Monthly Archives: October 2012

Love Among the Chickens

Today’s post is a Kindle/e-reading edition. (I patiently repeat, I only have the Kindle, but assume that you can get the same books on the Nook.)

I read P. G. Wodehouse’s Love Among the Chickens: A Story of the Haps and Mishaps on an English Chicken Farm the other day.  It is pretty funny, involving, among other things, a mad chase after a chicken, and a writer with a good imagination— but I will say no more, lest I spoil the tale.

I must also recommend Wodehouse’s Jeeves books.  These can be found for free on the Kindle as well— at least three, I believe.



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King Alfred the Great

I rarely have one favorite book for long.  As there are so many wonderful books out there, I generally have a varying list of ten or twelve favorites.

However, one book which I have not yet tired of (nor do I think I shall tire of it), is G. K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse.

I have an innate love for historical fiction (when it’s any good), and this is no exception.  As G. K. explained, though, this is not historical fiction, but popular.

There are two things I really love about this poem.  Firstly, I love the beauty of the language, the color, the intricacy, the wonder of the words.  The other thing is the rhythm and cadence of the words, the flow and the grace of the language.  Beautiful.


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Filed under Recommendations, Suggested Fall Reading

Explaining About the Normans

First, I wish to apologize.  I found the name of the book I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, “The High History of the Holy Grail”.  It is available on the Kindle.  My mistake.

Now I am free to explain about the Normans.  What I meant was, I blame the Normans for the story about Lancelot and Guenevere.  It’s only my opinion, of course, and I’ve never seen it backed up anywhere.  It sounds to me altogether like the French troubadour’s songs of “courtly love”.

Well, I shall endeavor to recommend some really good books in tomorrow’s blog.  Until then, I hope you try The High History of the Holy Grail, if you’re interested.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Recommendations, Reviews of old and new books, Suggested Fall Reading

The Once and Future King

I read T. H. White’s The Once and Future King the other day.  I don’t reccomend it; and I shall recount my reasons here.

The book itself is divided into books, minor books I should say.  Well, the first book and a half were quite good, even hysterically funny.  After that, the quality of White’s writing dropped off dramatically, and became a re-hash of Malory.  Also, White got on his hobby-horse and talked about ideals, and politics, and what-not, and got very dry and dull indeed.

I would recommend something other than this, but I’ve forgotten the name of the book that I loved– and I think it’s long out of print, because I can’t find it.  I suppose Malory, whose work I dislike (I blame the Normans for the story of Lancelot and Guenevere.  I’ll explain later.), might be in order, but there is a great deal of work to be found written about Arthur.

Well, I hope you find something better to read about King Arthur, and anyone with any suggestions is welcome to post them in the comment box.

Thank You!

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No Rhyme nor Rhythm

It seems to me that so few modern poets have any sense or beauty left in their poetry.  Well, let me rephrase that.  I haven’t really read anything very recent, but when I read poetry written after the 1950s, the meter and rhythm feel like they’ve been through a wood mulcher.  (That’s why I prefer old poetry.)

My model of perfect meter in poetry would be G. K. Chesterton’s Lepanto.  He used a wonderful hand in turning the stresses, so that the words showed you, by their sounds, what was going on… The last six lines are the perfect example of what I mean, but the whole poem is a master-work.  I don’t know if modern poets give the same care to the meter (I hope they do).

But other poets had flowing verses, too.  You might want to try some classical poets, until you find one whose style you like (and if you like you can comment about their poetry in the box at the bottom of the page).


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