Copywork, Cursive Practice, Richard II


cursive writing chart the commonroom

These should not be used before a child can form his cursive letters properly- they are for practice, not for teaching cursive writing.

To me, the largest value in teaching cursive writing is that the student be able to read it, and form their own distinctive, legible, signature.

Hence, while I’m a little frustrated by the cursive letters available to me in Paint to make these copywork pages, I think it’s actually not a bad thing for the students to have their cursive models not be perfectly consistant.

The reason they need to be able to read cursive:

Our founding documents are written in cursive

So are a good many other historical documents and letters of personal interest perhaps, or diary entries, by their ancestors.


Click to enlarge, right click to print (or save)
To print – set margins to a quarter inch, paper orientation to portrait (or vertical).

copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II in rage deaf  forget forgive


copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II in rage deaf



copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II no virtue like necessity

copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II jewels for beads

copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II rough, rude sea, lightcopywork cursive shakespeare Richard II take honor from me

copywork cursive Shakespeare, Richard II act 5 scene 5

copywork cursive Shakespeare, Richard II act 2 scene 2

copywork cursive Shakespeare, Richard II act 3 scene 2

copywork cursive Shakespeare, Richard II act 4

copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II sceptered isle

copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II blessed plot this earth this england

copywork cursive shakespeare Richard II spotless reputation

Additional copywork practice pages
Island Story, Cursive

Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew

From Five Little Peppers and How They Grew:

Here- along with some tips and hints on how to do copywork in general, especially with beginners.

also here,

and here.

and here.


Selections from Aesop’s:




When you live somewhere with standardized testing required, and you want to work on specific grammar or punctuation issues, but you don’t want to sacrifice Miss Mason’s approach entirely… try this approach.

Ideas for assigning copywork with older children.


Posted in Charlotte Mason | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Personality tests

I’m inquisitive by nature and have to know the hows and whys and wherefores, and the background history and more besides.

Which brings me to one of those questions I have that really doesn’t matter, it’s just a case of me being inquisitive and wanting to know…
In the old Wholehearted Child books there was a personality/learning style test (around pages 110-113 in my older copy).
They label four basic styles :Doer, Helper, Mover, Shaper.

Clarkson talks about that more here. He based his ideas on the MBTI personality test:

The MBTI model is based on thoughtful research and insights about personality by a mother and daughter who spent forty years studying Jung’s theories of archetypes, thinking about personality, and observing and interviewing thousands of individuals. Their model is based on some often debated yet highly defensible presuppositions: every person is born with a God-given personality type; there are a limited number of kinds of personality types; personality does not change (nature) but can be shaped (nurture); and we study personality to better understand ourselves and others.

When you see an MBTI-alphabet personality type (ESTJ, INFP, ENFJ, ISTP, etc.), each of the four letters represents a very specific attribute of personality: (1) how we focus our mental energy, (2) how we gather information (perception), (3) how we process information (judgment), and (4) how we orient to life. The two attributes in the middle (2 and 3) are mental processes—they are entirely about what goes on inside the mind. In the classic MBTI model, those mental processes are generalized into four temperaments, which are considered the core of personality. In other words, we are how we think.

What goes on “under the hat” is considered to be the truest thing about our human nature. The way that we think—how we perceive or gather information, and how we make judgments or decisions about it—defines who we really are. It’s the “real me.” But where does imagination fit into that picture of personality? Is my imagination something different and distinct from those mental activities? Or do those mental activities determine and define my imagination?

I am a shaper, according to that assessment test. I think they expanded this in later editions (chapter eight), but I don’t have a later edition so I can’t explain it. At any rate. I’m a shaper. And I’m the only one in my family who is.

Particularly: Asks “why? a lot, insists on logical explanations, interested in ideas more than in people, likes to analyze and synthesize a broad range of ideas… and individualistic, holds firmly to beliefs, is more interested in “is it right?” than “is it fair?”.

So whenever we do these assessment tests, I always come out more logical, and my husband comes out more sensitive, touchy feely.

And every single time, he’s all, “Ohhh. It’s okay.   I love you anyway, honey.”

And I’m all, “Why?  And what does that have to do with anything, anyway?”

I really want to use just a two word reply, but it’s shockingly rude and so I don’t say it.

He thinks he’s being kind and affectionate, and I can plainly see that obviously,  he’s just told me he thinks my personality totally sucks, and I don’t see what’s so kind and tenderhearted about that.

So I decided to start telling him that same thing every time he shares the results for one of these things.

He chuckles.

See, this is why I don’t understand the ‘sensitive’ people at all.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Personally, I think A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls or the Arabian Nights leaves much more scope for the imagination than Berenstain bears or the Boxcar children. Even for 7 year olds. In fact, I would say expecially for 7 year olds.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

On the charms of out of door time with the baby

She's not hurt. She's making a list of her grievances against the world.

She’s not hurt. She’s making a list of her grievances against the world.

On page 45 of volume 1, Miss Mason wrote this about taking the children out for their daily outdoors time:
“As for the baby, he is in bliss; divested of his garments, he kicks and crawls, and clutches the grass, laughs soft baby laughter, and takes in his little knowledge of shapes and properties in his own wonderful fashion…”

This was once my reply to Charlotte:

And eat grass. You forgot eat the grass, Charlotte. Or perhaps this is what you mean by taking it all in in “his own wonderful fashion?”
green smoothie popsicle and baby
And then I had one who *hated* to be in the grass, on the ground, at all. She
would try to keep as much of her body as possible off the ground, resulting in a funny little acrobatic act as she lifted one leg completely off the ground and leaned all her weight on one buttock, curling the toes of her other foot so they were uncontaminated by grass…

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why the Pet Rock Proves Planned Economies Can’t Improve On Laissez Faire Capitalism

Dahl taught us that value is subjective, an extension of the human mind and nothing else. Value only has meaning in reference to someone. There is no necessary relationship between cost and price. Innovations that please people are unexpected. What strikes some as irrational to others is perfectly rational. The reasons people buy are too complex to be put in a formula. Value creation defies every prediction. Intellectuals can never outsmart the market. These are the lessons of the mighty, beautiful, transforming, and forever-challenging pet rock.
It was a joke that refuted a century of intellectual error. Every system of intentional social organization until that time had made the same mistake. They all presumed knowledge of the world that individual human minds cannot possess. The dominant systems — whether socialist, social democratic, Keynesian, or fascist — presumed that society cannot manage itself without the assistance and wise hand of authority. They postulated that an empowered elite, if given enough resources, guided by the highest intelligence, and backed by enough power, could choose what is best for us, overriding our preferences and dreams and imposing something alien from the top down.

