March 10, 2011

Books, Books, Books

I received my new Kindle for Christmas.  Since that time I have read 17 books. Most are old classics, some are new titles.  I am greedy and have always hoarded books. I have 35 more volumes in my queue waiting to be read.

Here is the list of the read volumes:

Star Island  by Carl Hiaason
The Fort  By Bernard Cornwell
The Scarlett Pimpernell  by Baroness EmmuskaOrczy
El Dorado  by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
I Will Repay  by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Elusive Pimpernell  by Baroness EmmuskaOrczy
The League of the Scarlett Pimpernell  by Baroness EmmuskaOrczy
      At this point I was a little tired of Sir Percy and his gang
The Call of the Wild  by Jack London
Dead Zero  by Stephen Hunter
The Last of the Mohicans  by James Fenimore Cooper
Trap Line by Carl Hiaason
Key Weird  by Robert Tacoma
Fat, Forty and Fired  by Nigel Marsh
Under Enemy Colors  by S. Thomas Russell
A Battle Won  by S. Thomas Russell
Mr. Midshipman Easy  by Frederick Marryat
    and I am currently reading
Frank Mildmay Or, The Naval Officer  by Frederick Marryat

As you can see, once I get on an author I like, I stick with him or her for a while. I had read The Scarlett Pimpernell as a kid, so I was glad to reacquaint myself with that fine adventure story set during the French Revolution. The sequels I had not read before. The books by S. Thomas Russell are in the spirit of Patrick O'Brian, of course not as good, but well worth a read. It goes without saying the Bernard Cornwell book is excellent.

The Marryat books are new to me.  Marryat was a British Naval officer in the time of the Napoleonic Wars. He writes in the wordy style of the 19th Century, but so far I find him an entertaining read. Midshipman Easy is hilarious, and clearly the British sense of humor has not changed in two hundred years.

Fat, Forty and Fired is a fun, quick read.  It is the story of a down-sized executive and the year he spent trying to rearrange the priorities in his life. It is told with humor and honesty.

I have three more Marryat books waiting, but I think I am going to take up Eddie Rickenbacker's autobiography next. But I have to admit, The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson by Robert Southey is a tempting choice. But to be honest with myself, I will probably stick to Marryat until he bores me.

What are you reading?


Jean said...

Just finished 'Eleanor and Franklin' by Nash. Now reading his book of her letters.

mts1 said...

I have a trove of 4 books I'm reading concurrently, "Smart Kids, Bad Schools," "Angry Parents, Failing Schools," "The Conspiracy of Ignorance," and "From Crayons to Condoms." I have a goody number of people around me, including one school board member, who think what Mr. Bennett is doing with vouchers and diminishing the power of the teachers' union is horrible, that the schools are wonderful the way they are.

Funny, these people thought the schools were terrible when Bush or Reagan were in. And all my adult life I've heard from the media, from people in business, from my time in the Army, the same broken record that Johnny can't Read and Suzy can't add, and we're passing dummies through an attendance party. Misspelled resumes, business e-mails with the spelling and grammar of a 4th grader. But now someone has the gumption to grab the third rail of school reform, AAAAA!

I was run through the parochial school system with excellent results for me and my classmates, so I can't say from experience what public school is, except from the people I meet. I don't say a word until I have knowledge, so I'm arming myself with one fact bullet in the magazine at a time. I'm a competitive bastard, even if it's sitting by the grill discussing schools.

But yeah I have the same thing with getting hooked on an author and running through his book-ography. Eugene Izzi was getting very bad with sick violence (he was doing more asides about atrocities than keeping the story going) before he hung himself, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker trilogy just got more and more strange, but Tom Robbins and PJ O'Rourke keep on keepin' on, dependable as a Timex, and all you have to say they have new work out and I buy it site unseen, so to speak. All of Bill Zehme's bios were great, and I am very disappointed his "Carson the Magnificent" never came out.

My next read for fun will be "Two Years Before the Mast," another classic from the mid 1800's. I last read it when I was in my teens. I have "My Year in Iraq" by Ambassador Paul Bremer on CD in the car. I cannot inhale enough books about the war, for I'm no longer nearly pinning every vet I run into and pumping him for information.

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