Tag Archives: #16

16. The Human Factor

Dear Weblog Superfans,

I could have sworn I wrote about this already, but I can’t find it. A few weeks (months?) ago, I read The Human Factor by Graham Greene for one of my unread books. It’s a spy novel that was intended to be a more realistic/literary spy novel than the more popular ones of the day–it was written in the 70s, I think. Those other kind were generally more exciting super-spy-type books, such as the James Bond series by Ian Fleming. Continue reading


#16 — The Cincinnati Red Stalkings!

Dear Weblog Superfans,

More progress: I finished my first Mickey Rawlings baseball mystery book, The Cincinnati Red Stalkings! It’s actually the fifth in the series, but they’re not sequential in terms of plot, so I didn’t mind. Very basically (I don’t want to ruin it for all of you, since I’m sure you’ll want to get it out of the library), Mickey is a utility infielder for the Cincinnati Reds. (That means he’s only OK, that he doesn’t play every day. This is a technique used by the author, Troy Soos, to both gain sympathy from the reader for Mickey and to allow for him to exist in real-life history without actually asking the reader to rethink history. If that makes sense. Snooty snooty writer talk.) Continue reading

Sort-of updates

Dear Weblog Superfans,

Blah blah blah it’s been so long blah blah blah. Yeah. I get it.

And this time, I don’t even really have much to talk about. I mean, 101 List-wise.

I’ve done a bit of reading (#16)–The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner, about which I have already blogged. Orner also wrote a book of short stories called Esther Stories, which I might or might not have mentioned. And I read that, too. It was very good, very eye-opening in terms of writing style. Orner’s got a very spare style in general, but with Mavala Shikongo, all of his little two-page snippets built up to a larger thing. Not necessarily so with Esther Stories. Continue reading

5. Drink the engagement wine (and many, many more!)

Dear Weblog Superfans,

I did it. I completed an item from my list.

I know what you’re thinking: You just started three sentences in a row with the word “I.” To which I say: shut up.

You are also thinking: Oh, msb. How you torture us with your witty, engaging, flower-scented posts that accomplish nothing but the theft of a few moments of my short, short life. You disappear from blogdom for weeks, apparently abandoning the project to which you were so committed, and then you come back all of a sudden and expect us to believe you when you say you’ve completed something? I smell poppycock. Continue reading

2. Read a book by Ernest Hemingway; 16. Finish 15 of my unread books — in progress

Dear Weblog Superfans,

Bill Murray could totally play Hemingway in a movie.I still haven’t actually completed anything, but I thought I should keep at the updating so I get in the habit of it. I did make a decision, though: the Hemingway book I’ll try is The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which is a short story collection that contains, besides the title story (which was made into a movie with Gregory Peck and Ava Garnder), “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” a pretty commonly anthologized story. The idea behind #2 was to force me to get more acquainted with a highly regarded American writer of the twentieth century, since the tradition that those writers established is the tradition that I, as a writer myself, will be continuing. Or rebelling against. Or whatever. (I don’t want to hear crap here about the postmodernists already doing that with regards to Hemingway, because literary criticism is boring and not of much use to me right now. And anyway, you get my point.)

Continue reading