One Writer’s Journey

January 2, 2019

Reading into the New Year

For Christmas, my husband got a gift card from HalfPrice Books.  This local store features a wide variety of used books and we all love going there to look for something you won’t find at Barnes and Noble.

This time around I found a copy of Lion of the Valley by James Neal Primm.  Primm was a still a professor when I was at the University of Missouri – St. Louis although I never had him.  I had been looking for a copy of this history of St. Louis for years.  It is the first history complete with bibliography and footnotes as compared to earlier anecdotal histories.

As we checked out, the cashier gave us two calendars.  Not only are there coupons (woo-hoo) but each day lists authors born on that day.  Of course, I immediately turned to my birthday which I share with Barbara Tuchman. It’s a little embarrassing that I didn’t recognize the name of this two-time Pulitzer winner.  She won for The Guns of August which tells about the events leading up to and the first month in World War I and Stillwell and the American Experience in China a biography of General Joseph Stillwell.  I actually recognize the title of the latter book because of the Chinese history classes I took but I’ve never read this particular book.

The great thing about a calendar like this is that you find prompts for authors and books you never would have discovered on your own. Me?  I suspect I’ll be looking for many of these authors on audio so that I can experience them while I row and row and row some more. Yeah.  Someone made a resolution.

An awful lot of the books that I read are written for children and young adults, including my last book of 2018 which was The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin.  Personally, I like many of these books more than I do the books I read that are written for adults but this  preference has led to a debate with my walking buddy.  She’s an accountant who loves to read adult nonfiction.  She reads YA novels so that she knows what her daughter is reading but feels that many of these books are slight compared to adult novels.

I can’t disagree unless I do more reading.  Not exactly a horrible dilemma!


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