New Kindle Today & Two Book Reports

That’s my new Kindle Fire HD 8 above beside a real book I’m also reading. It is my second Kindle ever and 1 inch taller which does make the print a little larger and easier to read, but there are some things I don’t like as well as on my old 5-year-old Kindle. First, the cover is simply not as good and does not stand up on my dining table as well as the old one. Inside it is more complicated and confusing to use electronically for this old man – beginning to show my age? But I will get used to it and love it eventually.  🙂

The Strange Juxtaposition of Two Books I’m Reading

DIGITAL ON KINDLE: The Seven Storey Mountain  

Written in 1948, this is the autobiography of a spiritual mentor whose writings I like and who is of the same generation of my parents, Thomas Merton. He describes his “coming of age” as an adult and discovering who he really is from first the adventures of life and then the spiritual dimension of life and at 68% through the book (Kindle tells you that)  he is still struggling with what his vocation will be but even more so with his relationship with God. Been there, done that!  🙂

REAL PAPER BOOK FROM FRIEND: The Gringos Hawk   (not available digitally)

I’m only about a fourth of the way through this hardback book which is also an adult coming of age autobiography of a young man of my generation this time, published in 2001. Not as spiritual as Merton’s, yet more adventurous as American Jon Marañon ends up in southern Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast (where I love traveling) and as a 23 year old buys a tract of land on the coast at a bargain price. Then the problems and adventures begin dealing with government regulations, local farmers, and even a “witch” along with illnesses, injuries, etc. And that is as far as I am in the story now. But it is the kind of thing I too might have done in the 1960’s if I had not been, like Thomas Merton, highly motivated by what I considered a “calling” from God. Young men struggling with who they are!

I will report back when I have finished both bios and how I am relating to them then. It is funny how I identify with both guys of two different generations and two different worlds and somehow ended up reading both stories at the same time.    🙂

Newest Book is Now Out! Caribe Tuanis

Here’s the LINK to the photo book of my trip two weeks ago: Caribe Tuanis    Click title to REVIEW the book electronically in my bookstore, all pages for free!  Best seen at Full Screen!

Jumping at Bribri Watsi Waterfall

The title is my fusion of two Costa Rica slang words and is not grammatically   correct Spanish! One Tico tried to get me to add “El” like “The” in English. No. “Caribe” is CR slang or short for Caribbean which I think is used in English some also and the slang word “Tuanis” is like the American slang of earlier years “Cool.” So my English translation of the title would be “Caribbean Cool.” 

Three-toed Sloth this year – Rare face shot

Since my last year’s book on the Caribbean was all birds and nature, I wanted to do something different this year, featuring teens jumping off a waterfall and surfers riding the waves plus Bribri Indigenous People, and of course the Rastas of all Caribbean Culture.  Enjoy!

¡Pura Vida!

Finished “The Little Prince” Book Again Tonight

I don’t remember now when I read it the first time, only that it made a big impact on me then and thus I was ready to read it again! As I get older there is a desire to go back to childlike simplicity, thinking, imagination, joys, and adventures. Reading this short little book is a great starting point and now I can enjoy the stars much more tonight thanks to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the French writer and pilot who died in a WWII plane crash in 1944 just like my Uncle Earl. “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” 
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

The Power and The Glory by Graham Greene

Too Depressing for Me!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39214757-the-power-and-the-glory

I read about a third of the book and quit because I found it rather depressing. It is very good writing and descriptions of rural Mexico in the 1940’s, but at my stage of life I do not care to read hopeless, depressing stories of misspent lives and that is how I see the story or life of this outlawed priest. Others will see it as an adventure!

Other Reviews on GoodReads

Available on Amazon

Two Books Finished – Many More Waiting!

I finally finished reading Oliver Twist and I must say that it is a very good book even if too long, with a whole lot more to it than the familiar story of Oliver from several movies. There are so many undercurrent stories of the adults involved in Oliver’s life that the movies barely touch and for good reason since it would make the movie too long AND too boring in lots of spots. It was a “slow read” for me; definitely not a “page turner.” But I got through it and glad I read all of it and learned more about Monk, Nancy, and well all of the adults. Charles Dickens is a very detailed and descriptive writer.

Oliver was the first of three books in the Charles Dickens Collection Volume One. That means I still have Great Expectations and Bleak House to read if I finish the big volume.

