What is this page?
As I write this, it is 12 October 2011. The first entry below is 26 Sep 2011. Perhaps when you read this there will be later entries, perhaps not.

rapples is a website that has lost relevance. There is Facebook and... whatever. Does this site mean anything. Does it need to move in a new direction?
I don't know.

30 December 2012

Best books of those I have read in 2012:

*The Storyteller's Daughter – Saira Shah (Non-fiction, one of the best portraits of Afghanistan I've read)
*The Sewing Circles of Herat – Christina Lamb (Non-fiction, politics of recent Afghan history)
*Shadow of the Silk Road – Colin Thubron (Non-fiction travel-loge, history, adventure)
*In Other Rooms, Other Wonders – Daniyal Mueenuddin (Pakistan, short stories)
*Sacred Time – Ursula Hegi (great book)
*Wife of the Gods – Kwei Quartey (Ghana, detective Darko, very good)
*The Help – Kathryn Stockett (Beautiful book)
*The Tenderness of Wolves – Stef Penney (a joy to read, words create a world)
*Grievance – K C Constantine (this is not so much a mystery as a people book)
*Peace Like a River – Leif Enger (Great book. Reminds me of Kent Haruf & Craig Lesley)
*Tunnel Vision – Sara Paretsky (V.I. Warshawski mystery. A great character)
*The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
*The Girl Who Played With Fire – Stieg Larsson
*The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest – Steig Larsson
*Bastard out of Carolina – Dorothy Allison (very good... though disturbing)
*Briarpatch – Ross Thomas (Impress Mystery, get more by this author)
*Mink River – Brian Doyle (Oregon coast, crow, salmonberries, Irish and Salish stories)
*José Builds a Woman – Jan Baross (Oregon writer, Mexican magical realism)
*Body Work – Sara Paretsky (V I Washawski mystery, very good)
*Abide with Me – Elizabeth Strout (Tyler Caskey, minister, small town. Great book)
*Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen (The Depression, love and circus)
*The Septembers of Shiraz – Dalia Sofer (Iran, revolution rich family, prison, torture, escape)

19 February 2012

Great quote:

"O God, if I worship Thee for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thy own sake, grudge me not Thy everlasting beauty." - Rabi’ah al-Adawiyah

28 December 2011

Best books of those I have read this year:

*The Tie That Binds – Kent Haruf
*Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Verne
*Spiderweb – Penelope Lively
*The Thirty-nine Steps and Greenmantle – John Buchan (2 novels, one book)
*Above Suspicion – Helen MacInnes
**Heat Wave – Penelope Lively
**Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
*Family Values – K C Constantine
*The Daughter of Time – Josephine Tey
*Storm Riders – Craig Lesley (Lesley is a good writer. I recommend two previous books: Winter Kill and River Song)
*Whip Hand – Dick Francis
*Final Appeal – Lisa Scottoline
*Travels with my Aunt – Graham Greene
*Hard Time – Sara Paretsky
*Finding Nouf – Zoe Ferraris
*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Anne Barrows
*Eye of the Needle – Ken Follett (WWII, deceiving Hitler)
**Becoming Coyote – Wayne Ude
*The Marshal and the Madwoman – Magdalen Nabb
*The Remorseful Day – Colin Dexter (final Inspector Morse - he dies)
*The Death of a Dutchman – Magdalen Nabb
*Dead Man's Island – Carolyn G. Hart
**Three Day Road – Joseph Boyden (Xavier, Niska and Elijah, WWI)
*The Deep Blue Goodbye – John D MacDonald (Travis McGee mystery)
**Crescent – Diana Abu-Jaber (About Iraqi-Americans, myth and the meaning of truth)
*The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins (a trilogy-Juvenile fiction. Would recommend all 3 books)
*Into the Beautiful North – Luis Alberto Urrea (The Magnificent 7, a revealing view of America)
*Voices – Arnaldur Indridasson

Yellow birds fly before the wind
Yellow leaves caught in the wire fence.

a sleeples night, 26 September 2011

Tiger scratch
The minute changed.
It's 11:12 PM

Did you ever wake at 1:23
with an inch behind your knee?

Did your wife snore at 2:34?
Sleep deprived at 3:45?
At 4:56 the clock ticks
It's 12:34, wish I'd slept more.

Last night I dreamed an idea for a poem.
I used to write poems, I don't any more.

The father sat in a chair by the empty bed and took a folded gum wrapper from his wallet.
He unfolded it, then re-folded it... “a battleship”, he had said
He unfolded it, then folded it... “an airplane”, he had said
He unfolded it, then folded it... “the road to gramma's house”
“Uh uh” his younger brother had said.

Someday, maybe I'll write that poem.


You can't read my signature any more.
I can't make the r's right.

If you had only read my wife's signature, you wouldn't know what her first name was.
“Everyone writes like that in Germany”, she said.
“Write the word minimum”, I said.
“Oh”, she said.


Last month, we went to Yosemite with our son and his family.
Somewhere between a meadow and a waterfall, I imagined a story.

Back in an earlier time, it was customary to call out when entering an Indian camp.
You would call out, then wait for an acknowledgment from the occupants before continuing.
This custom was explained to Abraham by his guide when he first visited the valley.
The Indians were seasonal visitors to the valley, but Abraham settled there. He built a cabin and became well-known to the Indians who visited each year.
When approaching his cabin each spring, his Indian friends would call out, “Yo Semite” at the edge of the clearing and wait for Abraham's response before approaching.
Some people say this is where the name of the valley came from.
It's probably not true.

There was a squirrel on the lawn
But he's gone.

There was a squirrel on the lawn,
He ate a peanut
Now he's gone.

There was a squirrel on the lawn
The cat gave a yawn.
The squirrel's gone.