As an amateur writer, I look to the pros for inspiration. I am narrowly-read, which fact accounts for the blessed brevity of this compendium of notes that I have made along the way of my literary travel.

No poetry will be reviewed here. I am a poet at heart, but I find the usual poetical devices too constraining and self-conscious. I would rather look for the poetry in well-crafted prose, perhaps sympathetically with my ancient Germanic ancestors who spoke their oral traditions in alliterative verse.

I do find delight in short poetic expressions of single thoughts, such as a haiku might express. Also, I can enjoy narrative verse, such as heroic couplets written by Shakespeare, especially when surprising the mind through enjambement to ensure against monotony. I do appreciate  an occasional poem and someday will collect my favorites all in one place.

The bulk of books I read concern specific subjects such as biology and the natural world. Their annotations are found filed with their related subject matter. Here I record my thoughts on books that transcend such classification, books for all seasons.

I have the effrontery to call them my thoughts, but as usual, most of these thoughts are not my own. I look to other writers’ accounts, and sometimes to classroom notes, for my skeletal insight, into which I then infuse my own elaborations and added context.

It has never been important that I be the first one to perceive some insight into a subject. I am not an academic. Many minds in cohort are better than one, particularly in the presence of an independent observer who enjoys picking the best (most personally pleasing) ideas from each mind. Thus my crowd-sourced expertise helps me shape my perception of the world.

Unless a direct quotation is involved, these other observers never receive recognition here. Let me then do a group-thank, to you all, for your invaluable service in making my life more enjoyable, in pegging my please-o-meter.


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