Free Ebook Offer: The Story of America: Discovery - Article 3
Quite a lot happened in Europe between 1002AD, when the Vikings hurriedly packed their longships and retreated back to the colder climes of Greenland, and 1492AD, when the Spanish caravels, with Columbus so confident at the helm, accidentally stumbled across the forgotten continent.
The period, collectively known as the Renaissance, saw a general revival of interest in intellectual thought. Science was studied, with fresh experiments conducted and new conclusions drawn, laws were introduced to control the growing populations and to create more stable societies, medicines were used to cure illness and prolong life, astonomers peered farther into the unknown universe, while geographers mapped and plotted the earth.
All of these advances were aided by the invention of the movable type and a working printing press, which for the first time made books and maps easy to produce and allowed knowledge to be readily available to all.
While Spain united to drive out the Moors and the other major European countries generally moved closer to becoming nation states, so the merchants also started to trade with far-off places and in particular with the other main hubbub of civilization, namely the East (principally China, India and Persia).
This trade brought all sorts of attractive items into daily use and it wasn't long before Europe started to thrive on this vital commerce, though events were suddenly brought to a premature halt by the rise of the Muslems in the Middle East who moved to blockade the profitable trade routes.
When Constantinople, the established base of the Christian Byzantium Empire, finally fell to the forces of the Ottaman Turks in 1453, the trade virtually dried up. The merchants were doomed and a continent that had become more or less dependant on this trade suddenly felt the need to find an alternative route to regain access to this lucrative market.
At that time Portugal was the leading maritime nation in Europe, holding vital access to the Atlantic Ocean, the unknown frontier and as a few believed the real key to access the eastern markets. As they started to explore into this ocean they first found tiny chains of islands - Madeira, the Canary Islands, the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands - but they then turned their ships southwards to chart the continent of Africa. The Atlantic was still too big, too unknown, and they decided to play it safe and stick to the coastline. Their plan was to try and get around the tip of Africa and then to access Asia across the Indian Ocean. This was a safe route, making sense on the maps of the time, as to their knowledge the American continent quite simply did not exist.
How things were going to change!
This excerpt is taken from the third 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
Signature (a Random House website) looks at the many 2018 Golden Globes nominees based on books:
It is officially that time of the year awards season is upon us. As usual, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has kicked things off with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards nominees. The literary world is represented in this year's lineup with a smattering of great adaptations leading the charge in both film and TV. While the slate of nominees is populated with a few of the marquee titles you'd expect "Game of Thrones" got it's annual nod, for instance a few surprises cracked the surface as well. It looks to be another interesting year at the Golden Globes. Let's have a look.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism. The word was a top lookup throughout the year, with several spikes that corresponded to various news reports and events.
In an opinion piece in the Irish Times, John Boyne writes:
So I'm going to make a claim now that will probably get me kicked out of the Fraternity of Underappreciated Male Authors (FUMA) and blacklisted from the annual Christmas football game. Here goes:
I think women are better novelists than men.
There, I've said it. While it's obviously an enormous generalisation, it's no more ludicrous than some half-wit proudly claiming never to read books by women. For the record, purporting to love literature while dismissing the work of female writers is like claiming to be passionate about music while refusing to listen to anything but Ed Sheeran. However, I'm going to try to back up my sweeping statement...
The great Simeon Booker, one of the bravest journalists of our time, faced dangers far worse than a petulant president's social media feed. Booker refused to be cowed--and ultimately helped change the nation. His life's work should be a lesson to us all about the power of truth to vanquish evil.
Booker died Sunday at 99. At the height of his career, few could have imagined he would live so long.
As Washington bureau chief for Chicago-based Johnson Publications, publisher of the newsweekly Jet and the monthly magazine Ebony, Booker went to the Deep South to cover the most tumultuous events of the civil rights movement--life-threatening work for an African American journalist.
William H. Gass, a proudly postmodern author who valued form and language more than literary conventions like plot and character and who had a broad influence on other experimental writers of the 1960s, '70s and beyond, died on Wednesday in St. Louis. He was 93.
Mr. Gass was widely credited with coining the term "metafiction" to describe writing in which the author is part of the story. He himself was one of the form's foremost practitioners.
Barnes & Noble, which posted a wider loss last quarter and sent its shares tumbling, is scaling back ambitions to become more than a bookseller.
The retailer had hoped that toys, games and other items would shore up its results, especially as Amazon ate away at its traditional business. But its non-book sales have flagged the past two quarters, and now the company is putting its focus back firmly on reading.
Shelf Awareness reports on the growing "Cider Monday" movement by indie booksellers in response to the big online shopping day known as Cyber Monday. In this low key but fun event stores offer their customers "a warm welcome and a cup of delicious cider" to thank them for shopping local.
Dictionary.com's choice for its Word of the Year is "complicit." It says online searches for the word spiked three times this year...
On Saturday, hundreds of booksellers across the USA took part in Indies First and Small Business Saturday, organizing all kinds of in-store activities, offering a range of deals, hosting parties and engaging in the staple of Indies First since the event was founded by Sherman Alexie in 2013: having authors work in their favorite indies as booksellers. Shelf Awareness reports on some of the events.
Meanwhile, in the UK, bookstores celebrated the first inaugural Saturday Sanctuary
to "celebrate bookshops as a place of calm and respite from our hectic daily lives."
A New York Times opinion piece by Daniel T. Willingham lays out the argument that American's poor reading skills cannot be blamed on modern technology but on a misunderstanding of how the mind reads - that functional literary is grounded not just in the ability to read words but in having the factual knowledge to put what one is reading into context.