Saturday, October 22, 2011

If you show me your Nook, I'll let you see my Kindle

My reading continues.

After finishing The Road and The Help, I decided to read Angela’s Ashes, which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Frank McCourt (1930 - 2009). I liked the Irishness of it, but it turned out to be naughty in places.

After finishing Angela’s Ashes, I started Run With the Horsemen by Dr. Ferrol Sams of Fayetteville, Georgia, and I also have his Whisper of the River at the ready. But I interrupted reading the novel to read a little volume of his entitled The Widow’s Mite that contains eight short stories, my favorite kind of reading. With short stories, the commitment of time and energy is less and the satisfaction of having completed one is more frequent.
I highly recommend two volumes of short stories in particular,
A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge, both by another Georgia author, the one and only Flannery O’Connor (1925 - 1964). A third and much more diverse read is Clifton Fadiman’s anthology, The World of the Short Story: A 20th Century Collection. But I digress.

The stories in The Widow’s Mite turned out to be quite funny but also quite naughty in places.

I am going to ask you a question, but I don’t want you to answer me (that is called a rhetorical question, kiddies). Why do we call descriptions of sex organs or sexual activities or anything remotely having to do with sex -- “adult”? The preoccupation with that part of our lives (pleasurable as it is) seems more adolescent than adult to me. Maybe I’m a prude (don’t answer that either) but here’s what I say: Have as much sex as you like, just don’t talk or write about it or take pictures of it. But if you do, please refrain from posting them on your favorite social networking site for all the world to see.

I think what I really object to most in books is the coarseness of the language. Hearing it is bad enough, but must I see the words in print also? I know that many people use words regularly that I find objectionable, and I’m all for freedom of speech, but if I ruled the world the first thing I would do is encourage (I do not say force) people to find some way to expand their vocabularies. Slang will take you only so far. There are many other descriptive words that have more than four letters and aren’t even Anglo-Saxon.

Television programming is no better. Our time in front of the television of late has been reduced to watching cooking shows and home improvement shows and shows about real estate and priceless antiques and veteran after returning veteran surprising his or her children and we must not forget extreme home makeovers for what seem to be deserving families and feats of athletic prowess in more sports and between more teams than you even knew existed.

That’s another reason we've taken to reading.

It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle, and somebody has to do it.

Just be careful, little eyes, what you see. But I find that I’m much too old for Bert and Nan and Flossie and Freddie.


  1. The Bobbesy Twins! I'd forgotten all about them. And I'd no idea they had been going on long before I appeared on the scene. 'My' Bobbesy Twins looked quite different!

  2. I thought that "Angela's Ashes" was a truly wonderful book. It's a good few years since I read it but at the time I just couldn't put it down. It's great when you find books like that.

  3. Katherine, I bet you also read the Nancy Drew books!

    Yorkshire P., 'tis.

  4. No, not Nancy Drew. That was my little sister. Under 10 year old I was into adventure books like Kidnapped, Ivanhoe, King Arthur, Huckleberry Finn, Robin Hood, Treasure Island, The Count of Monte Christo, Swiss Family Robinson, all the Arthur Ransome books, all the Paul Gallico books, and horse books: All the horse books I could get hold of. I especially enjoyed My Friend Flicka and Black Beauty. And I have to confess I loved the 'Famous Five' series.

    WV is 'hemons' which are what you get if you cross a kiwifruit with a lemon. (They are hairy)

  5. There's a small organisation in the Netherlands who are against swearing. They suggested that we could use words like 'back door' or 'banana peel' when hitting one's thumb with a hammer for instance. It doesn't work for me. And besides, when everybody uses 'back door' as a swear word, what would we call our innocent back doors?

  6. Angela's Ashes! I read that last year and couldn't put it down. The irishness - you just hit the nail on its head - was what drew me to it in the first place

  7. Carolina, one cannot legislate morality. Well, one can try, but one is usually quite unsuccessful. People will do what people want to do, usually, except in countries ruled by tyrants.

    Punky Chopsticks, I am given to understand that McCourt's next book, 'Tis, takes up where Angela's Ashes left off (that word having been the entirety of the final chapter in Angela). He also wrote a third book, Teacher Man. I want to read them all.