Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What do you read?

Addendum to this post:
We live carefully or we live randomly. It may seem that  I am looking for excuses for my reading habits, but I am not, or believe that. I just finished one of "those" books. A question that piqued my interest: If today is the day I die (no matter the age), will it be all right? Have I lived enough to say I've lived and be okay with dying? So I say: I've had an interesting life, considering all the "dry places." What would you say?

Blog begins below:

You are what you eat. We know this is true, especially for diabetics. Is it also true that you are what you read? Or, that you are like those you hang out with, you know, birds of a feather? Or, that you become like those you live with?

Case in point: My sister was married to a man who was psychologically and abnormally stressed by things in sight in "his" house. Thus, nothing, not a thing, was kept on the kitchen counters. Everything had to be put out of sight, including coffee maker, canisters, etc., even his precious bourbon bottle. My sister did not grow up with an aversion to things in sight. Things used in everyday life were kept on the counters: coffee maker, canisters, toaster, and so on. So, one summer the family had gathered at my mother and step-father's place on the lake. It was time to cook and my sister, a take-charge kind of gal, was taking over (she's like that). Guess what she said? "Oh, good grief. Look at all this junk everywhere!" and she proceeded to remove everything from the counter tops! Indeed, she did! So, I try to remind her of this at every proper opportunity. BTW, these two are divorced but you're not surprised, are you?

One more example: My brother, sister, and I grew up speaking proper grammar. However, this same brother married a girl who used poor grammar, not because she didn't know better, but because she thinks it's cool. Yes, of course, my brother sounds like her and has for years. This has always stressed me.

AS for reading: Is it true that one's reading choices reveal a person's character? Let's take me for example. I'm a retired English teacher, a life-long reader of all kinds of literature, and a collector of all kinds of books. So, what do I read?

Honestly, the books that make me happiest are the Jack Reacher books. Why? What psychological trait am I revealing by reading this series? Jack Reacher is a man retired from the military, not forced, before his regular retirement time. He's a man of high honor, even though he kills when necessity dictates. A conundrum? Not in a Reacher novel. William Faulkner used to put his plot lines on paper posted around his writing room. That way he kept up with his twisted plot lines. I think Childs must do something similar. His plots are painstakingly 
detailed and reveal methodical thinking that goes on in Reacher's mind. 

Another thing about Reacher: He wears the same clothes for several days and irons them by laying them out straight under his mattress. When I say mattress, I mean motel, not home, because Reacher does not have a home. He travels like the birds, going willy-nilly, and involving himself when a situation piques his sense of justice. The book is truly wishful thinking by the author. I guess such a character could exist, but not likely.

I like Reacher for many reasons, but the main one is that he is a bad-ass, not intentionally, not maliciously, but because circumstances dictate him to be. But first, he reveals his reluctance to be violent and his absolute dedication to being violent if necessary. Woe to those who dare to challenge him. As a teacher I was challenged too many times over the years and found myself in a position of non-action. 

Addendum: Wow, did I really admit my true reading preference? But I do read other things. Currently, I'm reading Temple Mount by Keith Raffel. My sister and I live several states apart. We talk up to an hour daily. The other day she wanted to discuss the Temple Mount in Israel. I started googling and found this book on Amazon, so I ordered it and have read about 50 pages. I'll report later. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

What is Fishing? Ch.7: The best time to fish

Chapter 7

I finally learned the secret for the best time to fish! 

Last week I spent several days fishing and caught almost nothing! Yes, yes, of course, the throw-backs, the fingerlings, the ones who need to grow up. They always go back into their watery depths. But keepers? Only a couple. What's the deal, I repeatedly asked. Have I fished out all these fish along my part of the bayou? But how is that possible? There are no boundaries underwater, are there?

