Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Reading for Enlightenment and Inspiration

Two books rise to the top this summer for special mention. 

The first book, Daily Rituals, is back in my community library after being requested by another patron.  This volume chronicles the daily habits of famous people such as Benjamin Franklin, and Ludwig van Beethoven.  Somehow the author, Mason Currey, has unearthed information about how the famous of the past have lived their lives at home:  how they got themselves up in the morning, when they had lunch and what they ate, how they entertained in the evening, and what they did in the in-between hours.  It is very enlightening, for instance, to learn, just what Franklin meant when he said, "Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

The second book is lying on the table beside me and has an equally novel format of being a travel book about places where little-known events occurred.  Like the previous book mentioned above, what makes this book riveting is the author's facile, yet compassionate style.  Here Is Where, by Andrew Carroll, chronicles an intense criss-crossing trip of America conducted by the author over several months, visiting places such as where the "invasion" of the Japanese occurred in Hawaii at the beginning of World War II, and the place in California where the greatest number of forced sterilizations occurred at the height of the "eugenics" movement. 

 I am still reading these two books, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one or both end up on best-seller lists before the first Jack-O-Lantern of Halloween.   

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