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Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
   ―  Maya Angelou
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On This Day In:
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (Sept ’09)
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There’s nothing wrong with reading a book you love over and over.
   –  Gail Carson Levine
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On This Day In:
2016 Alas, Too Often The Latter
2015 Either / Or
2014 Memorial Day – 2014
Perfection
2013 Memorial Day Video
Equal = Equal
2012 Congrats, Nephew!!
Doggie Vision Networks
The Flash: Omnibus
JLI: vol 1
Flash: Rebirth
Burning Images
What Do You Believe?
2011 Are We Still At War With The Poor?

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Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
   –  P.J. O’Rourke
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On This Day In:
2016 Beyond The Foundation
2015 Become An Affliction
2014 Just Setting Out
2013 Scott’s Inscription
2012 Good Knowledge
2011 Social Safety Nets

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I’ve lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves.  I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time.  Because I read.
  —  George R.R. Martin
[Quote found at one of the blogs I follow:  http://professionsforpeace.com/
 The specific post was at:  http://professionsforpeace.com/2017/02/18/just-sit-and-read/    —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 On What Matters…
2015 Social Security
2014 Bewitching
2013 Visiting Joy
2012 Dedication To Today
2011 Project Second Chance – Adult Literacy
Turning Coal Into Diamonds

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Tripwire  (1999©) —  Book Review
Tripwire” is book three in the Jack Reacher novel series which I began reading earlier this year after seeing the movie starring Tom Cruise.  I enjoyed the flic, so I wanted to see what the books were about.  You can never be sure just from watching a movie if the character is “really” the same or simply an interpretation by the director or star actor.  Although this is the third book in the series, it’s actually the fourth book I’ve read.  I was looking at summaries and found one of the books was a throw-back to before the “series” began, so I wanted to “start” the series at the chronological beginning even if it wasn’t the first book in the series.  Since I haven’t read all of them, I’m not sure I have started in the right place, but I feel as if I made the effort anyway.
So, the book (and series) is written by Lee Child.  At this point, the series is beginning to follow a formula: Reacher is out minding his business, something happens, he goes to be a hero – because he’s the only one who can work outside the law and get “it” done, whatever “it” happens to be.  This book finds Reacher in Florida, but quickly moves to New York.  He meets a past acquaintance who becomes a lover.  She gets in danger.  Hero time!
The book is solidly entertaining.  It’s well paced and (of course) has a twist ending.  The author accomplishes this with two tricks, misdirected first person narration and then failing to tell the reader what the main character knows until the author is ready for the “twist” ending.  The problem is, this trick is blatantly obvious when the author does it and as a reader you just stop and say (to yourself) “just tell me what Reacher knows!”  Does it spoil the book?  No.  Does it make it less enjoyable…?  Yeah, for me, it did.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  I will continue to read the series and see what happens.  I don’t remember the earlier books having the problem discussed above and hopefully, it’s just a one off in this particular book.  Anyway, as I stated, I still enjoyed it.  Action.  Mystery / detective / procedural.  Heroics.  What’s not to like?
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On This Day In:
2015 I’d Settle For Interesting
2014 Old Math
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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Fight not because you are told to fight, but because you are free to fight.  Then you are answerable only to yourself and to the world you cherish most highly.
   —  John Phoenix (Mack Bolan), from his journal
[Mack Bolan is a fictional character from the “men’s” action/adventure series: “The Executioner” written by Don Pendleton.  Bolan is an American vigilante who goes around the country killing Mafiosi because he feels they are beyond the law.  The series is sometimes credited with being the foundation of the 70s/80s genre of male action/adventure novels.  It was also the inspiration for Marvel’s character: “The Punisher“.  The series ran about forty volumes and then Bolan switched to a “war” on terrorists.  I bought and read the entire original series and started on the Phoenix line, but got bored and lost interest.  The series was sold to a different publisher and they hired a team of writers to take over.  The series didn’t have the same flavor for me.  Wikipedia reports the series is still going and has over 600 (!!) volumes.
Forty years ago, I’d have thought the words “answerable only to yourself” were the most significant.  Now, with age, and hopefully a bit more wisdom, I’d put more emphasis on the “and to the world you cherish most highly“.  We may all be actors in a play, but none of us are an island.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2015 Verbal Fluency
2014 Familiar
2013 Unbending
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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Today I completed reading “The Doors Of Perception” (1954©), by Aldous Huxley.  This is a “classic” because it was written by a famous / distinguished author.  It is a very short work of less than eighty pages; well written and easy to zip through.  This is my second reading of the book.  I guess I first read the book back in the mid to late 1970’s, but it may have been as late as the early 1980’s – certainly before I reached thirty years old.  I have remembered almost nothing of the book, so it didn’t leave much of an early impression the first time through.  I had previously underlined a few excerpts to be included in my journal at some point.  I found many more interesting statements this second time through.
The book is essentially about a day spent “high” on peyote / mescaline.  The author read about the drug being used to treat some forms of mental illness and decided to try it under supervision (a doctor and his – Huxley’s – wife).  The book is a record of the experience and his thoughts immediately after the experiment.  At the time of the experiment, the drug was not illegal or on the controlled substance list.
Full disclosure: although I had a misspent youth experiencing multiple controlled substances, “magic” mushrooms / peyote / mescaline was not one of them, so I have no direct experience to personally compare with Huxley’s.  I would say generally, Huxley’s description of “altered” states seems accurate, perceptive and well written.  Perhaps, too well written, as erudite writers sometimes beat you over the head with their education and sophistication.  Huxley is borderline here.
I believe I actually found Huxley’s after-the-fact comments and observations more interesting than his in-the-moment ones.  Huxley offered me a number of insights into human nature and the role of drugs in society and religion, which I confess gave me pause for thought.  You’ll read some of these in the next few months.  I haven’t decided whether I’ll comment on them or simply post them as written.
Final recommendation: highly recommended reading!   The book is short, well written and offers interesting comments on the nature of man’s experience in the universe.
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On This Day In:
2014 A Wall Too High, A Bridge Too Far
2013 Glory = Danger
Chicago Magic
Feelin’ It
2012 How Did We Get Here?
2011 Labor Day Weekend Mishmash
More, More, More

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