Books ‘n’ Stuff

How many books do you own?
Maybe 40 or so, only about fifteen here in the Czech Republic. I gave away hundreds of books before heading out. Very few of them will I miss.

What was the last book you bought?
I bought five books at once: Communicative Czech, Winter Warriors by David Gemmell, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Women In Love by D. H. Lawrence, and No Saints or Angels by Ivan Klima

The first in the list is a textbook, the second is a fantasy novel with some pretty good characters. It says its number eight in a series but this writer does what I wish more fantasy writers would do: put an entire story between the covers of the book. This is something I’m going to have to deal with soon – I hope.

The next two I got because I had heard that these guys knew how to use language and I haven’t read much that was written in that era. So they’re kind of like school to me. Tess was a pretty good read – talk about your “Life’s a bitch and then you die” story. The language is flowery but not too overdone, and I did become a better writer for having read it. I also learned far more than I wanted to about farming techniques in rural England.

I have been meaning to read something by Lawrence for a long time, and Women in Love was one of his more controversial works, so I chose that one. I haven’t finished it, but I still pick it up from time to time. The language is rambling and repetitious when not contradictory, but what gets me most is that people say and do things that just make no sense to me at all. That the characters are also confused isn’t much consolation to me.

The last one is by a popular Czech writer, and it was fun reading as people visited places that I know know, like the crematorium near where I live, and the big graveyard nearby. I also learned more about recent Czech history, throwing off the communists and dealing with the aftermath. Yes, it’s very Czech. It’s a good read, though.

What was the last book you read?
72 Essays on the Czech language or something like that. I have it in the bathroom.

Name five books that mean a lot to you, and that you’ve read more than three times.

  1. The Monster Within by Jerry Seeger. I’ve read this book many, many many times. I’m reading it again right now. No book means more to me than this one, and I still love to read it. Now if I can get it published…
  2. The Fool’s Progress: An Honest Novel by Edward Abbey. To be honest, I have not read this three times. There’s one part, I know it’s coming, and it hit me so hard the first time I read it, I haven’t been able to get past it again. It’s a damn good book.
  3. The Princess Bride is so much more than the movie there’s just no comparison. Ironically, it starts a little slow, just like the book he is supposedly transcribing. I have read this one out loud more than three times.
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – need I say more?

I know, I can count. My powers of recall don’t work that way; I’ve got a couple more on the tip of my brain. I’ll add one in a little while when I think of it.

Challenge five people to fill this out on their blog:
Aser, Cheryl, Jerk McSwede, Delia, and um — the people that read this aren’t really a bloggy bunch. Not the ones who leave comments, anyway. Someone else out there, step up! Jerk McSwede, you can just leave a comment with your answer.

Note that if you use the above links to buy any of the books (or anything else, for that matter) I get a kickback. They sell cars over there, you know.

15 thoughts on “Books ‘n’ Stuff

  1. Nice post Jer. DH Lawrence was a horny dude. I mean, look at Lady Chatterly.. (That’s my view of him after studying him for a semester.) Anywho, i did a quick search on Women in Love and came up with this as a possible door to understanding an aspect of it.

  2. I took the DH Lawrence course from the UNM professor who is the world’s leading authority on him. Lady Chatterly is amusing, but not all that deep. Sons and Lovers has more substance to it. But my all-time favorite is St. Mawr. The plot is basically the same as Nicholas Evans’ The Horse Whisperer, but not anywhere near as raunchy. You have a wealthy Eastern mother and daughter, and a horse who has been through great trauma, and a mysterious horse trainer who heals the horse and the women, and sex is involved. But where Evans descends into pornography, Lawrence elevates his characters and the relationships among them.

  3. Thanks, Carol Anne. Now I have still another story to find and read. “St. Mawr”, eh? “The Horse Whisperer” was so awful that when a bunch of us ladies went out on the trail and fell to discussing the book, we nearly fell off our horses screeching with laughter.

    Oh, yeah, Jer, I finished my question-challenge this morning.

  4. The counting thing, actually is in Holy Grail. “Five is right out!” But when I first saw that movie it was because the theater refused to show Brian, or the town wouldn’t let them, or something like that.

    DH Lawrence writes people who say “I hate your guts. You fill me with revulsion and I would like nothing better than to see you dead. Let’s do lunch.” I’ll look into those explanations, but in the end, these people don’t behave like people.

  5. I tell you what, how the hell can you people deal with Macs? And you pay more for it too! Asshole! Back to the subject at hand: Books. I am on to you, Muddled, yer trying to show these people that I can’t read, are ya? Well, seems I ain’t the only jerk in these parts if’n’ that’s the way you look at it.

    OK…what was that first bit? Book I’ve recently purchased… Elmo Says Showbiz is A Bitch! By Elmo. Forward by The Original Cookie Monster . Haven’t had time to read it 3 times yet, so I can’t fit it into the next category…which is book I’ve read plenty (and by this I mean I at least finished the fucker). Ok, well, there’s Hoyle’s Offical Poker Rules, and the guide on how “to make money at home.” I’ve probably read those all the way through, even more than once. Maybe. But not all the way through more than once. There was Akira (hey, I had to read that bastard, didn’t I?) Of course, George W. Bush’s “Star Wars Episode III: Republic vs, Empire – They’re different? Not for Long Assholes!” and, uh, I think that’s probably five. Five probably covers the number of books I own too. Normally, I just leave them on the Greyhound when I’m done. Except Reid Flemming , now there is a roll model for ya! That guy cracks me up! What an Asshole! I own a bunch of those. At least 5.

    Good enough?


  6. So it takes you six tries to successfully post to an Apache server using Windows and you harsh on Macs? You’re lucky I was online to delete all your mistakes for you.


  7. You wouldn’t believe the freedom you get from 5 assholes, tree fucker! You could use a couple more yer self.

    As for the Apaches, you think they serve you? You as dumb as that logger!


  8. The Horse Whiperer definitely falls into that extremely rare category where the movie is better than the book. If you fall off your horse while discussing St. Mawr, it’s from a reaction other than laughter.

  9. Dear Mr. McSwede,

    It is clear from your postings that you use one of your five for speaking. You, sir, are a semi-coherent potty mouth.

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