Book review – The Visionist, A Novel

The VisionistThe Visionist by Rachel Urquhart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars.

I met the author of this book at the Millbrook, NY, book day, sponsored by my late friend and owner (at the time) of Millbrook books. Ms. Urquhart was on a panel about writing historical fiction; both my mother and I were so impressed with her that mom bought the book and we both read it.

The writing is lovely, delicate and smooth, even discussing the most unsavory subjects. I particularly like the way the author was able to slip in history of the time that wasn’t directly related to plot, without losing the flow of narrative.

The bibliography is worthy of 5 stars. In my opinion, serious historical fiction writers should include their sources. Much appreciation.

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Henry Miller: On reading

This… ❤


“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation… A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.”
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

Quite the controversial figure, author Henry Miller put down his thoughts on books and education. Though it may seems paradoxical to some extent, there’s great insight into what it means to be a creative individual. The artistic process is analyzed in a different way: not as creation, but more as one of remaking.

Absorb what you can, then release into the world an improved version.

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The compounding effects of living by example

Having had to become frugal by necessity, and having environmental consciousness since the early 90s, I’m looking forward to more inspiration from this blog. Yes, I need to downsize my belongings as my health permits; I will continue with my baby steps!


I cannot claim to hide the fact that the environment means a great deal to me. I am currently spending my working life trying to research some of the impacts humans have had on the environment. But I have also come to realise, that what we really need is not necessarily more research, but more people taking charge or their own life and blazing a trail by living boldly by example.

I can not claim to live very boldly, nor to have ever “blazed” a trail. In fact, I have been scared away from more active participation in several environmental organisations, simply because their outgoing extrovertism (totally a word), confrontational attitude and often somewhat superficial insight into big issues. I find it difficult to be angry, I find it difficult to stop people on the street and hand them flyers. I have, more than once, marched in protests, but again…

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Today in History

Yes, the world really is round!
“1580 – Sir Francis Drake finishes his circumnavigation of the Earth.”


46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus.
715 – Ragenfrid defeats Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne.
1087 – William II is crowned King of England, and reigns until 1100.
1212 – Golden Bull of Sicily is issued to confirm the hereditary royal title in Bohemia for the Přemyslid dynasty.
1345 – Friso-Hollandic Wars: Frisians defeat Holland in the Battle of Warns.
1371 – Serbian–Turkish wars: The forces of the Ottoman sultan Murad I’s lieutenant Lala Şahin Pasha and the Serbian army under the command of Vukašin Mrnjavčević and Jovan Uglješa clash at the Battle of Maritsa.
1493 – Pope Alexander VI issues the papal bull Dudum siquidem to the Catholic Monarchs, extending the grant of new lands he made them in Inter caetera.
1580 – Sir Francis Drake finishes his…

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Cristian Mihai

“In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
Albert Camus

The only way you’re ever going to accomplish something worth mentioning is to rely on your inner strength. True motivation comes from within you. Why some people never give up, no matter what, and why some people never finish a job they’ve started… that’s all about how much they believe in themselves.

The truth is, I…

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