Mask of Agamemnon photo by Xuan Che, 20 December 2010 [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], from Wikimedia Commons. Dimensions of image altered to fit available space.
Mask of Agamemnon photo by Xuan Che, 20 December 2010 [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], from Wikimedia Commons. Dimensions of image altered to fit available space.

Free Nonfiction

I like to read and learn. And sometimes I like to cement in my brain what I’ve learned by writing about it. Like Voltaire said: “I need to think; someone give me a pen." Below are three nonfiction monographs I’ve written (PDF). In order, they comprise 27, 59, and 43 pages. All include copious illustrations.

Trojan War and Homer

New Trojan War
  • Did the Trojan War really take place?
  • Did Achilles, Hector, Agamemnon, and Odysseus actually exist?
  • Was the ruse of the Trojan Horse a real historical event?
  • Was there one Troy or many? And if there were many, which one was Homer writing about?
  • Was Homer even a real person?
  • Did he write the Iliad and Odyssey? If so, how much of them did he write?

My little book tries to make sense of all this in a factually justifiable manner.

Oriental Rug Primer

New oriental rug primer

Oriental rugs are a bit of a mystery, aren’t they?

  • Persian, Turkish, Kazak, Afghan, Turkoman, Chinese ….
  • Isfahan, Sarouk, Tabriz, Bergama, Kuba ….
  • Bakhtiari, Kurdish, Qashqai, Yoruk, Tekke, …
  • Tribal, nomad, village, city ….
  • Carpets, rugs, prayer rugs, mats, juvals, ensis, bagfaces ….
  • Medallion, all-over, ethnographic, pictorial ….
  • Selvage, fringe, field, main border, guard stripes, spandrels, anchor pendants ….
  • Warps, wefts, knots, knot density, machine knotted, hand knotted ….
  • Wool, silk, cotton, natural dyes, artificial dyes ….

My little book will help you make sense of all this.

Analysis Of Sherlock Holmes Stories

New Sherlock

Did you know?

  • 1 Professor Moriarty never appears “on-stage” in any Holmes story. Never. Not once.
  • 2 The text never mentions what we would call Holmes’ iconic “deerstalker hat.” This hat was an invention of the illustrator Sidney Paget.
  • 3 Holmes does not successfully solve the case 24% of the time.
  • 4 Oddly, after a story is over, the most frequent fate of the antagonist is that Holmes lets them go!

I didn’t know any of this either, until I did a quantitative analysis of Sherlock Holmes stories.  The monograph is fully illustrated and more interesting than the title suggests.