45 Books in 75 Days

At the start of 2012, I made a pledge to read 50 books during the year.  It seemed like a reasonable goal. So much so, that I became a bit cocksure and increased my pledge to 75 books.  Through March, I stayed within 2 books, (plus or minus) of my goal.  Then came spring and […]


There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to the market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening jesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and ther servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came up to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only the start of a surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Somerset Maugham, Appointment in Samarra