The BookBrowse Review

Published October 6, 2021

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History

History, Current Affairs and Religion

  • Rise Up! by Crystal Marie Fleming (rated 5/5)

Younger Readers


L Said, S M

Decipher this clue to reveal a well known expression and you could win a six month membership, or an extension to an existing membership, to BookBrowse (value $19). For example 'K The B' = kick the bucket.

In each contest one winner will be selected at random from the correct entries. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the draw closes.

This Wordplay will end on Oct 18, 2021.

This wordplay ended on 10/18/2021

Past Wordplays |  Past Winners |  Rules

Answer to the last Wordplay:

Question: Pull Y U B Y B

Answer: Pull yourself up by your bootstraps

Meaning: To succeed on your own

Traditionally, boots had a loop or tab, known as the bootstrap, at the top which the wearer used to pull the boot on.

While it is physically impossible to pull oneself up by the bootstrap, the metaphor has a long history dating back to at least the mid 19th century. Some sources point to The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen for the origin of the expression. These fanciful stories mostly based on folk tales were first published anonymously in the late 18th century. But actually, while the ever inventive Baron does pull himself and his horse out of a swamp by his own hair, we have been unable to find any reference to him pulling himself anywhere with his bootstraps.

What we do know is the expression can be found in an 1834 edition of The Workingman's Advocate (a radical newspaper first published in 1829 which folded in 1836 and made a brief comeback in 1844-1845): "It is conjectured that Mr. Murphee will now be enabled to hand himself over the Cumberland river or a barn yard fence by the straps of his boots."

Bootstrapping took on a new meaning in the early days of computers (or possibly in the early days of radio) to describe the process of loading a small amount of code to which was added progressively more complex code until the computer was ready for use. From this comes the term to "boot up" the computer.

Nowadays, there are many fewer bootstraps thanks to the invention of the zipper, the history of which is remarkably complex but essentially boils down to Gideon Sundback building on previous inventions to patent his own device in 1909; this was used for the first time in galoshes made by the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1923, who coined the term zipper.

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman
A powerful novel of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.
Sisters of the Great War
Sisters of the Great War
A Novel
by Suzanne Feldman
(26 Oct 2021)
400 pages
Publisher: Mira
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Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.

August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort—Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war's harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come.

Illuminating the critical role women played in the Great War, this is a remarkable story of resilience, sacrifice and the bonds that can never be vanquished.

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