This month in history

Just a few historical highlights for you… Please note that this list is in day-of-the-month order and so will not be in year order. Also, I don’t have something for every day, just a few little tidbits. I hope you enjoy!

  • December 2, 1823 – the ”Monroe Doctrine” introduced by President James Monroe
  • December 5, 1791 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies age 35
  • December 5, 1901 – Walter Elias Disney is born in Chicago, Illinois – December 15, 1966 – he dies in in Burbank, California
  • December 7, 1941 – attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – WW II
  • December 16, 1770 – Ludwig van Beethoven is born in Bonn
  • December 16, 1773 – the Boston Tea Party took place – American colonials in disguise (poorly disguised but they didn’t think so) took tea from British ships and threw it overboard as a political protest
  • December 16, 1775 – Jane Austen is born
  • December 19, 1843 – Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol
  • December 21, 1620 – After several weeks of exploring, pilgrims on the Mayflower go ashore at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • December 22, 1858 – Giacomo Puccini is born in Lucca, Tuscany
  • December 25, 1821 – Clara Barton (Clarissa Harlowe Barton) is born – nurse in the American Civil War and founder of the American Red Cross in 1881
  • December 25, 336 A.D. – Although the exact day of the year is unknown, beginning in 336 during the reign of Roman Emperor Constantine, December 25th has been celebrated by many as the day of the birth of Jesus

I hope you have enjoyed my little snippet of history. A couple of days had a few too many interesting things to add to the list. Apparently, the month of December is very busy historically.

“I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.”

Alexander Smith

The Year of Unfinished Books

Sometimes a love of books just means that you have an obsession with pretty things.

Any of you who have been following me for a while will have realized that I clearly have issues with schedules. Even those that are self-imposed. 🙂

But one reason that I haven’t posted much recently, or at least with any type of schedule, is that I haven’t been reading much this year. Or finishing the books I start, anyway. I have started so many more than I finished it’s not even funny. It has definitely been a year of unfinished books. However, I did have a few books that have been standouts so far this year. I wanted to list some for you. Some of these have already been on here but some are new, so this is really just an update on what I have already posted previously. I may do another similar post at the end of the year but I think December will mostly be devoted to Christmas.

And into the library she goes to lose her
mind
and find her soul

Unknown

As I said I have a few stand-out books so I am just going to make you a little list here of some of my favorites from this year so far and what I am currently reading.

  • Daughter of the Moon Goddess – Sue Lynn Tan
    • Currently reading the sequel and conclusion of the Duology/series Heart of the Sun Warrior
  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea – Axie Oh
  • The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    • I have #2 and #3 in the series but haven’t finished them yet. (See what I wrote above about that. lol) The second book is The Hawthorn Legacy and the third is The Final Gambit.
  • Strike the Zither – Joan He
    • I really enjoyed this one and look forward to the sequel.
  • Wild Sign – Patricia Briggs
    • Alpha and Omega #6 – Patricia Briggs is one of my all-time favorite authors and I love these two series. A must-read.

Ok, I think that’s a good list. It doesn’t cover everything, by any means, but it has some of the favorites that I’ve had throughout the year so far. One other addition that I hope to start before the end of the year is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell published in 1855. I have seen the mini-series a couple of times and really enjoyed it but never read the book. Of course, this can be said about many books but this is one that I have thought about reading for a while.

As I said earlier, I may do another short post later in the month but not unless there are some drastic changes between now and then. Maybe I will get my reading mojo back soon. I hope to have a couple of Christmas posts out this month and so, on that note, I will see everyone later! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Jane Austen: A Life in Books

Jane Austen is a much-loved author. This is a truth that is, as she would say, universally acknowledged. Jane began writing at a young age what would be called her Juvenilia. A compilation she eventually created of her early poems, stories, and plays written for her family. However, she eventually would turn her passion into published works.

Throughout her books, from Pride and Prejudice to Emma, Jane’s narrators offer a good deal of social commentary on the customs of the time. While there is an ongoing debate on whether her books are, in fact, romance novels or just social commentary, I believe that any book can be a multitude of things. Jane was writing, for the most part at least, about the social customs surrounding courtship and marriage. These rules were something that, although she never married herself, all young people would have been familiar with. And so, in reading her books, they would have also been familiar with the woes, heartbreaks, and joys in some cases that the characters go through in each of the books. The marriage plot was expected in books for them to sell. Romance novels were then and are still not exactly looked at in the best light. Usually by those who don’t read them.

