catching up

26 05 2008


Well, so far I’ve done fairly well at sticking to my formal New Year’s resolution on the health and fitness side. But my goal of keeping up with writing about my reading here, poetic and otherwise, fell by the wayside as I got swept up in a bunch of new projects — working many hours to see if my ideas will pan out. Came out from under that in the last week or two, and I find that I’ve read quite a few books without writing them. Now, I write about the books here for myself as much as for any audience — I like looking back over my comments about the books I’ve read — the details of a book fade with time, and although I’m sure that each makes an impression, what I’ve written acts like snapshots of a vacation — triggers for the memory. But I’m doing this for fun, and all of the energy that would have gone here ended up invested in my work, and that would have made this feel like work…


I still want to go back over most of these and write at least a few words of what stood out. But I also have stacks of books here and there that I’d like to put somewhere else, so I’m going to jot down a few titles here. The good news (I suppose) is that I’ve started lots and lots and lots of books that I haven’t yet finished (but will!) so I don’t have to write those down. I also have my trip to Arizona, rock hounding, hiking and nature walking to write about. It was actually just before that trip that I last wrote here…


Anyway, here are some of the books


The Commitments, Roddy Doyle

The movie may actually be better, but, then, the movie is one of my favorites!

The Godfather, Mario Puzo

A reread, but then, I’ve seen the movie twice, also!

Titan, by Ron Chernow

Fat biography of Ron Chernow that was a weekend project — never would have read this without the recommendation of Tim — it will get its own entry)

The Immortal Cell by Michael D. West.

Stem cells and aging and telomerase and so on — I think this book has been on my shelf since it was new in 2003, I got several books on this subject and didn’t read this one.

The WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht.

Is there a guy who doesn’t want to imagine that he is prepared should he end up in the water with an alligator, or in need of ramming another car, or lost in the desert? I enjoyed reading most of these — it’s interesting to me which evoked a sense of dread and which evoked interest.

Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brian.

Avoid Boring People by James D. Watson (“Winner of the Nobel Prize”)

Lessons from a Life in Science. The title is two different rules. If you can’t think of both, read it again. OK, I’ll give you a hint: is boring an adjective or a verb?

The Complete Peanuts, 1953-1954. by Charles Schultz

More than just this volume — read through several of these at bedtimes.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R. King

Picked it up because of the beekeeping angle and the Sherlock Holmes angle. I’m not much of a mystery fan any more, but this feminist take, with it’s conceit of a retired Sherlock Holmes and the  strong female Watson was entertaining and true to my memories of the stories. (Although to call her Watson is to insult her — Watson was a mere foil for Holmes, while she is his equal.)

Why Orwell Matters, by Christopher Hitchens

Argumentative, flexing his intellectual muscles, but to good effect.

Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge

Disappointing, but memorable. Not his best science fiction at all.

Two Lives, a memoir, by Vikram Seth

Literary Occasions (essays), by V.S. Naipaul

From Heaven Lake, by Vikram Seth


I’m sure that’s not but half of them, but at least I’ve got started here again!


Also, without a doubt, the album of the last few months has been dream BIG by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband.


Oh, and I finished the trail with the kids when they were here — not to mountain biking quality, but it’s traversable, and hidden so that people on the logging road won’t come down it and make my neighbor upset.