Read the Rest

Contemplate the simple luxury of a sense of humour, the ability to laugh at ourselves. It’s really not a bad thing.

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Morality isn’t determined by majority rules

New York Times writer Bruni publicly calling for the forced coercion of Christians with religious consciences because he thinks that’s a good idea. No mention of Muslims.

On April 3rd, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni managed to pen an entire op-ed column filled with nothing but the opinion part. Entitled, “Bigotry, the Bible, and the Lessons of Indiana,” Bruni boldly asserts that “homosexuality and Christianity don’t have to be in conflict in any church anywhere.” This is a risible claim, given that every Christian community worldwide for the past 2,000 years (until about yesterday) has been unequivocal on the matter. So what arguments does Bruni advance for his thesis? Actually, there’s only one, and I’ll summarize it: Some Christians have changed their minds to agree with me, and therefore everybody else had better follow suit. Or else.

This is not hyperbole. That is the sum and substance of Bruni’s entire case for why Christians must be “made” to remove homosexuality from the “sin list.” It might look like Bruni is offering other arguments; for example, he makes an appeal to “authorities” like David Gushee, Jimmy Creech, and Matthew Vines. But that’s just another way of repeating his premise: “Some Christians have changed their minds to agree with me.” He refers to recent polls, which always gives the allusion that some strong evidentiary basis is bolstering the argument. But it is just another repetition: “And lots of other people have changed their minds to agree with me.”

So how does he get to his “therefore”? What is the logical connection between “lots of people agree with me” to “everybody else ought to be made to agree with me?” There isn’t any logical connection, and Bruni doesn’t even attempt to make one. In place of an argument, from top to bottom, Bruni’s column is an astonishing list of pure ex cathedra pronouncements. Here are a few worth observing…

Click through to read them.

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Sad Puppies, Happy Reading

I wrote the very long post below and then, while looking up one last link stumbled upon this post by Edward Willet which kind of sums up things better than I do (I am not a summing up sort of gal).  Although he didn’t know yet about the fact that those on the left are now openly buying votes.

I blogged about this before, but I’ve been reading more about it, and there’s some new information.  And when no fewer than eight media outlets on the same day post essentially the same story with the same false accusations- demonstrably false- that the Sad Puppies voting list was a straight ticket of white males designed because Brad and Larry are misogynists who hate people of colour, well, that’s a little suspicious.  The SP list included a dozen women. It would have taken about sixty seconds to find that out, so why didn’t any of those news outlets take sixty seconds to check it out?  Who told them it was a straight ticket of white males, and why did they believe it?

Smells like a journolist sort of scandal to me.

Torgersen and Correia have done more than expose the cliquish nature of the Hugo Awards. They have also exposed the crisis of the mainstream media and its approach to identity politics. Reporters across multiple publications are credulously repeating narratives spun by activists, with scant attempts to interrogate their arguments or reach out to their critics. Whether it’s the sycophantic reporting of Pao vs Kleiner , the disastrousUVA gang rape story, or internal disputes in sci-fi and gaming, the signs of journalistic failure are everywhere.


The news outlets, in lockstep and on the same day, also said last year’s slate was different, a win for diversity.  Last year’s slate was all white with perhaps one exception, and all to the left. The Sad Puppies slate is more diverse, gender-wise, ethnically, and in ideology, as it as people from the left and right, and unknown. The only point that mattered is did they do good story-telling (or art, in the case of the award for cover art, etc).

The Hugo Awards for Science Fiction- in my youth, this meant something.   For fiction, it meant  reliably good story telling, plotting, world-building, writing. It didn’t necessarily mean a story that would be my cup of tea, Sci-fi is a big, big world and not everybody drinks tea. In the wonderland for the mind that was my tiny city library growing up, you might find dragons and the girls who love them, or spaceships propelled and essentially inhabited by human minds set free of disabled, defective bodies (Anne McCaffrey), Witchworlds and telepathy (Andre Norton), rugged individualist he-men (Heinlein), robots (Asimov), time travel (Wells), strange water worlds peopled by mysterious workers of magic (LeGuin), space travel and exploration (Bradbury), a future world destroyed by nuclear war, or occupied by fascist and/or anti-human alien forces (John Christopher, more space travel (Lester del Ray)- and so much more- other worlds, other times, other cognizant species, the future.

And I just lied, or rather told a series of half truths because while the world of sci-fi was huge and broad and had something for nearly every taste, that was partially because the above authors, and others of their glorious ilk, were also not limited to the one or two word descriptions I’ve just given.

So when you picked up a book with that Hugo sticker on it, you knew you might not like it, but that would only be because it was beer and you prefered sweet tea, champaigne, a robust red wine, whiskey straight up, wine cooler, kool-ade because you’re 10, or you just weren’t thirsty at the moment. It wasn’t because the stories were drivel, message-driven fiction where the message was first and foremost and almost only, and the stories were merely a delivery system, and could be swapped around for almost any other delivery system, er, story.  And you knew it would be, well, science fiction, not If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, My Love.

