Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents Day

Day 6 of the "What are you reading?" project, and I have Internet this morning, but who knows for how long.

Not long at all, as it happened. I was thrown off the Internet in the middle of this draft, so I have come to work to complete it, and am not yet "on the clock" as they say. (My boss gets Google alerts every time I mention Babbitt's here. He is beside me at the moment, on the other computer. He knows exactly what I am doing, never you worry!)

So I'll tell you some of the interesting non-fiction/history/economics books people are reading this February.

Linda, who is in England, is reading The Yorkshire Gentry from the Reformation to the Time of the Civil War. Judith, who is on her way to India, is reading William Dalrymple's The Last Mughal. It's always wonderful to imagine the scholars or journalists and professionally curious writers who grasp eras of history for us in these books. The Mughals were the ruler descendants of Genghis Khan and company, and the power that came down from that first empire gradually dissipated....

And Jude is reading Lords of Finance--the Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed about other kinds of dissipation of power, etc.

Julia is lusting after Bloomington-Normal Lost: An Account of Our Vanishing Architectural Heritage, published by the Old House Society of McLean County, which shows gorgeous houses and buildings of the past, and what's become of them now...some are of course gone altogether, replaced by charmless modern buildings or encased by odd additions. She says her parents have a copy, lost somewhere in their house of antiques and collectables. I think she'll be back today, at Babbitt's, to pick it up!

And, on the history and Presidents Day theme, I am still reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I am still halfway through it because I lent it to my dad who was doing Lincoln-related research for the McLean County Museum of History, Illinois Voices, Evergreen Cemetery annual Discovery Walk, and I have not retrieved it. I just want to finish it before the movie comes out, with Liam Neeson as Lincoln. Poor guy. Now he has that melancholy and terrible grief in common with Lincoln.

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