Monday, August 6, 2018


It had been more than a year since I had read a book, cover to cover.

The last one was probably Lassoing the Sun by Mark Woods, a columnist in the Florida Times Union, the Jacksonville newspaper.  That was a fine book about a year spent trying to understand the past, present and future of the National Park system.  During that year, Mark's mother was diagnosed with and died from cancer, adding to the story while causing much pain.  I contacted Mark later and invited him to lunch with me to talk about writing a book as I was considering writing one about my 2014 Scooter Cannonball adventure.  He made a fine lunch companion as we talked for over an hour.  I should do it again.

After that, I had an appointment with my eye doctor and had new glasses made.  These never worked as the reading part of the progressive bifocals was ill placed causing the works to look a bit blurry, causing eye strain reading or working on the computer.  That, plus the fact that the TV is so much easier to use for entertainment.

I went to the eye doctor a month ago and had a new eye test and glasses made.  These are nearly perfect, so reading books, iPad and the computer is now a pleasure.

This past week Sarah rented an oceanfront condo for us to use while Kylie was in town from her home in New York City. 

Sunday morning I tried to watch the Hungarian Grand Prix, a Formula 1 race, on television.  I couldn't get it to come on so I abandoned the effort. 

I had seen some books in the residence and picked up one that looked readable.  It was Moscow Rules, a spy novel by Daniel Silva.  It was a good read that I got through on Monday morning.  It was set in Italy, France and Russia with well written characters and plot.

Getting in the mood to read on this week off, I looked for another book and settled on one recommended by the nice lady working in the office.  It was Invisible, by James Patterson and David Ellis.  This one I wanted to abandon several times while reading as the antagonist was a terrible person who was torturing and killing other characters while the protagonist was a strange woman who figured out the string of murders.  I simply don't enjoy reading about torture and murder.  But I carried on to the finish where the twist was stupid and contradicted almost everything written earlier in the book.  I hated it but it was an easy, fast read so I made it to the finish.

Because I was still in the mood to read more, Sarah recommended Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.  It is a story about poor boys from Washington State who came together to row to a gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.  I enjoyed seeing the hardships that the lead character, Joe Rantz had growing up in the Depression. He was abandoned twice by his family, once when his mother died when he was only four, sent off to Pennsylvania to live with others, then while in high school when his step mother couldn't take him along with his younger step brothers and sisters.   But he survived and became legendary.  It was a fine read.  I wish I had read it before going to Seattle in May.  I would have gone onto the University of Washington campus to see the Husky Clipper, the 60+ foot skull used to win the gold.

Three books in one week was something new for me.  I am thinking of putting a comfortable chair in our little used sunroom at home to use for reading more.

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