Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

BOOK REVIEW: The Terror by Dan Simmons

Posted: April 6, 2011 by Sean Fitzgibbon in Books

….Finally I finished reading this Great Novel!!! PHEW. The book has over 700 pages and reads extremely detailed- which also means that it goes extremely slow. It was hard for me to continue reading at a steady pace because chapter after chapter consisited of much of the same stuff. Lots of ice & snow. Followed by alot of fighting done by proper macho English Navalmen. Then a splattering of blood and gore created by some unknown white monster.

That being said it is a wonderful book which takes its reader on a 3 year expedition into the North Arctic with 2 British Royal Navy Ships-  The Terror & The Erebus. They were both real ships at one time that went missing during there expedition in the arctic. TRUE STORY!! The author takes some real facts and blends them awesomely with his own ideas of what happened to those doomed ships.

Without revealing too much; The Monster in the story is Very Real!! The Eskimo Squaw has alot to do with saving the ONLY Survivor! And the story will end totally different than you think it will!

…. Also remember there is a very fine line between what we feel is Reality and what lies ahead in the Dream World! This book does a Fantastic job of blurring the line in between!!

I would recommend this book if you feel like you will have ALOT of reading time or want something to read over a major period of time. Otherwise if you want to get to the punchline quick ; This book is NOT for you!!

-Sean F.

Monster by Frank Peretti

Posted: April 3, 2010 by Jeff Fabiszewski in Books, Entertainment
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It is Spring Break, and the college I work at is quiet.  The days have been uncommonly cold, wet, and overcast.  For the past week during lunch I have hidden from the know world under a large tree.  I sneak away from my office at 11:55am with a jacket, a blanket, a hot cup of tea, and a book.   I then return at 1:00pm refreshed and eager for tomorrows lunch time.

The book that has entertained me is  Monster by Frank E. Peretti (2005).  The book has nothing to do with kayaking.  It is about the unexpected journey four friends take in the deep woods of northern Idaho.  What grips me the most about this book was how I could visualize and become apart of the woods.  The smells and sounds described in these pages danced around in my mind.

The title Monster is more in keeping with that of an elusive homonym because monster is sometimes a who then a what and it is constantly changing its meaning.  This thriller has several twists and had me cheering, laughing, and wondering what and how it was to end.  I was not disappointed at the ending.

-Jeff

A pretzel for New Years?  This is no ordinary bread pastry made from wheat flour, water, sugar, and yeast, then sprinkled with coarse salt.  The New Year’s Pretzels: is a traditional good luck bread served by German families at New Year’s.  Unbeknown to Sean I plan on baking one of these tasty treats from scratch while we are on the Suwannee River New Years Eve.

I altered the recipe in order to make one on the Suwannee River.  You can get the full recipe in the “Three Rivers Cookbook” or on line.

0.5 c. milk
0.125 c. butter
0.5 pkg. active dry yeast
0.5 tsp. salt
0.125 c. sugar
1.75 c. flour
0.5 large egg
0.25 c. powdered sugar
0.25 T. water
0.375 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
0.0625 c. almonds or walnuts, chopped

Heat milk and butter until very warm. Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and 0.875 cup of flour.  Slowly beat warm milk into yeast mixture.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Add eggs and 0.875 of flour.  Beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Add enough flour to form a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and let rise again until doubled.  (1 hour more).  Divide dough in half.

Shape pretzel: Roll dough into a rope about 7.5″ long.  Cross the ends leaving a large loop in the center.  Flip loop back onto crossed ends to form a pretzel.  Repeat with remaining dough. Place pretzels on greased baking sheets.  Let rise 15 minutes more.  Bake at 375F.  for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.  Mix powdered sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing.  Spread icing on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped nuts.  Makes 1 small pretzel.

Pictures of the event will appear in the New Year.

– Jeff

My birthday was last month and I received a few interestingly titled books.  Well I grabbed one of these books today as I headed to my local mechanic to get some service done on my truck.  I chose “At the Mercy of the Sea: the true story of three sailors in a Caribbean Hurricane” by John Kretschmer.

Hurricane_Lenny_17_nov_1999

Lenny south of Saint Croix at its peak intensity

The book takes place in November of 1999.  The protagonist is Hurricane Lenny.  “Lenny was the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded in November, and quite unusual in that it moved west-to-east across the Caribbean”.  It is remarkable timing that I should have started reading this book because right now we have Tropical Storm Ida moving in the Gulf of Mexico.

The book has a little more than two hundred pages.  And within the two hours of reading it I read almost half of this book.  I felt as I was reading it that I was becoming apart of something bigger than myself.

At the Mercy of the SeaAquatic suspense always draws me in for it usually defies conventional wisdom.  Anyone who has spent time on the water knows that boaters are a guest on the back of a nameless leviathan.  Hurricane Lenny is the leviathan in this book and he is as unique as the three men that were solo sailing.  This is a book about the experience of sailing through a category four hurricane.  And I highly recommend it to my fellow kayakers.  It is full of character development and suspense.  I could taste the saltwater, feel the wind, and I shared in the fatigue of Carl Wake, Steve Rigby, and Guillaume Llobregat, as they sailed.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.  – Jeff