Tagged: books Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, , , ,   


    It is easier to buy books than to read them, and easier to read them than to absorb them. –William Osler

    Well, I done done it again: done went traipsin’ off to another bargain book sale at the local library, and done ended up taking home more cheapo tomes than Trump takes ego trips. How many books do I own? I stopped counting around 720 (which, by the way, was a very good year, so I hear). Let’s just say that if all the books I’ve accumulated were people, they’d be so crammed together that they’d be begging for as much space, in relative terms, as tin-packed sardines have (not that I’d want space for relatives — my house ain’t no hostel for visiting bedlamites). My books, on the other hand, deserve more space because they’re doomed to wait longer than sardines for me to ‘digest’ them all — like until there’s peace on earth or Goodwill in store for my boatload of books after I sale off into the sunset.

    Anyway, the end result of all this trumpery is to take another ‘skip-a-post to read-the-most’ books I can — like the break I decided to take two months ago after I brought home my last used book bonanza. I’ll be back Feb. 15, more bleary-eyed but less behind (or, if you like, less in arrears) in books to read….Lord willin’ and the library don’t have another sale.


    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 1:52 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You are a hoot! It’s a good thing we are not life-partners, however. We’d need another entire house for the books alone. I have NO more space to squeeze in even one more bookshelf, high, low or under — so I have to avoid those book-sale temptations I can never resist either.

      My writer-buds chant kindle-kindle-kindle, but I like the feel and the smell (and I’ve never been able to speed read online – which is fairly essential, given my habit and my schedule.) So if a book is out in paper, that’s ALWAYS a lure.

      Enjoy your time away – and Happy Valentines Day. (NOW – will that catchy tune stop playing in my head soon?) 🙂
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:02 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Owl have to agree with you about preferring paper books to Kindle. If God had intended humans to read on electronic devices, He’d have created Androids instead of trees.

        Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • lexborgia 5:17 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy. I started ‘Dancing In The Glory Of Monsters’ yesterday; it’s shaping up to be a treat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:17 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        From what I’ve read about “Dancing In The Glory Of Monsters,’ it’s an excellent book — not for the squeamish, but then, the atrocities of monsters SHOULD cause revulsion in readers.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:05 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Book em Muse.

      BTW I have a book coming out soon. Can I send you a copy?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:19 am on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I’d be more than pleased to read it, Don (as long as it’s not a tribute to Trump!).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 5:36 pm on February 10, 2017 Permalink

          I drafted a post that might help explain why folks don’t flock to wake up and dump his coffee, given all – and maybe even a cogent theory of “alternative facts.”

          [Why we hate to change our minds] posts Monday – shortly after midnight in New York, explaining cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias – briefly, and in language as “plain” as mine ever is. 🙂

          A direct link will be available from the right sidebar until it “ages off” – which gives it more than a month or so to continue to position itself farther down the page.

          Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 12:05 pm on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy your literary vacation, Sr. Muse. Me, I’ll be burning Trump again tomorrow to stay warm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:01 pm on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Ricardo, I’m already burned up over practically everything our “so-called” President says (or at least the way he says it, like he’s a God-ass) and does. Nonetheless, I shall look forward to your continuing to give the devil his due.

        Liked by 1 person

    • milliethom 4:29 pm on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love the post … love the humour … and love books! My house is bulging with them, too. Some have been read (and possibly digested) others, like many of yours, were cheapo buys or from charity shops, so not new to start with. I won’t comment on your trumpish jokes because I’m British! Haha. I’m keeping my nose out (if not my opinions) of politics right now – homegrown or otherwise.Thanks for the entertainment, Mr M.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 5:58 pm on February 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My pleasure, Ms. M. — and thank you for the kind words.

