Well, here I am working 9 – 6 at the library. That doesn’t bother me because I like my job. Heres the problem, as soon as I get home and gobble my dinner, I have to head out to a musical with Bonnie. If I’m lucky, it will be over by 11:00 p.m, and we will be home by 11:30. You might as well say I am working from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
The last musical I went to was a nightmare! It wasn’t enough that they had 21 songs. To increase the pain, technical troubles caused the intermission to last almost an hour. I thought I was doomed to spend the rest of my life staring at the ceiling of the Morris Civic Auditorium!
You might wonder why I put myself through such agony. First, I love my wife, and she loves musicals. Second, I hate shopping, and buying play tickets is the easiest way I know to handle that unpleasant chore. Many times, I can get tickets to a good drama at the South Bend Civic Theater, which I enjoy if its not too long.
Unfortunately, Bonnie likes musicals better, and she is not above dropping strong hints. So —
Here is a list of long but good books that have nothing to do with musicals. I have read and enjoyed all these books:
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts Lin runs a clinic in the slums of Bombay, but most of his time is spent serving as an apprentice in the Bombay mafia and chasing the elusive and dangerous Karla. This is a complicated adventure story of the highest order.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon This novel is about the history of comic books. No, it’s about Jews trying to get out of Europe just before World War ll. No, it’s about magic, especially escape artists. No, it is about family dynamics and the wonderful variations of love. Did I mention that it won the Pulitzer Prize?
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry Adventure, love, heroes and and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers all during a cattle drive. I avoided this winner of the Pulitzer Prize for years on the grounds that I’m burned out on cowboys, and it’s way too long. Finally, vowing to cast it aside with a sneer, if it didn’t grab me instantly, I picked it up. Five days and 864 pages later, I put it down and started looking at McMurtry’s other titles.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett This was an airplane book for me. I had spurned it for years, reasoning that a book about building cathedrals during the Middle Ages couldn’t possibly be interesting. Faced with an eight hour plane ride I took a chance and never regretted it.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Edmond, imprisoned in a dungeon for a crime he did not commit, escapes after 14 years and in the most daring of ways. His time imprisoned was not a complete waste. The naive boy emerges from prison as a man with a plan to gain revenge on those responsible for his incarceration. Gaining access to a treasure he learned about from a fellow prisoner, Edmond takes on the persona of the Count of Monte Cristo and goes after his enemies.
The Stand by Stephen King An escapee from a biological testing facility starts an epidemic that kills 99% of the earth’s population. The survivors are widely scattered and surrounded by dead bodies. Eventually, two rival groups of survivors face off.
I Know this much is True by Wally Lamb This Oprah selection is about the secrets of families and their friends. What makes this novel good is the way Wally Lamb layers each character.
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien Arguably, these four books comprise the greatest fantasy ever written. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the second best-selling novel ever written.
The Path Between the Seas:The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870 – 1914 by David McCullough Why were Americans able to succeed in building the Panama Canal after the failure of the French to do so? McCullough’s explanation of this mammoth construction project and humans who made it possible is a satisfying read.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer How did Adolph Hitler, a nobody, manage to become the most powerful man in the world? Shirer chronicles the history of the Nazis from 1932 – 1945. The defeat of Germany in World War II is well known, but the circumstances which enabled Hitler and the Nazis to hijack their nation are not.
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond Why were Europeans able to build large ships, sail to South America and subjugate its population and not the other way around? Why do some ethnic groups have more success in the areas technology and inventions. Racists say it is because some groups are inherently more intelligent than others. Jared Diamond disputes this and goes on to explain the factors that account for the varying development of societies in this Pulitzer Prize winning book.
Angela’s Ashes, Tis and Teacher Man by Frank McCourt McCourt was born in New York, raised in Ireland, then returned to America where he taught for 30 years in New York City high schools. To say he had an interesting life is an understatement. Angela’s Ashes won a Pulitzer Prize and the other two memoirs are just as good.
The unfortunately named blobfish has already acquired a reputation for looking sad.
And now it has good reason for its glum expression – scientists are warning over-fishing by trawlers of its south eastern Australian habitat is threatening to make it extinct.
The bloated bottom dweller, which can grow up to 12 inches, lives at depths of up to 800m, so it rarely seen by humans.
In deep trouble: The blobfish is threatened with extinction owing to deep-sea trawling
But thanks to increased fishing, the fish is being dragged up with other catches.
Despite being unedible itself, the blobfish lives at the same depths as other more appetising ocean organisms, including crab and lobster.
Deep-sea expert Professor Callum Roberts, from University of York, said the blobfish had plenty to be miserable about.
THE NEXT TIME YOU THINK YOU ARE HAVING A BAD DAY:
Fire authorities in California found a corpse in a burned out section of
forest while assessing the damage done by a forest fire. The deceased male
was dressed in a full wet suit, complete with scuba tanks on his back,
flippers, and facemask. A post-mortem revealed that the person died not from
burns, but from massive internal injuries.
Dental records provided a positive identification. Investigators then set
about to determine how a fully clad diver ended up in the middle of a forest
fire. It was revealed that on the day of the fire, the person went for a
diving trip off the coast some 20 miles from the forest. The firefighters,
seeking to control the fire as quickly as possible, called in a fleet of
helicopters with very large dip buckets. Water was dipped from the ocean and
then flown to the forest fire and emptied.
You guessed it. One minute our diver was making like Flipper in the
Pacific, the next he was doing the breaststroke in a fire dip bucket 300
feet in the air. Apparently he extinguished exactly 5’10″ of the
fire. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.
This article was taken from the California Examiner, March 20, 1998.
Are ya havin’ a Bad Day????
Well, then, consider this………………………….
In a hospital ‘ s Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in
the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 a.m.,
regardless of their medical condition.
This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had
something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the
mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11:00 a.m. on
Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to
investigate the cause of the incidents.
The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 a.m., all
of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to
see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about.
Some were holding wooden crossses, prayer books, and other holy
objects to ward off the evil spirits.
Just when the clock struck 11:00, Pookie Johnson, the part-time
Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support
system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.