"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Turning the pages of 2014

The second half of the year seemed slow in reading, compared to the first half when I consumed  11 books--almost reaching my goal of one a month for the year. Reading goes in spurts. Weeks go by without a book, and then when I'm hooked, it speeds up. 
The year ended with Unbroken, the WWII story of a remarkable American. Now a movie, the story from Laura Hillenbrand, the same writer of Seabiscuit, captured my imagination and emotions.
Before that were two books from Best of Books in Edmond, now owned by friends Joe and Nan Hight. Spirit of Steamboat, by Craig Johnson, whose books are the basis for the Longmire TV show, is a compelling Longmire tale different from his mysteries. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel was an interesting novel of post-apocalyptic America.
I'd forgotten I'd bought three art books from English watercolourist (Hey, that's the way the English spell it)  Ray Campbell Smith that gave me insights and inspiration, Fresh Watercolour, Landscapes in Watercolour and Watercolour Work-Out recommended by English blog friend, social media guru  and artist Ian McKendrick of Cambridge, Watercolourjourney.
Another short, entrancing  novel illustrated with watercolors by Neil Gaiman, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains  made me want to do the same.
Before that, already reviewed on this blog were River of Doubt, about TR, following the Roosevelt NPR program, Writing Blue Highways, by William Least Heat Moon, and Falling Upward, by Fr. Richard Rohr, which changed my life.
A stifling summer of sickness managed four books in July--One Hundred Years of Solitude, by famed Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which I got bored with and didn't finish; Spider Woman's Daughter, by Anne Hillerman, continuing the Tony Hillerman legacy; American Gods, my first read by Neil Gaiman; and Blackjacks and Blue Devils, by Jerry Wilson, printed by my friend Jeanetta Calhoun Mish's Mongrel Empire Press.



Six month total--14. The books of 2014--25.

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