Books, books and more books…….

Our dear departed friend Steven has entered the world beyond. I could in no way replace him, but I am going to try to contribute more in an effort to keep this blog, which meant so much to him, alive and well.

Since we are all weary at this point, I am going to start with a few non-political topics, ones that meant so much to our fallen leader.

Everyone is aware that Steven was a voracious reader and books meant a lot to him. What better way to honor him than to discuss a topic that was dear to him?

So, what books to you like? What do you stay up all night reading? It doesn’t have to be your favorite or even something “high-brow” that will “wow” us with your worldliness! Just what are you reading now or what would you like to re-read in the future?

So, let’s hear it! Steven will be watching, so provide your reasons for your choice of literature,  lest it rain (!) on your head!

William Stephenson Clark

27 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Uncategorized

27 responses to “Books, books and more books…….

  1. badbiker

    Okay, I’ll start……………………………………

    I can no more name my favorite book than I can name my favorite Beatles song. Like Iggy, I love books, although most of mine have been lost through the years. I was a Lit Major in college and have even written a book, although it is unpublished for various reasons.

    One of my favorite authors is Charles Dickens. I love history, social commentary while it is woven into a great story.

    I consider “A Tale of Two Cities” to be the greatest love story ever told, while bringing into focus the class struggles of the early 1800’s France and England.

    And to me, this is the greatest line ever written in literature:

    “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”

  2. I’m fixing dinner (and I’m late) so I’ll post to your thread header later…

    Just wanted to say that when we get together YOU can show me what you know! I think it’ll take longer than five minutes. 😉

    First post! Great job. Anyone else want to start thread topics? Just say so, and it will happen.

    Back to the kitchen.

  3. prairie pond

    I’ve been sight seeing with some company from the eastern part of the state, and driving around western Kansas today like I didnt get enough driving yesterday 🙂 Sorry I’m late to the thread here.

    In no particular order, my fav books are Cadillac Desert (Thanks, John), The World According to Garp, The Rise of the Creative Class, Productive Workplaces, What’s the Matter With Kansas, The Wrecking Crew, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, To Kill a Mockingbird, and several obscure books of lesbian erotica.

    I see by my list I dont read as much as I used to when I lived in Austin. Now I do my reading on line.

    Oy.

  4. prairie pond

    Geez, biker, I didnt know you were a Lit major. I think that’s very cool.

  5. badbiker

    Jeez, can I borrow a few of those books on “lesbian erotica?”

    I am secretly a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

  6. prairie pond

    HA! As Tracy would say. He always said he was really a lesbian and always wanted to cruise for chicks with me. I think the thought of that scared both of us….

  7. prairie pond

    Hee heeee! When you come to visit, you can pick the book of your choice to take home. Just like I was a kid and visited the dentist. He had a toy box that we could pick a little toy from if we were good.

    I got very few toys 🙂 Being good isnt my long suit.

  8. indypendent

    My choice of my most treasured book might seem silly to some of you but it is a small book, a simple plot and simple pictures. It is an unpublished book but it is worth more than all the gold in the world

    It is the ‘Book of Love’ my son wrote when he was only 5 years old.

    This book started out with a girl and a boy, they meet, fall in love, have a wedding and then have a baby.

    The plot is nothing new – we’ve seen it a million times. But it is special to me because our son obviously got the message of the purpose of our lives together as a family – it is about love.

    And with little ‘Book of Love’ that our son wrote and illustrated, my husband and I knew that our life together would be successful – even if we never had a dime in our checking account more than our bills would take.

    I know, this may sound silly. But with Mother’s Day tomorrow – these are the things I think about. My son today is 30 yrs old and quite the artist.

  9. tosmarttobegop

    Excluding Political books which is what I have been reading of late.
    I did have a collection of Joeph Wambaugh books, “the Choir boys, the new Centurions and the list goes on.

    Quite a few Steven King’s in hard back ( He has such a talent for taking the everyday and making it where you wonder if there is someone or thing after you. Though he also tends to ramble and seeming to lose his train of thought)

    I have done the worse possible thing lately, started reading two book and not picking them both up again.
    Until I need to kill time and then its which one do I want to finish reading?

    • wicked

      I completely forgot about Stephen King! I have all the Stephen King books up to Insomnia in hardcover. After that, I quit reading them. My favorite is and always will be The Stand.

  10. wicked

    I’m late, but I’ll try to keep this going, at least for a little longer.

    Choosing a favorite book is impossible. But I do deserve a pat on the head. We went to the Art & Book Fair at Century II today, and I only spent $1.50. Usually I leave with two boxes of books that still haven’t been read. I’m driving around with a large box of books in my trunk that need to be disposed of, and they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

    I’m currently reading The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee. Not sure yet if I like it, but I checked it out of the library because I was curious about it and the author. This is the first book I’ve opened in several months. I used to read several smaller books a day, back when I seemed to have more time than I have now aka pre-divorce.

