Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My Summer Book Report

Two hundred pages into John Adams and I am still plowing along. I will mention that it is a fair substitute for Ambien or any other sleep medication, as I have dozed off repeatedly as I read. However, I have not set it aside. Partly, I am sure, because of the intense heat wave that has kept me nailed to the couch and needing diversion. But I am finding the author to be a convincing writer, and, despite the back and forth date line, it is not that hard to follow to understand the sequence of events at that fateful time in history.

Some of the names and places sound familiar and I find myself wishing I had paid more attention to Miss Guyer, my American History teacher at Southwest High School fifty years ago. She would have loved this book as she loved historical biographies! I still have a picture of her in my mind, wild white hair flying about her face as she waxed on and on about Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln. And I do remember reading that thick volume during a hot springtime in Kansas City as I approached my graduation. I think I still have it somewhere among the books in storage.

One surprise as I started this book was discovering I was wrong in thinking I had started it once before and put it down from boredom. The book that left me cold was not John Adams, but 1776 by the same author. I think I will skip that one. On the other hand, since I have great affection for the thirty-third President, I might embark on reading McCullough’s Truman when I feel the need of another heavy tome in my hand. It also won a Pulitzer Prize.

The Oregonian’s recommended read for August is Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky, one of my all-time favorites and already read and re-read. That frees me up to finish this undertaking before the September 7th deadline. As always, I like to know what friends are reading and welcome their suggestions for my never-ending list.


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