Monday, May 31, 2010

Coyness is nice, and coyness can stop you from saying all the things in life you'd like to

May was a momentous month. It was long, hard sometimes, easy others, pretty. I liked you, May of 2010, you were solid. Thanks for the memories.

This is basically just to keep up with my self-imposed baseline of 10 posts per month for 2010, but I was hoping to maybe stumble on some truth in the process. Doesn't look like I've succeeded, does it?

I bought four books at the Rodney's closing sale yesterday. The titles:

-The Rising Sun in the Pacific 1931 - April 1942 (History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, volume 3) by Samuel Eliot Morison

-Salvation in Death by "J.D. Robb"

-Let Me Tell You a Story: A Lifetime in the Game by John Feinstein and Red Auerbach

-War Diaries: Politics and War in the Mediterranean January 1943 - May 1945 by Harold Macmillan

I bought the Morison volume because it was a pretty nice hardcover edition and I had previously done a book review paper on his Leyte Gulf volume from the same series. His stuff is very readable and heavy on facts, so it seemed like something worth having around, to get to sooner or later. I bought the "J.D. Robb" book as a joke, mainly to tell A that I bought it next time I talk to her, so we can laugh about Nora Roberts and her insane productivity. Yes, I am the kind of person who drops two dollars on a paperback "futuristic suspense" novel just to use it as a conversation piece. So sue me. Also, I had noticed that the book makes a pathetic, mainly symbolic attempt at playing it coy about the true identity of its author. I quote: "J.D. Robb is the pseudonym for the number one New York Times bestselling author of more than 170 novels including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than 300 million copies of her books in print." As if there is anyone who would buy this book and not know who actually wrote it. Plus it says copyright Nora Roberts 2008 inside the front cover. Don't insult my intelligence by still attempting to maintain the facade that your about the author section could still deceive people. The Red Auerbach book I bought because he's bound to have tons of really good stories, and the guy is one of a kind. There could never possibly be another Red Auerbach. I bought Harold Macmillan at least in part because everything in the store was fifty percent off. Exactly what do I have to lose in buying an enormous volume of per·spic·u·ous·ly detailed diaries of life and war in the Mediterranean during the years 1943-1945? Space in my already cramped apartment, you might say. Well so be it.

Did I mention that every book in the store was fifty percent off?

I'll leave you with a spot of appropriate Housman, the first two and last verses of "The Chestnut Casts His Flambeaux". Good luck in June.

The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers
Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May.
There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.


The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.


  1. The Housman is indeed appropriate!

  2. Allan,
    If you decide the Macmillian book isn't for you, let me know, I'll pay you what you paid for it. I think it would provide an interesting view on WWII in that theatre of war.

    Uncle Davey

  3. I love this stuff. people should have to pay for the genius/entirely-too-appropriate-citations that is the daily hutch! bear them if we can, and if we can we must. hear him, hear him! Allan E. Houtchison, don't ever stop using books as conversation pieces, for it's just one more way to get people to read them.

  4. thank you, kind commenters. and Uncle Davey, I'd be more than happy to loan the book to you free of charge. let me see if i'll have time to read it soon. I'm very interested in what he has to say