Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things I like Redux

Here is a repost from December 2009

Each of us has things, books, actors, songs, concepts that we really like. Each of has things we like to do. These things might give us pleasure, they may be helpful or they may evoke a rush of warm memories. Being the narcissist that I am, I will share some of my favorites with you. I am no expert in most of the things that I like, but who cares, I still like these things even if I don’t know why.

I like the Art Deco design style. I am not certain that I can even give you a helpful definition of Art Deco but I am pretty good at recognizing something that is Art Deco. Art Deco was a popular design style in 1920’s and 1930’s. There are Art Deco buildings, furniture, cocktail shakers and a whole slew of other products that were designed in the Art Deco style. I like Art Deco Murals. My favorite office building is the Chrysler Building with its beautiful top. The Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Buildings are both Art Deco projects. Many of the small hotels in Miami’s South Beach are great examples of Art Deco. If you like Art Deco, check out: or

I like zinfandel wine. Not the sweet soda pop white zinfandel, but the deep rep, full bodied red zinfandel. The Lovely Sharon and I search out and buy Zinfandels as often as possible. We like Biale’s several varieties of zinfandels, particularly Biale’s Black Chicken. We like some of the Rosenblum and Rombauer zinfandels. I like the way a nice zin looks in the glass as you slowly move the glass about. I like the rich fruity smell of a zinfandel. I like to walk through a wine store and look at the labels and wonder what treasure may be contained in a particular bottle.

I like movies from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I like the "Thin Man" series of movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. I like Humphrey Bogart movies of this era. I like "The Philadelphia Story" with Cary Grant, Kathryn Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart.

I like dogs; all kinds of dogs. I like to rub their head and ears. I like it when they roll on their back and beg you with their eyes to rub their stomach. I like it when they slide their head under your hand so you feel obliged to pet them. I like the fact that whenever, you come home, they are sooooo happy to see you.

I like golf courses. The Lovely Sharon is a very good golfer. I am a hack, getting worse. But I like the looks of a golf course. I like to read about golf courses. I have read a number of books on golf course design and architecture. I have numerous coffee table type photo books of golf courses. I like to know who designed the courses I play. Some of favorite golf course architects/ designers are Alister Mackenzie, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and Tom Fasio. Some of the most renowned golf courses were designed by Donald Ross but I have never played one so until I do, I can’t include him in my favorites.

I like to read history. I like to read the speeches of Robert F. Kennedy. I like to read anything written about or written by Winston Churchill.

I like to read about, listen about and discuss politics.

I like Swiss Army Knives.

I like silk boxer shorts.

I like books. I like to walk down the aisles of bookstores and libraries. I like to hold a book in my hand and feel it. I like it when I am finished reading for a session and I put a bookmark in my book knowing where to start up next time.

I like the song “The Way You Look Tonight”. I like to hold the Lovely Sharon in my arms and in my awkward way, slow dance listening to this musical gem with the scent of The Lovely Sharon dancing around me.

I like road trips. I like to get in the car and drive.

I like to talk to my son Alex. He is smart, knowledgeable and always has something of interest to say.

I like chick flicks. "Sleepless in Seattle", "You’ve Got Mail", "The American President", "When Harry Met Sally". I have seen each of them many times and will no doubt watch again.

I like my guitars. I have a Martin HD 35 and a Collins 02M. They are beautiful handcrafted, acoustical works of art. I like the rich full sound they each make. I like to pick one up and finger pick a riff. I like to turn them over and let my eyes caress their beautiful rich, dark wood backs. I like to feel their smoothness on my fingertips.

I like movies with Denzel Washington, George Clooney, and Tom Hanks. I like movies with Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda and Julia Roberts.

I like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Their songs and musical styles are timeless yet they take me back to another era. A time when life seemed safer. When it was easier to tell who the bad guys were. A time when life seems less complex. I like the lyric "I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places".

I like people who are passionate about something even if I don’t share their passion or even if I disagree with what they are passionate about. This world needs more people who care deeply about something. People who are not afraid to speak up and take a stand on something. People who are not afraid to put their name on something they care about.

I like people who do what needs to be done without having to be asked to do it. No one was better at this than my mother and father. If something needed to be done, if someone needed help, they were there.

I like to make risotto. I start with a chopped onion, saute it in olive oil until its soft and golden. I brown the rice a little and then slowly add chicken stock to allow the rice to absorb the liquid. The theme of the risotto changes depending on what I have in the fridge or the cupboard. I might add chicken or scallops or diced ham. It may be a vegetable risotto. Sometimes I add a pinch of saffron.

I like to read the paper while I am eating eggs benedict at Café Beaux Arts on El Paseo in Palm Desert. I like to sit in the sun at one of their open air windows, reading and watching the people stroll down the sidewalk.

There are many more things I like but this is enough for now. If you want to share any of your favorite things, leave a response on this page or send me an email because truly one of things I like is to know the favorite things of my friends.

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