The 10 Books Meme

Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 16:01

Currently appearing on Facebook is a meme wherein you list 10 books that have stayed with you. No, I haven’t been tagged, and no, I don’t mind that I haven’t been tagged. My first thought was, how would I possibly narrow it down to 10? And if I did, within the hour that list would have changed a dozen times. And really, if you’re a reader, then that list should be changing constantly. Certainly there are books that would stay with you, but that should be a living, breathing, changing set. And if it’s not more than ten books, you haven’t read enough to be making such a list. Yes, I know, I’m coming across as an intellectual snob here, but I don’t think I am. Not really. Reading has always come to me as easily and subconsciously as breathing and eating. It’s just something I’ve always done.

My wife read some of the lists from Facebook to me. I could pick out the English teachers there – lists full of high school required reading or books that should have been. And then there are the people who use that kind of list to tell people about the books they think people would say they should have read, the “I read ‘War And Peace’ one rainy weekend” types. Although I’m sure that’s possible – I read both volumes of William Manchester’s ‘The Glory And The Dream’ over an extended weekend in my twenties, during a time when I was a socially hopeless book nerd (today I’m only a somewhat socially hopeless book nerd). But I know some of those people, and I’m pretty sure they all haven’t read “The Brothers Karamazov”. Go ahead, admit that you read “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and liked it. We all did, back in the Seventies. We got better.

So, if I did make such a list, what books would be on it? Lots of history books. You could get a good idea of what that list would look like by browsing the Books category on this blog. But just an idea, not a definitive list. ‘Lord Of The Rings’ would definitely be on there. And, as I said, lots of history books. Maybe I’ll make a list. Most likely, though, I would end up moving on to new books before I finished. Speaking of which, I’ve been reading a series of books on the period from roughly 1875 to 1920, which have conspired to convince me that many, if not most, of the problems we’re dealing with in the world right now can trace their origins back to those years, when the European powers – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Belgium – were either pulling back from their colonial empires or having those colonies taken away by force. So many arbitrary “national” boundaries were drawn by people who had no feel for the regional and local dynamics, and were trying to further agendas that wouldn’t have cared anyway. “The Guns Of August”, “Sleepwalkers”, “The Vertigo Years”. Now I’m in a fiction mode, and I’m reading, for the first time, Cold War spy novels, harkening back to a time when we had one Big, Bad Enemy that frankly made more sense to use than the world we have now. I just finished Le Carre’s “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”. Now I’ve started “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”. From there, who knows. It will be a list of its own.

Category : Books

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Still Here

Friday, 22 August 2014, 7:41

Just renewed the site for another year, I guess I should start posting again. Meanwhile, here’s a photo of goldenrod and a ladybug…


Category : BlogStuff

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Using Old Potting Soil

Saturday, 3 May 2014, 8:41

I’m emptying/refreshing a bunch of pots this year, and I’ve gotten quite a bit of used potting soil. What should I do with it? I’ve thought of 4 possibilities:

1) Add it to the compost pile. My concern here is that it might “overwhelm” the compost, unless I could find lots of green stuff to add along with it – plus, it’s really going to add more than my current structure can hold.

2) Start a “potting soil compost” bin, holding (mostly) just the potting soil.

3) Get a couple of big garbage cans, dump it in, and use it for later pots or to add to pots that have settled.

4) Add it to raised garden beds.

Are any of these good/bad? Got any other ideas?

Category : Gardening

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McDonald’s New Bacon Clubhouse Burger Judged, Found…

Thursday, 27 March 2014, 14:11

no better than their other burgers, unfortunately. It amazes me how a chain that is synonymous with “burger” has such terrible hamburgers. The basic single hamburger is the best burger on their menu, and that’s because it’s that one with the least burger to it. I can only think of one place where I’ve had a worse hamburger, and that was years ago at a small local chain in south Mississippi which shall remain nameless. I thought maybe McDonald’s had gotten a clue with this:

McDonalds Bacon Clubhouse Burger

I mean, it looks pretty decent, right? Look at the fresh lettuce, those crisp strips of bacon, that glistening gourmet bun!! But alas, the reality was a big hunk of tasteless tomato, limp lettuce, limper bacon, and a bun that was just thicker bread than their normal bun. And a slab of that industrial-tasting McDonald’s beef-like substance. At least the fries were good.

Category : Life, Other Stuff

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014, 11:26

Warm tea at sunrise
Two people watch in silence
The world comes to life

Category : Poetry

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