      I must admit to envying the British — you only have to deal with Brexit, not Trump (though Trump’s reign will effect, if not infect, the whole world soon enough). But let us read, drink, and lose ourselves in books while we may! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 7:54 am on February 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I have culled so many books from my shelves over the years that if I had kept them all, I’d have to buy an extra house to hold them. I often look for a book and then sadly realize that I gave it away ages ago… the digital experience just isn’t the same.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:39 am on February 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I know what you mean. The batch of books I bought at the previous library sale included two I forgot I already own because I hadn’t read them yet. That’s what happens when you accumulate too many books to read within a reasonable time, and most of them sit in the boxes you brought them home in for months, if not years. Oh, well, I could have a lot worse addictions!

        Liked by 2 people

    • BroadBlogs 7:59 pm on February 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever I hear of Trumpery I start getting nervous.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 10:11 pm on February 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Trumpery (meaning “worthless nonsense”) is a word which long pre-dates Trump, but which in my opinion has never been more accurately personified than by him. It derives from the French “tromper,” meaning “to deceive” (again, a most accurate personification).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 5:39 pm on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        A Brit I follow recently told me that his name has long been slang for fart in his circle. And now they have another reason to use it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:13 pm on February 10, 2017 Permalink

          That may be a clue as to why Trump favors unfettered gas development, with no concern for leaks.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 6:24 pm on February 10, 2017 Permalink

          He has no concern for *anything* other than his own life and issues: corporate capitalism.

          There is not enough time or room on *anybody’s* blog to list all his “no concerns,” but DeVoss, a vaccinated populace & torture – SERIOUSLY?

          His choices would be no different had he been SENT to destroy the planet and everybody on it.

          Almost makes me wonder if those nutty Scientologists are right. [Almost] 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:22 pm on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll look forward to your “after midnight in New York” Monday post, MGH (unless I change my mind). 🙂


    • mariasjostrand 6:47 am on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Definitely know the feeling… my dad still have some of my books because the room I rent now simply don’t have rooom for them all 🙂 And yet I wish for more…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:30 pm on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      At least wishes don’t take up space, and they don’t cost anything either (unless we indulge them, but hey, we only live once!).


    • Beauty Along the Road 10:13 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I can very much relate to “needing” more books while there are still uncounted unread books on my shelves at home. Sigh. This has got to be the best line I’ve read in the last few days: “more cheapo tomes than Trump takes ego trips. ” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:26 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re ahead of me in the sense that your unread books are on shelves. Many of my unread books were still in boxes, but I’ve taken advantage of the last nine days off between posts to make more shelf space. Now I’ve at least been able to empty the boxes, sort by subject and start reading.

      Thank you for commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beauty Along the Road 8:41 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        We’ve also implemented a new book ban for the entire year (that includes kindle downloads) – saves a lot of money and forces us to make use of what we’ve already got. Plus, there’s always the library….

        Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 2:02 pm on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      How funny! 🙂 🙂 I tend to recycle books rather than hang on to them. I buy them for 20-50p at charity book stalls and return them for resale when I’ve read them. Just occasionally I have to keep one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:24 pm on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I recycle some, but keep a lot more — the ones I really like (the same thing I would do if I had a harem). 😦 🙂


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, , , , , , , , WHO KNOWS WHERE OR WHEN   


    The Public Library near where I live held a one-day used book sale recently. I got there shortly after it opened in the morning, hoping to find a book or two of interest. A few minutes later, I learned that a man had donated (for this sale) his collection of 500 old books on one of my favorite subjects: the movies, including biographies of directors and actors, movie history, Hollywood, the stories behind some of the great films,  etc. I ended up selecting almost 50 of those books, filling two large boxes at a cost of $10 a box. It’s been a long time since fortune favored me with so bounteous a cache for so little cash.

    So now, on top of already owning a not-inconsequential number of unexplored tomes, I find myself even more bogged down with unread books I need to find time to read…..or, at minimum, get to a place where I can see daylight at the end of the bog. Therefore, I’m going to skip a post or two in my usual post-every-five-days schedule.

    In the words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return” — sometime in December, presupposing I won’t still be SWAMPED/haven’t gone blind. See ya later, alley-gators….

    At least, that’s the time-frame in my crystal ball, but in my Lorenz Hart of hearts, who knows….

