PSA-220819-Book Report

This morning I finished reading a book titled “The Lies I tell” by Julie Clark. I opened GrumpaJoesPlace on WordPress to log the book into my booklist page. Surprise, surprise, my list has been corrupted. Some electronic gremlin has removed all of my 2022 reads and two thirds of my 2021 reads. No one ever looks at this list, except me. I use it to refer books I have read to friends. The page serves as a history of my reading. I show the title, author, the type of reading it is, such as fiction, history, etc. and my rating. Usually, if I like a book I give it five stars. I’ve noticed that many non-fiction books only have two or three stars. It tells me that I’d rather read stories than factual accounts. After fiction my next favorite class is history or historical fiction.

I’ve contacted the happiness engineers at Word Press to help me restore this file. I was able to locate a back up which has 28 entries for 2022. I read a book a week, and at this point I should be on number thirty, this back-up is not too far away. The good thing is I found the back up, the bad thing is I am too stupid to know how to actually restore it to the Blog site.

A few years ago, our library dumped the Dewey Decimal system of classifying books. I complained bitterly to the director, but my voice rolled off like water from a duck’s back. I had to join the modern age of computers they said. Since then I notice that the books come with a label that classifies the type of reading it is. Hmmm, it finally sunk in that putting books on shelves at random would only cause chaos. The moderns have finally realized that even computers need some classification scheme to help them locate material. Dumping Dewey has made it easier for library staff to shelve books. Shelving by a simple class and the author alphabetically removes the strain caused by trying to determine decimally which slot a particular volume fits into. Anyway, I have joined the moderns and have accepted their new system, I had no other choice.

I’ll end with a short synopsis of The Lies I Tell. Although it is fiction, it has to be based on history because the author has told a story about a lady conman with such detail that it had to be taken from an actual source. The principle character in this tale is a young lady who becomes homeless because her dying mother was desperate for funds, and fell prey to a man who stole her savings and her home, then evicted her and her grammar school kid. Mother and daughter wound up living out of their car. The mother dies and the daughter is left to her own choices, she chose to become a grifter. The story held my interest throughout simply because of the uniqueness of this grifter’s style. Her motives for selecting marks made me think of Robin Hood who stole from the rich so he could give to the poor. She picked on men who take advantage of women. She did it in a way that kept them from getting police involved. This is a five star read.

Getting Un-hooked

It doesn’t take long to get hooked on something that is inherently addictive. For example, yesterday I began a single game of solitaire on the computer and now I can’t get unhooked. In the past several years I have logged over one hundred days playing double deck solitaire. Those are days I will never get back to do something useful. My win rate is locked at 16%. It may never get any better, but I keep on trying, and wasting incredible amounts of time frittering away flipping cards from stack to stack when I could be writing blog posts about my boring life. I have to get unhooked. The problem is how does that happen? Perhaps if I blew up the computer, or smashed the screen?

No doubt even if I kick the habit, another vice will sneak into my repertoire of time wasting addictions, like napping, or reading, or just watching clouds pass over. There are so many ways to break habits but so little motivation to do so. Just try quitting to smoke.

Before long, if one practices an addiction like breathing it becomes a normal function of life. Addictions are contagious and will spread to your family and friends. Drinking alcoholic beverages is another addiction that is very hard to break. Drinking in excess becomes as hard as breathing to give up, and affects many other body functions well. There are harmless addictions like playing solitaire and those that are harmful like smoking and drinking. Does that mean we should not attempt to break those that are harmless? I think not. Getting away from the unharmful ones will give a person more time for productive things like day dreaming or washing windows.

The most harmful addiction I had to give up was smoking a pipe. It took three tries before I became successful, and I admit my health has been better for it, mental and physical. The final trick that tipped me over the top to success was when I came home from work one day to learn that my seven year old daughter buried my pipes in the garden. Her teacher taught all about the evils of smoking at school, and she came home to fix her daddy. So I kicked a twenty year smoking habit cold turkey and have not looked back. Now for the solitaire. I have already stopped playing several times and once went so far as to trash the program from my lap top. One day, I got an urge to play and reloaded the game. So much for kicking bad habits.