    Like prairie pond, To Kill a Mockingbird is listed among my favorites, along with Exodus and an eclectic collection of others. I’ve never read a single Charles Dickens or Mark Twain book, but I have read the classic Jane Austen, Bronte sisters, etc. Among contemporary authors, I adore Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who happens to be a very nice lady, in addition to a super writer. I have other favorite contemp (romance) writers, but they’re friends, so how could I not like them and their books? 🙂 There are far too many of them to list.

  11. tosmarttobegop

    Oh yeah also “The injustice system” by a lesser known author mainly because it was never published!

    Yapped I too have one and the only book length I have written.

  12. tosmarttobegop

    “The injustice system”

    PREFACE

    “A pit of rot!“, that is how the mayor describe this part of his city.
    Eleventh and Jefferson is the place in the city where the most violent of criminals gather.

    Like most urban areas, at one time it was populated by a community of hard working people. The church full of the faithful, the businesses providing employment, kids growing up and then having their own children. It was home for a large segment of the Black community.

    But as the city grew outward the area became poorer, the families that could afford to move away did. Soon the area became a magnet to the “Low-life’s”, a rotting spot that radiated outward from the two stories building on the Southeast corner.

    This building served as the hub for the criminal activity in the city and a meeting place for the “Bad” and those that thought they were bad. The second floor was an after hour club called the “Hen‘s roost“, just a wide spot to drink, talk and get out of sight.

    The first floor was being used as gambling houses to shoot craps and playing dominoes. The games were ran by Willie Richen who owned the building. Willie had a general dislike for the Police and a real hatred for the two officers that patrol the area. They had busted up the games enough to have become bad for business.

    Other then the two-story building, the other side of the alley was a church to the South. It was abandoned, closed because the people that had made it a church had left the neighborhood.

    There is a vacant lot to the North, broken glass, tree limbs and junk covered the ground a couple of Chinese elms gave some shade in the summer heat and at night some cover if shooting started . To the west there is an abandon house that was use by the drug addicts for a little privacy.

    Industrial buildings one block west and south, but only a few were still occupy.

    The intersection by day was almost quiet, just a corner where the paved street met the dirt road. Just off a well traveled street, few would have even known it was there and fewer still found any reason to know.

    But at night it came to life where the bad and wants to be bad would gather. On an average night there could be as many as three hundred people milling around. In the club, on the corner, or in the vacant lot.

    The younger cops loved the area because of the action, the older cops whom just wanted to see their pensions were apprehensive working there. They had seen enough to not want the “Heavy drama”.

    The Police officers of this area of the Afro-American community saw themselves a step above the other officers that patrol the quieter sections of the city.

    On the night that would soon become known as “Eleventh and Jefferson”, the crowd was as large as it had ever been.

  13. WSClark

    Morgan is purring on my lap, Cookie and Rufus are lying by my feet and I am desperately knocking back the coffee. Oh, well!

    One thing I kinda like to do – it’s a little quirky, but then, that’s pretty much me.

    I like to reread books that I first read 40+ years ago. Since I was a Lit major in college, there’s a bunch of them.

    So, here’s my reread list for future reading:

    Catcher in the Rye – first read when I was 14.
    Tom Sawyer – first read when I was about 10.
    Steppenwolf – first read when I was 18.
    (I wrote a freshman paper on Herman Hesse.)
    The Stranger – first read when I was 17.
    The Sanctuary – first read when I was 19.

    I like to reread books to compare my youthful reading impression to my old man reading impression.

    Anyone else have quirky reading habits?

    (Okay, mine are real quirky, but ya’ll aren’t exactly a normal bunch either!)

  14. wicked

    Yes, Will, you’re quirky. 🙂

    I only re-read books when the mood strikes.

    My oldest daughter, a voracious and eclectic reader, re-reads two books each year— Gone With the Wind and The Stand. (Keep in mind that her daughter’s name is Scarlett. 😉 ) How eclectic is she? Besides the above, she reads John Grisham, Robin Cook (or any book about biochemical stuff), the latest vampire romances, Anne Rice, and she tried to wade through Darwin’s The Origin of Man after her trip to Galapagos. And that’s just to name a few. I can’t keep up with everything she reads. Her love of books comes from the same person mine does: her grandfather/my dad.

    • WSClark

      Both of my daughters are voracious readers – they got it from me. I can’t remember either of my a-parents ever reading a book. I was taught to read before I was six by my b-grandma and have read books all my life, but not as much in recent years.

      Regards, any book is far better than TV. I just realized the other day that I haven’t turned on my TV in about six weeks!

      I remember back in the Seventies, reading “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and then seeing the movie a week later. I was pissed! The movie, while being a decent adaptation of the book, was far, far inferior to Ken Kesey’s novel.

      • wicked

        But it’s typical for the book to be better than the movie. I’ve found the way to beat that is to see the movie before reading the book. Instead of noticing what was left out, I notice what’s added and enriches the story. (It’s a mind game.)

