs posted by BookLikes:
Tutorials made by BookLikers for BookLikers:
Note: All links open in a new window and take you to the original posts and their creators. Leave comments, likes and reblog the hell out of them so others can see it too :)
We would like to calm down all book lovers who are impatiently waiting for their content to arrive. We promise to bring all your books, reviews, ratings and shelves to your BookLikes profile and not to lose anything during the transfer.
We're happy to see so many new book lovers, reviewers and authors on BookLikes. And as we mentioned in our previous post about import we're doing our best to bring your content to your BookLikes pages as soon as possible. So here's how we do it.
First we import your books and the ratings, then the shelves will appear (so you don't need to create them if you have those in your csv file) and then reviews will come with books attached. Gradually all your books will pop up on your Shelf and reviews on your Blog, so don't worry if you can see book piles but not reviews. This means we're working on imports and they are in progress.
All details concerning import is visible on Import Page (entrance is in Settings/Import) where you're given detailed information of total number of books, shelved books and number of books with reviews being imported.
We're using heavy equipment to complete your book import and we won't miss any of your book and review. And we promise to make this action successful and complete.
We know it takes some time and we're grateful for your support, understanding and patience. Thank you. And one more time Welcome :-)
Have you already explored BookLikes? You can do it while import is proceeding :)