Friday, November 4, 2016

Follow Friday - OGE Form 278 Is a Public Financial Disclosure Form Some U.S. Executive Branch Officials Are Required to File Annually

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - The Novel Orange.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: What are your favorite childhood stories? (children's books, nursery rhymes, etc.)

I could write about my childhood love for books like Harry the Dirty Dog, or Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Or I could write about how I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings during the summer between my fourth and fifth grade years, and how that launched my love of fantasy fiction and led me to other books like Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series, and Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. Or I could talk about how, at that same time period I read Samuel R. Delany's Nova and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series at an age when I was too young to truly appreciate them, but they still managed to spark my love of science fiction just the same.

But I've already written about those things at length already on this blog, and I don't want to just rehash that again. Instead, I'm going to point to a collection of books that I read as a kid and haven't seen since. When I lived in Tanzania, my parents got me some books that were essentially collections of short fiction written for British boys. I don't have the books any longer - some of them were so poorly bound that they were falling apart almost as I read them - and I am sure that if I were to read them again today they would not be nearly as good as I remember them being, but at the time, I loved them all.

There were stories about British football players engaged in bitter sports rivalries who came together to lead the English squad to victory in the world Cup. There were stories about bold English knights and their loyal companions facing down treacherous French villains in the Hundred Years War. There were stories set in space, stories set in the Old West of the United States (although these stories were always laughably terrible), stories set in colonial Africa, and so on. As one might expect, loyalty to the monarchy was a common theme: In one story, an oppressed Saxon blacksmith foils a dastardly plot by an evil Norman noble who wants to overthrow the rightful King of England. In another, the youngest aristocrat whose older brothers have all gone off to fight in the Cavalier army finds himself forced to rally the handful of servants on hand to defend his family home against the incursions of a band of Roundheads. In another, sailors would loyally stay at their posts despite incredible dangers.

But there were sometimes odd deviations from the theme of loyalty to the British crown. I recall that in one story, the protagonist proved his bravery to his family by disguising himself as Bonny Prince Charlie so that the pretender could evade the King's soldiers. In another, a plucky young British guide helped a caravan of Afrikaaners travel through Zulu country on the Great Trek, a journey that historically was intended to put the Afrikaaners beyond the reach of the British crown. Not being from the United Kingdom myself, I'm sure there were a lot of political overtones to these stories that I missed, and I'm guessing that if I went back to read them now they would be laden with implied messages that would be considered apalling, but at the time, they were glorious fun.

I can't remembers the titles of the original stories, or the authors of any of them, or even if they had credited authors at all. Sometimes I think about trying to track down copies of these books and rereading them. I'm pretty sure that I could order some or all of them from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. On the other hand, I think that I may not want to spoil my memories of these books, so thus far I have refrained from doing so. Maybe one of these days I'll break down and actually do it.

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