Reading Is Essential!

Autumn began last week……that much closer to some cooler weather and down here that is important……

One of my crowning achievements is imparting my love of reading and books onto my daughter and now onto my granddaughter.

I have about 2500 books in my library and less then 10 books of fiction.  To say I love reading is an understatement….I like the feel of the pages, the smell of an old book….all in all I love books.

Recently the push has been for “books on tape” (audio books) this lets people “read” a book while driving, jogging, even when having sex (but I would not try this if one wants to keep breathing)…..this lets people expand their knowledge and their enjoyment of literature.

I admit it that I have been a critic of “books on tape”……well the truth is I have been a book snob.  I felt that something was being missed by listening to your book instead of reading it.

Well, like everything someone has done a study on this subject……

Even for people who love books, finding the opportunity to read can be a challenge. Many, then, rely on audiobooks, a convenient alternative to old-fashioned reading. You can listen to the latest bestseller while commuting or cleaning up the house.

But is listening to a book really the same as reading one?

“I was a fan of audiobooks, but I always viewed them as cheating,” says Beth Rogowsky, an associate professor of education at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

http://time.com/5388681/audiobooks-reading-books/

I will withdraw to the “War Room” and kick back and do whatever the Hell I want…..I love being retired.

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What To Read

Another weekend and another Sunday…I will be spending time with my granddaughter doing something cool no doubt….

AS an avid reader, mostly non-fiction seldom do I read fiction, I read apiece that some classics were being removed from the must read list……

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling through a so-called “classic” book only to find yourself thinking, “How racist/sexist/boring,” you’re not alone. The editors of GQ, along with some current authors, have put together a list of 21 such books (technically 20, because one of them got two votes) that are simply outdated and should be struck from the “Great Books” canon. The list got itself mentioned on Fox & Friends over the weekend, and not in a good way—it includes the Bible, which Jesse Ball calls “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned,” leading Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris to push back by calling its inclusion on the list “foolish,” USA Today reports. Lots of social media users also decried the choice, and evangelist Franklin Graham said the editors “couldn’t be more wrong.” As for what else made the list, here’s a sampling—along with the books the editors and the authors they spoke to think you should read instead:

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: This is the book that got two votes. “Mark Twain was a racist. … He was a man of his time, so let’s leave him there,” writes To Instead, he suggests reading The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis; Caity Weaver suggests Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: André Aciman calls Salinger’s novel “totally silly” and “without any literary merit whatsoever.” Instead, try Olivia: A Novel by Dorothy Strachey.
  3. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway: “Hemingway’s novels—with their masculine bluster and clipped sentences—sometimes feel almost parodic to me,” writes Rumaan Alam, who suggests instead The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard.
  4. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: While the books are “influential as exercises in world building, as novels they are barely readable,” writes Manuel Gonzales. Instead, try Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series.
  5. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: While Heller’s novel “fails to capture the absurdities and impossible conflicts of war,” Emily Robbins writes that Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter does just that.
  6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut: “The few women in Slaughterhouse-Five die early, are porn stars, or are ‘bitchy flibbertigibbets,'” writes Nadja Spiegelman, who suggests Veronica by Mary Gaitskill instead.
  7. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: “I’m convinced that the cowboy mythos, with its rigid masculine emotional landscape, glorification of guns and destruction, and misogynistic gender roles, is a major factor in the degradation of America,” writes Lauren Groff. “The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford … acts in many ways as a strong rebuttal to all the old toxic western stereotypes we all need to explode.”

Click for the complete list, which includes another Hemingway and another Salinger.

While I may not read much fiction I feel these classics should remain on the must read list…..Hemingway is about the only way that most Americans know anything about WW1 or the Spanish Civil War…..never stop reading him!

What say you about this?

 

Homer: Man Of His Day?

Remember back in school when you had to struggle through the “the Iliad” and its companion, “the Odyssey”?

Both written back Greek writer Homer……who is also famous for perpetrating the myth of Atlantis……sure you remember….all those long hours of wading through illusions and such that were……at best….mind numbing.

Yes, I know they are all Classics!  But what about the man, the writer, Homer?

When we think of The Iliad and The Odyssey, we shouldn’t give credit to a single man, says a historian: “It’s a mistake to think of Homer as a person,” historian Adam Nicolson tells National Geographic. “Homer is an ‘it.’ A tradition. An entire culture coming up with ever more refined and ever more understanding ways of telling stories that are important to it,” adds the author of Why Homer Matters. Modern readers want to know the story of individual writers, but “Homer has no biography,” Nicolson says. He also argues that the works may have emerged some 1,200 years before many historians say Homer lived; he dates the epic poems to around 2000 BC.

He supports his theory by noting that parts of Homeric stories “are shared among the Indo-European world as a whole, all the way from north India through Greece to Germanic and Icelandic stories.” What’s more, Greece, in TheIliad, is full of “barbarians,” and that description “doesn’t make sense any later than about 1800 to 1700 BC.” The works combine the “hero-based culture of the Eurasian steppes” with the “sophisticated, authoritarian, and literate cities and palaces of the eastern Mediterranean,” Nicolson writes, as Guardian reviewer Charlotte Higgins notes. Meanwhile, the Washington Post observes that questions over Homer’s existence, or lack thereof, aren’t new; no “reliable historical information” exists about the poet, Terrence McCoy writes.

Will this make a difference?  Probably not!  They will always be classics…..and will be required reading….but the man may not have been the MAN!