Monday, March 9, 2009

Stuff Brewin', Books & a bad pun

I really have this stuff brewing in my head that I want to write about, but I can't figure out completely what it is.    So maybe I'll just read.

Speaking of reading, I'm closing in on the last 400 pages or so of "The Rise & Fall of the 3rd Reich" by William Shirer.  And the sick thing is, I've read it once before.   And the even sicker thing is, this is what I consider a break from reading 23 straight (literally) Harry Turtledove alternate histories (11 volumes or so on the civil war, and 11 or 12 on WWII interrupted by alien invaders.  I've got one more book to go........arrrgggghhhh).  And sicker than that, before I started the 3rd Reich, for some reason I picked up a Dick Francis novel, and read a little mind candy mystery.   That's the sickest of all, so I'll write about that.

Dick Francis is a very good author.  What I like about his novels are the detail that's in them. Some stories are better than others - he's a mystery writer, so that's what you're gonna get, a mystery.    A mystery is a mystery to me.  I don't really like them.  So, it's not the genre, or the story, and I sometimes think the characters are a tad on the shallow side (or perhaps stereotypical) BUT, there is a lot of detail. I like detail.  It's not my first Dick Francis novel.   From his novels I have learned the business of running a pub, the business of transporting horses to various racing venues all over Europe, and the business of gambling (especially on horse racing) and all that entails.  I also learned about how a really top of the line prosthetic arm works.   Those details are worth the read.   If there was another Dick Francis book floating around I'd probably pick it up and read it, just to see what business I could learn about this time.  What's that ol' Dick Francis up to now?  

Here's my favorite book of all time.  In English it is called "Life: A User's Manual", by Georges Perec.   I think the French translates literally to "The Way of Life", but I'm not sure.  I don't speak French.  Period.  Anyway,  if you read it from cover to cover, it will blow your mind.   You will freak.  You'll say "No he didn't", or some such words.   I shook my head in disbelief, and sat their stunned (or astonied, as it says in the 1611 version of the King James Bible).  But then, I'm sensitive.  

Anyway, "Life: A User's Manual", by Georges Perec.  Get it, read it, sit around astonied.  And rent your clothes if you need extra money.  

When I figure out what I wanted to write about, I'll be sure to write about it.  For now, today is a wrap.


A Very Big Fan said...

Is that the one about the chess game? or chess set? I got estonied just reading the first 10 pages and didn't go any further.

I love Dick Francis novels, especially when he wrote about using a Harris computer. They were about the size of AS400's and were fairly common in England. When I worked on a research project at the U o MN, we had a Harris computer; so did the Army Corps of Engineers - we had user groups and some of the Corps guys showed up. But, no one else in the Twin Cities ever heard of Harris computers. Then, one day I was reading a Dick Francis novel and he talked about programming a Harris computer. I also agree his mysteries are a bit flat after awhile, but you can also always count on his hero getting either shot or broken bones sometime during the book and taking weeks to heal that he never takes. Anyone else needs 8 weeks for a broken bone - Dick Francis' guy is up in 3 and solving murders!
Please continue your quest for what you're wanting to write about - I love reading your blog!

A Valdese Blogger said...

Big Fan: it's the one with the jig-saw puzzle.