Currently Reading: A Magnificent Catastrophe

This will be the last book I have time to finish for Non Fiction November this year. With the current election “crisis” looming large, it’s going to be interesting to look back and see how the founders survived the first real partisan and divisive election season. -mike

Currently Reading: In the Heart of the Sea

Long time no write, but as you’ll see from my 2020 reading list I’m still reading. My latest is Nathaniel Philbrick’s account of the fated whaling ship The Essex upon whose tale of demise Herman Melville based his famous novel Moby Dick.

This being Non Fiction November I’ve been trying to focus only on non fiction. Tried to read Stacy Schiff’s book Witches about the Salem witch trials, but alas… it was slogging to start and I had to put it down. I’ll try again next year as it’s on our shelf along with Richard Francis’s Judge Sewall’s Apology.

I am looking forward to reading both of these but they’ll need to go on the list for 2021. The Philbrick book will have to suffice for now and depending on how long it takes to read, his books tend to pull you along very well just like Erik Larson’s do, I may be able to get one more non fiction book done this month before my Christmas in December reading. I always try to read several Christmas books during December and this year will be no exception.

Happy reading to you all. -mike

100 Word Wednesday: Hope and a Yellow Digger

100 Word Wednesday: 162

Image by Bikurgurl 100 Word Wednesday: Week 162

Image by Bikurgurl

There I was. Standing at the edge of the city looking back on what was my home and thinking how crazy I was to be leaving. At once, it looked like a monstrosity of glass and concrete that I could never change and was afraid would change me. But then again, the monolithic structures leapt out at me urging my continued patience. Promising that time itself would heal the wounds that time had caused. I decided to try again. “Give it one last shot”. Hope came in the form a yellow earthmover digging up the old, preparing for the new.

(100 words)

For 100 Words Wednesday


Currently Reading: Snow in August

Hello all you wonderful readers. I’ve started a wonderful book that I’m certain ive read before but not so sure when. Snow in August is by novelist and newspaper writer Pete Hamill. I was introduced to him by his book Forever, about a man “cursed” to live forever until he found the One who could set him free. Great book by the way. If you can find it please consider reading it. Its amazing.

But this one is from the perspective of a child in 1947 post war NYC. It deals with issues of racial and religious bigotry and one young person’s coming of age in a world of differences and realizing that what makes us the same is more important than what divides us. Important message for these crazy times we find ourselves in today.

Let’s see how I do, but I’m thinking it may take me all of August to read Snow in August. So… what are you reading?


DNF: Dune Messiah. Sorry. I have to. Ughh!!

I had expected this to be a worthy sequel, but alas… no go. Just boring and tedious. The dialogue is pedantic and pedestrian. The plot is for a book much larger than the 336pgs it’s given. And due to its much shorter form than the original award winning book Dune in 1965, this one is in a strange place of having too much plot and not enough space or development. (Some more back story for the intervening 12yrs of Dune history, please. But over all… not worth my finishing. “Life is too short to read crap.” – Better than Food booktube channel.
I’m out. -mike

How not to Answer a Direct Question

For your amusement today. Enjoy the insecurity and evasiveness. It’s all Kabuki Theater to some people.

— mike


  1. Many people who have different gods from yours, who live according the dictates of them, also say that objective morality comes from their god/gods. Must one be Christian or even theistic to be moral?

    • I’m going to assume you’re a decent person asking a question out of actual curiosity.

      “Must one be Christian or theistic to be moral?”

      Please define “moral.”

      • Moral for me would be good and not evil or harmful to others or myself

      • Thank you for answering so concisely.

        You said that morality is essentially not to do harm to yourself or others.

        Question. Is that “morality” personal to yourself (subjective)? or is it a set rule that all must live by (objective)?

      • This is not an interogation of my morality. I asked you the question. What I believe about or define as moral isn’t relevant to your answering the question. Please answer.

      • What you believe and who you are is important to how I choose to deal with your question. You’re a stranger to me and I don’t just dish out quick answers to strangers. I have no idea about your motivations, your stage of mental or emotional growth or your stance on truth. Each of these are factors in how I should deal with the question. Personally, I don’t just dish out to strangers on demand. “Hey, dude, I’m the one who asked the question, so you don’t get to examine me, just answer please.” No.

        It may be that you don’t appreciate my way of dealing with people. That’s ok. To each their own. We can just go back to exactly what we were a few moments before you chose to post a question on my blog. Absolute strangers totally irrelevant to the life of the other.

      • Wasn’t asking based on what I believe. I was asking based on what you believe. No worries. Answer or not. Your choice.

        Comment below. Thx again -mike

Finished Reading: Killing Floor. Back to Arakis

Now THAT was quick…

Exactly. It seems that working from home and having a temp internet outage really is conducive to reading. Whoda thunk it? I didn’t intend to finish Killing Floor by Lee Child by the end of the day (evening), but once I started I just couldn’t put it down. I found myself at 830p with a decision. Knowing that 345a was just a few hours away and I’d have to once again drag my a$$ out of bed to start work… Did I want to do the responsible thing with only 100pgs left and go to bed, picking up the next afternoon where I left off? Nah… I pushed forward and finished around 11pm. And I’m glad I did. Very good book. I’ll have to borrow the next in the series from the library. But not yet.

Next up? Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. So… what are you reading these days?


Finished Reading: The Novel by James Michener

Surprisingly enjoyable read

I just finished this book in a marathon Sunday reading sprint. Actually, it’s only the second Michener that I’ve read, the other was Space in 1985 about the origins and history of the Space Program in the United States. As I remember, that one took me a very long time and I felt it was a bit sloggy. Although my recollection may be tainted by my memory from 35yrs ago. This one, The Novel about the process of writing, publishing and the distribution of stories and fine literature, was easier to stick with and finish as it drew me in to the narrative.

I was afraid that this Michener would be too detailed and dense with facts and figures, history and minutia as I remembered Space to be. And although the beginning of the book, from the perspective of the older Mennonite writer coming to what he received as the end of a long and successful career, was a bit rough and slow… the rest of the story and the people and the places and situations were more than enough to grab and hold my attention and whisk me into the story and increase my interest with every turned page. Overall, I enjoyed this book, the characters and the landscape of the Pennsylvania Dutch which centered and lent it’s charm and deep traditional values to the story. Well worth the time taken, even if you take more than I did to finish it. I can definitely see why my mom and dad’s bookshelves were filled with James Michener’s thick but substantial volumes.

Next Up??

My Next reads will be Killing Floor by Lee Child, the first of the Jack Reacher novels, and Dune Messiah the 1969 follow up book by Herbert to his classic and award winning book Dune.

So… what are you reading these days?


Currently Reading: The Novel by James Michener

Hello all you wonderful readers. I’ve finished The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl. And now I’ll take a quick detour back to my parent’s bookshelf with James Michener’s 1992 novel The Novel.

I grew up with these books on the shelf at home and now im working my way thru them. Michener always occupied a large section of their shelves because my mother and father loved reading his well researched and descriptive books. When in the army in the 80s I read his historical fiction of the history and development of the space program. Space, written in 1982 and which I read in 84 or 85. It was a good read because it took you all the way from the beginning up to the Space Shuttle which was still active at the time. It was my first introduction to actually reading Michener. This will be my second book by him.

The plan is still to read fiction thru the end of September at which time I’ll be switching to non fiction historical stuff. Dune Messiah, the 1969 Frank Herbert follow-up to his Dune is next and then I’m planning to read the first in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child titled The Killing Floor.

Let’s see how I do, but I’m thinking The Novel may take me all of August. So… what are you reading?