Free Ebook Offer: The Story of America: Discovery
Did Columbus first discover America?
Did the Vikings first discover America?
Did the Chinese first discover America?
No, in truth the American continent was first discovered between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago by bands of roving hunters from the Siberian steppes, who made the lonely trek across to the previously unknown continent during the last Great Ice Age when the sea level fell enough to expose a narrow causeway that acted as a bridge between the two continents.
No signs have yet been found of any human habitation on the continent before these times so it must be assumed that they arrived to find an uninhabited land. With no real threats and a landscape teeming with wildlife they decided to stay, though they didn't have much choice in the matter as before long the waters rose as the Ice Age drew to a close and quite literally cut them off from their friends and family back in Asia.
With no boats and no chance of retreat, at least not until the next Ice Age (which hasn't started yet!), they must have decided to make the most of their new-found home, which just happened to be a continent so huge it spanned the two poles and contained every type of landscape imaginable, from rugged mountains and steaming volcanoes to parched deserts and hidden valleys, from endless wide-open plains to dank, dense jungles, and from frozen snow-bound tundra to idyllic tropical islands.
Fortunately these hunters must have taken their females along for the trek and over the centuries they spread and multiplied, so much so that by 1500AD, when they were finally discovered by the rest of humanity, there were upwards of 10 million natives spread across all parts of the continent.
These indigenous tribes by that time had settled into 3 rough groups:
1) to the north, in present-day USA and Canada, there were between 1000 and 2000 family tribes, most eking out a subsistence lifestyle by hunting, whilst living in tents and temporary settlements as they followed the wandering herds.
2) throughout the central part of the continent and on the eastern part of South America these same tribes had joined together into civilized groups who lived in stone-built cities where the landscape was dominated by huge temples, the scene of fearsome rituals where the citizens were largely kept in obedience under threat of human sacrifice.
3) and finally, on the Caribbean Islands and around the deltas of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers, a third group had settled, on the whole peacefully, though even amongst some of these tribes cannibalism was still practised.
There they had lived for more than 10,000 years, unable to get back in touch with the rest of the world. In fact they probaby no longer even remembered there was any more to the world beyond their continent. But their isolation was not to continue and this book tells the fascinating story of how this long-lost continent was finally rediscovered and of how it once more became a real and living part of the known world.
This excerpt is taken from the first chapter of Discovery - The Story of America by Anthony Treasure. This book is already published in the UK (listed on Amazon.co.uk) and is due to be published in the US at a later date. For now it is published as an ebook and as a SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER Discovery Part One is available to download COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE. Three further titles - Discovery Part Two, Colonization Part One and Colonization Part Two are also out as ebooks and can be bought and downloaded from the website. To claim your free ebook today simply visit www.farawaybooks.com">http://www.farawaybooks.com
The term "thought provoking" is over-used but that does describe eighth grader Melissa Shang's opinion piece in the New York Times in which she asks why "there are very few stories about kids in wheelchairs, and there are even fewer with a disabled person who is cheerful and happy." Her powerful article questions why "disability is always seen as a misfortune, and disabled characters are simply opportunities to demonstrate the kindness of the able-bodied protagonists."
Tracy K. Smith has been named the 22nd poet laureate of the United States. Smith's poetry has won her such top awards in her field as the James Laughlin Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and, for her 2011 collection Life on Mars, the Pulitzer Prize.
For many years, the publishing industry's major annual event, BookExpo, was aimed at publishing insiders only. A few years ago, organizers ReedPOP, started experimenting with allowing in more readers, which morphed into a separate one-day event in 2014 called BookCon which immediately followed BookExpo. In 2015, BookCon moved to two days; then in 2016 back to one day.
This year, BookExpo's show floor was reduced from three days to two and BookCon's expanded back to two days. While engaging with fans is seen as positive by many in the publishing industry, the shows' continuing evolution is causing headaches for some, particularly the smaller, specialized publishers who wished to exhibit at BookExpo but not BookCon and thus found themselves relegated to a separate exhibit area at the Javits Center in New York.
An Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum opened in Springfield, MA last weekend. Springfield is the home town of Theodor Geisel better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss - who wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children's books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. The museum features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 90 miles west of Boston shaped his work.
Helen Dunmore has died aged 64 of cancer. She authored 12 novels, three books of short stories, numerous books for young adults and children and 11 collections of poetry.
She was also Chair of the Society of Authors until shortly before her death, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lived in Cliftonwood, Bristol the setting for her poignant last novel, Birdcage Walk (published in the UK earlier this year and due to publish in the US on August 1). Although she knew she was dying only at the editing stage she suggests, in an afterword, that she must have known subliminally because the novel was "full of a sharper light, rather as a landscape becomes brilliantly distinct in the last sunlight before a storm".
On Monday, the Nobel Foundation released Bob Dylan's lecture (which he gave just shy of the 6 month deadline in order to receive the award and cash prize of US$900,000. In his 27 minute speech, Dylan explored the topic that was on many people's minds when he was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, can song lyrics be literature?
"The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent," Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, wrote in a blog post. "Now that the Lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close."
Listen to the speech
The U.S. Postal Service is honoring Henry David Thoreau (b. July 12, 1817) during the bicentennial year of his birth with a Forever Stamp. A first-day-issue stamp dedication ceremony took place last week at the the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitors Center in Concord, Mass.
Denis Johnson, the prize-winning fiction writer, poet and playwright best known for his surreal and transcendent story collection "Jesus' Son," has died at age 67.
Jean Fritz, an award-winning writer whose work helped transform historical biographies for children from leaden recitals of battles and dates into warm, human narratives full of quirks and crotchets and satisfyingly strange facts, died on Sunday at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. She was 101.
The author of more than four dozen books, Mrs. Fritz was known in particular for her biographies of many of the signal figures of 18th- and 19th-century American history.
America's libraries got a major boost this week on Capitol Hill as a group of leading publishing, information, software, and other businesses unveiled an organized effort to advocate for federal library funding. The move comes in response to the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate virtually all federal library funding, and the agency that distributes those funds to all 50 states.