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Month in review

Air Disaster Volume 1 by by Macarthur Job and Matthew Tesch
Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
Big Work Machines by Patricia Relf
The Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Greive
Dame Edna Everage by John Lahr
A Day in the Jungle by Pat Patterson
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
Divided by a Common Language by Christopher Davies
Follow the Zookeeper by Patricia Relf
The Golden Fury by Marian Castle
Hide-and-Seek Duck by Cyndy Szekeres
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
How Things Grow by Nancy Buss
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
I Spy Mystery by Jean Marzollo
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime by Barbara Park
The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham
Marine Aquariums by Warren E. Burgess
Melanie Mouse's Moving Day by Cyndy Szekeres
Morris and Boris at the Circus by B. Wiseman
My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle
One Fine Day by James Marshall
A Parrot in the Pepper Tree by Chris Stewart
So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
Storage by Jennifer Lisle
Tiger with Wings by Barbara Esbensen
Trains by Byron Barton
Uncle Elephant by Arnold Lobel

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3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Comments for Divided by a Common Language

Divided by a Common LanguageDivided by a Common Language: 11/28/06

As Divided by a Common Language notes, 70% of the world's native English speakers are American but British English is the most common dialect taught as a second language in the rest of the world. In the nearly two and a half centuries of independence have given rise to two very different dialects of English. The book says it serves as a must have survival guide for British tourists on holiday to the United States. While there are some useful tips, I hope this isn't their only guide as there are many mistakes in the the American side of things.

The author of the book is a British ex patriot who spent time living abroad first in New Zealand before settling in Florida. This book's lexicon and descriptions of the differences of life the UK versus life in the US. Unfortunately Florida is just one region of the United States and not necessarily a good one for extrapolating how the rest of the nation works (or talks)!

Here is my BookCrossing Review

I enjoyed Divided by a Common Language but Christopher Davies didn't understand the United States as much as he thought he did when he wrote this book. There are many goofy assumptions about the United States and at least one error about British English. This copy is a first edition, a second one was published in 2001. Having not read that version, I'll hope that some of these errors have been corrected.

In the meantime, I plan to hold onto this book for a little longer. I want to do a series of blog posts about some of the sillier assumptions I found in this book. I don't plan to tear the book apart, just to use it as a starting point for an ongoing discussion on language.

I'm a Winner but...

I still have more work to do. Last night I crossed the 50K mark (as my Live Journal friends already know) on my 2006 nanowrimo but to call it a novel is stretching it right now. It has the beginning of a plot but there are many sections of "notes to myself" where I need to go back and fill in better details once I've had time to have a good think or to do better research.

I wrote this book blind with only what information I could find quickly online (mostly on Wikipedia). Unfortunately the muse inspired me to write about things I know almost nothing about: Hindu culture, Sanskrit and Pakistan. In the previous two years I've gone into the month of November with a better idea of what to write, having an actual plot outline, my character's names chosen and a good idea of where the thing will end. This year, I had no more than an elevator pitch a day or two before the month began.

This year's Nanowrimo was the hardest one I've done so far. I know many have said it's because of Harriet. Sure, she made things tricky at the start of the month but by about the midway point I had learned how to write on her schedule and she made things even easier by sleeping in her crib so that I suddenly had twice my time at night to write. No, the hardest part was a lack of research. I don't want to say I had writer's block because I always found something to write about but the story didn't quite jump onto the page (err, into the computer) as easily as it has in previous years. I really had to force myself most nights to put something in the story. I often times ignored the plot all together to ramble about stuff I know. I also jumped around a lot in space and time writing whatever scene was in my head at that time. In the process I ended up writing the very sort of book that annoys me when I read it. Oh well, maybe that means it will be short listed for a prize someday. Teehee.

Steps: 6000

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