Monday, September 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday - September 28th

Mailbox Monday is hosted each week by Marcia of The Printed Page blog, and it is so much fun. At the top of the post she warns that "Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists." She's right - especially on the toppling TBR piles.

Anyway, I missed out on last week's Mailbox Monday because I didn't have internet access, so this week it's a double whammy. No, going on vacation didn't stop me buying books in the slightest. Toronto has The World's Biggest Bookstore, and it was about two blocks from my hotel. I went in for two books, and came out with a bag full (then I went back the next day and got two more books), of which very little is actually fiction. Add to that, I bought books as souvenirs when I could. Including from the ROM Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit, which was an incredible thing to see.

So, in the last two weeks I bought:

Catfantastic V edited by Andre Norton and Martin H. Greenberg
Jacket description:
Here's a book you can get your paws into as you explore the universe from a cat's-eye view. In this latest edition of tales about our furry friends you'll meet bold new adventurers, loyal companions, determined protectors, cats who can solve mysteries – or created them. You'll recognize such familiar felines as Skitty and Hermione, and encounter tabbies who are high-tech whiz-kits or wizards familiars.
Let some of today's finest tale-spinners, from Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey to David Drake and Barry Longyear, lead you along trails only the cleverest of cats could find or follow, pathways to realms only reachable with the aid of our fearless four-footed comrades.
From a world where learning the truth about the native life-form could transform a boy's future...to a cat who discovers that love can even conquer time...to a cat familiar ready to tempt her wizardly master to seek out the greatest of magics...these are fantastical romps to claim the hearts and imaginations of cat companions everywhere.
Ghosts of Ottawa by Glen Shackleton
Jacket description:

Ghosts, graveyards, hangings and haunts
Do restless spirits haunt the nation's capital?

Since 1996, tour guides from Haunted Walks Inc. have been entertaining and educating the public with Ottawa's darker history and many ghost stories. Our guides are easily recongizable by their dark cloaks as they lead their groups through the quiet streets of historic Ottawa by lantern light.

In this volume of supernatural tales from our favorite haunted buildings and places, we share the very best of over a decade's worth of research and investigation. Read about the trickster ghost of the Bytown Museum, the numerous haunted souls who lived and died in terror at the old Carleton County Jail, and the frightening personal accounts of supernatural events witnessed by our very own tour guides. These and many other real-life ghost stories and tragic tales are to be found inside.

Ottawa: An Illustrated History by John H. Taylor
The Amazon.com description:
Ottawa's early years as military outpost and lumber town did not suggest future greatness. Yet this rough little settlement (then called Bytown) would not remain insignificant: geography and politics soon combined to place it at centre stage as Canada's national capital.

Ottawa's fascinating story is recounted with skill and wit in John H. Taylor's Ottawa: An Illustrated History. Taylor tells this story in all its variations--the life of the French and the English, the rich and the poor; the politics of city hall and Parliament Hill; the varied social lives of Ottawans. The book focuses on the history of the city's relationship with its chief landlord--the federal government--but it does more. It weaves together, for the first time, all the complex strands that have shaped Ottawa's identity over the years.

Handsomely illustrated within 150 historical photographs, Ottawa: An Illustrated History is a colourful, fascinating chronicle of the development of the nation's capital.
Josephus: The Jewish War trans. G. A. Williamson
Amazon.com product description:
Josephus' account of a war marked by treachery and atrocity is a superbly detailed and evocative record of the Jewish rebellion against Rome between AD 66 and 70. Originally a rebel leader, Josephus changed sides after he was captured to become a Rome-appointed negotiator, and so was uniquely placed to observe these turbulent events, from the siege of Jerusalem to the final heroic resistance and mass suicides at Masada. His account provides much of what we know about the history of the Jews under Roman rule, with vivid portraits of such key figures as the Emperor Vespasian and Herod the Great. Often self-justifying and divided in its loyalties, "The Jewish War" nevertheless remains one of the most immediate accounts of war, its heroism and its horrors, ever written.

