Of all the many books I’ve read…

This month, October 2020, Rhobin wants to know what my favourite books are.

There is no question. My favourite author of all time is Dr. Seuss, that genius. I mean, who can match Green Eggs and Ham or Fox in Socks?

But his best book ever was The Lorax. It is the first book of Greenie propaganda aimed at brainwashing kids to care for nature over profit. To this day, my children can recite it word for word. It should be compulsory reading for all business managers, from Deputy Trainee Bottlewasher to the CEO of every company. Being able to recite it should be a prerequisite for being allowed to take up any and every elected position. (That of course would have the additional benefit of keeping out self-declared geniuses whose attention span wanes beyond the length of a tweet.)

On the rhyming front, though, the world leader is Ogden Nash. For example, while I don’t approve of the sentiment, the humour is humungous in “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Then there is his version of The Carnival of the Animals, which is sheer genius. My favourite is The Elephant:

            The elephant is a faithful friend
            With a handle at either end,
            A wrinkled and mothproof hide,
            And teeth, upside down, OUTSIDE!

Then there is his little observation that Saint-Saens would prefer not to be called Sans Sense.

On the serious front, there are so many to choose from that with great speedy speed, I could list 20 or 30. Tops is probably the five books of David Eddings’ Belgariad, though the follow-up five didn’t grab me. I have read everything Isaac Asimov has written, which is saying a lot because he wrote a lot. The only textbook I ever enjoyed was his introduction to Chemistry.

In the criminal realm, no one can go past Dick Francis. I wish he were still alive, and writing a book a year. This is despite the fact that I am not interested in horse racing. Indeed, particularly jumps racing, his specialty, is cruel and should be banned. What attracts me to his writing, apart from the ingenious plots, is his view of human nature. His heroes are ordinary people who achieve extraordinary feats in the crucible he puts them into. The best of the people between the covers of Dick’s books is Sid Halley. Do check him out.

I do love The Hobbit. It is far better than Tolkien’s follow up, the Ring trilogy.

Somehow, I seem to have picked all male writers, but I assure you this is not by design. Even in card games like bridge and poker, chance can give you unexpected combinations like a straight flush or four of a kind.

My friend Anna Jacobs lives between Western Australia and Britain, and no, that does NOT put her in the middle of the ocean. Apart from lockdown, she nictitates between the two. She is now one of the most popular writers in both the UK and Australia, and has an unending number of courageous heroines who overcome the odds. Most but not all of her books are historical.

Then there is my friend and writing mentor, Florence Weinberg. I have either reviewed or beta read all of her 11 books (10 published to date), all of them award-winners. They are intriguing with historical accuracy, twists of the plot and characters that glow with reality.

            So there you have it. It is done,
            I hope with a bit of fun.
            Funety fun, so go, go, go,
            And visit all the ladies below.

Oh, and if you don’t comment before you leave, I’ll force you to eat green eggs and VEGETARIAN ham.

Victoria Chatham
Skye Taylor
Rhobin L Courtright
Helena Fairfax
Fiona McGier
Diane Bator
Connie Vines
Beverley Bateman
Anne Stenhouse

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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14 Responses to Of all the many books I’ve read…

  1. Rhobin says:

    Reading to children is so important! Luckily many books have a direct message for children and sometimes another indirect message for adults. Dr. Seuss wrote many great books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Connie Vines says:

    I read Dr. Seuss to my children, though Whooville gave me the creeps.


  3. I think my kids had all the Dr. Seuss books but their favourite was The Grinch while I had a sneaking fondness for The Cat in the Hat. I was also a Dick Francis fan, from his days as jump jockey, to racing correspondant, and then author. At one time I could name all the National Hunt courses in England, but now cannot bear to watch horse racing of any kind. Just because they can run and jump doesn’t mean they should.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      I agree. In recent years, a lot of cruelty has been revealed about the horse racing industries. And I ask you, how popular would they be without gambling?
      But Dick Francis was great. Despite his genre, which is looked down on, his books are deep and make you think. Each presents some interesting field like glass blowing or surgery or insurance, which his wife used to research for him.


  4. fionamcgier says:

    If we’re going to require the reading of The Lorax, I think we should add the viewing of the 4th Star Trek movie, where the future of the human race, as well as many others, is about to be disrupted because humans hunted whales to extinction, and a race who had visited them centuries before, comes back to ask them why they’re not communicating anymore–and there are no whales left. The plucky Enterprise crew has to go back in time to find some whales and bring them into the future, or humanity is doomed.

    As for Ogden Nash, my favorite from “Poem in your Pocket” days in past years is:
    “I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance,
    Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nousiance.”
    Note: he purposely misspelled the last word for the rhyme.

    And I love learning new words, but how exactly does your friend “wink” between West Australia and Britain? That’s the only definition I could find of “nictitates.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Nictitate is very rapidly moving up and down, or in this case across. Sure, some species do this with their eyelids. That is called a nictitating membrane. Well, a nictitating person rapidly moves from place to place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • fionamcgier says:

        Ah, that’s what I was thinking–but even Dictionary.com only listed the winking definition. Of course, the English language evolves so quickly that even an instantaneous source that can be changed often, like an on-line dictionary, is bound to miss some accepted usages. Thanks. If I ever run into that in a crossword, I’ll bless your name. Probably won’t be much use in Scrabble, but you never know.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Skye-writer says:

    Gotta agree, Dr. Seuss is awesome. My son recites whole passages often and while my memory isn’t as prodigious, there is something about Seuss that sticks with you, both the verses and the lessons.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bob, I didn’t get to know Dr Seuss until I had children of my own, but his books are now a firm favourite and I can recite some of them by heart. And I loved Ogden Nash as a child! Thanks for reminding me how great his poems are. I also much prefer The Hobbit to LOTR, which I’ve never managed to finish.
    It’s been great looking through your bookshelves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Well, Helena, you obviously have good taste if you agree with me. 🙂
      Mind you, I wonder what Mr. and Mrs. Nash were thinking when they named their little baby boy Ogden. I ask you, what did the other kids call him in school? Og?
      As bad as that person who wrote the most lyrical music with the least lyrical name of Rafe.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Bob, I do love a good page-turning children’s story – that’s an older generation than the ones you’ve selected. I think, though, my own fav young chidren’s book is Where the Wild Things Are. I didn’t read it until I had my own children but then I related… Anne

    Liked by 2 people

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