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Michael Gracie

Completed Winter Reading List (inclusive of LSD substitutes)

Winter is supposed to be the time when you relax on the couch, well-tended fire and warming cocktail close by, and spiral into a state of severe depression over your “friends” social media posts read a good book. The absolute value of literary consumption has dwindled yet again, but only because the chimney sweep flew south last December …

The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday MachineMichael Lewis (link)

So the movie just came out (and I already knew the story), but the book is classic Lewis; a thorough – and gripping – tale of monkey business.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show BusinessNeil Postman (link)

The conceptual transition between the written word and television repeats itself; this time it’s zombies staring at little blue screens instead of big black and white ones.

Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll (link)

Cannot believe I’d never read this before; like The Bible, a source of many otherwise inexplicable pop-culture references is finally uncovered.

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human ValuesSam Harris (link)

“Faith” is the exchange of critical thinking skills (and money) for someone leading you into a pasture; there a creature (of likely sharper intellect) keeps the flock in check while it in turn baas out ways to treat those outside the ring with patronization and/or passive-aggressive disdain; Harris continues proposing alternatives to this malinvestment.

MG signing off (because Spring draws near, or at least Daylight Savings Time does)

Completed Autumn Reading List (inclusive of fun and games)

Too much time spent in the officeon the driving range … brushing up on classical Tibetan results in a shorter list than previous.

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social PolicyThomas Sowell (link)

Marketers Are From Mars, Consumers Are From New JerseyBob Hoffman (link)

Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank That Runs the WorldAdam LeBor (link)

Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of AntihumanismRobert Zubrin (link)

Mastering Golf’s Mental Game: Your Ultimate Guide to Better On-Course Performance and Lower ScoresDr. Michael T. Lardon (link)

CryptonomiconNeal Stephenson (link)

Select opinion: Tower of Basel is a well-researched, thorough historical account of 20th century war financing; and Cryptonomicon is very long, but I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.

MG signing off ( རྗེས་མ་མཇལ་ཡོང་། )

Completed Summer Reading List (inclusive of pornography)

Not the “other” porn fishing blogs, Pravda the New York Times, or product catalogs disguised as instructional material Golf Digest, just books (without “spare change” links) …

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & PowerDaniel Yergin (link)

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001Steve Coll (link)

The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of SecurityKevin Mitnick (link)

The StrangerAlbert Camus (link)

Who Owns The FutureJaron Lanier (link)

Much Ado About NothingWilliam Shakespeare (link)

Myths of the Oil Boom: American National Security in a Global Energy MarketSteve Yetiv (link)

Harvesting Gold: Thomas Edison’s Experiment to Re-Invent American MoneyDavid Hammes (link)

WomenCharles Bukowski (link)

Debt: The First 5,000 YearsDavid Graeber (link)

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the FuturePeter Thiel (link)

MG signing off (to conjure some “sound smart” reviews, or maybe not)

Veddy, veddy important for fly fishing: casting and knots

If you can’t cast a fly and/or can’t tie it to the line, you are going to have a hard time fly fishing. It’s that simple.

Fortunately, learning how to do both of these veddy, veddy important angling tasks is just about as easy.


A book I originally thought would help with lazy guide syndrome (i.e. guides refusing to pole close enough to the bones so I could just net them) turned out to be a pretty darn good book on generally casting and practice technique. Longer Fly Casting has plenty of pics to follow – it lingered in my library for a while, and has since been passed on. And since that time it’s been updated too!

The other “must have” for getting the fly in the water is Practical Fishing Knots. I’ve mentioned this one before, and it too was given to someone after I finished up with it. It’s a great guide that will leave you with a stable of go-to knots. Sadly, it’s been a while since I chased big game, and if I’m ever asked to tie a bimini twist I’ll probably have to buy it again!

Experienced fly fishing folk won’t be surprised that both recommendations are written (or co-written) by the infamous Lefty Kreh. That wasn’t the intention, but I’ve heard Mr. Kreh is one fine photographer too. Maybe he’ll put out a how-to book on that as well.

I could certainly use the help.

Judging “books” in a fast paced world

Never judge a book by its cover – an oft quoted phase coined to remind people that outward appearances can be deceiving. A book could be “handicapped” by its appearance, but grand, nonetheless. And it may take years for folks to figure this out.

Unfortunately, we’ve come to a point in our world where everyone is in a rush. In a world of snippets and sound bytes, the tactic now is to “read the inside cover,” and make an instant decision. Jumping to conclusions is the norm, and it may just be necessary for survival. With regard to books, online reviews are certainly useful. But it begs the question…where are your stars-4-5.gif‘s going to be posted?