Toronto: An Illustrated History Of It's First 12,000 Years Ed. Ronald F. Williamson
The Indigo/Chapters description:
Peter Carruthers''s preface introduces the theme of Toronto as a middle ground: geographically a meeting point between Canada''s vast natural resource wilderness, such Atlantic Ocean seaports as New York and Montreal, and the sprawling continental Midwest, and since prehistory, a place of meditation and exchange between different cultures and peoples. With the stage thus set, Robert MacDonald''s first chapter takes us back 12,500 years, in its description of the geological and ecological history of the area''s ancient landscape.

Ronald F. Williamson then pieces together the little-known archaeological record that tells us about the lives of the aboriginal people who made temporary camps and villages along the river valleys and lakeshore.

Carl Benn describes the colonial transformation of York at the edges of the great struggles for empire during the 1700s, and its growth into the most important urban, institutional, cultural and commercial centre in Upper Canada during the early 19th century.

Christopher Andreae transports us to its age of industry, the century of technological and industrial evolution between the first local railway''s start in 1851 and World War II''s end.

Finally, Roger Hall brings Toronto into the twenty-first century, analyzing the forces that saw the city shuck its staid and sanctimonious image as a good place (in Northrop Frye;s words) to mind your own business and emerge as a vigorous, multicultural metropolitan centre that continues to re-invent itself.

Fingerweaving Untangled by Carol James
Amazon.com descriptions:

This publication is a welcome addition to the literature on the ancient craft of fingerweavning. Carol James, an accomplished Winnipeg weaver and teacher, has dedicated over 20 years to the art. Her knowledge and sash reproductions are based on the detailed study of historical artifacts and are housed in various heritage institutions such as the Manitoba Museum and the Musee de Saint-Boniface
Women In The Middle Ages by Francis and Joseph Gies
The back jacket description:
Women in the Middle Ages corrects the omissions of traditional history by focusing on the lives, expectations and accomplishments of medieval women. The Gieses' lively text, illuminated by illustrations from medieval manuscripts, art, and architecture, depicts the Middle Ages as avibrant time in which women were powerful agents of change.

The first part of the book gives the historical and cultural background for the lives of the women discussed. The authors offer a succinct but penetrating view of the religuious, scientific, and philosophical attitude that defined women's place in the medieval world.

The seven women represent different classes, countries and centuries: Hildegard of Bingen, twelfth century German nun and gifted mystic; Blanche of Castile, queen of France; Eleanor de Montforte, real life inspiration for a thirteenth century romantic tale; Agnes li Patiniere, a Flemish textile worker; Alice Beynte, an English peasant woman, Margherita Datini, wife of an Italian merchant; and Margaret Paston, partner of her husband and sons in the conflicts of pre-Tudor England.

