If you’re blessed with peaceful downtime or just have some time and want to read, here are some nice, easy-to-read but literate things you’ll enjoy.  They share the theme


The Quiet American, Graham Greene

   Entertaining, good writing, historically accurate (more or less), good characterization (sometimes) and mysterious. Helps me understand Indochina…

Burmese Days, George Orwell

   This is somewhat grim, but it’s also entertaining. Orwell was a fine writer; this is his first novel and worth reading. It also helps me understand Indochina.  I like books that remind me, without preaching, what happens if you don’t listen to your Self. It’s also nice if you’re being chased a lot and want to think about this…

Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mann

   Odd to say that I love this book, but I do, a lot. It’s about how tough it was in Victorian Germany to keep one’s artistic self alive. Perhaps in a larger sense it’s about keeping one’s self alive.  The plot follows a merchant family in southern Germany through a few generations.

The Confidential Clerk, T.S. Eliot

   This is one of Eliot’s ‘entertainments.’ I love the plays he wrote for popular audiences to read and perform. This one’s theme is like the others here: it’s best not to turn on your self. The plot: a young organist discovers he’s not a brilliant performer and wants to quit. His organic father is a potter turned industrial genius who made the same discovery about his art.  Will the son cop out?

Amadeus, or How to Get Rid of It, Eugene Ionesco. (Sometimes in a paperback edition with Rhinoceros and The Chairs)

   This play’s quite absurd,really goofy, and you might enjoy it a lot. The others are also frivolous, on the surface. They’ve been translated into many languages, so should be easy to find.  

   None of these books/plays is hard to focus on. You’ll be able to just sail along…

  Enjoy yourselves!  Keep in touch.

Mary Ann in Thailand

Today’s pic is of a monsoonal rainbow.


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