By 1815, although Jane had never put her name in her books, she was slowly beginning to be known as their author. Jane enjoyed the fame as her books began to sell out multiple times over. One of her many fans was the Prince Regent who “suggested/ requested” a dedication in her next book. So in her next book, Emma, he got his dedication. Jane was “never, in fact, persuaded that His Highness actually read Emma or had any notion of her “exquisite touch.” Her final finished book was Persuasion (although she did revise Northanger Abbey at this time, too). It was somewhat different from her other books; an older female character than usual and the storyline didn’t follow her normal patterns either. She seemed to be revising her style somewhat but she was also beginning to have failing health at this time. She had started working on Sanditon but it was left unfinished when she died. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published after her death.

“Her legacy is not a piece of reportage from the society of a particular past, but a wise and compelling exploration of human nature.” Jane Austen’s books are still read today and her characters are vibrant creatures that are just as interesting today as when she first wrote them. It may take a little more for us to understand today when we read them than it did for contemporary readers who would have been familiar with what she was writing about.

A note to readers: I plan to have more in this later but probably after the new year. if you read the next post you will see partially why this post has had such a delay. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Just a little reminder…

I thought it would be a good idea to remind readers what the title of the blog means if they haven’t read the old blogs in a while. For those of you who haven’t made it that far back into the older stuff yet, here you go.

Below is a little snippet to get you started and then you can click on the link to take you back to the original post.

Where did tea come from? Why did turning teacups over become a thing? 
The origins of the title of this blog should probably be explained (as promised). Also, what does it have to do with history? Well, it all has to do with drinking tea in the 1700’s. Don’t forget your teaspoon!

https://teacupsupsidedown.com/2020/08/16/example-post/

What I’m Reading…

Two of my favorite books that I’ve read this year to round out Mythology before I move on to something completely different. 🙂

Daughter of the Moon Goddess


by: Sue Lynn Tan

I have mentioned this book several times already. However, I wanted to mention it one more time since the second book is coming out in November, Heart of the Sun Warrior.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess has definitely been one of my favorite reads this year. The main character Xingyin goes through quite a journey in the attempt to save her mother and meets many interesting characters along the way. Some of these are helpful and some are not so helpful. Xingyin still manages to make everything work out in the end.

I’m looking forward to the sequel when it comes out to complete her journey.


The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

by Axie Oh

This has been another favorite. When I first started the book, I really had no idea where it was going. As the story progressed, I got more attached to these characters and it went where I wanted it to go while still giving me a surprise at the end. I love books that do that.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea tells the story of a girl who makes a sacrifice at the beginning of the book. She takes a journey and tries to figure out why tragedy has repeatedly happened to her people and her home. Mina eventually is successful and everything works out in the end.

Mythology

Definition


Merriam-Webster defines “mythology” with four different definitions. One is an allegorical narrative with allegory meaning something that can be interpreted and have a hidden meaning behind it. The second is as a body of myths specifically referencing gods or legendary heroes, etc. The third definition is simply a branch of knowledge with the fourth being a belief or ‘myth’ that has grown up around a person or thing or a place.

“Myths tell us much about the past, present, and sometimes the future. They form a digest of sorts about humanity and the part it plays in the natural world.”

World Mythology page 17

There are many different types of myths. Some of my personal favorites are the various stories about the sun and the moon. Such as the Native American story of Coyote where he kills nine of the sun’s brothers, thus saving the world. However, he then has to kill nine of the moon’s brothers because people almost froze to death.

Another is the story of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon. She was married to the archer Houyi who shot nine of the 10 suns, leaving one and saving the people from hardship. Houyi was granted an elixir of immortality but did not take it since he didn’t want to leave his wife. Chang’e took the elixir to keep it from someone else who tried to take it. She became immortal and went to live on the moon so that she would not be far away.


Mythology varies from country to country and across cultures. However, everyone has had their own myths or some version of them. Everyone has a version of how we got here or what this or that god did. An example could be Ares and Mars or Aphrodite and Venus. While not exactly the same, they were still the gods of war and love, respectively. In this case, this is more like “borrowing” but we’ll let that go. Stories are amazing and how people seem to come to the same or similar conclusions about things has always amazed me, too.