I, like most sci-fi fans, had no idea how the Hugos were awarded. I wasn’t that kind of fan. I liked the sausage, I didn’t give a thought to sausage making, to the authors behind the books, the publishers, editors, prize-makers. I just assumed there was some sort of committee who chose these things, possibly based on a combination of sales and a sort of scoring based on the quality of the writing. (I think that’s the Nebulas, sort of)

However it was, over time, those award makers apparently fell asleep on the job, because the Hugo sticker meant less and less to me because they came to signal – not always, but far too often- not good story telling, but the modern version of the scoldings and most drivel-ridden kind of Victorian morality tale. It’s not that there can’t be a message, but it has to be part of the story, and the story cannot suffer to deliver the message.  It shouldn’t need to be explained to people in the book business, but apparently it does.

Like most sci-fi fans, I did not know that I could participate in awarding the Hugos if I liked. I didn’t know they were chosen by the readers voting. I didn’t realize it was associated wtih one particular sci-fi convention.

Until this year.

Other fans, and writers, and publishers, noticed the deterioration of the Hugos, and being better fans and more in touch, they had a better clue why.  Behind all that, behind the books, which were all I had looked at, was a climate of fear, and they set out to address this.

They did this because they believed what World-Con had been saying about the Hugos for decades- this is YOUR award, this award is for the fans, this is the people’s choice, your chance to be heard.
They did this because they believed that the awards were already being somewhat gamed in secret, back room discussions and whisper campaigns (and some open campaigns). They believed that some good people were being kept out because they weren’t ‘in’, they didn’t suck up enough, they had wrongfriends, wrongthoughts, were tainted by wrongness, lacked ideological purity, or just didn’t denounce the badthink de jour vehemently enough. They were told, by the way, that they were wrong, the awards were for all and there was no ideolgical litmust test or desire to keep people out.

So this year, there were approximately 3 ‘slates’ at least.  Slate isn’t a very accurate word, though, since it’s not like anybody was required to vote any particular way.

The first one is the same as always- whisper campaigns, the in clique, or just the very active insiders from WorldCon and similar connections liking the same thing, nominating the same thing.  Or you don’t call it a slate, you call it a reading list (wink, wink), and it’s just a coincidence that Tor is all over it and Baen isn’t on it once.   For those who don’t know, these are two sci-fi publishers, of the two, Baen publishes anybody with a story they like and think will sell, without regard for ideological purity of the author (the Baen publisher doesn’t care about the writer’s politics), and Tor is Tor.

The other one- well, last year Vox Day was accused of ‘gaming the Hugoes’ and that made him mad because it was a lie, so this year he admittedly set out to game the Hugoes to show what it would look like if he had done that last year.  I know.  Vox Day called his group rabid puppies, and he put out a list of titles he wanted people to nominate, and he told them to do just that. His slate is here. He said:
“They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are. I think it is abundantly evident that these various and meritorious works put not only last year’s nominations, but last year’s winners, to shame.”

Now Vox Day is extremly polarizing and makes the left froth at the mouth and stamp their feet in outrage and make many accusations about misogyny, bigotry, and white supremecy, and he’s not extremely popular in most circles on the right either.    He definitely fits my definition of sexist.  However, one of the accusations against him (and it’s one I’ve seen here in my comments section) is that he says a few acid burned faces of women are a small price to pay for domestic tranquility.   Vox says these accusations are libelious.

Somebody else who isn’t even a fan of Vox has fact-checked that one, and he provides the context:

The truth was that Mr Beale gotten into an online contretemps with demogogue-asshole atheist blogger PJ Myers, posting a list of answers to Myers’s rhetorical question ‘How does letting women die rather than giving them an abortion benefit women?’ Answer #3 was ‘Because female independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability. If PZ has turned against utilitarianism or the concept of the collective welfare trumping the interests of the individual, I should be fascinated to hear it.’

In other words, Beale nowhere advocated throwing acid on anyone. He claimed that someone adhering to a strictly Benthamite utilitarian ethics — such as he ascribed to Myers and to which Beale is firmly opposed — would find such a violent deed easy to justify. This wasn’t an argument for acid-throwing. It was a stab at Myers’s (alleged) personal morals.”

Since this is obviously not true, I will also have to wonder about every other bizarre accusation of Vox Day (Theodore Beale)- his enemies are clearly hate-filled enough and sloppy enough that they don’t to be accurate in what they say about him.  I took too much time trying to research a couple other of the worst accusations, and what I noticed is that they all come void of context- that is, nobody I could find links back to where Vox said these egregiously vile things so you can read it for yourself in its original context.  I get not wanting to give the beast link-love, but they don’t even give screen shots, or a link to the post on, which is a little suspicious.  He posted his own defense against most of those charges here, for what it’s worth (where he also admits gaming the Hugos this year).  I think a couple points are not easily answered in that style (the whole issue of how and why the SFA board voted against him is convoluted, and mostly for insiders), but I’m satisfied that calling one woman you are arguing with a half savage does not make you a racist just because she’s black.

What I know is just this- I like his writing style, but yes, he is caustic (which is part of what I like), does not suffer fools, has a pretty big net for fool catching (so big, I’d likely be in it), and he says stuff that is provacative on purpose, but people who aren’t parsing him carefully totally take him out of context and get it wrong quite often- personally, I think he gets the giggles from that.  Still, I disagree with him on a lot, but it’s a free country.  Also, some of the most egreigious sorts of things he’s posted have been posts originally written by people from the SJW side, and Vox just reposted them word for word- with one or two editorial changes, changing the gender or race of the screed to demonstrate that it is a screed and they have a double-standard.  Which is not to say I consider him innocent.  I don’t. Amusing, brusque, caustic, and sometimes blunt and rude (much of which could be said about most of his opponents, except for the amusing part, unless we modify it to unintentional), but not innocent.  But that’s already too much time spent on him when I want to talk about the Hugos and the Puppies.
So seee the wicked thing he did there? He made a list of books he liked, matched them up in the appropriate Hugo categories and said, I’d like my readers to vote for these books, you hear? He has no way of knowing if they did, no way of insuring that they did, He just said that’s what he wanted.

Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen, but mostly Brad, had their own slate- it actually came long before Vox’s. Larry began it three years ago- called it Sad Puppies (note, three years ago also predates GamerGate considerably, but that didn’t stop some of the left from saying this was a GG plot). He basically listed his favorites, said if people read them and liked them, they should vote. This year Brad took it over and made it more inclusive and/or diverse (ironically, more diverse than last year’s Hugo winners). He started by asking his readers for their suggestions, and then he put together a list incorporating some of their suggestions and adding his own.

This is the Sad Puppies 3 slate.  If you’re a bean-counter, count the women.

Neither Larry nor Brad told their readers how to vote. They said these were the books they liked and that if their readers read the books and liked them, too, maybe they would be willing to vote. I’ve read the comments, and so far I haven’t seen anybody who said they voted the straight Sad Puppies ticket (if you can call that a ticket)- they all made substitutions, additions, alterations of their own. We can believe these claims because, while they lists clearly did have an influence (as previous years other sci0fi writers have blogged out lists that had an influence), both the Sad and Rabid Puppies lists have about 9 items that didn’t make it.

Furthermore- and this is kinda hilarious- the total numbers of voters for the nominees indicates a net increase of exactly 199 more voters this year than last- understand that this is voting for for who would be the nominees for a Hugo- voting for the actual Hugo hasn’t happened yet.

In the days leading up to the release of the actual nominations, there was quite a bit of outrage and fury in the sci-fi areas of the bloggy world, and when the final list of nominees came out, it was obvious why.  Here’s the result, the final list of nominees for the Hugo.

In reponse, in order to prove that of course both sets of puppies were wrong, there was no political ideology , no secret cadre, no intent to keep their ilk out, numerous groups, movers and shakers in the sci-fi world are variously:
Getting together to rewrite the Hugo process so the nasty little creatures can get in again next year or ever again (yeah, that proves you’re inclusive all right)
Putting together their own puppy-free slate all the while insisting that it’s not the politics, it’s the *slate* that is a problem, a slate is bad, except when I do it, and then it’s just damage control.

Um, what? So… getting those writers on the nominations list was damaging. So the puppies had a point.

Also, now several people are saying that no, they may have once said that the Hugo and the voting belonged to everybody, to all the fans, but they didn’t mean it.  That was wrong. It’s not for everybody. It’s only for people have always gone to Worldcon.  Technically, it is true.  You could only vote if you paid to attend, or if you paid just $40 dollars so you could vote even though you couldn’t attend.  And now there’s this concern that the wrong sort of people are paying that 40 dollars to vote.

Now what?  Well, here are two posts about how the voting works- it’s something called Australian Rules.

Post One

Post Two

So.  If you have forty dollars, spend it and vote. If you don’t (and actually, even if you do), get out the popcorn.


More importantly, start looking up some of the names on the ‘slates,’ and reading.

Antonelli is one of the names on the SP recommended list.   Here’s a sample:

7.99 for Kindle: The Clock Struck None

I read the introduction and one of the stories (you may be able to find others here), and seriously, I felt that little frisson of half delight, half Twilight Zone music you get from the better Twilight Zone stories. A zephyr blew past my ears, chilled the back of my neck and lifted the hair on my right arm (why not the left? I don’t know). It was good story telling, very good.

Omigosh, did you know you can get TWELVE of Andre Nortons stories for just .99 on the kindle: The Works of Andre Norton (12 books)

No, she’s not on the list, the thing is, that’s how looking up books works- you look for one, you find a dozen others.


And it’s the stories that matter.

This one is free: Child of the Ghosts

In this world, sorcerors are mostly the bad guys- while a few are tolerated by the government, they aren’t highly trusted. One in particular is evil to his core and the main antagonist. The Ghosts referred to are are not supernatural- they are more like elite ninja groups.

I liked this. It’s well written. It was an interesting story, and the characters were real. A few parts were somewhat repetitive (I should have counted every time one of the characters referred to turning another character into a weapon). HOWEVER- some caveats for many of my readers- there is premarital sex (not graphic- you don’t feel like a voyeur), and the violence was really hard for me to stomach in a few places. There’s a torture scene or three and a child is involved. I found myself averting my eyes, which isn’t very useful when you’re reading rather than watching.

Have fun.


(yeah, affiliate links in the post)

Have fun.


(yeah, affiliate links in the post)

Posted in Books, culture | Tagged | 2 Comments

Free4Kindle: History; military; and sci-fi

A Treasury of War Poetry British and American Poems of the World War 1914-1917

Reader Reviewfrom Amazon: I’m not one to generally sit down and read a book of poetry, but that’s exactly what I did when I picked up this anthology of poems. This particular book called out to me, perhaps because I enjoy reading things of the WWI time period. The poems collected in this book all reference to World War I, penned during the years of 1914-1917.

“Rubadub! Rubadub! Wake and take the road again,
Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,
Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife and drum!”
[The Toy Band by Henry Newbolt]

I have new favorite poems, whereas I never had any favorite poems before. I’ve become quite acquainted with writers I had not known before, in addition to seeing familiar names such as Robert Frost, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rudyard Kipling.

“Shadow by shadow, stripped for fight,
The lean black cruisers search the sea.
Night-long their level shafts of light
Revolve, and find no enemy.
Only they know each leaping wave
May hide the lightning, and their grave.”
[The Searchlights by Alfred Noyes]

I so enjoyed this charming book! I could definitely see myself going through the entire book and reading them all again someday. Also, the poems in this book can be read online on websites such as if you’re interested.