    • arekhill1 10:51 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I think it’s the light at the end of the tunnel, Sr. Muse. I’m pretty sure it’s the banshee at the end of the bog. I am going to Australia myself on 12/8. I’ll be keeping up my twice-a-week schedule, but whether it will be on Australian time or PCT I have yet to discover.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:20 am on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Have a great time in the land down under, Ricardo. Although I won’t be posting myself for a while, I’ll still be checking in on yours and other posts occasionally, so I’ll look forward to your reports from the under-world.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:59 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      lol – I have NO room for another new book without building new shelving ::groan:: – so I don’t dare go to those library book sales. I’m practically terrified that I’ll come across a find like yours for my own jones (neuroscience and theatre).

      Congrats on your find. Will you be reading or shelf-building for the next few weeks? 🙂
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:24 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If I know what’s good for me, I’ll start making room for more books before I start reading them. For one thing, I tend to get drowsy while reading, and doze off after a while — which I wouldn’t do if I were spending that time creating more space in the first place. On the other hand, that sounds too much like work, which makes me tired just thinking about it (as opposed to doing it). So I think I’ll solve that dilemma for today by taking a nap, and worry about it tomorrow.


    • D. Wallace Peach 7:00 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wow. 50 books! That would take me years and years. Those library books sales are great, though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:19 pm on November 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      By buying 50 books, I probably bit off more than I can chew (or should I say, more than I can read) unless I live to be the world’s oldest man, but at least (between that and my other interests), I’ll never be wanting for things to keep me out of trouble! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 9:40 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 6:47 am on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Running out of space for books is why God, Mother Nature, the Big Bang or whoever you prefer invented the Ipad.

      Great Rodgers and Hart there Muse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:07 am on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. Great song sung by a great vocalist — “Who could ask for anything more?” (from Gershwin’s I GOT RHYTHM)


    • Don Frankel 2:32 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, funny you should think of Gershwin because every once in a while when I’m listening to a Rodgers or Gershwin tune, I’ll pause for a moment and think, that guy’s an effing genius.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mél@nie 1:10 am on December 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      quick translation from French:”The time of reading, just like that of loving, does expand our lifetime.” (Daniel Pennac)

      • * *

      I like reading and a book has often “dragged” me to another one… do literature and books fill up our life?!… I think so… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:30 am on December 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the quote. Here’s another pause-for-thought ‘quickie’: “A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.” –W. H. Auden


    • literaryeyes 2:32 pm on December 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A perfect storm of books, daunting and wonderful at the same time. Ride (read) it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 8:00 pm on March 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, Grant's tomb, left-handed, , mermaids, Mississippi River, , , Virginia City Nevada, You Bet Your Life   


    A home without books is a body without soul. –Marcus Tullius Cicero

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Some stuff, you just don’t easily come across on Wikipedia and other electronic sites. This was brought home to me by an old (1928) book I happened upon recently titled NUGGETS OF KNOWLEDGE, by George W. Stimpson. This treasure trove of trivia does indeed contain nuggets of knowledge, some of which rarely seem to have found their way from printed page to Internet content. No trivia buff should be content knowing that (s)he might have been deprived of such priceless gems as the following:

    Why did Samuel Clemens adopt the name Mark Twain?

    Many admirers of Mark Twain are aware that he selected that pen name in 1863 (while working for a Nevada newspaper) because he had been a Mississippi River pilot and knew the name meant two fathoms. But NUGGETS OF KNOWLEDGE tells the story behind the story:

    “The name was first used by an old Mississippi River pilot named Isaiah Sellers, who used to write items for the New Orleans Picayune, in which he told of his adventures in a quaintly egotistical tone. The paragraphs usually began , “My opinion for the benefit of the citizens of New Orleans,” signed Mark Twain, which, in the parlance of pilots, is a leads-man call meaning two fathoms – twelve feet. Samuel Clemens, then a cub pilot, wrote a burlesque on Captain Sellers’ articles and published it in a rival paper under the signature Sergeant Fathom. Sellers never wrote another article. In 1863 Clemens was working for the [Territorial] Enterprise, published in Virginia City, Nevada. He wanted a good pen name.. While trying to think of one, he received news of the death of Isaiah Sellers. This suggested to him Mark Twain, the name once used by Sellers.”

