Saturday, June 11, 2005

Responding in kind

Responding to comment and now with Blogger back in tandem I try to respond to the tig/tag

How many books in your library?
1 - Lots, better still most of them have been read - though there are some that arrived with my darling wife involving improving my life that I have yet to get around to browsing.

Most recent purchase?
2. The Stories of English. By some Welsh chap, hold on...David Crystal. Bought simultaneously with White Gold, by Giles Milton. The first is an enjoyable, but at times a tad academic study of the growth of the English language, its tributaries, and most importantly in the modern world, its distributaries. The second is the tale of the tens of thousands slung into slavery by the Moroccans, and the Barbary pirates.

What are you reading?
3. The two above alongside, A Throne in Brussels - Paul Belien’s devastating critique of the Belgian, its Royal family, corruption and their relevance to modern European Politics (already read it once - now re-reading for review purposes) and one of Alan Mallinson's marvellous Harvey novels.

Five most important books to you?
4. Funny that, “Serve to Lead” is in my loo. A great anthology.
To ask the five book that mean the most has a desert island feel about it.
But things that struck me dumb and leave me still mumbling
A)Hume - Enquiries concerning on Human Understanding. (Still don't quite get it, but the closest I have ever read to explain what it means to be alive)
B) Sir Gawain and The Green Knight - Read (in translation ) early in life it helped me believe in humour in defence of decency and England, and honour and humanity and fun, and poetry. Does that sound pompous? Yeah probably, but it is heart felt.
c) Recently the Ramotswe novels, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency etc. Books about doing good.
D) A great fat dictionary of Quotations. Other people always seem to have already said what I would have liked to have said, better and quicker. Why draw a straight line by hand if there is a ruler to hand?
E) What’s Bred in the Bone - Robertson Davies. If an angel ever lived in Canada and touched an author then it did to the bearded seer of Toronto. Magic mystery, high Anglicanism, art history myth, beauty, joy and a direct understanding of how history both public and private impinge upon our daily lives.


tim said...

"Why draw a straight line by hand if there is a ruler to hand?" - What a great line - who said that? :)

Elaib said...

Umm, I think I did, first used it in a geography lesson, when I was a criticised for using tracing paper.
Maybe I heard it somewhere else, but I think it ws a self creation.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...


"Funny that, “Serve to Lead” is in my loo. A great anthology."

As I suspected, this confirms my suspicion that it is not readily available on the open market. Unless there is something you want to tell us...