"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Slipping into Comfortable

I went looking for a new book to read last night.  I’ve been on a non-fiction kick for three months, with only two exceptions, so I limited my choices to that genre.

I won’t tell you the first title of the first option because of what I’m going to say about it.   I made it through the forward, acknowledgements, and introduction, then skipped ahead to see if it covered a specific event in that person’s life.  

The first line I read needed a comma really, really badly.   I skipped a few pages and the next line I saw misused a homonym.   Okay, this book was going to require some serious patience.  I set it aside for later.

The next option was Gallipoli by Alan Moorehead that tells of a battle in WWI in which the British, Russians, and French were soundly drubbed by the forces of the Ottoman Empire.   The print was smaller than I felt like tackling and after reading a couple pages, I realized I wasn’t concentrating.    This book I will read some day, just not now.

The third option was Arab Spring Winter Comes to America, The Truth about the War We’re In, by Robert Spencer.   I made it through 15 or 20 pages before I realized that this book was going to give me ulcers, hives, and permanent insomnia, and I was wishing I had enough airline miles for a ticket to the moon where I wouldn’t have to worry about all the stuff going on in the world today.

Spencer, the author, who was once a trainer for the FBI and US military in matters relating to Islamic jihad, ran afoul of the current administration by continuing to use words like “war on terror” and “jihad” and “radical Islam.”   He’s no longer a trainer.   This is a definite read someday, with the emphasis on “day.”   Not a book to read while lying in bed before going to sleep.

Then I gave up on non-fiction and opened James Lee Burke’s Wayfaring Stranger.   After reading the first page, I slipped into comfort.  Burke himself looks like a combination of Western cowboy and Louisiana Cajun, but he writes like a god.

These sentences are good examples of why I love to read Burke:

Blue [a horse] was hot-wired to the eyes.  All you had to do was lean forward in the saddle and Blue would be halfway to El Paso.


…(H)oping against hope there would be a cloud that had water and not half of West Texas in it.


Excuse me for now.   Gotta get back to Wayfaring Stranger.


  1. I'm listening to Will Patton read Burke's Wayfaring Stranger, and I swear, I really believe this is James Lee's most brilliant work yet. It's rare for me to both listen to and want to read the hard copy of a book, but this is one I want to read, savor, and linger over.

  2. This book sounds like another must read for me. Off I go to amazon!!!