A fantastic collection of essays by author Pat Conroy on books and literary mentors. I especially enjoyed reading about how his mother influenced him...moreA fantastic collection of essays by author Pat Conroy on books and literary mentors. I especially enjoyed reading about how his mother influenced him by opening up the world of books through libraries and her southern heritage with Gone with the Wind. She raised him to be a "Southern" writer. His high school mentor Gene Norris deserves his own book by encouraging Pat to pursue writing, introduced him to famous writers and encouraged him to stand up against banning books. And maybe because I've worked in the trade, I really enjoyed the essay about the cantankerous old book rep who took Conroy with him as he sold Conroy's title. That man I can especially relate to--a love of books so deep but stymied by the fact that he has no talent for writing, just a love of the written word and great books. Pat also provides throughout the book a list of authors and great books not to miss.
You'll enjoy this book if: *you are a bibliophile *like Pat's fiction--Prince of Tides or the Great Santini *you like reading about publishing history *had someone in your own life who has made a difference *thinking about making a difference in someone else's life *enjoy a good reading list(less)
I was very pleased to find not only the expected entries by da Vinci and Descartes, but a diagram from my personal hero Ben Franklin for his bifocals. I was surprised to learn that Bacteria was first diagramed by Leeuwenhoek back in 1683. 1683! There are some interesting call-outs like for Ikea's Flat-Pack Furniture (1956) which makes me want to curse when I read it, and even Carl Sagan's Pioneer Placque which shipped out into space in 1972.
My only beef with this book lays in the design itself. Seriously--what is up lately with graphic designers not being able to design for print? Each entry has a couple introductory sentences which are printed in such a light gray as to be unreadable in the evening by a person over their forties. It has to be readable folks! That is the point!(less)
After stumbling across Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem Renescence in an anthology in school I've been a fan of her poetry. This was an excellent biogra...moreAfter stumbling across Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem Renescence in an anthology in school I've been a fan of her poetry. This was an excellent biography of one of America's best-loved poets and a look at the wild side of life in the twenties. Milford did extensive research and includes a lot of poetry and letters in the book. (less)
Imagine a time when the speculum in controversial and you have to plead hysterical insanity to protect the careers of your friends and lovers.
If you...moreImagine a time when the speculum in controversial and you have to plead hysterical insanity to protect the careers of your friends and lovers.
If you want a reminder of why it is so good to be a woman in western civilization in the twenty-first century--this book is a good place to start. If you have a reason to be grateful for divorce laws then that is the second reason to read it. If you are a book history and publishing buff or you keep a journal there is a wonderful whole chapter dedicated to the rise of journals and the use of diaries in the 19th century and a third reason to read it.
Summerscale on reading the diary which is the evidence used in the central divorce trial and is the basis of the book, "It gives us a flicker of our own world taking shape in the past."(less)
A Little History of Literature is a wonderful survey of English literature. This book is no Norton Anthology--but I like how the author (an English Li...moreA Little History of Literature is a wonderful survey of English literature. This book is no Norton Anthology--but I like how the author (an English Lit Professor and editor) introduces key concepts each with its own chapter. You'll find everything from Shakespeare to the King James Bible to uptopia/dystopias to magic realism discussed. (less)