Sunday, December 21, 2003

I've got all kinds of thoughts snarling around in my head tonight. Perhaps my current reading list has something to do with it. (Note- this list is incomplete. )
The Male Myth This book is sort of the male version of The Hite Report. Apparently there is a Hite Report of Male Sexuality that's fairly recent, but I've only read the female version from back in the '70's. I suspect that women were quite a bit more prudish then but really don't know...Back to The Male Myth: It's pretty interesting stuff. There have been a few surprises although I haven't read much of it yet (the book was acquired just yesterday). I have mixed feelings about this sort of book that comes to conclusions based on polls and statistics though. First and foremost- who was polled? The sort of men who would answer the poll may not be an accurate cross section of American men. Also- they leave some of the most interesting questions unasked!! And, if the Hite Report (female version) is any indication, I'm not sure that it reflects reality. There have been so many times when I've read a portion of it and then shrugged... and said, well, I guess that's the way some women must feel. I think it's a mistake to read a book like this and then stereotype all men (or women) and to think that since 60% of men want women to lick their ears, you should go right out and lick your guy's earlobes because that's what he's wanted all along. I mean, what about *communication*? As far as I'm concerned, the majority really doesn't matter that much. But if I had a partner, *he* would matter, and he might not agree with the majority. ::Shrug::...whatever....

Losing Faith in Faith Biography of a born again Christian Evangelist turned atheist. Very good read except that the first part deals with Christian stuff which I find supremely boring. Skipping to the midsection of the book, he makes many sound points, some of which have already occurred to me.

Science Matters So far, a good comprehensible overview of science. Looking forward to reading more of it.

Georgia O'Keeffe Biography and picture book of the artist's works. I enjoy her deceptively simple and subtle style, sooo understated. Actually, I tend to enjoy understated things in general. American taste seems (to me anyway) to be rather garish, crass, in your face, and overstated much of the time. There's so much flash and hype and bragging going on that it doesn't allow for very much real appreciation or discovery. Geoergia's work was big, even oversized at times, yet it seems always to have retained some restraint and reserve. It has class. There never seems to be too much or too little of anything, always just enough.

While I'm talking about art, there are a couple of books about Aubrey Beardsley that I'm reading. Here again- economy of line, restraint, yet very expressive, graceful flowing lines. Besides, Beardsley had a sense of humor. :>)

The Last Great American Hobo I'm not sure about the title. There are still a lot of hobos out there. I've met them. Lots of black and white know, what irks me to no end about this book is that there isn't a single picture of any hobos, including the one featured, riding a train, or even hitchhiking for that matter. I'd have to look again, but I don't think there's even a picture of a freight train in the book. There are many, many pics of hobo jungles...but a jungle is merely a stopping place between rides. I mean, the main difference between a hobo and a bum is that the hobo rides trains. The bum just gets drunk, panhandles, and sleeps on the ground or inder bridges or whatever, all of which the hobo may also do, but he rides trains. How in the heck can a book about a hobo not feature guys getting on and off trains, the distinctions between different trains and cars and railroads, and so on? You can't. I guess the title sounded better than- The Last Great American Bum

The Secretariat Factor I picked this one up partly becuase I like horses, but mostly because it's about Secertariat's history as a stallion and his use in breeding programs. I wanted to compare this with dairy goat breeding programs. Unfortunately, the book was written while there were only two or three years worth of foals from him. Why didn't the author wait until more was known and there was something interesting to write about? It seems, so far, that the stallion wasn't as prepotent as they'd have liked him to be. None of his offspring really equalled him, at least not during the itme the book was written. Which begs the question- Hello? Linebreeding, anyone?? If I had had the opportunity, I'd have taken a granddaughter and breed her back to him, if not a daughter. I remember reading that after Secretariat died, they did an autopsy to try to determine what made him so great, and his heart was a LOT larger than normal, and they thought that must have been a key factor. Perhaps he was an anomaly and it wasn't a heritable trait. it certainly explains why colts who looked a lot like him didn't run as well as he did.

There are also a couple of philosophy books I've been flicking through, not exhaustively by any means.

Also The Sun magazine. I love this magazine. I picked up a stack of them from the library's free rack. They're great.

Oh! Not to forget- Chess in a Nutshell by Fred Reinfeld. I love Reinfeld's books. They demystify chess, and you don't have to decipher all sorts of obscure codes and reasoning to make sense of it. I never much enjoyed chess until someone gave me a few Reinfeld books several years ago. I've been working through the openings. There must be a book like this somewhere about Go. It irks me that I lose so consistentl and miserably at that's like I'm missing some vital facet of the game.

Past midnight now...I need to go feed the goats and take a bath before turning in.

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