Home > Books > Page 3

Category: Books

I’m a Reader – The Jerrys

I'm a Reader

My new single, “I’m a Reader,” is available as a free download!

I’m a Reader

If it’s got what I want
If it’s got what I need
Then I’ll pick it up
And I’ll give it a read.
If it’s got what it takes
If it’s doing it for me
Then I’ll read it again
‘Cause that’s just me.

I’ve got to have it.
I love the smell of a page.
I can’t help it
‘Cause I’m a reader.

If it’s only a tweet
Or a Ulysses
Then I’m right at home
I’m feeling at ease.
If it’s only a word
Or a tome or two
Then I want to read it—
How about you?

You know I love it.
I love the words on a screen.
I can’t help it
‘Cause I’m a reader.

If it’s making me laugh
If it’s making me cry
If it’s telling me how
If it’s telling me why
If it’s got what I want
If it’s got what I need
Then I’m eating it up
‘Cause I love to read.

I’ve got to have it.
I love that reading all right.
I can’t help it
‘Cause I’m a reader.

Words and music © 2015 Jerry Schwartz

 

Poem: Reflecting Back

Reflecting Back

When I was a boy I was emblazed
In imagery galore.
I’d lay down a mirror and for hours gaze
At my little square hole in the floor.

I peered into the room I’d made,
Examined its every side.
Always to left or right I stayed
So wouldn’t see me inside.

How I played that wondering game
With its magicurious feeling,
Trying in vain to be in the same
Room with the floor for a ceiling.

Such is dismay in a dreaming child’s head
He sees it but never can show it.
Like a million sayings that can’t be said,
Such is the pain of the poet.

From Pixels of Young Mueller

Books I Read in 2014

Here are the books I read or reread in 2014:

  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Mike Senior)
  • The Subterraneans (Jack Kerouac)
  • Journey to Mindfulness (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)
  • Get More Fans (Jesse Cannon and Todd Thomas)
  • Who I Am (Pete Townsend)
  • Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix (Charles Cross)
  • The Dhammapada
  • The Recording Engineer’s Handbook, Third Edition (Bobby Owsinski)

Another Trip to City Light Books

City Lights Purchases

Two weeks ago I paid a visit to City Lights Books in San Francisco, where I bought several items:

  • Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder (DVD; 2009)
  • My Struggle: Book 1, by Karl Ove Knausgaard (paperback; 2013)
  • Shambhala Sun (November 2014 issue)

I loved the Ferlinghetti documentary, and I can’t wait to read the others.

My James Joyce Shelf

James Joyce Shelf

Books currently on my James Joyce shelf:

  • Joyce Images (Cato and Vitiello)
  • Ulysses Annotated (Gifford)
  • James Joyce A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Writings (Fargnoli and Gillespie)
  • Ulysses and Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce’s Masterpiece (Kiberd)
  • James Joyce’s Dubliners: An Illustrated Edition (Jackson and McGinley)
  • James Joyce Letters Vol I (Gilbert)
  • James Joyce Letters Vol II (Ellman)
  • James Joyce (Ellman)
  • Joyce Annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Gifford)
  • Joyce’s Dublin: A Walking Guide to Ulysses (McCarthy and Rose)
  • Giacomo Joyce (James Joyce)
  • “Ulysses Map of Dublin” (Dublin Tourism Enterprises)
  • Ulysses (James Joyce)
  • Stephen Hero (James Joyce)
  • ReJoyce (Burgess)
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce)
  • Finnegans Wake (James Joyce)
  • A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake (Campbell and Robinson)
  • James Joyce’s Ulysses (Gilbert)

My Top 10 Favorite Last Lines from Novels

Books

When Stephen Covey penned “Begin with the end in mind” as the second habit in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he wasn’t referring to novel writing, but it’s great advice nevertheless for anyone wishing to write a novel. Just as novelists must work and rework the first lines of their creations to engage readers from the start, so must novelists regard last lines in terms of importance—it’s been said that the opening lines sell the book, while the last line sells the next book. I’m nowhere near finishing my second novel, but I’ve had the end in mind for some time now, and I’ve been thinking a lot about last lines. In no particular order, here are my top 10 favorite last lines from novels:

“…you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable

“All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”
Voltaire, Candide

“His father and grandfather could probably no more understand his state of mind than they could understand Chinese, but those who know him intimately do not know they they wish him greatly different from what he actually is.”
Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

“yes I said yes I will Yes.”
James Joyce, Ulysses

“L—d! said my mother, what is all this story about?— A COCK and a BULL, said Yorick—And one of the best of its kind I ever heard.”
Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining.”
Samuel Beckett, Molloy

“I shall feel proud and satisfied to have been the first author to enjoy the full fruit of his writings, as I desired, because my only desire has been to make men hate those false, absurd histories in books of chivalry, which thanks to the exploits of my real Don Quixote are even now tottering, and without any doubt will soon tumble to the ground. Farewell.”
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
George Orwell, Animal Farm

“And I go home having lost her love. And write this book.”
Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

A few years ago my family and I visited the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, one of the settings of Look Homeward, Angel, Wolfe’s first novel and one of my favorite novels. The following is from the pamphlet:

Thomas Wolfe was perhaps the most overtly autobiographical of this nation’s major novelists. His boyhood in the boardinghouse at 48 Spruce Street colored his work and influenced the rest of his life. His reminiscences were so frank and realistic that Look Homeward, Angel was banned from Asheville’s public library for more than seven years. Today Wolfe is celebrated as one of Asheville’s most famous citizens, and his boyhood home has become a part of the nation’s literary history.

The many exhibits at the visitor center included Wolfe’s hat and Majestic Cabinet Radio (shown below), the folding sofa bed on which slept Julia Wolfe slept while visiting Wolfe in New York City, a ceiling medallion cast by W. O. Wolfe (Wolfe’s father owned a tombstone shop)—even artifacts obtained on excavating the large house’s cistern.

Thomas Wolfe Radio

Also on display are items that Fred Wolfe recovered from the Chelsea Hotel at Wolfe’s death in 1938. These include Wolfe’s suit and the typewriter used by his typist as they worked on The Web and the Rock and You Can’t Go Home Again.

Thomas Wolfe Typewriter

After our tour of the Wolfe home, we stopped briefly at the historic Riverside Cemetery, where Wolfe and his family are buried. William Sydney Porter, also known as O. Henry, is also buried there. On a separate literary note, it was also in Asheville that Zelda Fitzgerald (who once stayed at Julia Wolfe’s boardinghouse) perished in a fire at a mental hospital.