"When you go from buggies to space travel, I'd say you've covered a good many miles."
So says one of them women interviewed in this book, which is a c"When you go from buggies to space travel, I'd say you've covered a good many miles."
So says one of them women interviewed in this book, which is a collection of oral histories of Hoosier women who grew up from the late-1800s through the 1960s. Most of the attention is paid to the period between 1890 and 1945, and you can see how Indiana, and the lives of her denizens, change through the generations as technology, war, and economic booms and busts ripple their way across the landscape.
There aren't enough words in the world to describe how grateful I am that this book, as well as the other books in this series, exist. Oral histories are rather wonderful things, I think, particularly when the histories touch on the lives and times of parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles who are passing on, taking their own life stories with them, as well as the precious details of "how life was" for the everyday person.
Something to ponder: it might be worth reading this book, or excerpts of it, aloud to your senior relatives. Sometimes memories of past times, events, people, manners, and objects spur their memories and minds more than recent things, and will engage and energize them more. Plus, it might spur them to reminisce about their own lives, and thus you will learn more about them....more
I love me some Bill Bryson, don't get me wrong. I've read four of his books, and enjoy his sometimes subtle, sometimes juvenile, sometimes snarky sensI love me some Bill Bryson, don't get me wrong. I've read four of his books, and enjoy his sometimes subtle, sometimes juvenile, sometimes snarky sense of humor, to say nothing of his gentle meanderings which come to the point in their own sweet time. But this book...I'm really struggling with. It's meant to be a reflection of the various quirks of America, as seen through the eyes of a person recently returned after a decades-long sojourn in England. But in reality, it's more of a collection of columns in which he gripes and laments a lot. (Even by his own wife's observation, he does this.)
I think this is an example of how no two people read the same book. Chances are, if I were to pick this book up and re-read it, 10 or 15 years from now, I will enjoy it more. For I will be a different person, enduring different circumstances, reading it with different perceptions, and thus reading an entirely different book. At this point in my life, the last thing I need to spend my recreational time on is a collection of curmudgeonly complaints, however humorous they might be. I really DON'T want to finish this book; it's emotionally draining. However, I am compelled to finish it, based on the sneaking and probably ill-founded suspicion that I might end up skewered in a column written by Mr. Bryson in which he laments the fickle and lazy nature of American readers and how they will likely bring about the 4 Horsemen or a resurgence of Saint Vitus's Dance or a raise in Mr. Bryson's water-bill. ...more
This "sequel" to Pride and Prejudice was the most...anemic attempt at a literary homage I've ever encountered.
First, the author spends a great deal oThis "sequel" to Pride and Prejudice was the most...anemic attempt at a literary homage I've ever encountered.
First, the author spends a great deal of time telling, not showing.
Second: The entire Darcy family have been reduced to Mary Sue status. OF COURSE this wealthy, titled family would vigorously campaign for social reform. fweh*R#3ghgvidhv (Oh, sorry, I mistyped there, since I was blinded by the gleam of light reflecting off their collective halo.) OF COURSE they make all sorts of sound business decisions, and everyone in their acquaintance has felicitous, happy marriages, unopposed by anyone. OF COURSE Elizabeth and Darcy lived in perfect harmony and happiness, with nothing to distress them except for when they reproached themselves for the months of foolishness in which they despised each other upon first acquaintance. Of course, these moments pass quickly and are remedied by them congratulating themselves, at great length, and many times over the course of the book, over their good taste in marrying each other.
Notwithstanding the occasional shenanigans from the Wickhams, and one untimely death of a cousin's husband, the Darcy way of life is pretty perfect. Lest we get too fed up with this (too late), the author obligingly throws in a double-tragedy toward the end of the book, when she kills off the Darcys' only son along with his cousin. But even that tragedy is remedied when Elizabeth gets pregnant again and has another son--but therein lies a MAJOR flaw in the book.
We don't learn of this plot development until suddenly, blah blah blah they go off to Italy and try to heal from their loss and in the fall Elizabeth was brought to bed of their son, whom they named Julian blah blah blah". And it's like, "Wait, what? THE READER NEVER EVEN KNEW SHE WAS PREGGERS." And lest you to think that it's the author's way in keeping in accord with the discretion of the day, nope! She had no problems before then about relaying news of pregnancies. It was the most glaringly heinous and unfortunate example of poor editing that I've ever seen.
The one redeeming thing about this book is that, thankfully, the author had the good sense not to delve into any mention of sexual activity. That's the one thing worse that can possibly pop up (heh) in a P&P sequel. ...more