“God rest you, happy gentlemen,
Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun
Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
Than even Oxford town.”
[The Spires of Oxford by Winifred M. Letts]

commonplace book anna swanwick

What Germany Thinks Or, The War as Germans see it

Written by a Brit during the Great War, obviously propaganda. But a very useful sort of read if you read it thinking about the same sort of propaganda today.


reader review; An interesting take on the “Great War” as presented for students in English public schools since it was written as the war was still ongoing but nearing the end. Of course the viewpoint was primarily one sided but not as much as might be exprcted. It provides some good historic material.



In many quarters of the world, especially in certain sections of the British public, people believed that the German nation was led blindly into the World War by an unscrupulous military clique. Now, however, there is ample evidence to prove that the entire nation was thoroughly well informed of the course which events were taking, and also warned as to the catastrophe to which the national course was certainly leading.

Even to-day, after more than twelve months of devastating warfare, there is no unity of opinion in Germany as to who caused the war. Some writers accuse France, others England, while many lay the guilt at Russia’s door. They are only unanimous in charging one or other, or all the powers, of the Triple Entente. We shall see that every power now at war, with the exception of Germany and Italy, has been held responsible for Armageddon, but apparently it has not yet occurred to Germans that the bearer of guilt for this year’s bloodshed—is Germany alone!

It is true that the conflict between Austria and Serbia forms the starting point. Whether or not Serbia was seriously in the wrong is a matter of opinion, but it is generally held that Austria dealt with her neighbour with too much heat and too little discretion. Austria kindled the flames of war, but it was Germany’s mission to seize a blazing torch and set Europe alight.

colorful book border
Martyred Armenia

Just 60 pages
This month is the hundredth anniversay or the Armenian genocide- the first genocide of the 21st century.

Reader review: Written in 1916 about the Armenian genocide that occurred in the Ottoman Empire.

The Armenians were Christians and apparently the the best educated and wealthiest people in the Ottoman Empire. They were systematically rounded up, and massacred. In many cases they were robbed, and women raped as well. Some were made servants, essentially slaves in the houses of the ruling classes.

Fà’iz El-Ghusein was a Ottoman empire official formerly. He wrote this book to try to keep Islam from being blamed for the Armenian genocide which he considered to be a matter of Ottoman Empire politics. He was there during the time and attempts to provide an objective account. He was deeply disturbed by the genocide. I have to give him a lot of credit for writing this book. It must have been a very difficult and sad task.



It is said that the Unionists ordered that all the Armenian Deputies should be put to death, and the greater number of them were thus dealt with. It is reported also that Dikrân Gilikiân, the well-known writer, who was an adherent of the Committee of Union and Progress, was killed in return for his[Pg 13] learning, capacity, and devotion to their cause. Such was the recompense of his services to the Unionists.

In the evening we arrived at Kara Jevren, and slept there till morning. At sunrise we went on towards Sivrek, and half-way on the road we saw a terrible spectacle. The corpses of the killed were lying in great numbers on both sides of the road; here we saw a woman outstretched on the ground, her body half veiled by her long hair; there, women lying on their faces, the dried blood blackening their delicate forms; there again, the corpses of men, parched to the semblance of charcoal by the heat of the sun. As we approached Sivrek, the corpses became more numerous, the bodies of children being in a great majority. As we arrived at Sivrek and left our carts, we saw one of the servants of the khân carrying a little infant with hair as yellow as gold, whom he threw behind the house. We asked him about it, and he said that there were three sick Armenian women in the house, who had lagged behind their companions, that one of them had given birth to this infant, but could not nourish it, owing to her illness. So it had died and been thrown out, as one might throw out a mouse.

Demand for Ransom.—Whilst we were at Sivrek, Aarif Effendi told me—after he had been at the Government offices—that the Commandant of Gendarmerie and the Chief of Police of that place had requested him to hand over to them the five Armenians who were with him, and that on his refusal they had insisted, saying that, if they were to reach Diarbekir in safety, they must pay a ransom of fifty liras for themselves. We went to the khân, where the officer summoned the priest Isaac and told[Pg 14] him how matters stood. After speaking to his companions, the priest replied that they could pay only ten liras altogether, as they had no more in their possession. When convinced by his words, the officer took the ten liras and undertook to satisfy the others.

Speaking of Armenians, if you’ve not yet read any William Saroyan, please do remedy that. I am particularly fond of My Name is Aram
He won a Puliter and an Academy award for his writing. I’ve read several things of his and never been disappointed in noe yet. But this was the first, and so it’s still my favorite. (not free, and also not a Kindle title)
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History of the American Negro in the Great World War His Splendid Record in the Battle Zones of Europe; Including a Resume of His Past Services to his … War, and the Late Imbroglio With Mexico

The first six chapters are a summing up of the events that led to President Wilson entering America into the War.

When the call to war was sounded by President Wilson, no response was more swift and unhalting than that of the Negro in America. Before our country was embroiled the black men of Africa had already contributed their share in pushing back the Hun. When civilization was tottering and all but overthrown, France and England were glad to avail themselves of the aid of their Senegalese, Algerian, Soudanese and other troops from the tribes of Africa. The story of their valor is written on the battlefields of France in imperishable glory.

Considering the splendid service of the—in many cases—half wild blacks from the region of the equator, it seems strange that our government did not hasten sooner and without demur to enlist the loyal Blacks of this country with their glowing record in former wars, their unquestioned mental attainments, their industry, stamina and self reliance. Yet at the beginning of America’s participation in the war, it was plain that the old feeling of intolerance; the disposition to treat the Negro unfairly, was yet abroad in the land.

He was willing; anxious to volunteer and offered himself in large numbers at every recruiting station, without avail. True, he was accepted in numerous instances, but the condition precedent, that of filling up and rounding out the few Negro Regular and National Guard organizations below war strength, was chafing and humiliating. Had the response to the call for volunteers been as ardent among all classes of our people; especially the foreign born, as it was from the American Negro, it is fair to say that the selective draft would not necessarily have been so extensive.

