Monday, March 17, 2014

Reading Books

Yesterday we watched two episodes of House of Cards and two of our favorite TV shows; Amazing Race and The Good Wife. We also watched a show about working on a Tudor farm and I watched the second episode of Cosmos.

According to Veronica Abbas, I wasted valuable time when I could have been reading [Recommended Reading]. She links to an article by Erin Kelley who says, Reading Books Doesn't Just Make You Literate: It Reduces Stress, Promotes Good Health, and Makes You More Empathetic. I haven't read a book in over four months and I haven't read a novel in years.

I'm doomed to be illiterate, stressed, in poor health, and the opposite of empathetic.1 It also explains why I don't volunteer to work for a non-profit organization.

1. I'm pretty sure Veronica would agree with "illiterate."


  1. The Good Wife!!! I really dislike that show; even the title makes me cringe.

    No, I don't think you are illiterate, but I suggest reading Anna Karenina instead of watch the The Good Wife.

    1. Wow! I didn't realize that you were irony deficient. (I admit that last night's episode was one of the worst I've seen.)

      I haven't read "Anna Karenina" but I have read "Jane Eyre," "Alice in Wonderland," "Gone with the Wind," and "Little Women." I think "The Good Wife" is much more realistic.

  2. This is funny. by the way I enjoyed these brit shows about remaking farm life. they had several with the same people.
    I never read fiction in 30 years but read non fiction on the internet of library in heaps.
    i fail to see how the thinking segregates info relative from visula or audio conduits.
    i mean the brain, the soul/memory, has NO idea if one is reading or listening/watching tv.
    being relaed with a book is no different then being relaxed at looking at someone reading a book.
    its just being relaxed.

  3. I suggest (assuming you haven't read them, of course):

    "What Disturbs Our Blood", by James Fitzgerald.

    A complex tale of medical research and madness in three generations of the Fitzgerald family. The grandfather was prominent in producing safe vaccines circa 1918 in Toronto, and was a founder of Connaught Labs. Much of this book should have been in my Canadian history classes in school, but people who merely save thousands of lives are ... not important. I did not agree with some opinions offered by the author, but after a slightly slow beginning the story carried me away.

    "The Great Hunger" by Cecil Woodham-Smith

    Ms (Dr?) Smith made a bit of a career of documenting British failures in the mid 1800s, starting with the charge of the light brigade. Here she details the Irish famine. A bit wrenching, to be sure, but fascinating.

    "The Blood Doctor" by Ruth Rendell.

    I had to add one novel. Rendell is best known as a mystery novelist, but I can only say that this is very different. The protagonist, a writer and impecunious member of the house of lords, is researching a book on his great-great grandfather, one of the first medical men to be given a peerage, and an early expert on hemophilia. He learns a lot about the disease, and why his ancestor's daughters hated him. I even learned about X-inactivation, not bad for a physicist.

    One more novel, "Chance" by Joseph Conrad. Maybe you can figure out why I've read this twice and can't remember a thing about it. I even read Veronica's copy, but it wasn't annotated.

    William Hyde

    1. William Hyde

      "Chance" is Conrad's attempt to compete with H. G. Well's "New Woman" novel "Ann Veronica." Well's novel was popular in 1909, but is not read as much now.

    2. A few years ago I was hunting down Wells' non-Science Fiction novels, but never saw a copy of that one. I did enjoy "Tono-Bungay", which Wells apparently thought his best novel. And I even remember it!

      I enjoyed "Chance" both times I read it, but somehow the memories have been erased. The cover mocks me even now.

      I do endorse the first three books I read above. The thought of not reading a book for four months is incomprehensible. Of course, it's easier to find the time to read when one is retired/unemployed.

      William Hyde

    3. Unknown
      I understand its the opinion that those who solve diseases are not remembered because once its fixed there is no more interest or feeling of living with it. We live with cars and phones but not with NO yellow fever.
      In reality these disease cures are more important of coarse because they save lives while the other stuff makes life better.

  4. I haven't read a book in over four months and I haven't read a novel in years.

    That explains why we are still waiting for your review of Nei's Mutation Driven Evolution.

    1. That was not the last book I read but I'm not going to post a review.

    2. Oh. I was asking because you did state you were going to post one.