Sunday, July 11, 2010


Busy, busy. Between tending the garden, tweaking the roses who need constant care, rebuilding the old barn, watching our resident bee in her travels around the yard, running for supplies, watching International soccer on the TV, reading, mending the usual snafus that always arise in daily living, I totally neglected my blog. Sorry. I'm afraid I'm a poor blogger, and as a matter of fact I'm not much for the computer world anyway. Certain techie friends are exasperated with me telling me to get on Facebook and Tweeter in order to promote my blog, but ...ah...nah, I really don't want to do that. The computer is a "by the way" rather than a "this is it"!

Anyway. Books. Yes, I do enjoy summer reading but for whatever reason I enjoy it more when I have a book about the sea, and usually go in search of a book cover that proudly displays a clipper ship. I did just this with my wife last week. We sojourned on to Coles in a quest for the most exciting summer reading book. I had a list of books garnered from the Net in which I was quite optimistic I could procure at our only bookstore. I was wrong. None of the books on my list graced the racks of Coles that day. It shouldn't have been a surprise. Too bad, so sad.

However, I did find a gem---actually a few gems. I picked up THE LAST STAND by Nathaniel Philbrick. I also found CONTESTED WILL: WHO WROTE SHAKESPEARE? by my favourite Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro. I also picked up two other books I found of interest on that day, but my wife intervened. You see, my wife, also known as the Finance Minister---deputy minister, too--- of the MacKinnon Family thought it wise, nay prudent, to ease up on book purchases in these tough financial times. Amazingly enough, with silent pleading from my doleful, blue, albeit aged eyes, which use to work so well in the past, did not deter her from her cause to save money. I returned the books. So sad. There was a deal on, by the way, where if you buy three books you get the fourth one free. I thought that an excellent plan. My wife did not, unfortunately.

THE LAST STAND by Nathaniel Philbrick: OK. Maybe this is not for everyone, but, good god, I'm so interested in Gen. George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, and have been since I was a tyke. What an amazing story. I read books by Mr. Philbrick before. IN THE HEART OF THE SEA and MAYFLOWER. He's an excellent writer of History. His research and unbiased approach as well as his flawlessly fuid writing makes for an enjoyable read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I read other accounts of this battle, but Philbrick's contains the "Indian" or Native American side to a great extent. This certainly rounds out the picture in much better detail. And it always amazes me how difficult it is to find the truth or actual facts in such an incident when you have so many Human factors involved. It must be a daunting task for writers of history.

I visited the Little Bighorn Battle site in Montana way back when I was a young man on a free-spirited car trip across the American west. I was in awe---I was only young, come on. I was there at the close of day when the sun was sinking beyond the bluffs and sagebrush. A coyote howled at that exact time, and the hair stood up straight on my neck. Scary; and yes, I did have hair then. Anyway, this is a very good book for those interested in old American history.

I did manage to buy CONTESTED WILL by James Shapiro---just this week, to be exact. I'll let you know about it when I finish. I love books about the Bard, even though it's mostly conjecture since there is little they actually really know about this great man.

My wife picked up THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson. She wants to check out this latest craze. I'm not much into mystery books; I usually don't like novels with too much plot.

Next: I promise to be more prompt as a blogger.