It was not until the selective draft was authorized and the organization of the National Army began, that the Negro was given his full opportunity. His willingness and eagerness to serve were again demonstrated. Some figures dealing with the matter, taken from the official report of the Provost Marshall General (General E.H. Crowder) will be cited later on.

Of the four colored regiments in the Regular Army, the 24th infantry had been on the Mexican border since 1916; the 25th infantry in Hawaii all the years of the war; the Ninth cavalry in the Philippines since 1916, and the 10th cavalry had been doing patrol and garrison duty on the Mexican border and elsewhere in the west since early in 1917. These four regiments were all sterling organizations dating their foundation back to the days immediately following the Civil war. Their record was and is an enviable one. It is no reflection on them that they were not chosen for overseas duty. The country needed a dependable force on the Mexican border, in Hawaii, the Philippines, and in different garrisons at home.

A number of good white Regular Army regiments were kept on this side for the same reasons; not however, overlooking or minimizing the fact not to the honor of the nation in its final resolve, that there has always been fostered a spirit in the counsels and orders of the Department of War, as in all the other great government departments, to restrain rather than to encourage the patriotic and civic zeal of their faithful and qualified Negro aids and servants. That is to say, to draw before them a certain imaginary line; beyond and over which the personal ambitions of members of the race; smarting for honorable renown and promotion; predicated on service and achievement, they were not permitted to go. A virtual “Dead Line”; its parent and wet nurse being that strange thing known as American Prejudice, unknown of anywhere else on earth, which was at once a crime against its marked and selected victims, and a burden of shame which still clings to it; upon the otherwise great nation, that it has condoned and still remains silent in its presence.


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King Alfred of England Makers of History

by Jacob Abbot, 19th century educator and writer. I’ve shared some of his books here before. I really enjoy him- engaging, but meaty. And I love King Alfred.

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The History of London
by Walter Besant

Published in the late 1800s

Excerpt: We have passed over two hundred years. We left London under the Three Edwards. We find it under Elizabeth. It was a City of Palaces—monasteries, with splendid churches and stately buildings: town houses of bishops, abbots, and noble lords, every one able to accommodate a goodly following of liveried retainers and servants: the mansions of rich City merchants, sometimes as splendid as those of the lords: the halls of the City Companies: the hundred and twenty City churches. Look at London as Shakespeare saw it. Everywhere there are the ruins of the monasteries: some of the buildings have been destroyed with gunpowder: some have been pulled down: where it has been too costly to destroy the monastic chapels they are used as storehouses or workshops: the marble monuments of the buried Kings and Queens have been broken up and carried off: the ruins of refectory, dormitory, library, chapter house stand still, being taken down little by little as stones are wanted for building{148} purposes: some of the ruins, indeed, lasted till this very century, notably a gateway of the Holy Trinity Priory, at the back of St. Catharine Cree, Leadenhall Street, and some of the buildings of St. Helen’s Nunnery, beside the church of Great St. Helen’s. One would think that the presence of all these ruins would have saddened the City. Not so. The people were so thoroughly Protestant that they regarded the ruins with the utmost satisfaction. They were a sign of deliverance from what their new preachers taught them was false doctrine.{149} Moreover, there were other reasons why the citizens under Queen Elizabeth could not regret the past.

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William the Conqueror Makers of History

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The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 1

Excerpt: The Quakers had a powerful and zealous advocate at court. Though, as a class, they mixed little with the world, and shunned politics as a pursuit dangerous to their spiritual interests, one of them, widely distinguished from the rest by station and fortune, lived in the highest circles, and had constant access to the royal ear. This was the celebrated William Penn. His father had held great naval commands, had been a Commissioner of the Admiralty, had sate in Parliament, had received the honour of knighthood, and had been encouraged to expect a peerage. The son had been liberally educated, and had been designed for the profession of arms, but had, while still young, injured his prospects and disgusted his friends by joining what was then generally considered as a gang of crazy heretics. He had been sent sometimes to the Tower, and sometimes to Newgate. He had been tried at the Old Bailey for preaching in defiance of the law. After a time, however, he had been reconciled to his family, and had succeeded in obtaining such powerful protection that, while all the gaols of England were filled with his brethren, he was permitted, during many years, to profess his opinions without molestation. Towards the close of the late reign he had obtained, in satisfaction of an old debt due to him from the crown, the grant of an immense region in North America. In this tract, then peopled only by Indian hunters, he had invited his persecuted friends to settle. His colony was still in its infancy when James mounted the throne.

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 4

Lays of Ancient Rome

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 3

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 5

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 2

Critical and Historical Essays – Volume 2

by Sir Thomas Babington Macaulay

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Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays

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Frostborn: The First Quest
sci-fi fantasy genre
Reader review: So I got this book sort of by accident while searching the freebies, and I’m not disappointed. It ma not have been what I was looking for, but it was a good read.
So the story starts with Ridmark having a clear goal in mind. He wants to wed what amounts to a princess. He sees this mission as the type of quest to give him the edge when asking for her hand. He’s very honorable throughout this book. Very committed and loyal. He refuses to leave innocents behind or abandon a fellow warrior. The warden is very interesting in that he’s particularly cunning. He knows exactly how to appeal to another person’s interests. But you can tell that he’s clearly evil. This was a great and fairly short read.

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The Testing (The Third Soul Book 1)

An Amazon reader review: The author is a great fantasy world builder. It’s set in a city with a lot of tension between the nobility and adept/sorcerers and the poor and enslaved.

Characters are somewhat typical fantasy types – earnest young student adept, battered adventurer, stern hierarchy of sorcerers/nobility and villains with blood magic and demons.