    So there you have it. The only problem with that story is that Isaiah Sellers did not die until March 6, 1864. Well, that’s life on the Mississippi. Hey, I didn’t say NUGGETS OF KNOWLEDGE was flawless.

    Why are most people right-handed?

    “For two thousand years or more philosophers and scientists have discussed the question of how man acquired his decided preference for the right hand. Historical records and ancient pictorial writings prove that right-handedness is of  great antiquity. It is a characteristic of all peoples, no matter how isolated. One theory holds that right-handedness is fundamentally psychological. The most widely accepted theory, however, regards right-handedness as a product of primitive warfare. Primitive man was continually called upon to defend himself and his family against his fellows. In these encounters he would instinctively protect the vulnerable region around the heart by interposing his left arm, either with or without a shield, using the right hand to strike the assailant. The inevitable result was that the right arm became more developed and agile. The words meaning left-handed are synonymous in nearly all languages with indirection, insincerity, and even treachery.”

    Needless to add, mistermuse is right-handed.

    Are there real mermaids?

    “Mermaids are mythical beings of the sea supposed to have the form of a woman above the waist and that of a fish below. There is a slight physical basis for the myth. Certain marine animals resemble human beings when seen at a distance. When Henry Hudson was on a voyage between Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla in 1608, he reported that one morning in June two of his sailors saw a mermaid who came close to the side of the vessel and gazed at them intently. Her face and breasts were those of a woman, but below she was a fish as big as a halibut and colored like a speckled mackerel. It is probable that they saw a seal, an animal then little known to Europeans.”

    Having myself sailed many times between Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla, I can confirm at least the top half of what said sailors saw. Such a creature does indeed inhabit those waters, but her bottom doesn’t look as big as a hali’s butt, and all I can say about the rest is holy mackerel!

    There is much more where the above came from, but time is limited, so let me close with a sampling of other questions from the book. If any whet your appetite, answers are available at a reasonable price:

    Do rocks grow?

    Do monkeys make bridges?

    Do snakes go blind during dog days?

    Where are the South Seas?

    Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?

    OK, that last one isn’t in the book, but you can bet your life I didn’t make it up.





    • arekhill1 9:09 pm on March 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What makes any day a dog day, and why would it affect the visual acuity of snakes?


      • Michaeline Montezinos 10:52 pm on March 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        This may not be relative to right handedness etc. but I found this interesting. The new theory is that if one parts his ( her) hair on the left side side, then according to MRIs of their brains, they are mainly right brained people. If a person parts their hair on the right side, their MRIs indicate they are most likely to be left brained people. The left side of the human brain is artistic and creative The right side is concerned with details and has mathematical talents. Which side do you part your hair,. assuming you have some left on your pate, mistermuse? By the way I part mine on the right side which probably accounts for my eccentric behavior and my ability to write poems.


      • mistermuse 11:39 pm on March 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        According to the book, there was an old belief that snakes go blind during the dog days of summer. Long story short, when a snake sheds its skin (including part of the outer coat of the eyeballs), temporarily impaired vision results. However, this may occur several times a year, not just during the hot season.
        Who knew?


    • mistermuse 12:03 am on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, my hair has a part the length and width of the entire top of my head (aka being mostly bald). I faintly remember parting it on the right, back when I had hair.


    • Don Frankel 6:33 am on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure right handed and left handed are somewhere in our genes. Ah ha you ask is it the left leg of the genes or the right one?

      And, the answer to who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb is… no one. President Grant and his wife Julia Dent Grant are entombed in Grant’s Tomb. It’s a Mausoleum and above ground. But hey I live here so I should know that one.


    • mistermuse 7:20 am on March 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I wonder if anyone ever got the Grant’s Tomb question right on YOU BET YOUR LIFE. And I bet that you’re one of the few who caught the reference (at the end of my post) to the old Groucho Marx TV show of that name.


Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc