Thursday, September 03, 2020

Reading

During Lock Down Mark II and even before, I have been reading my Kindle a lot. I sit on the balcony for a time engrossed in my ebook, only occasionally looking out to note the lack of tram passengers, pedestrians and motor car traffic. The endless parade of empty trams is depressing, although it is good to see so many out exercise walking. It does get a bit cold at times so I don't stay out for too long. For some reason I don't really read Kindle books inside the apartment.

I am a serial reader beginning as a cereal packet reader at the breakfast table as soon as I could read. My maternal grandfather was pleased with my reading efforts and told me I would never be bored if I enjoyed reading, and I think he was right. While I don't do it, if I have a good book I could just sit and read and read.

My father was a great reader and as a lad would read under his bedding by torch light hours well into the night.

So what do I read? I used to read a lot of worthy books to educate myself but I enjoyed acquiring the knowledge too.

In Kindle days it is mostly novels. For a while I was hung up on spy novels set during WWII and later. For most of what I read I paid $1.99 per download.

Before that I started reading Irish writer Martha Long's at times distressing autobiographical series starting with "Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes". Each one in the series became more expensive and I was really annoyed and I stopped at about half way through the list. It is not so much that I object to paying, but the the increasing price that annoyed me.

Over the past couple of months I have worked my way through the detective crime writer Helen H Durrant's books. I initially read some out of order, but I sorted that out by the time I arrived at the Calladine and Bayliss mysteries. I really enjoyed her books and amazingly I can download them for free from Kindle Amazon.

I have another crime writer now who I will work through, David Hooks. I've read two of his books and while initially I wasn't so keen, they hooked me in. These can also be read for free.

However, it was time for an interlude and for some reason the book Mandingo came up as a suggested book. Was it is movie or a tv show? The book is really good, but I struggle with some of language of the south. No matter the context I still haven't worked out the word  pizen? If the prices are correct, I am surprised at the price of buying a human. When was it set? Early or mid 1800s? Back then any kind of half decent mature black slave would cost upwards of $1,500. Undeveloped may have been cheaper. A fine and very fertile male specimen, maybe $5,000! That is an awful lot of money for back then. Perhaps this was near the end of slavery and prices were high. You really have to put aside your modern sensibilities to enjoy the book.

Then another free book popped up as a suggestion, local comedian and actor Denise Scott's autobiography All that happened at Number 26. I am really looking forward to reading it.

Ex MI5 or MI6 author writes great books, but I have to pay maybe $13 to read them. I am not sure why I baulk at the price when I used to pay $30 for a paperback.

I was looking at David Bowie biographies and there is one that sounds pretty good, the last one written. It too is around $13. For my October birthday I will ask R to buy it for me, along with a bottle of Scotch when the inevitable and normally unanswerable question comes, what do you want for your birthday? If I really wanted something, by my age I would have bought it already. The rest is just icing.

Yesterday I also relearnt how to record the tv to a memory stick and I watched a moving documentary about twin brothers who are doctors and work in infection control in London hospitals and one contracted COVID. 

We went to Prahran to pick up medications, bought a salad roll and coffee and sat in Prahran Square to eat and drink. Later I went out for my exercise walk and bought another cup of coffee and sat on the steps of a building to drink it unmasked. The weather is warming up and masks are becoming uncomfortable. R bought shields a couple of weeks ago but we haven't used them and a tv story told us tonight they are next to useless. Must wear a mask!

24 comments:

  1. I am an avid reader too, and sometimes (often) neglect things to do so.
    I have been rereading at the moment. And reading less 'literature'.
    I am glad that you are able to get out for your walks, and yes, I have heard that about the shields too. I rarely see them here. We did see one last week. He had a mask as well which covered his mouth but not his nose. And the shield was quite fogged up. Eeek.

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    1. EC, worn with a mask they do offer more protection, but shields are not enough alone.

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  2. Lynn Marie7:45 am

    Pizen = poison. At least as commonly indicated in written southern dialect. I don't know if anybody in the southern US actually says it that way, as I'm a New Englander through and through.

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    1. Thanks LM. That makes sense.

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  3. From when I was a very young child, the importance of both books and reading was instilled in me.

    I've not succumbed to Kindle or the like...and I shall never succumb. Books made from paper are for me...personal preference.

    If you enjoy a good crime story, as it appears you do, grab hold of those written by Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jonathan Kellerman, Ian Rankin, James Patterson, Val McDermid, Stieg Larson...to name but a few.

    "Mandingo" was a box office hit...."Mandingo is a 1975 American historical drama film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring James Mason, Susan George, Perry King, and boxer-turned-actor, Ken Norton. The film was sased on the 1957 novel Mandingo by Kyle Onstott."

