Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, January 3, 2021, or: My Sunday Reading Adventures

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Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s almost noon here on Sunday, January 3, 2021, and it’s a gray, chilly day here in New Hometown, Florida. Currently, the temperature is 61˚F (16˚C) under cloudy skies. With the wind blowing from the north at 3 MPH (5 KM/H) and humidity at 100%, the feels-like temperature is 61˚F (16˚C). Today we can expect scattered rain showers and a high of 70˚F (21˚C); tonight, we’ll have partly cloudy skies and a low of 48˚F (9˚C).

I woke up early – 5:35 AM  Eastern – again. I didn’t want to get up at that ungodly hour, but apparently my internal body clock has decided that sleeping till 5:30 AM is going to be the new normal. I tried to go back to sleep, but I didn’t succeed. I didn’t want to sit at my desk in front of a monitor all day, and since my room is situated between two occupied bedrooms, I also didn’t want to turn on my TV that early in the day lest I wake up the Caregiver’s kiddos.

(C) 1996 Tor Books

Instead, I decided to start reading The Two Georges: A Novel of an Alternate America, 1996, a 1996 book co-written by actor Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove, the Hugo Award-winning author of The Guns of the South and Ruled Britannia. In this suspenseful alternate history, Dreyfuss and Turtledove show us a world in which the American colonists and King George III worked out their differences in 1760 and avoided the War of Independence – thus creating a world in which history took a different turn than it did in our reality.

In The Two Georges – which is a detective story that focuses on the politically-motivated of a fictional painting by Thomas Gainsborough from which the novel derives its name – the United States does not exist. Instead, the territory it occupies is – along with Canada – is part of the North American Union, which in turn is part of Britain’s global Empire, and the globe is divided among Great Britain, the Franco-Spanish “Holy Alliance, the Russian Empire, the Austrian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Sweden and Holland and its overseas colonies, while Germany exists – as it did before 1870 – as a gaggle of minor principalities in Central Europe.

So far, The Two Georges is a fun and interesting read; I like the protagonists, Colonel Thomas Bushell of the Royal American Mounted Police, and Dr. Kathleen Flannery, the museum curator of the beloved painting. The painting was just stolen, presumably by a separatist movement known as the Sons of Liberty; based on what I’ve read so far, I’m going to enjoy following Bushell, Flannery, and Bushell’s second-in-command, Captain Samuel Stanley as they try to recover The Two Georges and discover who the mastermind behind the painting’s theft.

Other than that….

(C) 2020 Taschen Books and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Well, after giving it some thought, I decided to order a copy of Paul Duncan’s The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005, even though it will have to be the expensive ($200) edition, since Taschen Books does not have a compact and less pricey edition like the one for The Star Wars Archives: Episodes IV-VI, 1977-1983.  I wasn’t going to bother with it; I’m more of an Original Trilogy fan even though I’m not a “Prequel basher” like quite a few Star Wars fans are.

But then I saw that the Treasury Department had deposited the second (and smaller) COVID-19 stimulus payment in my bank account, and since I don’t go out anywhere or do anything fun with the Caregiver anymore, I said to myself, “The hell with it. I’ll get the second book in the duology and be done with it.”

From the Taschen Books website:

Famous First Edition: First printing of 10,000 numbered copies

From the moment Star Wars burst onto the screen in 1977, audiences have been in equal parts fascinated and appalled by the half-man/half-machine hybrid Darth Vader. In 1999, creator George Lucas began the story of how Anakin Skywalker grew up to train as a Jedi under Obi-Wan Kenobi, found love with the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, before turning to the dark side of his nature and becoming more machine than man.

After driving the development of nascent digital technology, George Lucas perceived how he could create new creatures and new worlds on a grander scale than ever before. He created the first digital blockbuster and met fierce resistance when he pushed for widespread digital cameras, sets, characters, and projection – all of which are now used throughout the industry. He essentially popularized the modern way of making movies.

Made with the full cooperation of George Lucas and Lucasfilm, this second volume covers the making of the prequel trilogy — Episode I The Phantom Menance, Episode II Attack of the Clones, and Episode III Revenge of the Sith — and features exclusive interviews with Lucas and his collaborators. The book is profusely illustrated with script pages, production documents, concept art, storyboards, on-set photography, stills, and posters.

I actually ended up getting the book from a third-party seller (Book Depository US) for slightly less than Taschen Books’ retail price of $200[1]) on Amazon; I probably won’t get my copy this week – it’s slated to be shipped between January 27 and February 5 – but at least I’ll have a limited first edition book and the complete duology of The Star Wars Archives.

Other than that, Dear Reader, I don’t have anything to report. I’m not sure what I feel like doing with the rest of my Sunday. I might continue reading from The Two Georges, or – now that everyone is awake – I might watch TV in my room. I feel a bit misanthropic today, so I’ll just take a shower, change into clean “street clothes” – even though I’m not going anywhere – and see what develops.

[1] Book Depository US’s price is $186.65 plus Florida sales tax, which added up to $202.52. If I’d ordered it directly from Taschen, it would have been a bit more than that.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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