Plot moved nicely, not that you will see much of it in this short first book.

My problem with this series is that it is four parts of a novel instead of a series of four novels. The difference is that in a novel you will have some resolution at the end – even if it is part of a series. In this series, it just sort of stops where a chapter would stop and you have to buy the next one. The first one is free, the second one is .99 and the last two are 1.99. The parts are short, so it’s not like a giant novel either.

So basically it is a full length self published novel for 4.97, the type of book I usually pay 2.99 for. Not a huge deal, but it should be clear in the descriptions that these are just parts of a novel. All of the parts after the first one should have been set at 99 cents, but at 1.99 they are overpriced for the length. Now I know that I have to start looking at the number of pages when I buy kindle books.

Still, I did enjoy reading it. I read fantasy novels to entertain myself and escape from the real world for a while and this did the trick.

I would read more books set in this world as long as they were in the regular format at regular prices.

Others in the series:

.99- The Assassins (The Third Soul Book 2)

1.99- The Blood Shaman (The Third Soul Book 3)

1.99- The High Demon (The Third Soul Book 4)

1.99- The Burning Child (The Third Soul Book 5)

Free book by the same author (Jonathan Moeller):

Child of the Ghosts
289 pages, 309 reviews, an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars. I just read part of the preview and I was impressed by the writing and the setting. The reviews I skimmed all acknowledge his world building skills, and I could see that. I was almost immediately drawn in to the library, the relationships between the protagonist and her parents.

Sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy genre

The Tower of Endless Worlds

Reader review:
Magic turns a weak polititian into a powerful one. There would be a price to pay…
An evil warlock Marugon, escaped from a black portal between worlds to our world.
Here he made an arrangement with the politician Senator Wycliffe to give him immense power in exchange for guns so that the warlock could have the upper hand in his world of swords.
The warlock tried to stop the prophecy of a infant king that will grow up strong enough to kill him, therefor he needs to kill all newborn infant males.
Reminds me of the story of King Herodes…the nasty king in Biblical times…
What this warlock did not foresee was that a powerful (infant) king was taken through the very same portal…to escape from him.
I really enjoyed reading this story, if it wasn’t for the sudden ending, I would have rate this book 5 stars.
Despite that, I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Fantasy/Paranormal books, as the stories in this series of books are unique.

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Draw One in the Dark (Shifter Book 1)

fantasy/sci fi genre.

I’ve shared this one before. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sarah Hoyt is a terrific world builder and a great story teller.

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A Star Curiously Singing (The Dark Trench Saga Book 1)

I’ve downloaded this one to read.

Amazon Reader review: In a futuristic world where sharia law is in place and mankind relies on technology to perform the simplest task, DR63 “SandFly” is about to find his life turned upside down. A `Chosen One’, SandFly was chosen as a youth to be implanted with a device that would allow him to speak to all of the machines that run the planet. Even though this would seem to give him incredible, unstoppable power, it does not because those in charge who `chose him’ hold a controller that zaps him if disobeys. SandFly is a tool who belongs to a master, no more, no less. So how can he change the world? And what’s wrong with the world anyway?

I’ll leave that up to you to find out. Let me just tell you how fun this book was to read.

As an author myself, I read lots and lots of books. Some I enjoy, some not so much. This book, A STAR CURIOUSLY SINGING, is one that I hated to put down and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Because of my work load, I was only able to pick it up an hour at a time, but every time I set it down to go back to work, I thought about it all day. I sympathized and fell in love with the lead character immediately and worried for him as I longed to get back to the book. I can easily say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, and this is my very first sci-fi novel.

A review would not be complete without mentioning the technical aspects of Nietz’s method and style of writing. SandFly speaks in first person, and he speaks often to me, the reader. He calls me a `freehead’ (I have no implant, you see!) and through his point of view, I know him very intimately–and I like him! He is such a well-rounded, three-dimensional character that I felt often that that if I released just a little bit, I could imagine he is real and this book is true. I am looking forward to reading the sequel to this story THE SUPERLATIVE STREAM.

Bravo Mr. Nietz and God bless,

Ellen C Maze

This one by the same author isn’t free, it’s 4.99. I’m mainly sharing it her because of the title:

Amish Vampires in Space

Reader review: I didn’t expect to like this book, after all it was on Fallon’s Do Not Read list. I didn’t expect it to be anything other than a parody. I didn’t expect it finish it. My expectations were too low. This book actually represented all the genres and sub-genres referred to in the title very well. Though I can safely say that this will be the only Amish/Christian/romance/horror/science fiction book I will ever read, I may consider other books by Kerry Nietz.

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This is the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Turkey- the forgotten genocide.   As it happens, my son is reading the book Some of Us Survived this year, a biographical account from a survivor.  Since I’ve been listening to his narrations, it’s fresh on my mind.

It should have never happened in the first place.  It should not have happened again after Armenia, but it did.

And here we are again- ISIS is committing genocide against the Yazidi, and the world is mainly just sort of wagging its fingers and saying tsk, tsk, this is bad.

ISIS recently released around 200 Yazidi people they’ve been abusing for a year, including a 9 year old little girl who is pregnant.  She was a prize for front-line fighters.  Fighters.  Plural.  The mind recoils.  The gut churns in revulsion.


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Free4Kindle, World War books, Churchill Biographies, More

Free for Kindle- free at time of listing. These are affiliate links in that if you buy something (that is purchase, exchanging currency for the item, not download free stuff) while you’re there, I’ll get a small percentage and that will help may the website hosting fees or buy my son size 13 shoes or keep the Irish Wolfhound supplied with kibble, or just pay for my own book habit. All depends.=) Thanks!

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Go here to download the quintessential Winston Churchill biography, all 8 volumes, just for today.  This are not affiliate links for me, but they are good books.

