The other day, as I was procrastinating on deadline, I ran across a book in the Belleville Public Library that I couldn't resist.
It was "Where There's A Will," by John Mortimer, the man who wrote the Rumpole of the Bailey stories, hilarious accounts of an elderly English barrister who was always for the underdog in court and frequently was victorious.
It is fun to roam the aisles of the library, especially the non-fiction stacks upstairs, and marvel not only at the range of subjects, but the sheer number of books that have been written.
Heck, there are dozens on how to write books.
"Where There's A Will," is subtitled, "Thoughts on the Good Life." It revolves around writing a will and Mortimer's various thoughts about that subject as well as many others.
Mortimer, not only a successful lawyer but also a prolific author and playwright, has had many interesting adventures. He writes about what was a typical day, interviewing prisoners in a dank cell in the morning, having lunch with wigged justices in the afternoon and then consorting with actresses in a play he was writing in the evening.
He also writes of being backstage and listening to Deep Purple, a rock group he has just become acquainted with, as they "attempted to break the sound barrier."
He muses on such subjects as outdoor sex and the government's attempts to ban it and how it has become politically incorrect to cause offense to anyone anymore.
One of the joys of writing about a good author is that you don't have to think of anything original or witty to complement his work.
Often that is because they use plenty of quotes from other witty people to illustrate their work.
Take this story for example.
"'If you'll take my advice,' said the late Sir Patrick Hastings, cross-examining an habitual offender in his threatening Irish brogue, 'you'll answer the question truthfully.'
"'The last time I took your advice, Sir Patrick, the witness said, 'I got four years.'"
I can't wait to get back to the library stacks.
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