After Christmas, the good part …

The Christmas haul, enough to last the first part of the winter (I hope).

One of the good things about Christmas is that if you are lucky like me, you have sons and they give you books. The other good thing is that there's a week before New Year's when nothing much happens, giving you plenty of time to read.

As you may be able to see above, this year's haul was an interesting mix. I haven't read these yet, but from the titles and book jackets, I'm looking at American history of 100 years ago in Oklahoma, a couple of excursions into the history of scientific discovery (physics in one case and the Mayan civilization in the other), and finally the icing on the cake of books -- another escapist yarn about the invincible knight-errant of our time, Jack Reacher.

It's hard to beat a collection of gifts like these. And it's my great good fortune that I can settle down -- maybe even near the fire -- and dig into these treasures.

The drawback of books, if you can call it that, is that once you've read them you have to find a place to put them. This can be a challenge when the shelves are already groaning with the offerings of many Christmases past.

But that's a trifle. It's nothing compared to the pleasure of cracking open a book for the first time and seeing how -- and more important, whether -- the author has found a way to hook you in. (hh)

When the words on the page get blurry, you can look into the fire and rest your eyes.




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