May Reading

Books Bought:

  • A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction – Terry Pratchett
  • Views: Art & Industrial Design of Roger Dean – Roger Dean
  • Anasi Boys (Audiobook) – Neil Gaiman (Read by Lenny Henry)
  • Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid – Douglas Hofstadter
  • The Elegant Universe – Brian Greene
  • In Search of Frankenstein – Radu Florescu
  • Lycanthia, or The Children of Wolves – Tanith Lee

Books Read:

  • Kraken – China Mieville (unfinished)
  • The Dispatcher – John Scalzi
  • The Rooster Bar – John Grisham
  • Black Klansman – Ron Stallworth (unfinished)
  • The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham (Revised Edition) unfinished
  • Godel, Escher, Bach – Douglas Hofstadter (unfinished)

The month was busier than the last, and I wasn’t able to commit as much time to books as I would like. The only reason Dispatcher and Rooster Bar were finished was owing to their relatively short page counts. Black Klansman was a shorter one also, but I didn’t get it finished in the last week of the month.

I spent some time with Benjamin Graham’s book, one of the seminal works on investing. I had first purchased it back in the early 00s, possibly at the recommendation of my father. But I didn’t give it that much attention.

Since I started investing again maybe eighteen months ago, and this was on my to-read list, I picked up another copy used (the first one is somewhere in storage). The advice has stood up over time owing primarily to its simplicity – invest in companies that have good value for the price. I’m maybe five chapters in, and it’s got some heft to it.

A lot of these books were revisits. Anasi Boys, Godel et al., and Slip of the Keyboard were all something I had at least perused in the past. The first two I’ve owned, but repurchased for convenience. Pratchett’s I had read some selections from, but not owned previously.

Most of the month was spent reading grants, rather than books. It was scoring time for one of the committees I’m on, and I had thirty organizations to score. So I bought a few books to remind me that I will eventually read everything I own (I hope).

Hofstadter, Greene, Florescu, and Lee were purchased secondhand at a little book store I found. The latter two I was unfamiliar with, but picked them up owing to my preoccupation with the supernatural. Lycanthia is supposed to be a fun werewolf novel. I’ve come across Tanith Lee once or twice, but am otherwise unfamiliar with her work.

I greatly enjoyed Rooster Bar. I’m not sure what it is about the prose style Grisham uses, but it flows easily and moves quick. It had been several years since last reading but me of his novels, and I had forgotten what I liked about them. This was a nice refresher.

Elegant Universe I may take with me on my trip tomorrow, but I’m always conflicted about which book to bring on travels. I try and go light, and who knows what bookstores I may find while out and about.

 

Good Omens 2

Finished the show last week. Today I may head out to Disney, weather-permitting (and if I’m not too tired).

For Good Omens, I will day it was an enjoyable, albeit somewhat frenetic, watch. I believe the book itself was also frenetic, so it followed right along.

In one of Gaiman’s interviews I recall him saying how much he wanted the show to follow the book, so as to respect the memory of coauthor Terry Pratchett. In that regard, it was a success.

The cast was good, and it was fun. It had a BBC/Doctor Who feel to the film-making and storytelling, right down to the aliens. I’d watch it again, some time down the road.

Good Omens Sunday

One day, six episodes of the Amazon series featuring Michael Sheen and David Tennant as angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley. I first read the novel by Pratchett and Gaiman as a high-schooler, shortly after reading Neverwhere for the first time.

The show is said to be “every bit as entertaining as the novel”, and I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard that it was in preproduction.

Between that today, and a stack of grants I have to finish reading, I’ll have little time for anything else.

Why I write

I was cleaning out some drawers today, and found an old note, possibly ten or twelve years old. It made me laugh.

It said: "I’m struggling to write. I’m searching for inspiration in an automobile drive. ’91 Lincoln Town Car around Chicago. Lights, towering buildings."

Not sure what my Town Car had to do with Chicago, because I don't recall ever driving it there. But, it's possible. There were some crazy weekends back then.

The thing that stuck out was the struggling to write. I don't recall ever wanting to be a writer. But I liked writing. Always. I used to write poetry, and stories. I have numerous scripts and longer stories, started or abandoned. Ideas always popped up, but I never took them to fruition.

I was actually taking all these old papers out of the drawer and getting them on my cloud in a document called Collected Junk Writings.

But, in a way, this blog is the creative interpretation of my enjoyment of writing. Things I think about I get down in a post, I leave it up for whoever happens across it, and I'm honing an activity that I like doing.

I'm passionate about so few things right now, in this awkward between state that I'm in. Now I'm looking for a job, having quit my other one. I'm thinking about whether I want to stay in Central Florida or move away. About whether to try and start a Ph.D. program next fall, or wait another year.

All these things rattle on in my head, and still I give this blog weekly attention. Now, it's three posts a week, and I'm ahead (for the most part) by about a week. Which means I'm writing this on Tuesday, and you may not see it until next Friday.

I'm sure that when life comes crashing in, and the Universe points me in that direction, I'll not be so ahead on my blog. I'll probably be scrambling for deadlines.

51YdazcA5yL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I love the bit in Terry Pratchett's A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction, where he describes what he calls "A bit of writing about writing."

"Get up, have breakfast, switch on word processor, stare at screen.
Stare at screen some more."

This staring at screen, plus elements of procrastination come in for about the next thirty paragraphs. Finally: "Midnight…"

"Stare at screen. Vaguely aware right hand has hit keys to open new file. Start breathing very slowly. Write 1,943 words. Bed. For a day there, thought we weren't going to make it."

This is my blog. I write I because I like it. It's not an exceptional blog, and it's not terrible. But it's mine, and I get to share with you, the reader.