Women In Early Medieval Europe by Lisa M. Bitel
Amazon.com product description:
Women in Early Medieval Europe is a history of the early European middle ages through the eyes of women, combining the rich literature of women's history with original research in the context of mainstream history and traditional chronology. Beginning at the end of the Roman empire, the book recreates the lives of ordinary women but also tells personal stories of individuals, using the few documents produced by women themselves, along with archaeological evidence, art, and the written records of medieval men.
A History Of The Church In The Middle Ages by F. Donald Logan
Back jacket blurb:
A History of the Church In The Middle Ages traces the story of the Christian Church in Western Europe over the thousand years or so that comprise the Medieval age. While this period witnessed the continuities of belief, ritual, and even institutions, it also experienced the remarkable changes when old forms were renewed or replaced and when new forms were created. Saitn Francis of Assisi, the gentle poverello of Umbria, the martyr Thomas Becket, the ill-fated lovers Abelard and Heloise, the visionary Hildegarde of Bingen, all testify to the diversity and richness of the medieval church.
Becoming Modern In Toronto by Keith Walden
Amazon.com product description:
North American cities of the late nineteenth century, grappling with the effects of industrial capitalism and urban growth, were subject to a succession of massive social transformations. Scientific and technological advances were shifting the balance of cosmopolitan power, and people faced the challenge of comprehending and adapting to the rapidly changing social environment. In Becoming Modern in Toronto, Keith Walden shows how the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, from its founding in 1879 to 1903 (when it was renamed the Canadian National Exhibition), influenced the shaping and ordering of the emerging urban culture. Unlike other studies of its kind, it fully integrates experiences on and off the fairground by viewing the fair as a microcosm of developing structures in the city and surrounding rural areas.
The book is arranged around seven thematic elements - order, confidence, display, identity, space, entertainment, and carnival - each of which concerns the way the Exhibition contributed to a search for definition in the face of innovation. The efforts to divide existence into logical, unambiguous categories and to promote controlled conduct was, however, constantly frustrated by the novelty of the fair itself. The Exhibition presented fairgoers with new perspectives and information, while the exhibits simultaneously denied and invited their participation. Though the fair seemed to glorify professional accomplishments and legitimate Tlite leadership, it also implied that the fruits of industrial capitalist society were not exclusive. Walden concentrates on these ambiguities, revealing how the status quo was both confirmed and challenged at the fair.
Becoming Modern in Toronto takes into account a variety of social tensions and concerns that pervaded late Victorian culture. It will be compelling reading for historians, sociologists, and cultural anthropologists, as well as for those interested in the symbolic and social meaning of public festivity and its regulation.
The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls In English Trans. Geza Vermes
The Amazon.com description:
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Judean desert between 1947 and 1956 was one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time. Hidden in the caves at Qumran by the Essenes, a Jewish sect in existence before and during the time of Jesus, the Scrolls have transformed our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism, and the origins of Christianity. This fully revised edition of the classic English translation by Geza Vermes, the world’s leading scholar on the subject, offers an astonishing look into the organization, customs, and beliefs of the community at Qumran. Enhanced by much previously unpublished material and a new preface, this will remain the authoritative translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls for years to come.
The Complete World Of The Dead Sea Scrolls by Phillip R. Davies, George J. Brooke and Phillip R. Callaway
The Amazon.com product description:
The amazing discovery, the intense controversies, the startling revelations: the complete and fascinating story. Since the first scrolls were found in the Judaean desert by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been the subject of passionate speculation and controversy. The possibility that the scrolls might challenge many assumptions about ancient Judaism and the origins of Christianity, coupled with the extremely limited access to the scrolls imposed for many years, only fueled fiery debates on their meanings and implications. With all the scrolls—more than 800 documents from eleven caves—now finally available in facsimile editions, and translations proceeding on many fronts, some conclusions can at last be drawn as to their authorship and origins, their implications for Christianity and Judaism, and their link with the ancient site of Qumran. This timely book, written by three noted scholars in the field, draws together all the evidence and presents the first fully illustrated survey of every major manuscript, from the Copper Scroll, the Community Rule, and the Temple Scroll to less well-known scripts such as the Florilegium and New Jerusalem.
• "The Scrolls Revealed" takes the reader through the discovery of the scrolls, and discusses the long and controversial publication process.
• "The Ancient World of the Scrolls" presents the dramatic historical backdrop against which the scrolls were written and describes Jewish religious life, the pivotal role of the Jerusalem Temple, and competing Jewish sects from the Essenes and Pharisees to the Early Christians.
• "Inside the Scrolls" provides a unique illustrated catalogue of the contents of all eleven scroll caves, including detailed analysis of every major scroll, and considers the methods of interpretation employed.
• "The Qumran Settlement" discusses recent archaeological work at the ancient site.
• "The Meaning of the Scrolls" examines the heated debates over the meaning for ancient Judaism and for Christianity and draws conclusions on the controversy surrounding their authorship.

With numerous fact files, reconstructions, scroll photographs, and a wealth of other illustrations, this book offers the most comprehensive and accessible account yet published of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 450 illustrations and photographs, 75 in color.
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