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    1. Lee, I started with a Kindle at work when carrying a book around with me wasn't so practical. Now I find it a little awkward holding a book although I do appreciate a proper book, of which we have quite a lot.
      Thanks for the list. That will keep me going. I did later check about Mandingo. I think there was still segregation when the book was written.

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  4. I’m old fashioned in that I really do prefer the feel of a ‘real book’ in my hands.....however I’ve got kindle loaded on my iPad and there’s iBooks as well.
    There’s a great free site for downloading ‘old sometimes out of print’ books Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/
    There’s also an Australian Version.
    http://gutenberg.net.au/


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    1. Cathy, sometime I did have a look at Gutenberg but I didn't know about the Australian site.

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  5. The only book I would not read is the David Bowie biography - he was unpleasant and cocaine addicted.

    A biography you might find interesting is "Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family". I am not a royalist, so I had to depend on other readers' reviews.

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    1. Hels, I didn't know that he was cocaine addicted. As for unpleasant, I will reserve my judgement.

      Sorry, but I am not sure I really want to read about Harry and Meghan. I know more than I need to know about them, his desertion of his duties, his Heil Hitler moment, and their money grabbing enterprises.

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  6. I like variety of reading subject or genre. But I would have to put history leaning right up on top. My mother loved to read cook books and my day liked to read things like the encyclopedia, so with world book you would catch him reading them.

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    1. Dora, history is what I used to read, but I feel I know enough history now, unless something really interests me.

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  7. Mandingo! Here come the memories. I read it many years ago, it is one of a series all set within the same family, I read them all and don't remember when I gave them away. I think there are five or seven books and they are all written in the times of segregation. I must look them up and re-read.

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    1. River, it seems a self contained book. Was it broken up for other reading?

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    2. I looked it up and it is still for sale as is along with others in the Falconhurst series, but the prices are now way too high for me to buy them again. Patriarch of the family is Warren Maxwell, son is Hammond Maxwell and he is the focus of the books. Some were written by Kyle Onstott, others by KO and Lance Horner. On ebay a hardback copy of Mandingo is $214!!

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  8. That salad rolls sound and tastes good if I had one right now.
    Reading, get fads for it. Find that I'm always turning the pages on the Kindle, no not lazy.
    I don't read a great deal for if I find a book that interests me I don't do anything, listen to anyone and don't go to sleep until the book is finished! No one is happy with me :)
    I've read Mandingo made into a movie some back, also have a series of slave books which I thoroughly enjoyed and mastered the southern lingo at the time of reading. Very expensive were those blacks from Africa in the slave trade, most interesting.

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    1. Margaret, I do like my salad rolls on a crisp roll. For some time I did not read books at all. I was more engrossed in my phone. Slave trading and slave growing was clearly big business. I may well read more black slavery books!

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    2. I think "Drum" is the first in the Falconhurst saga, others are Mandingo, Mistress of Falconhurst, Heir to Falconhurst, Flight to Falconhurst, Falconhurst Fancy, The Mustee, etc but I can't remember the correct order.
      Mustee was the name for a black man so pale he could pass for white if I remember correctly.

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  9. I love reading, my dad used to read to my sister and it's one of the most happy memories I have of my childhood. You paint a lovely word picture of you sitting outside and reading your ebook. I saw the movie Mandingo when I was about 14 and I remember that I thought the lead actor was so hot. I've been looking forward to reading Denise Scotts book.

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    1. Cheryl, the lead actor would have been who played Hammond I guess. Even in the book he sounds hot, in spite of his limp. Scott's book is free on the internet. I know from the publicity when it was launched that she is a less than perfect person.

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  10. I have a kindle but don't like reading it much because it always seems to have no power and the screen hurts my eyes, but the real reason is I read in bed and fall asleep often with a book atop me and if I did so, and I have, with the kindle the cats knock it off and if it lands on the floor it gets peed on. I rely on free books I find at library book sales or garage sales mostly. Recently I discovered because two of the series were in a free box, the Detective Montalbano mysteries, written by Italian Andrea Camilleri. They're light and easy reading and fun and often I'm salivating over what the inspector might order next when he eats at his favorite restaurant.

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    1. Strayer, a gourmet detective, haha. I've stopped reading in bed now.

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  11. What is a shield Andrew, how do you wear that? I haven't tried Kindle yet, love to read, happy to say I passed it on to both kids, Aimee devours books. You learn so much when you read, can't imagine not having stack of books waiting for me 😊

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    1. Grace, those perspex face shields. You probably only would see them on some medical staff.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.