10 Rules for Reading by Theodore Rooselvelt

1. “The room for choice is so limitless that to my mind it seems absurd to try to make catalogues which shall be supposed to appeal to all the best thinkers. This is why I have no sympathy whatever with writing lists of the One Hundred Best Books, or the Five-Foot Library. It is all right for a man to amuse himself by composing a list of a hundred very good books… But there is no such thing as a hundred books that are best for all men, or for the majority of men, or for one man at all times.”

2. “A book must be interesting to the particular reader at that particular time.”

3. “Personally, the books by which I have profited infinitely more than by any others have been those in which profit was a by-product of the pleasure; that is, I read them because I enjoyed them, because I liked reading them, and the profit came in as part of the enjoyment.”

4. “The reader, the booklover, must meet his own needs without paying too much attention to what his neighbors say those needs should be.”

5. “He must not hypocritically pretend to like what he does not like.”

6. “Books are almost as individual as friends. There is no earthly use in laying down general laws about them. Some meet the needs of one person, and some of another; and each person should beware of the booklover’s besetting sin, of what Mr. Edgar Allan Poe calls ‘the mad pride of intellectuality,’ taking the shape of arrogant pity for the man who does not like the same kind of books.”

7. “Now and then I am asked as to ‘what books a statesman should read,’ and my answer is, poetry and novels – including short stories under the head of novels.”

8. “Ours is in no sense a collector’s library. Each book was procured because some one of the family wished to read it. We could never afford to take overmuch thought for the outsides of books; we were too much interested in their insides.”

9. “[We] all need more than anything else to know human nature, to know the needs of the human soul; and they will find this nature and these needs set forth as nowhere else by the great imaginative writers, whether of prose or of poetry.”

10. “Books are all very well in their way, and we love them at Sagamore Hill; but children are better than books.”


Sesame Street - Africa

President Theodore Roosevelt’s Party at the Hague, 1907.

President Roosevelt proposed in 1904 a peace conference to expand on the 1899 Hague Conference which set international agreements on disarmament, conduct of war, and defining war crimes. The hague protocols were the basis of what in 1925 became the Geneva Conventions.

Dans un autre monde - Part 2

Part 1 available here

To say that the doctors and nursing staff of the Royal Northern Infirmary were shocked when Faith and I came in would be an understatement. Our appearances alone caused quite the circus. And as soon as I told them my name they started whispering among themselves.

“Should we call…”

 “… she disappeared three years…”

 “… said she ran away with her lover…”

 “… look at the way she’s dressed…”

 “… been gone three years and that bairn cannae look any older than two…”

 “All of ye out!” finally said a matronly looking nurse, who I would later learn was indeed the head nurse. “Come my lamb, let’s get ye and the wee bairn comfortable before the doctor examine the both of ye.”

 She showed us to a large examination room where I was instructed to get undress and wait for the doctor to come and examine us. I removed each clothing items except my shift, carefully setting them up on a nearby chair. Faith was sitting on the bed, looking a little fearful.

 “Don’t be scared, darling. Mama is here.”

“We see Da now?”

I fought the tears threatening to fall from my eyes. My poor darling little girl… Before I could answer her heartbreaking question, the door opened on a stern looking gentleman.

“Mrs Randall? I’m Doctor Beaton…”

The irony of his last name brought an unconscious smile to my lips. The examination was after all a formality, I could have easily told the physician what was ailing me. I was two months pregnant and severely malnourished and underweight. But the examination brought me answers to questions that had been plaguing me ever since Jamie’s announcement of my new pregnancy. My medical knowledge was advanced enough to know that what I had suffered at Faith’s birth was placental abruption. Could such a thing happen again? If so, what were the chances of survival for me and my baby? I knew that with modern medicine such a condition could be diagnosed earlier, but could my body go through such a traumatic event again? Could my psyche go through the ordeal again? Our survival had been miraculous, could such a miracle happen again?

“There’s always a risk, but as long as ye follow doctor’s orders…”

He then proceeded with his examination of Faith. My darling little girl proved to be quite brave, only hiccupping a sobs once in a while as the physician poked and probed her.

 “Ye got yourself a healthy wee lassie, Mrs Randall… A little on the small side for her age…”

“She was born premature” I explained, defensively.

I knew Faith was small for her age, she actually looked younger than little Kitty who was several months her junior. As tiny as she was, my daughter was also fierce. She, after all, had Fraser’s blood running through her veins. She had proved it by surviving and thriving against all odds.

“Premature, ye say? Well that explains it, then. Has she received her inoculations?”

Her inoculations? I hadn’t thought of that… Her immune system was already a little weak, add the fact that she had only been in contact with 18th Century germs and virus…

“By yer expression I’ll wage she hasn’t. We’ll take care of that later on. In the meantime, why don’t ye rest. The next few days should bring enough excitement… I ken that some constables are very eager to meet with ye.”

Excitement… I had had enough to last one lifetime, if not two. As for those constables, what could I possibly told them? That I travelled through time not once, but twice? They would intern me at Bedlam as soon as the words were out of my mouth!

“Thank you, Doctor Beaton.”

As he was getting ready to leave the room, the door opened on the head nurse carrying a bundle of clothes.

“I see that ye are done with yer examination, Doctor. Come my lamb, I brought some clothes for ye and the bairn. Then ye and the wee thing will nap. Ye look as if ye’ll drop dead from exhaustion.”

“Thank you, nurse… Could you… Would it be too much to ask you to ring someone for me, please?”

“Yer husband, Mr Randall?”

My husband… I didn’t think I could face Frank yet. Jesus H. Rooselvelt Christ, could I ever face him again without getting flashes from Black Jack? I simply shook my head.

 “Someone in Inverness, perhaps?”

 I nodded. “Do you know Reverend Reginald Wakefield?”

 “Reverend Wakefield, ye say? Of course I ken the good Reverend. My dear friend, Fiona Graham, work for him as a housekeeper. Would you happen to ken her too?”

Mrs Graham! I was brought back to the morning of Samhain before I went through the Stones and the ritual Frank and I had spied upon. If there was one person I could tell my story to and wouldn’t judge me or think me crazy it would be Mrs Graham. I just hoped she would still be in the good Reverend’s employ. 

“Yes, I do know Mrs Graham… She once read my palm… Could you please ring her? Tell her Claire is back.”


Part 3 is available here