Day: April 1, 2017

365 Challenge: Day 20 – Curious

Posted on Updated on

Curious: eager to know or learn something, strange or unusual

The first thing people often think of when they hear the word “curious” is the old adage, “Curiosity killed the cat.” I was so curious where that originated from, I had to look it up. And Wikipedia told me, which we all must believe because: 

“The earliest printed reference to the original proverb is attributed to the British playwright Ben Jonson in his 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour, which was performed first by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare used a similar quote in his circa 1599 play, Much Ado About Nothing. The proverb remained the same until at least 1898. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer included this definition in his Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.”

But when I delved a little further, you know… past 1898… it was more about a cat having 9 lives and how it was cared for. The true origin of the “curiosity” part is unknown. So that’s no help to me. That said, I am a very curious individual even though we all know:

I wasn’t the repetitive child who at two years old always asked “Why? Why? But why?”; however, I was the child who ran to the library, my encyclopedias and then eventually the internet… to get my answers.

  • This comes out in my thirst-quenching need to research my family tree and subsequent obsession with genealogy.
  • Searching for spoilers on all the TV shows I watch to know what happens as soon as possible.
  • To looking up the ending of a book while I’m still reading it.
  • To researching something until I literally spew data about it all day long and annoy my friends and family.

But it’s also dangerous, as you saw with our lovely fairy tale princess a few spots above in this post. For me, the danger presents itself when I cannot find the answer I’m looking for and I want to explode.

Or I cannot trace something as far back as I’d like to. Or if you love murder mysteries and want to play detective, and you track the criminal to the point where they try to kill you. While I’ve only done this thru books, if I had to pick a career, I’d want to be a snoop.

I am always curious about other people. Why do they make certain decisions? Why did they yell when they could have whispered? Where did they go during that two minutes I couldn’t find them? Why do I care?

Not really sure. I’m thinking it may be that I am fascinated by people’s actions and thoughts, wondering why and how we all think so differently. Or it could be I need to consolidate so much information in order to determine my own thoughts. Now that’s a bit scary…

Being curious has always felt like a good thing to me. Shows you care. You have interest. You want to grow. You want to process information. Hence the 365 Daily Challenge: I’m curious to learn more about myself, and as a result, about others who reply and share thoughts with me.

But some people don’t like it when you’re curious, and you will hear “Mind Your Own Business.” That’s harsh. A nice ol’ slap in the face to someone who just wants to learn.

Not to say privacy isn’t important. Each person decides what (s)he wants to remain private and therefore limits other people’s curiosity. Obviously if I’m revealing so much in this challenge, and I believe I’ve noted it before, I’m not a private person. I like when people ask questions. I think it helps create bonds. Brings out challenging new ideas and a flow of intimacy.

But don’t go out and just start peppering people with detailed and intricate questions. Find your own balance and activate the right level of curiosity.

How about you? Anything you want to know? Or anything you want to share? I do love a little gossip!

Advertisements

Review: The White Feather Murders

Posted on Updated on

The White Feather MurdersMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to Rachel McMillan‘s The White Feather Murders, her third historical cozy in the “Herringford and Watts” mystery series. This book was a tough one for me to review as I had a hard time staying focused, but I did like the story-line. Something about it said “keep trying” but ultimately, in the end, I wasn’t too keen on it.


Why This Book?

After joining NetGalley last month, I looked for books I could read immediately through automatic requests, as I needed to increase my review % and receive newer releases I wanted to read. When I saw the description of this book, and the cover, I thought it would be a good new series to read, even though I usually start with Book 1. It landed in my queue and I read it over the last few days.


Story

The book (and I assume the series) takes place in the early 20th century in Toronto, Canada, just prior to England entering World War 1. There is a lot of tension in the air over whether immigrants from Germany and Italy are truly becoming Canadian citizens, or if they are secretly helping their home countries back in Europe. (Sounds familiar, eh?) Everyone was suspected of being an alien enemy!

Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts DeLuca are “lady detectives” who have become popular for solving crimes in the last few years, and they are called in by Miss Mueller, a German-Canadian woman, who fears for her brother’s life. He’s being beaten and harassed because he is German, even though he supports England and Canada in the war. The local police and the Mayor tolerate Merinda and Jem’s investigations, probably more than expected for the time period when women were foolishly not allowed to do much except mind the home and children; however, the corrupt Mayor really thinks both are frustrating and troublesome.

Suddenly, several men they know are found dead with a white feather strewn across their bodies. And then the German boy they were investigating is found dead with the same type of feather. But it’s when a car rams into Merinda and Jem that they realize someone is after them. Their families try to get the ladies to stop investigating, but the women are determined to solve the crime. And in the end, they do. But the path along the way is dangerous and misleading, especially when corruption lurks behind every stone they turn over.


Strengths

The story feels real and the setting is clear. You feel a connection because this happened, even if you don’t hail from Canada.

It’s good to see two female leads, especially in historical fiction. Their actions feel accurately depicted.

The book has several small story arcs supporting the main investigation, which helps create a more robust world to read about.


Why I Struggled

There were too many characters who weren’t properly described or given enough distinction. I often felt confused as to who was on which side, finding myself skimming a few pages now and again to get to the end.

I never connected with the characters. The book felt too plot-driven with little focus on likability for the plight other than knowing it was unfair. I wanted the underdogs to win because that’s just who I am, but it wasn’t the writing that drove me to that conclusion.

I had high hopes but it felt too flat. I would have liked to see more drawn out scenes to help me understand why certain things happened. It was as if in the matter of one page, a body was found, they decided who did it and moved on.

I still don’t understand the end and how the killer just gave up. I won’t give away spoilers, but it must have been an old-fashioned villain’s way of doing things. Not what I expected!


Final Thoughts

Overall, the book had some good parts, and I wanted to like it more. I don’t think I’ll go back and read the rest of the books, but I might check out reviews on each of them, and this one, to see what I am missing. I admit I read more quickly than usual, and didn’t stay invested in it like I normally do. It may have been my fault that I didn’t like it that much.

On a side note, I watched the “Julie Bowen” episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” this week… as I love my genealogy. And she was researching two ancestors; one from Civil War days and one for WW1 where her great grandfather ran the national office of the American Protective League where they registered “alien enemies.” Reading about it in a book (in Canada) and watching it on TV (in America) happening at the same time nearly a century ago… made me think… we never learn our lessons, do we?

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews