May 29, 2007

Want to Write for Us?

We are happy to announce a change in this blog. From now on, you can write the reviews on great books that you want posted on this blog and we will publish them. Here's how it works:

You decide that you want everyone to know about a book that you think we all can't live without reading. So you write a review as best as you can. Then you send us the review at, and we look it over. If we think it needs to be a little more polished we will send it back to you with some thoughts and then you re-write it and send it to us. When we like your review we will publish it with your name on the bottom, and voila! You're famous! Well, okay not really, but a lot of cool stuff could happen.

First, you get to practise your writing skills. Second, if we like your style of writing, we will ask you to keep sending us reviews. So when we get big you can say that you have written articles for us and people will want to hire you like crazy.

This doesn't mean that Isaac, Sam, and I will stop writing. We will still write about half of the articles, we just want to write better and still write the same amount of articles. It also doesn't mean that you get to be part of our team. You will kind of be guest authors.

So you may be wondering about the picture at the top. If you write good reviews as a guest writer, if you can write them fast, and we like your personality, we might invite you to help coauthor Literaryink!
So get writing!

Ted for the Team

May 21, 2007

The Message Within Watership Down

When my mom handed me Watership Down for school reading I looked at the cover with slight disgust. Rabbits. Why in the world, I asked myself, would I want or need to read a book about some rabbits with weird names? But, trusting that my mom is wise enough to pick good books for me, I lifted the cover of Richard Adam’s fiction work on a group of rabbits who are searching for a safe home.

I was hooked. Here was a tale of rabbits who knew how to love, and hate. They fought to defend each other; they lived and died with faith in each other. They were true to the end; here was the kind of reading I longed for. Bravery and loyalty were praised and evil was confronted. It was everything I wanted in a good fiction novel; with rabbits. Contained in this story is a message that loyalty to one’s beliefs is right. Even when one is confronted with threats larger than they can overcome.

Watership Down follows a small group of rabbits who leave their home, convinced it is going to be destroyed, and search for a new home at a place called Watership Down. After overcoming hardships on their travels they reach their destination and build a new home. The three rabbits who are main characters (Fiver, Hazel-Rah, and Bigwig) all struggle with anger, doubts, and fear. But they overcome with faith in their “god” and each other. Not in their own strength. This book is not politically correct, which is one reason I loved it.

There is adventure, suspense, danger, love, and loyalty. At the end, after a siege and a final battle between a group of tyrannical rabbits and our heroes, the reader will feel as if they have traveled along with these brave rabbits and accomplished something.

Thankfully, Mr. Adams does not use language, with the exception of a bird who could use a little soap in the mouth once or twice. I strongly recommend this book (like all others I review) for people of all ages as a must read. Watership Down is a classic.

Buy Watership Down

Ted Bradley

May 17, 2007

Literaryink Buddymap

We've just launched the Literaryink readership map!

If you are a read of this blog, add yourself to the map. The more the merrier!

Isaac, Ted, and Sam

May 14, 2007

Welcoming our newest member

Ted and I are very happy to announce that our good friend Samuel Taylor, will be coauthoring Literaryink with us. Sam is a strong Christian who loves books and writing. He will be a valuable asset to our team. His first post will be published (Hopefully) in the next two weeks. We recruited him because we felt that we needed more writers so that our book reviews didn't have to be so rushed. We hope you will enjoy his reviews as much as we enjoy having him on the team. Thanks!

May 1, 2007

John Adams, Founding Father

John Adams, by David McCullough, is one of my favorite books. Within its pages is an exhaustive account of the life of a man who seemed to be always in the background of early American politics. In this book Mr. McCullough does a wonderful job of bringing John Adams into the light he deserves. I will attempt to give an overview of John Adam’s life that I wrote a couple of months ago, then I will talk more about the book itself. As you read remember that each area I speak of is so much more defined and expanded on in John Adams. I merely scratch the surface.

John Adams was possibly the most influential man in early American politics, and one of its hardest workers. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1735 to a family of farmers, John was encouraged by his father to go to school and rise above his humble beginnings. So he studied law. When he finished his study in law at Harvard he moved to Boston were he became one of the capital’s greatest lawyers. But it wasn’t an easy time to work or live in Boston. John’s cousin, Sam Adams, was a member of the Sons of Liberty, which was a group dedicated to the freedom of America. Fighting between the British and the Sons of Liberty was rare, but there were many riots and protests. When one such protest led to the deaths of five of Boston’s citizens, the patriots were outraged. John Adams, although he was opposed to the British taxation and mistreatment, boldly chose to defend the British soldiers in court, and with the famous saying, “facts are stubborn things,” he was able to save all the soldiers from hanging, but two were branded. After that famous case he bought a house in Boston and moved in with his new wife Abigail and continued to pursue law and a little farming. Wanting to do more to help his country he was quite excited when he was asked to be a representative of Massachusetts at the first Congress of the American people. This Congress, which was a direct defiance to England, would gather men from all thirteen states to discuss and debate what to do about British tyranny. Quickly rising in the eyes of his fellow representatives, John Adams was notorious for his quick wit and his keen ideas. While at this congress Adams wrote Thoughts on Government, which was an important piece of literature and was examined by most of the representatives in Congress. After months of debate the representatives finally agreed that independence was needed so Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and two others were chosen to write out the Declaration of Independence. In the summer of 1776, America declared its independence from Britain. Was there anyone who fought as hard for independence as Adams? I can think of two. Only Sam Adams and George Washington had or would work as hard for the American cause as John Adams.

After the war with England began, America required strong allies to assist them in their struggle. Since France was sworn enemies with England, to France they went. In 1779, John Adams sailed to France. Swiftly the committee, which included Adams as well as John Jay and Ben Franklin, signed a treaty with the French and began to search for more allies in Europe. But then everything changed. The war for American independence was over. Signing a peace treaty, the commander of the English forces, General Cornwallis, had surrendered and ended the war. Although the combat was suddenly over, peace with England did not come until 1782 at the Treaty of Paris. Adams was then chosen to be an emissary to the Netherlands since he was one of the few American citizens with diplomatic experience. America needed money. The war had not been cheap. So they borrowed from allies. Actually, John Adam’s house in the Netherlands was the first American embassy on foreign soil. After a few years he was replaced and returned to France were he was involved with the embassy there. Although he enjoyed working on politics he felt like he was unneeded in France and wrote a letter to Congress asking if he could go home. Instead of getting to return home like he had intended, Adams was chosen to be the ambassador to England, a position he did not look forward to with enthusiasm. One benefit was that Abigail had arrived in France to be with him and provided great comfort to his restless life as a diplomat. While in England he was introduced to King George, and like most of the English, the King showed Adams hostility and little kindness. Finally, John Adams, sailed back over the sea to America, it was his fourth and last voyage across the ocean. Arriving in Massachusetts, John and Abigail were given a hero’s welcome. Something Adams greatly deserved and appreciated. They returned to their farm and John Adams settled into the life of a farmer once more. But American history was not done with John Adams.

America was deciding who should be the first President of the United States. Besides George Washington, Adams was the only valid candidate who had a chance of getting elected. As anticipated, George Washington was elected, and Adams became the first Vice President. Actually, the role of Vice President was probably better for Adams. Why? He started debating again. Discussing what the President’s title should be was one of the defining debates during Adams role as President of the Senate. Then, in 1797, John Adams was elected as the second President of the United States of America. After him by less than ten points, was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, who was not friends with Adams, was quite disappointed by this turn of events, since he would be under Adams. During Adams tenure as President he chose to keep all the secretaries that Washington had appointed which included Alexander Hamilton, a man who later betrayed Adams. He also appointed John Marshal to Supreme Court Justice, an intelligent choice as John Marshal was a huge figure throughout the early American political 1900’s. When the French began an undeclared war with American vessels it was the Navy that Adams had insisted on creating that helped them fight the French, who soon decided to end the undeclared war. After his successful four years as President he tried for a second term but did not succeed. He then returned to his farm with his wife Abigail and settled down in Massachusetts. John Adams, farmer, lawyer, statesman, writer, ambassador, Vice President and President, was arguably the most influential man in the history of the early United States of America.
John Adams was an excellent book not only for it’s well written content, but also because of the excellent picture the author paints of a man who has weaknesses, believes in God, and works hard. A note, the author is totally on the side on John Adams and down plays his faults. From my reading of different works by other biographers and Adams himself, he (Adams) was a Christian, yet, like us all, a man with faults. He was known to be stubborn and speak his mind loudly. But he was loyal and served his family and country well. Mr. McCullough said in an interview that it takes him four, five, or even ten years to write each book that he works on. It shows in his writing; each of his books (he has many, I will be doing reviews on Truman and 1776 in the future) are exhaustive, but there is warmth to them. The reader will feel about half way through the book like he is there, experiencing what is going on. It's not an exaggeration to say that Mr. McCullough is the greatest living American historian. I heartily recommend this book to people who would like a good read or a good role model. Enjoy.
Ted Bradley