About this time I decided to find a fishing magazine. I found In-Fisherman. Here is the blurb about this magazine:

"In-Fisherman Magazine is known mainly for the extensive information it provides on many different species of fish. In-Fisherman magazine also includes equipment reviews, fishing advice and secrets from professional fisherman, and information about popular and local fishing locations in the United States.
Readers of In-Fisherman magazine are treated to information about countless species of fish. The magazines writers provide information about bass, walleye, catfish, panfish, pike, muskie, trout, salmon, and many other species. Readers find out where they can catch these fish and what they will need to bring in order to be successful.
The equipment reviews contained in In-Fisherman are widely respected. Each issue reviews tons of lures and poles for those fishing in different locations or for different types of fish. Also included are reviews about accessories like rain gear, electronic equipment, and tackle bags. Some of the gear articles are strictly informative, like one titled The Fishing Line Evolution that chronicles changes that have been in motion since the 1970s.
In-Fisherman magazine is known well for the fishing secrets and advice contained in each issue. Its expert writers go into detail about different fishing techniques and specific types of fishing that readers may not have tried before. One article talks about the equipment and know-how that is needed before one can go on a successful ice fishing trip. In-Fisherman is also known for articles like the one titled 10 Best Bass Fishing States in America that let readers know about the best places to fish."

The October/November issue was worthy reading cover to cover. I especially enjoyed the article about shore fishing (since, of course, what I do is shore fish). The author authenticates shore fishing by describing his largest catches--from shore. I can affirm his experience. I caught my three and one/half pound bass three feet from water's edge. Indeed, I did. I've seen two more times other huge bass fishing for their own meals right there at my feet! In fact, I hooked another large bass two feet from my feet, but it shed the hook when my reel caught and a slack happened in the line.I cannot describe the sheer enormity of watching a huge fish swish at your feet. Swish is not a powerful enough onomatopoeic word for what happens when a bass seeks his meal  like that!

But I brought In-Fisherman to your attention because it answered my query about why I was not catching fish last week into this one. Toward the back was a Solunar Calendar. It tells me that next week will be horrible fishing, so I guess I will take the week off. Meanwhile, the rest of the week promises excellent fishing!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What is fishing? Ch. 6: Wildlife

Chapter 6  Wildlife

Fishing takes a person into the world of nature. It's up to the fisherman how
intent that experience will be. Personally, what I find every time I go fishing is a host of creatures. 

Imagine this: A couple has been fishing across the bayou from me for the last three afternoons. They come with all their gear, including a boom box. And they keep it turned on, though not loud. My question is: Why? 

I like to listen to all the surrounding sounds: all kinds of birds from robins to woodpeckers to erratically chatty little wrens. The loudest is the blue heron, yes, a blue heron, a gigantic bird. Every time I disturb him(her?), he flies off, squawking, no, bellowing his displeasure, that I had interrupted his feeding time. However, this afternoon, we scared each other. I took my rod, loaded up worm, got in my favorite spot, then glanced six feet over, and wow! That blue heron was standing there when he suddenly saw me and gasped and flew away. Mutual admiration, maybe.

Daily, along the bayou's edge, close to the point that water meets land, I find some kind of animal tracks. Could be a cat's because I've seen a cat wander the banks, but the paw prints are too large for Boo (neighbor's cat, Boo short for Beauregard). Could be beaver tracks, or maybe possum, or raccoon, --I've seen all these animals at one time or another.

A squirrel currently has a nest in the majestic cypress and enjoys throwing down the cypress balls that grow in the tree. Same is true for the huge pecan tree which half hangs over my property. Ha! 

Did I mention snakes and turtles and mosquitos? I guess all beautiful things have their drawbacks. I've watched a snake slither just under water's surface. One even surfaced his freaky little face and eyeballed me. I guess snakes are curious, too.  

The most marvelous yet perilous things I've seen on this bayou happened twice this week. Right in front of my eyes, three feet from me, a large-mouth bass, a large one, leaped right up out of that water intending to catch his breakfast then and there. However, breaking to the right was a tiny silver fish. I froze in disbelief. Then again the next day further down the bank, another? the same? bass did the same leap.

It's just awesome ("awe"--def. extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear) to see such things, and to know that someone created all this beauty in its magnificence and fear.)

A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.