I will intersperse it with my quicker reading like the Agatha Christie book I just quickly read, Lord Edgware Dies. All of her books/stories/mysteries are nice length “page turners” that are hard to put down until finished and I have almost completely quit trying to seriously figure out “Whodunit,” since I seldom have the correct person and that is what makes her books fun and surprising! I am currently working on the list of her Hercule Poirot mysteries and when those are finished I will complete the few Miss Marple books I haven’t already read. Again with other books interspersed between them for variety.

Next is a new writer for me, Graham Greene, and his book praised by John Updike in New York Times, The Power and the Glory, a novel of a fugitive priest in Mexico that Updike called “Graham Greene’s Masterpiece.” I will later let you know if I agree. It was written the year I was born, 1940.   🙂

I belong to the free online group called Goodreads that I think is somehow connected to Amazon.com and have friends there who share their readings as I do and I frequently get ideas for future reads from them. I used to love reading good books about Jesus, God or spiritual things in general, but the last few I have tried were not worth the time I spent on them and I don’t try for such as much now, though I read my Bible twice a day and I am working on one daily devotional book that is just okay – not great.  Am I getting cynical?

To me, most of television is not worth watching, other than the news which I like only small doses of to help supplement my electronic Washington Post subscription.

I still have the Costa Rica version of Netflix but not really many good choices for me. They cut me off from the U.S. version which has more choices, saying that the VPN I was using was illegal. So I cancelled the VPN. Most recent movies are not licensed in Hollywood to be shown online in Costa Rica. Tough luck! 🙂 One of the things about living in another country that can be seen as good, since I now read more! 🙂 Current blockbuster movies are shown in the big theaters in San Jose and Alajuela and I occasionally catch one of them, but most are too violent for me as is the whole American culture now. Sorry!

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”
— Neil Gaiman

Happy reading to you!   ¡Pura Vida!

Reading

 

Just finished this book. Very good!

There are usually 2 or more books on my Kindle that I am working on, more if you count some I have started and will probably never finish. I have to “enjoy” or “get something out of” a book to continue reading it to the finish.

My favorite “little” books that I enjoy reading for pure fun are Agatha Christie mysteries. I’m now focused on finishing all the Hercule Poirot series in the recommended order of happening which is important only because some of the stories refer back to earlier stories that even figure into the details of the mystery. Then I will finish all the Miss Marple books not already read. I like her books because she is a very good storyteller with very entertaining stories that often have the element of surprise. Plus they are shorter than most “classic” books with shorter chapters, making them easier to read. Next up from her is Lord Edgware Dies. 

In addition I am trying to continue adding more of the “classics” which sometimes bore me or they are just too long, but often are the best writing. I currently have volume 1 of The Charles Dickens Collection which is just 3 books, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and Bleak House. I am currently almost bogged down in Oliver Twist which is a longer/bigger book than I realized, having seen at least 2 of the 4 movies made from it. And as usual a lot is left out of the movies! I remember the 2005 and 1968 movies and so decided to try the B&W 1948 movie online. I quit after 40 minutes. It is just not as complete a story or as good as reading the book, though a slow read. I intend to finish reading the real story and then may retry one or both of the more modern movie versions. We will see. I have already interrupted Oliver with one Poirot story and may do so again before finishing. Dickens is an excellent descriptive writer, almost too descriptive so that I get bogged down or bored with too much detail. But still better than that ’48 movie!  🙂

I used to read a lot of inspirational books but have found the last few I tried not so inspirational and not something I need as much now. Plus the politics of so many Christian writers now has turned me off reading anything they say. I now stick with reading the Bible every day and a few writers like C.S. Lewis or Richard Foster whom I know I can trust.

Most of my “real” or paper books are reference books on birds and other nature subjects and of course a collection of my own travel photos in little books. They are on my coffee table and something visitors can thumb through if bored.

Somehow I have not seen my reading as something to write about in the blog and that may be good because it could get bogged down in mystery plots and minutia. But reading is what I do instead of watching TV at night plus I can also read a chapter on the bus ride to Alajuela or while eating a meal, so Kindle is a travel and dining companion of sorts!  🙂  And of course I will never get through all the classics! After Dickens I may go back for more of Hemingway. I love his writing.

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
–Stephen King
Charlie Doggett
Retired (and reading) in Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!