One of the joys of a sabbatical, I presuppose, is the chance to get 'caught up' on some reading. All of us, at one time or another, feel as though we need more time to just read a good book and get lost in its information, mystery, adventure or history. But in our hectic, errand-running, kid-centric, bill-paying, meal-making, technologically saturated lives, we hardly ever find the time. Of course, you can't really blame technology, since it actually provides for us yet another means of connecting with untold number of books, magazines and newspapers as is evident on my Kindle Fire which is currently loaded up with samples and lists of books I hope to read someday with the mere swipe of a fingertip on its colorful 'easy to use' touch screen!
Here are a few books I am hoping to bring along as strength for my journey:
- I am actually in the middle of an excellent book given to me at Christmas, "1861: The Civil War Awakening," by Adam Goodheart. Like many of you, I am a history buff; but I'm not necessarily a Civil War buff. However, this tome is not a typical blow by blow battle to battle rendering of this tragic era in our nation's history. It's a lively and thoughtful account of the social and cultural status of the States in the year we slipped into a highly destructive and yet defining war with ourselves. (By the way, another 'non-battle' type book about the Civil War years is the near-perfect "Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," by Doris Kearns Goodwin. That was a book I could not put down.)
- My favorite American writer is probably John Updike. For me, no one can match his ability to describe the American psyche with such honesty, depth and vivid description. I will take with me several of his works, including "My Father's Tears, and other stories."
- I've also started a book on my Kindle called "The Swerve, How the World Became Modern," by Stephen Greenblatt, a far-reaching and rather quirky story of the search for a manuscript which could be credited with changing the way we 'moderns' think concerning just about everything!
- Also 'ready to go' on my Kindle: "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman; "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness." by Economists Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein.
Or maybe, I 'll just stare at the clouds during the day, and a campfire at night, and dream of doing all this reading....
Either way... Keeping the Faith,