What’s On Your Plate?

DQ.jpegI’m considering adding books in Spanish (and maybe even French) to my lists. It’s not so much that I’m reading a lot more Spanish fiction but rather that my slow, fumbling march through fiction in a language other than English is absorbing more and more of my time. If it takes me ten times as long to read Bolaño or Cervantes might suggest that I will be reading far fewer books each month. Then again, is that a problem?

Way way back in the past history of this world (often referred to as The Sixties) I read Tarzan en la Selva. As a Senior in High School my family hosted a student from Peru and I spent much of the day immersed in Spanish. But when I matriculated on to the university I was coerced into thinking that a knowledge of Spanish was insufficient for advanced study in literature so I switched to French. This had three results: first, I learned enough French to pass my language exams for graduate school; second, my mind replaced engrammatic knowledge of Spanish words and phrases with the French equivalents, and finally, I twisted my little gray cells around the two languages such that I was never confident speaking either.

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Lest We Forget

51I+TJjcZgL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_Well, maybe it’s not that important to remember but each day I publish a new title that catches my interest and, despite the odds against it, I just might read one of these days. Actually, I probably read two or three of these books eventually and if you read two or three of these books and if … well, chances are someone, somewhere will contemplate reading one or more of these books so the suggestions will not be in vain.

Although I am currently reading a lot of detective stories, I tend not to include them on the suggested reading lists. After all, they tend to be simple entertainments that breeze by before the little gray cells get ruffled. Unfair? Probably. Remember, one of the main criteria I use for selecting the suggested reading is that the title catches my eye: with detective stories and mysteries, all the titles are designed to catch my eye. Luckily I tend to read digital copies of these texts: can you imagine if I was selecting reading suggestions based on the lurid, half-naked artwork that adorns so many of these novels? I still have dreams about Mickey Spillane’s I, The Jury.

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Dorian in a Blue Dress

images-1.jpgSitting here reading in the sun while a dangerous hurricane is slowly moving toward Florida and the Southeastern coast. Back where I lived until three years ago, they’re either sitting in traffic, a hot car running low on gas, or closed up inside the darkness caused by storm shutters.

My friend, back in the old neighborhood, is ready to face the storm. She’s probably fairly safe—somewhat inland with shallow water and barrier islands to brunt the power of the storm—but her fear is that she won’t be able to recharge her Nook if the power is out. I’m thinking a small hand-cranked unit to generate power for our digital devices might be a good thing to have.

I have spent almost a week after a storm knocked out the power and you really begin to miss things like air conditioning, not to mention lights and fully charged cell phones.

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There Are People That Never Read a Book?

download.jpgYou hear it all the time: some people even consider not-reading to be a positive characteristic. Of course there are levels and varieties of not-reading: some business types would not be caught reading fiction (although I knew a powerful corporate officer that rejected all fiction … except the romantic bodice rippers he read secretly at night in bed; some social climbers only read (or professed to having read) the most mainstream best-sellers; some readers are overly restrictive, concentrating on a specific genre such as fantasy or science fiction; and there are those who refuse to read anything older than ten years.

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