Saturday, February 27, 2016

CRAIG EDWARD KELSO, Spring Reading 2016

The following pieces pay, and repay, in reading and rereading. A lot of light comes from these three books, two novels and one classic study. All three are INCREDIBLY long, and, depending upon how fast you read, it’ll take the better of the Spring to digest them. All three are CHEAP, can be had from nearly any source and any type of media. In fact, jog on down to your local library and rent a copy first, just to see if you’re interested before you purchase. I recommend buying a book, and that’s only because you can then break the spine, write all over it, and really attack the ideas. A pristine copy of a volume is a waste, in my opinion. Dive into these works. They’re listed here in order of importance.



A great novel of ideas. You’ll either love it or hate it, and whatever decision you come to you’ll never be the same. The present United States is living within Rand’s story.

Quote: But it is not true – she thought, as she stood at the door of her cabin, on this morning of May 28 – it is not true that there is no place in the future for a superlative achievement of man’s mind; it can never be true. No matter what her problem, this would always remain to her – this immovable conviction that evil was unnatural and temporary. She felt it more clearly than ever this morning: the certainty that the ugliness of the men in the city and the ugliness of her suffering were transient accidents – while the smiling sense of hope within her at the sight of a sun-flooded forest, the sense of an unlimited promise, was the permanent and the real.  


LES MISERABLES, by Victor Hugo

I’ve never seen the musical, but if you’re a lover of romantic writing, no writer compares to Hugo. He can go on for chapters about Parisian sewers, and you’ll be totally absorbed.

Quote: The soul gropes in search of a soul, and finds it. And that soul, found and proven, is a woman. A hand sustains you, it is hers; lips lightly touch your forehead, they are her lips; you hear breathing near you, it is she. To have her wholly, from her devotion to her pity, never to be left alone, to have that sweet shyness at your aid, to lean on that unbending reed, to touch Providence with your hands and be able to grasp it in your arms; God made palpable, what transport! The heart, that dark celestial flower, bursts into a mysterious bloom.      


Crowd psychology exposed; how people fall for stupid shit simply because others believe so convincingly. Written in the mid-1800s, it still holds up today.

Quote: A golden bait hung temptingly out before the people, and one after the other, they rushed to the tulip-marts, like flies around a honey-pot. Every one imagined that the passion for tulips would last for ever, and that the wealthy from every part of the world would send to Holland, and pay whatever prices were asked for them. The riches of Europe would be concentrated on the shores of the Zuyder Zee, and poverty banished from the favoured clime of Holland. Nobles, citizens, farmers, mechanics, seamen, footmen, maid-servants, even chimney-sweeps and old clotheswomen, dabbled in tulips. People of all grades converted their property into cash, and invested it in flowers.

And I mean it.

Craig Edward Kelso is a father, felon, husband, controversialist living in Southern California with his adorable family.


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