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The Natural - Bernard Malamud“He struck out with a roar.”

If your favorite movie of all time is The Natural, this may not be the book for you. The movie is only loosely based on the book, which is to say it’s pretty much completely different. You have been warned.

This is the second time I’ve read The Natural. The first time, I completely hated it. Obviously, I was expecting it to be very much like the movie. The Natural is one of my favorite movies, and I was hoping the book would be similar with more detail, etc. I spent the first reading comparing how different the book was to the movie and completely missing the point. That was a couple of years ago.

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It Was the Nightingale - Ford Madox Ford

You may think it slipshod and discursive. It will appear to drag in all sorts of subjects just to make up the requisite length.

I am not quite sure why I am such a fan of Ford Mad Ford. Having written at the turn of the 20th Century, it’s not as if his subject matter is particularly apropos after one hundred years. But, I first read The Good Soldier during my freshman year of college, and perhaps that has made the difference.

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Waverley - Sir Walter ScottThis book was not what I expected to say the least. A few interesting points about Waverley:

  • This book was part of Autumn‘s English curriculum at UT, needless to say, the book is in pristine condition.
  • Waverley is considered the first “historical fiction.” After it was published, the genre became extremely popular.
  • Written in 1805, getting through it can be a bit laborious. Descriptions are long-winded as you might imagine.
  • Being old, the text is full of outdated references. The editor’s notes in the back are extremely handy.
  • Unfortunately, it is full of dialogue written with a Scottish accent. That means not only do some of the terms not make sense because of the age of the work, but much of it is nigh incomprehensible.
  • Gaelic, French, and Latin appear throughout the book. Much of this is translated in the back, but not all of it.

The first third of the work was utterly terrible slow going. I honestly had to force myself to continue reading. Eventually, things start to pick up a bit as the protagonist finds himself involved in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. Once that happens, the novel assumes an excellent pace and actually becomes quite exciting.

Oh, and the whole silly thing is really just a love story.

Saucony Men's Cohesion 8 Running ShoeIt’s been a while since I’ve worn Saucony Cohesion running shoes. As I write this, I’m breaking in my new pair of Saucony Men’s Cohesion 8s. These aren’t the fanciest shoes out there, but they are both lightweight and sturdy. Since I keep the cardio to a bare minimum it’s more important for my shoes to be sturdy for many miles of walking.

I had a lot of success with my previous Cohesion shoes. After doing a little shoe shopping for the boys, I realized that I could find a wide selection of Saucony shoes on Amazon for a lot (READ: 30%) less than what I was seeing in the regular stores.

My biggest concern with buying shoes on Amazon is getting the right fit. Since I’ve worn this brand of shoe before, I wasn’t too concerned this time. Fortunately, if anything had not gone right, Amazon offers free returns on many, if not all, shoes.

As every Texan knows, the primary rule for surviving a summer in Texas is pretty straightforward: Don’t burst into flames.

That’s right, it’s crazy hot here in Texas during the summer. And that explains why a state with only one natural lake decided to create hundreds of lakes throughout the state to make up the deficit. When faced with the summertime heat, nothing beats jumping into a nice cool lake.

Last weekend, we spent the weekend at Lake Bonham with some friends. Although one of the smaller lakes in Texas at only 65 acres, the lake is packed with tons of fun. Additionally, due to its smaller size and the number of lakes throughout the state, Lake Bonham is relatively quiet and free from the loud and obnoxious folks you might find at other lakes around the state.

So, what all did we do at Lake Bonham?

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