The library meme

book_RoomPer Chuck Miller, my fellow Times Union blogger:

“The System”: In the main, the books on music, movies, television are on the shelf in front of me. Behind me: almanacs/trivia; church/faith/religion, including hymnals; the recently acquired unread; bio/autobio; classics (Shakespeare, Grimm, Twain); politics; Beatles. Off to the right, and also upstairs, comic book/comic strip stuff (Marvel Masterworks, Doonesbury collections, Elfquest collections, Life Is Hell). This is imperfect, and I’m much less fussy than I used to be.

Favorite female writer: Rachel Carson. She changed my life.

Favorite male writer: Nelson George.

Bought on location Continue reading

Book review: The Gospel According to the Beatles

gospel according to beatlesIn March 2015, the youth director of our church is putting on a musical review based on The Gospel According to the Beatles, which will feature The Daughter. This compelled me to buy and read the book. Author Steve Turner, as the book sleeve, informs me, has been writing about pop music for over three decades. This is, and I don’t want it to come off as a pejorative, a scholarly book, well-researched Continue reading

10 books that affected me

ispyLike the other lists, these do not necessarily represent my FAVORITE books, which might be reference books such as Top Pop Singles or The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, or the World Almanac. Pretty much off the top of my head:

The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They weren’t called the brothers grim for nothing.

Growing Up by Russell Baker (1982). I used to love to read Baker’s columns in the New York Times, and this book, which I have signed by the author, captures this wonderfully. Funny, though, I don’t remember WHERE I was when I got it signed.
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The Lydster, Part 123: Reading is Fundamental

One evening when she had no homework, the Daughter complained, “I understand why you’re limiting me watching television. That’s all right! But reading?”

I was so pleased. I was only “limiting” her reading because she had to go to bed, and get up in the morning. In fact, because of my lax parenting, I had to wake her, as she had fallen asleep, reading some Roald Dahl tome.

Often, her bedroom door is closed in the morning Continue reading

Yer basic book meme

booksI’m not doing this because SamuraiFrog did it. I’m not even attempting it because Jaquandor completed it. I’m doing it because I haven’t written a blog post in five days, and MAYBE it’ll jump start the process. And what I have determined is that sometimes, my answers change, so I find that interesting.

1. Your favorite book:

I used to say the World Almanac, and it was probably even true. I used to devour it, at least the year in review section. But now… Continue reading

Joy, America, food, Muppets

AmericasdebtMore from New York Erratic:

What was the greatest joy in the last year?

It had to be Thanksgiving. My wife and daughter and I spent it at my second cousin’s house, just outside NYC, with her and her family, her sister, my eldest niece and her husband, a couple of my mother’s first cousins (the hostess’s uncles) and more. The next day, my family did Manhattan with the niece, her husband and her friends.

What do you think is really causing the deficit?

I just don’t know. It seemed that Bill Clinton had a real handle on reducing the deficit, but then, kablooey, it got all out of control. It’s totally mysterious.
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Dinosaurs, candy, kissing, travel

T-Rex-The-SliderGot a bunch of questions, great questions. Gracias. I’ve been thinking about them, some of them A LOT, but some are going to require longer answers than others, and I’ll have more time in the next week or two (I hope).

In the meanwhilst, here’s a few from New York Erratic:

Were you ever into fossils or dinosaurs? What is your favorite dinosaur?

Not in any kind of systematic way. I mean they were collectively cool, but I didn’t study them very thoroughly. I got frustrated that several of the ones I knew as a child Continue reading

Houses and dogs and books…

Let me answer the rest of the questions from New York Erratic:

What would you say is the most difficult part of buying your first house? Is there something that you wish people would have told you?

I didn’t own my first house until I was 46, when I moved into the house my bride had purchased seven years earlier.

“Everyone” said that you’re “supposed” to own a house. I was never that interested in doing so. Continue reading

Reluctant, late BOOK REVIEW: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

The intrepid New York Erratic asks:

What’s the most recent fiction book you’ve read?

You ask a simple question, and I have a simple, then complicated, answer.

The book was Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, which became a New York Times Bestseller.

Lucky Kyle wins a spot as one of the first twelve kids invited to a gala, overnight library lock-in filled with of fun and games. Continue reading