The Fowler Apartments

The Fowler Apartments

For my last picture to be posted in 2015, I’ve chosen one that I took in Lafayette about three weeks ago. I’m not sure why I like the picture. It isn’t beautiful architecture, nor is the sky a beautiful blue, it even looks a little cockeyed to me. But I do like the picture. I’m strange.


About a month ago I wrote that I was failing in the reading challenge I had set myself in January of this year. I had selected a number of categories of books to read by the end of the year. The categories were: a book by an author I had never read before, a biography or autobiography, a book recommended by a friend, a romance novel, a mystery, a book on a historical subject, a science fiction or a fantasy novel, a book that I had started before but had given up on, a graphic novel, and a book published in each of the years I have been alive.

When I wrote that I was failing in the challenge I had read thirteen books and had another four to read. Well, I did fail in the challenge, but I was able to read two more this month. So I read fifteen of the seventeen that I had hoped to read. The two that I read this month were:

Henderson the Rain King

Henderson the Rain King

“Henderson the Rain King” by Saul Bellow was my choice for a book published in the 1950’s. I bought my copy of this book in the 1970’s, when I was in grad school. It is a trade paperback version, and the cover price was $1.95. Try to find a new book at that price now. I bought the book for a 20th century literature course but never read it. I don’t recall if the instructor never got around to covering this novel, or if I just decided that I could skate through the course without reading it. The second reason was the more likely. This particular book has been on a bookshelf or in a trunk ever since then. I finally read it, and I’m glad that I did. The character Henderson is not one that I particularly like. I wouldn’t want him in my life. But the book is a good read.

Pleading Guilty 015The second book that I read this month was “Pleading Guilty” by Scott Turlow. It met the challenge criteria by being published in the 1990’s. I am familiar with Turlow’s writing and was pretty sure that I could get this mystery/legal thriller finished even though I started it on 29th. It was even easier than I thought it would be when I realized that I had read the book once before; probably back in the 90’s. I enjoyed it all over again.

I’ll be challenging myself again in 2016. Since I was unable to meet this year’s challenge, I’ve decided to make the 2016 challenge harder. I’m adding categories so that I have to read at least 20 books. The new categories are 1) either a book of short stories or essays, 2) part of a series of books such as any of the James Bond or Tarzan books, and 3) any other book of any kind. I’ve also changed the romance novel category to either a romance novel or a western. If you have any books that you want to recommend, please use the form below.

I’m eager to get started, but it would be cheating if I started one of the books now. Tomorrow will be soon enough.

I hope that you have had a good year of reading, and that you’ll enjoy many good reads in 2016. Happy New Year!