Douglas in Wonderland

Wrote about nothing on Tuesday.  Wrote about a camera on Wednesday.  I predict third day slump.

Last night a friend encouraged me to read or possibly reread some of the classics.  She suggested I sit with my oldest daughter and we read Alice in Wonderland together.  I’ve never read this story.  I’ve seen the Disney movie adaptation in full as a child–I think–and then again in parts and pieces while my kids watch it in pieces and parts on the DVD player in our living room.  What I recall and what I’ve seen scare me two ways.

First, it raises an discomforting shiver up from my defenseless underarms like the threat of a tickle that quickly attacks my core.  I shake it off of course–it’s just a movie–but the light ting of fear lingers.

Second, the story presented by Disney makes no sense.  Disappearing cats, a deck of cards, and commands to drink or eat me?  How could such nonsense flow sensibly if only I read the book?

Next up was some light brain candy for me: Atlas Shrugged.  I gagged down most of The Fountainhead before I gave up on Rourke as some Bartlbyesqe prick come architect well before a plot of any kind emerged but not before I read more than half of the book.  It’s been a while so I don’t recall the details, but ambling through life don’t a plot make.  I’ll pick up Atlas–eventually–but I’m not expecting it to do much for me.  Right now I don’t need books with a point.

Maybe I could fire up Hemingway, I hear he’s good.  Please leave your classic recommendations in the comments below.

Day 233

The King’s Draggin’

I conciously skipped writing last night.  Let’s call it laziness.  I did replace it with reading a new book and going to bed early.  I did not, as previously threatened, watch copious amounts of bad TV.

The book I picked up in Houston last week reads well enough, but isn’t in my sweet spot.  I like my fantasy a bit more fantastical.  A couple chapters in I discovered the author is part of a group blog I read.  With a little more rooting about I found some my-thoughts-on-writing-and-genre type posts she’d done.  One of her things is historical accuracy.

Her emphasis on this accuracy shows in the text.  I’d not call it invasive, but I would call it evident.  People that shouldn’t have experience with horses don’t and only the clergy and some of the rich can read.  The effort definitely recommends the practice, but it does seem she’s gone out of her way not to be inaccruate–except for the magic of course.  Which strikes me as disengenious–or some other big word that means dumb.

When I’m done I suspect I’d recommend the book in general but I’m not sure I’ll be picking up the other six in the series unless she drops a plot bomb on me.  Fortunately, her more recent work is available via a free ebook from Tor.

Day 255

I Have Maybe 82 Books Left to Read Before I Die

There are books.  There are lists.  And there are the Internets.

These three things combine occasionally to brush past me like a work friend on her way to get coffee or lunch.  We pause to chat then get back to whatever we were up to before crossing paths.

Today she passed me again.  A thought I had the first time but didn’t mention rose to mind again this time, so I’m mentioning it now.

In recent years I’ve been reading maybe three books a year, because I just need the time.  I’m not like some of these monsters that crank out a couple books a month.  At 39 a 230 pound non-smoker doesn’t have alot of good years past 80, so that leaves me 41 years of book reading available.

2 * 41 = 82

I have at best less than one hundred books I can read before I die.  No shit, that scares me too.

I should have a plan to remedy this.  A few things that come to mind:

  • Lose weight
  • Read shorter books
  • Kill the TV
  • Kill the Internet
  • Read faster
  • Live longer
  • Audio books (do those count as read?)

That’s about it.

How many books do you have left to read before you die?