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December 10, 2011

This Year of Books

This year I read some books I liked a lot, life-changers, teachers of writing. I also started a number of books that just didn't sock it to me. It may be rice wine to you, but it's still sake to me! I gave 'em the standard fifty pages, then retired them to the basement. Reading's too much fun and life too brief to read books that don't zing to your zoul.

Try keeping score yourself, a reading log can mark the paces of your passage through your years. You might take little steps of mildly enjoyable reads or you might mark your life into before and after X.

Plus reading can help you lose weight and keep in shape if done on a treadmill.

Here are the gooduns, excepting research and work stuff.

A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole *
bird by bird, Anne Lamott
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
Demonology, Rick Moody
Dude, Where’s My Country? Michael Moore
Many Lives, Many Masters, Brian L. Weiss
Moran of the Lady Letty, Frank Norris
Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs
On Moral Fiction, John Gardner
Plan B, Anne Lamott
Ron Carlson Writes a Story, Ron Carlson
The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs That Sell, Eric Beall
The Challenge of Space, Arthur Louis Joquel II * (my former prof)
The Elements of Storytelling, Peter Rubie
The Inferno, Dante (John Ciardi translation)
The Maytrees, Annie Dillard
The Pacific Crest Trail, National Geographic Society
The Road to Wellville, T. Coraghessan Boyle
The Sot-Weed Factor, John Barth *
The Sweetheart Season, Karen Joy Fowler
The Watch, Rick Bass
The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
Vineland, Thomas Pynchon
Wild Mind, Natalie Goldberg
* best

Happy trials, Martin

Mutt: Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
Jeff: When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
Mutt: A scientist doing a large experiment with liquid chemicals was trying to solve a problem when he fell in and became part of the solution.
Jeff: If you leave alphabet soup on the stove and go out, it could spell disaster.
Mutt: When they bought a water bed, the couple started to drift apart.

Jeff: A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was a nurse said ‘No change yet’.
Mutt: What did the grape say when it got stepped on? Nothing – but it let out a little whine.
Jeff: A criminal’s best asset is his lie ability.
Mutt: Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you.
Jeff: If you give some managers an inch they think they’re a ruler.
Mutt: She was only a whisky maker but he loved her still.
Jeff: The optician fell into the lens grinding machine and made a spectacle of himself.
Mutt: Gravity is studied a lot because it’s a very attractive field.
Jeff: Old lawyers never die they just lose their appeal.
Mutt: Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
Jeff: So how are you today, my friend?
Mutt: 'Bout the same, 'bout the same. And you?
Jeff: Ditto likewise.