Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Whatcha Reading?

The main advantage to being retired is that I can do pretty much whatever I like.  On short notice I can travel. I can weld if I feel like it, putter in the garden, think of Spring and my tomatoes or do nothing at all.  This time of year, the dead of Winter when the garden is mostly mud, I seem to read a lot.  I am lucky to have a used book store just four blocks from my home where I can find used books for a dollar each.  I go through fits and starts, find an author I like and then devour each and every book they have written.  Mostly I read cheap mysteries, nothing too intellectual, just reading for fun.  I like well written books where the author has gone to some effort to entertain me with language, where
the telling of the story is as important as the story.  When I find such a book I set it aside, reading it again a month or so later just to see if it can still capture me.
    I also like "historical books", books set in time and place, a particular geography, the telling of a particular struggle, maybe in a way that I hadn't thought of before.  I will just mention two here but there are so many.  These are books that rearrange your brain cells, make language and description fun, where curled up on a couch one can get lost and find the attempt at self discovery jolting, invigorating,
and mystical if you allow it to be.
   Beryl Markham wrote just one book and died before we could benefit from another.  "West with the Night" takes place in 1930's and '40's Africa.  It is her story, growing up white and a woman.  Two marks against her in deepest, darkest Africa.  At a time when women couldn't smoke she became a pilot, a bush pilot among the elephants.  This is probably the best descriptive book that I have ever read.  It will give you a new respect for adjectives.  She could write about changing motor oil and make it interesting.
   A book I have almost finished is also about Africa.  I told you that I go on jags, finding an author or a topic and beating it to death.  I am hunting for more.  Barbara Kingsolver is the author of "The Poisonwood Bible", a story of missionaries in the Congo in the 1960's when that country got its independence from Belgium just as diamonds were discovered!  It is a great read, well written for sure and one of those books where you will learn a lot:  of history and yourself.
    Johnathon Kellerman is, so far, my favorite mystery writer.  His hero is Alex Delaware, a psychologist who works with the police department.  Very involved, complicated and well written for that type of book.

Screen on copper plate.
I am welding a little.  My latest "painting", a hundred year old screen from a rockmill over  a copper sheet and framed in steel channel.  About 10" X 24"  I think I will put it in the bathroom.


Barbra Joan said...

JC I love anything old, old and used. LOL !

Jabed Super said...

Good word thinks old! But "Old is gold". I’d like some advice too welder school. Thanks for sharing.....

stonepost said...

No welder school necessary! Welding is easy to learn, just takes some time.

Dionne said...

I do the same thing with new interest, read everything I can find on it. Recently I read 2001 a space odyssey. Much better than the movie. The book was so good I'm now reading 2010 and will soon move onto the others in the series. Who knew there were more. Jackpot! When I'm done with my Clark kick I'll have to check out those you have mentioned. Love a good mystery.

rama said...

You sure know how to make best use of your time. Yes, as you have said retirement offers a lot of benefits, and one can be free to do what one wants without any constraints.
I never had a job in my entire life,and looks like I was, and I am still leading the life of a retired person, doing whatever I want to do.
I really thank the Universe for placing in this position.
Be happy doing what you love doing in your life, Jerry.

Graciewilde said...

Oh to be retired! Jonathan Kellerman is a winner for escapist stuff. I am stuck on a bit of an existential rant right now - reading James Hillman for fun! Also revisiting Ranier Maria Rilke.... going to switch to something lighter soon -- wait! right after Christmas I read the new Neil YOung autobiography... I am a fan of biographies