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Children To A Degree – Growing Up Under the Third Reich

Here’s the author’s bio:

Based on a true story about a young boy growing up under the Third Reich.

Karl Veth, the oldest of three children, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. By the time he was old enough to start school and begin his education, Hitler had already established a firm death-grip on the country. Children were fed a steady diet of Nazi propaganda and were often encouraged to turn on their family and friends but contrary to popular belief, not all of them bought into it.

Karl is an intelligent young boy who strives to excel in his studies, but he questions everything. Dangerous questions during a time when people are closely monitored. Karl’s father and grandfather are not blind followers and they have their own opinions about Hitler and his regime. The lessons they teach Karl often contradict what he is taught in school, yet they also inspire him to think on his own and form his own opinions.

German law mandates that all children must become members of the Hitler Youth and at the age of 10, Karl enters the Jungvolk, the junior branch of the Hitler Youth. He must wade through the propaganda and everything he is taught to decide for himself what is right and what it wrong. Little does he know at the time, but many of his grandfather’s predictions about the future of the Third Reich will eventually come to pass. The lessons he learns now and the opinions he forms will determine his fate in dangerous times ahead.

Children To A Degree is the first book in a four-book series. Karl’s incredible story continues in:

Loyal To A Degree

Trust To A Degree

Partners To A Degree

This is *fiction,* and many reviewers thought it was a good story with historic value, but felt the writing was stilted. I wonder if that’s a result of English not being his first language, or if it’s a reflection of modern readers? I don’t know, but the book sounds intriguing.

petraca books never pall on me

Just 28 pages:
World War 2 Spies & Espionage: The Secret Missions of Spies & Espionage And How They Changed the Course of History (World War 2, World War II, WWII, The … Espionage, Spies, Wild Bill Donovan Book 1)

Most reviews are glowing, but most of them are also badly written, so make of that what you will.

Also free, by the same author, and about the same short easy read length:
World War 2 Nazi Germany: The Secrets of Nazi Germany in World War II (Nazi Germany, the third reich, rise and fall, the wolf’s lair, Hitler, World War … Germany, Nuremberg Trials,auschwitz Book 1)

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The Forgotten Women Heroes: Second World War Untold Stories – The Women Heroes in the Extraordinary World War Two

3 short stories about three female spies.

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Blood and Iron Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its Founder, Bismarck

Reader Review: In today’s world of political correctness and censored media, the most common exposure that Americans get to of the distant past is either through glamorous Hollywood movies, or dry school textbooks. Sometimes it is beneficial to read books that are clearly opinionated, but up front about it. This short propaganda piece written at the beginning of the 20th century is a celebration of Germany as seen through the life of Otto van Bismarck; politician, statesman, and military leader who helped clobber together the modern state of Germany out of numerous principalities, all under the nervous eye of other European powers. The author is a clear supporter of Bismarck, and all that he stood for, conservatism, reactionary politics, dynastic traditions, oligarchy, and the use of might to make right. This book is written in a style foreign to most readers today at the beginning of the 21st century. Some parts of the text are written as a Q&A session between the author and the reader; other parts are written as a dialogue between the author and his subject, often Bismarck but occasionally another person. The author anticipates much of 20th century’s opinions about the role of dictators, but brushes it away as “ends justifies the means”; which in this case the end is a united Germany, strong and powerful to offset the other European powers such as Austria, France, Russia and England. The book covers events on the battlefields, in various royal courts, in the villages and cities of Europe; providing examples left and right of how Bismarck used all his guile and cunning to cajole, blackmail, connive and convince people to fight his fight for a German nation. Details of this political process, such as bribed politicians, slaughtered soldiers, bankrupted governments are mentioned proudly, and then relegated to the role of collateral damage. All in all, this book is clearly a propaganda piece, but an honest one that leaves no sin unmarked. Read it for the story, for the insight into a national psyche, if not for the history.
C.S. Lewis read old books

Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire

Reader Review; Please note that the author, James Wycliffe Headlam , was a British scholar and public servant who contributed to the Versailles Treaty. He died in 1929, and this book was written in 1899. It is a classic, but does not benefit from modern access to additional documents, nor the perspective of a post war world. (If that’s an advantage). Just so you know what you are getting.


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Great Britain at War

Jeffrey Farnol,  World War Ivintage books in vines b&w

The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915

This is a collection of documents from the time period, chosen in that time period, so today some of these writings may not seem as signficant to us as they did to the Times editors in 1915. They are pro-war and anti-war, articles, letters, news reports. Fascinating stuff.

World’s War Events, Vol. II

The Story of the Great War, Volume 1 Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers
by Allen L. (Allen Leon) Churchill (Editor), Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds (Editor), Francis Trevelyan Miller (Editor)

Don’t miss the article by the Admiral written in the midst of the way, saying that the war proves submarines are not very useful.

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Over There War Scenes on the Western Front

Arnold Bennett- I have read two of his other books and was highly impressed by his writing.

Reading review; I wish this book had been three times as long. Bennett has the ability to describe the most horrible scenes in language that is truly poetic. I am currently rereading the book. His style has spoiled me. It starts off a little slowly, but as he reaches the front, describes the towns devastated by the war, comments on the pathetic rationale of the “Bosch” for their invasion of France, it grabs you. I recommend it highly.
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The Riddles of Hillgate (Z&C Mysteries Book 1)

This one had about equal numbers of high and low reviews. The high reviews loved the characters and plot, the low reviews loathed the writing, but mostly acknowledged that the idea for the story was great, and the characters had potential.

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The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Illustrated) (The Sherlock Holmes Collection Book 2)
Sherlock Holmes needs to introduction.

elizabeth shippen green perdita's books

BROWN BREAD: Getting rid of unwanted guests

The family in this story have gotten rid of so many unwanted guests they are running out of room to store the bodies. According to reviews, if you think Arsenic and Old Lace is hilarious, you’ll probably like this.

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