Blame It On Christmas

images-1.jpgYou know that December 25 is not the birth date of Jesus, and that many religions do not consider Jesus as the Messiah. Islam recognizes Jesus as an important prophet, but not as God. The truth is that around the end of the year we all celebrate some kind of holiday, mostly in the form of massive commercial ventures designed to increase yearly profits for the corporations and with little more than a quick nod to any social or religious significance to the holidays.

No wonder Republicans are touting Christmas.

It seemed clear that the “war on Christmas” was a commercial ploy which attempted to link religion to capitalism and lead the rubes and deplorables in a non-existing rumble with godless anti-patriotic liberals.  Besides, Coca-Cola owns Christmas, right? Perhaps some festive revelers say Happy Holidays so as not to violate any copyrights.

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Will I Read Any of These … Soon?

imgresThis is the list of suggested titles from the month of October. It is significant because It occurs following the two months of suggested reading I used to fill out this month’s Reading Pool. So the question is: Will I work a few of these titles into my next month’s reading pool?

Could be. You might have notice that I included many recently published works on my suggested list whereas not so many up-to-date titles in my regular monthly reading pool. The dilemma is that there are so many older and even classic books I have yet to read and at the same time world-wide publishers are tempting me with more and more new stuff.

How can I choose?

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Yet Another List

download-1.jpgEver since I left home and pursued life and literature on my own I have kept lists: lists on paper, lists in notebooks, list on index cards, list in crude computer programs, lists in sophisticated computer programs, lists at various online list sites, lists at my own online sites, lists surrounding a weblog, weblogs surrounding lists, lists in the cloud. lists in my head. Echoing the old unix cliché: YALs.

I am always looking for interesting or intriguing books to read and I of course add them to Yet Another List. Although I may search all over the internet or scan (electronically) the stacks at several libraries, or even poke around in my own bookshelves, nowadays I generally spot new titles from sources such as Amazon. the NYT book pages, NYRB, Atomic Books, or even noticing them in the reading list of anothher online book reader or reviewer.

Believe me, the availability of reading suggestions is overwhelming.

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Remember To Check These Out

images.jpgNew book titles flow into my computer from online services, bookstores, other readers, travels to my bookcase, and sometimes even my friends, personal or academic. Although it often seems like I am grasping for books to recommend, the reality is probably that I could toss out a dozen suggestions every day and not come close to covering all the good reading out there, whether it’s newly published books or old classics that may have been around for umpteen years and even taught in schools.

Did you know that Joyce’s Ulysses was first published in 1922? That’s old: the centennial is coming up before you know it. And let’s not forget Homer’s epic on a similar topic. Surely you’ve read Ulysses and The Odyssey. If not, consider the two works excellent foundations for an understanding of literature .. and life.

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