book talk

I sat outside in the pleasant weather and read this book yesterday on my netbook. I downloaded it free from this web site.

It’s a cleverly constructed little mystery in which the story is told in a series of letters from one character to another. And of course it revolves around what was then known as “Agony Columns.” Agony Columns are personal ads sent anonymously in British papers of the early 20th c.

Trying desperately to get into a vacation mind set. I browsed other books and downloaded a few more for possible vacation reading.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume apparently inspired Arthur Conan Doyle and was a huge bestseller in its time.

This book is about the topography of California. Did you know there was a 400 mile long valley between the Sierra  Navada mountain range and the Coastal mountains?

File:California Topography-MEDIUM.png

From this map (not in the book) you can not only see that valley, but it is apparent that the L.A. area where I will be visiting is on the edge of the Mojave Desert. They talk about the desert out there but it was never clear in my mind exactly where it was before looking at this map.

Unsurprisingly, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is available in free ebook form. I recently read an essay in which the author points out that the character, Uncle Tom, was not an “Uncle Tom.” I found that interesting. Plus I like the fact that a book was important in raising consciousness about slavery.

I noticed that my netbook came with the Adobe book reader software already on it. I had been waiting on downloading July’s free ebook from U of Chicago because I thought I would have to add one more book reading software to my netbook. But lo and behold it was already there. So I downloaded The Chinese Maze Murders: A Judge Dee Mystery by Robert Van Gulik.

The Chinese Maze Murders

Pretty sure I have read a Judge Dee mystery before.

When I travel, I like to take some books with me. This time I’m hoping that most of them will be on my netbook. That way if I can’t get online, I can still read.

I recently downloaded and read most of the Kindle Single, “The Enemy,” written by Christopher Hitchens right after Bin Laden’s death.

I plan to check more of these “Kindle Singles” out.  They are novella length essays and are seeking to rekindle (sic) the idea of relevant pamphlet publication.

They are mentioned in N+1’s first podcast which I listened to yesterday.

n+1 Issue Eleven cover

This magazine is just publishing its 12th issue and looks very interesting.

Also ran across another magazine online yesterday.

Guernica, a magazine of art & politics…..

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2 thoughts on “book talk

  1. This valley which is I believe is referred to as the Great Central Valley, is extremely important in that it grows most of the fresh vegetables and fruit that we eat in the winter months. We have been eating California for many years. How about you? I think the map is very cool. I was wondering where you found it. Oh yeah, have a great vacation in California.

  2. I just googled topography california map to find that map to go with Muir’s prose. thanks for the vacation wishes. I think I need some r & r. Eileen and grandkids have a Disney trip planned right away….. after that I plan to do some serious goofing off….

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