Archive for April, 2006

Borrowed any good books lately?

“Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them.” Evan Esar (1899-1995)

While visiting my son in Sydney recently I was looking through his library. I didn’t examine every book but I’m sure he has several of my books on permanent loan, though I think he denied it.

But when we visit our daughter in Clare it is like coming home. Many of the books in “her ” library have my name in the front.

That’s okay – I have some of her books in my library.

And it saves me making some more bookshelves to house them!

Write a Book

I am not usually in the habit of quoting politicians, but I can make an exception for this one. This quote comes, amazingly, from former US President Ronald Reagan. I say, amazingly, because said politician was not known for erudite statements. This must be one of his more comprehensible statements.

“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.” Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Perhaps he had a ghost writer for this witticism.

Many writers will attest to the fact that there are few (monetary) rewards in being a writer. Perhaps one should disgrace oneself – then write a book about it.

Moral question: should one sell one’s soul – or do some disgraceful thing (which probably amounts to the same thing) for the purpose of getting material for a book? I think not.

Good Writing

 “Vigorous writing is concise.”
William Strunk Jr in “The Elements of Style”, 1919.
 Enough said.

Read any Good Books Lately?

I am a great fan of author Ashleigh Brilliant – yes, that’s his real name. He has made a career out of writing and publishing one-liners, which he has called “Brilliant Thoughts” or “Pot-Shots.” He wrote the wonderful sentence: “Appreciate me now and avoid the rush.” This also the title of one of his books.
His books can be hard to get in Australia and I keep on checking in all the bookshops for his works. In desperation I even managed to buy two through bookshops selling on E-Bay. Dangerous place, E-Bay, if you’re a bookaholic. Or any kind of collecting maniac.

I’m Not Perfect
The one I am reading at present… actually, you don’t “read” Brilliant’s brilliant writing – you dip into it all over the place. Trying to read his works cover to cover misses the point. Dip into them, taste a page or two, read three or four pages then leave it. Come back to it often and it will catch you by surprise every time. He has a funny way of tapping into some human foible and seeing the funny side of life. Back to what I was saying, his book I am reading at present is called: “I May Not Be Perfect, but parts of Me are Excellent.”

Book Recommendation

All this has been a roundabout way of asking if you’ve read any good books lately. This question came from a quote from the above book.

“I’ll never see all the places, or read all the books, but fortunately, they’re not all recommended.”

One book I have read recently that was totally absorbing and brilliantly written, not to mention inspiring, was Lance Armstrong’s autobiography “It’s Not about the Bike.” This book documents the early part of his life, his struggles to become established in the cycling world and his devastation at discovering he had testicular cancer. He was so close to death and given no hope of recovery, let alone survival.

He graphically describes his fears, the pain, the struggles and the horrors of his treatment. That he lived to tell the tale is amazing. To then go on and win the Tour de France seven consecutive times shows the grit and determination of the man. From this book I learned a great deal about commitment, perseverance and the importance of having a never give up attitude.

My Own Journey of Discovery

Lance Armstrong’s life, as portrayed in this book, is a journey of discovery. He discovered deep within himself a fierce determination to survive against all odds. We all go through seasons of despair, illness, trials or horrible tragedies. I am coming out of a long period of depression and two factors have helped my recovery. Reading this book came immediately after I had successfully achieved a very demanding trek in the Himalayas just this last January. For me it was a great journey of discovery; I was able to physically and mentally push myself way, way beyond what I thought I was capable of achieving.

I encourage you to read of my adventures in my travel blog by going to Trevor’s Travels here.

And what about you? Have you read any good books lately? Share your thoughts with my readers by leaving a comment.

The Art of Puppeteering

I’ve done quite a bit of puppeteering over the years. I began by helping out our puppet troupe at church by being a puppeteer. I thoroughly let myself go and loved putting on different voices and really acting out the part. I ended up taking over the leadership of the group. This involved writing most of the scripts, directing and producing as well as being a puppeteer.

One of the joys of being in puppeteering is the laughter and happiness one hears in the audience response. The children have always been my target audience and their delight is obvious. The best laughter, however, often comes from the adults – those who let themselves be children at heart again.

An interesting article on the joys and art of puppeteering can be found here.