        When we read, we each have our own perception of things. The person who writes the screenplay does, too, as does the director and the casting director, not to mention scene designers and all the rest. There isn’t any way that all those perceptions are going to jive with yours. Or mine. Or anyone else’s. I’ve discovered that I’m not so disappointed if I see the movie first. I’m able to “see” each in its own way.

      • prairie pond

        I had that same experience with “The World According to Garp”. I loved the book and like you, I read my books over and over, and never tired of it. The movie sucked, but as Wicked noted, I had the whole damn thing in my head before I bought the popcorn, and of course, nothing could live up to THAT!

  15. prairie pond

    I dont know how I forgot to put “The Catcher in the Rye” on my list. I love anything by Salinger. I’ve re-read the catcher a million times.

    And no, I’m not too cheap to buy more books 🙂 They are just like old friends to me and I like to read them.

    • I remember the first time I read Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. Kids acting as adults acting as kids. Beautiful, profound allegorical book.

  16. WSClark

    “But it’s typical for the book to be better than the movie.”

    That certainly is true, almost without exception. Of course, if movies followed books exactly, they would be about eight hours long.

    The one notable exception I recalled is “the Godfather.” The movie is one of my favorites, but the book by Mario Puzo had a lot of sections that were just disgusting – and had nothing to do with the Mafia Family. They were just gratuitous sex scenes and commentary.

  17. wicked

    Yes, there are movies that are better than the book. Hey, it happens. 🙂

    Movies are visual. Books are…cerebral? We watch movies with our eyes. Everything is laid out for us to see and leaves very little to imagination and personalization. Although we read books with those same eyes, our mind is showing it to us in pictures. Or at least mine does that.

    Movies tend to have a more omniscient POV. We don’t normally know what the character(s) is thinking. We can understand the internal by seeing the facial expressions and body language, but hearing the character’s thoughts isn’t done a lot. Unless you’re Mel Gibson in What Women Want. LOL We see the character and can relate to emotions, but we don’t feel them as strongly because we aren’t able to “become” those characters in a movie as easily as those in a book.

    Writers give us not only descriptions, but also the internal thoughts of one or two characters. Then there are those books that are written in first person, where everything is seen through that one character’s viewpoint. Reading gives us a clearer sense of character than movies can give us. We tend to feel more with reading than with movie going. At least I do. 🙂

    But none of that means I’m going to give up movies. I enjoy many of them too much!!

    (To Kill a Mockingbird will make me cry, whether I’m seeing the movie or reading the book.)

    Dang, what a subject to blog about!

    • WSClark

      “To Kill a Mockingbird” is both a great novel and a great movie, largely due to the performance of Gregory Peck.

      I used to regal friends with the trivia fact that the film was the first appearance on screen by Robert Duval, but Wiki spoiled that for me – that is noted in one of the first paragraphs of the article.

      Dang.

  18. prairie pond

    I hardly ever watch movies, and I think the last movie I saw in a theater was “Arthur”. Really.

    Jay said on Friday the internet has ruined his attention span. I find myself guilty of that too. I read magazines and on-line, not books, and I watch parts of shows on tv, not all of them. Same with movies on the tube.

    I’m not much of a fiction reader, except for the girly erotica. And I’m always hoping it wasnt fiction for the author!

  19. klaus

    Lots of interesting stuff. I’m entering a ghost story phase. Love to dip into hard-boiled detective fiction from time to time.

    My favorite movie is “The Maltese Falcon,” and I think it was every bit as good as the book. Very similar. The movie had the added visual element of the b&w film–terrifc–and Bogie, Greenstreet, & Peter Lorre.

    WS Clark mentioned Steppenwolf. Read that when I was 18, too. Always meant to re-read it before I hit 49, but missed that one.

    I will read a book as many times as it takes. Must’ve read “Gatsby” half-a-d0zen times, until I read it in one sitting. A perfect novel, IMHO. Not a word too many, nor too few. Not necessarily my favorite, but one I truly admire.

    The last few years it’s gotten to be mostly non-fiction, interspersed with detective stuff.

  20. Situations change over time. Will asked me to help keep this blog alive as a personal favor, so I’ll honor his request, stop by once and awhile and post.

    Favorite books? My son sent me Lemmy, about Ian Fraser Leman Kilmister, who plays bass and sings for the group Motorhead. I had no idea whether or not I would like it, but since the son sent it, I had to at least skim. I did more than that.

    Lemmy is a drug abuser of the highest order. He went in one time for a blood cleaning, which he heard made it easier to get off drugs. The doctor told him if, after checking his blood, he would die if he got his blood cleaned, and his blood would kill anyone if they got it in a transfusion. But the thing is, Lemmy has a unique sense of humor, and it’s a book you have a hard time putting down. Weird, but great. They’re making a movie out of it . . . go figure.