Posted in books

Really? We have a day to celebrate THAT? + “Sleeping Giants” by Sylvain Neuvel

 

As I was surfing around the interwebs today, jumping from Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr, a crazy byline caught my eye.

World Naked Gardening Day: Annual Holiday Celebrating Nudism in Nature to Be Held May 7
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Naked mature couple trimming hedge, man in foreground, portrait

Wow. That is an incredibly specific holiday, and one I have never (and probably will never) celebrated, or  knew that others felt that it needed international notice (although, reading about it, many claim it is because parts of the world are forced to farm and garden naked).

And then I begin to wonder, what does it take to get an interest noticed as a ‘national’ or ‘international’ or ‘world’ day of whatever.

Well, it depends. If you want an actual National day to recognize your interest, you have to get it approved by Congress. That takes a lot of work. And it is usually for more than just a strange hobby or interest. If you want an actual World or International day, you have to go through the United Nations.

Otherwise, you pretty much proclaim it. There is a company called National Day Calendar, which ‘registers’ your day and pretty much gets the news of that day out there. According to their website, “Many members of the media use National Day Calendar as their source.”

I couldn’t tell if it costs anything.

According to them, today is:

APRIL 28, 2016 – NATIONAL BLUEBERRY PIE DAY – NATIONAL BRAVEHEARTS DAY – NATIONAL WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY – NATIONAL GREAT POETRY READING DAY – NATIONAL TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS AND SONS TO WORK DAY

 

So, today’s national celebrations are worthy. I did not let my daughters stay home, though, to watch me work. They see me working when they get home from school, so they get the gist. If they stayed home it would mostly be them whining that they were bored. (National Take  Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is recognized by Congress, FYI.)

I also plan on reading some great poetry. National (also International) Workers Memorial Day is for those who died while working.

A couple of days ago was National Richter Scale Day as well as National Pretzel Day. The day before was  National Hug a Plumber Day and National Zucchini Bread Day.

All well and good, but Hug a Plumber Day?! Kind of specific. I guess my regular plumber is my husband, so I did hug him.

The 20th of April was National Cheddar Fries Day, National Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and National Lima Bean Respect Day. That does not sound like a very good combination for dinner.

But, on the 30th of April, it’s both National Oatmeal Cookie Day and national Raisin Day. This is a perfect match. It’s also National Bugs Bunny Day.

Everyday I’ve looked celebrates at least one food. I’m thinking about using this as a guide for my family menu. If nothing else, it will make it easier, and may add to my baking. My family may appreciate it. Although I don’t have time to make a blueberry pie today.

On May 7th, World Naked Gardening Day, we also get to celebrate:

  • National Barrier Awareness Day (no, not a day to be aware of walls, but the metaphoric walls those with disabilities deal with everyday)
  • National Packaging Design Day
  • National Paste-Up Day (to remember when newspapers weren’t laid on on computers, but ‘pasted-up’)
  • National Roast Leg of Lamb Day
  • Join Hands Day (a day for all generations to volunteer)
  • National Bombshells’ Day
  • National Homebrew Day
  • National Scrapbook Day
  • National Start Seeing Monarchs Day (not kings, but the butterflies)
  • National Babysitter’s Day
  • National Birth Mother’s Day
  • National Train Day

So, the day before Mother’s Day, you can watch butterflies and volunteer with older, or younger, people while gardening naked. With your babysitter or birth mother. On a train. With a leg of lamb.

Hmmm.

I guess we all want everyone to celebrate our favorite things. Or just to stop a moment and recognize the things we appreciate. And it’s nice to have a reason to have a treat or a meal you don’t eat that often. To look at, or for, something you usually ignore.

I’m not going go looking for naked gardeners (if I stumble upon a group of naked firemen gardening, so be it). And I don’t like to garden, so I’m going to skip my personal ‘naked’celebration.

That’s enough rambling for today. Onto a great science fiction book: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.


I’m not necessarily a science fiction person, or not one of those that read exclusively sci-fi. But I welcome a good story that pushes the bounds of my imagination in substantive ways, as good science fiction should do.

Sleeping Giants  is one of those sci-fi books.

The Premise

On Rose Franklin’s 11th birthday, she takes her new bike out for a ride near her South Dakota home just before dark. Stopping at the top of a hill, her attention is drawn to a weird turquoise glow. Heading toward the light at the bottom of the hill, Rose suddenly falls down into a large hole.

Well, not so much a hole as a chamber. “A square about the size of a house,” walled with panels engraved with intricate carvings from which emanates the turquoise light. And she was lying not on the ground, but in the palm of a huge metal hand.

Seventeen years later, Rose is a physicist leading the secret team attempting to crack the secret of the hand. But it doesn’t end with the hand.

Through interviews with a mysterious leader and personal diary entries, Sleeping Giants tells the story of Rose and her team: Kara Resnick and Ryan Mitchell, both pilots; Vincent Couture, a brilliant linguist; and Alyssa Papantoniou, a geneticist. Throughout these epistles, we’re guided through their scientific finds and discoveries.

As they unravel the mystery of the giant hand, which might lead to the advancement or destruction of the human race.

My Thoughts

Sleeping Giants wasn’t really what I expected, but THANK GOODNESS.

Told in a series of log entries and interviews, we get to know the members of the team as well as what is going on with the giant hand (and the proceeding discoveries). The secret interviewer, who seems to be the leader of a shadow government or a member of a world government, wants to learn as much about the team members’ interactions and emotions as the discoveries of the team. Seeming to have control and NOT to have control at the same time, the interviewer is as much a main character as the team members.

Although the story seems to be science and plot driven, I believe that it’s more character driven. Because the major developments seems to be learned when a character breaks the rules, makes a mistake, or just acts human, it seems that most of the story revolves around man’s ability to be human, not machine!

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like we get to know the characters. We don’t really get a physical description of them. But we know what makes them tick, all about their interactions and their emotional lives, and thus I think we know A LOT about them. And I think we’ll get more as the series continues.

The science behind the story is very involved and interesting, as well as the combination of history and mythology.

I had no idea that this was set to be a series when I started this book, but I think it will be a good one. Combining science fiction with ancient mythology, this series (called the Themis Files) promises to be interesting, highlighting the best and worst of humankind.

I give Sleeping Giants 4.5 stars. Love it!!!

 

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Author:

I love to read; writing is my outlet. My blog is my way to combine the two, with a some life stories thrown in for good measure.

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