Sunday, June 22, 2014

Read any good books, lately?

Good Afternoon:

Reading over my Email today, I received, as I frequently do, an advertisement for

I have ordered several books through this fine organization, and therefore I usually scan their ads pretty carefully.

Today's offering included an ad for The 100 Books one should read, in a sort of "Bucket List", presumably before one dies. (it'd be pretty difficult to read these after the final fact, eh what?)

Anyway. I scanned over the list, and agreed with #1, which was "To kill a Mockingbird". No argument there. I must have read that book close to a dozen times, and each time discover another part of the book, whether it be dialogue, character or situation, or just the mental image that a passage evokes in me.  This to me is one test of a really good book. If a person can set down with a book, and be instantly transported to an area , a time, a situation, or whatever else that this person finds instantly either thought provoking, a "feel-good" bit of dialogue or a description of a time or place that he or she remembers with fondness, then that person is reading what amounts to a Good Book. To that person. And I submit, that that is the reason we all read. This, to me, I have a mental list of a number of books that I've read, enjoyed, and would not hesitate to recommend to another.

Of course, like any list, there will be some lemons on the list that I did not enjoy, sometimes after more than one reading, thinking I surely must have missed something in the book, as others have praised it to the sky.

One such book on this current list of 100, is "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, who perished a year or two ago, and was, according to some of the people who had , to me, the unhappy experience of knowing him, however well, he is more often than not described as disagreeable. So in this case at least, I would be likely to employ the book only to give to someone I didn't like.

However in the case of a person whose company I enjoy, I would consider it an insult to give this book to him or her.

Of course, on this list, as with any other list there is a lack of some books that I found absolutely wonderful, and I expect that this is true of almost anyone who loves to read, and personally I can't imagine anyone who doesn't, except an Aunt of mine who was very nearly boastful in stating that she had never read a whole book !.

Now this Aunt was in most ways a lovable sort who loved, generally, all people, and loved also to cook, an Art that she practiced with expertise, so perhaps it's not really a character flaw if one chooses not to read, but I just can't imagine a life without books. I recently had the unhappy occasion to file a claim with my Home Owners Insurance Company, which led to a visit by an adjuster, who made the remark that 'You guys got too much stuff', how many books have you got, anyway?

All this accomplished was an almost overwhelming urge to, as my Grandfather once said of a man who tried to crush a person's hand when he shook it, made me want to piss on his leg.

But that's just me, my wife and our books.

Stay Well and read


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