I was browsing an old reading log of mine–I use a blank book to record my reading (as well as Goodreads.com) and was struck by memories of two of the great books I read in 2006 and thought I’d share a little about them.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. My reading log note says: “I kept picturing Scarlett from Four Weddings and a Funeral.” As I re-read this brief entry, I could immediately see “Scarlett” having her bath in the kitchen. This book is simply a delight from beginning to end–never mind the financial woes. What introvert wouldn’t want to live there? The movie isn’t bad either.
The River of Doubt is an amazing story and so beautifully told that I’ve picked this book off the shelf for occasional re-reads. I’m sure the only thing keeping this from becoming a stunning addition to PBS’s Masterpiece is the cost of filming in the Amazon. As a librarian my first impulse is to go to the primary source–TR’s book–but this is o much more readable. For a TR-lover that’s hard to say, but it’s true. I even included this in my high school geography list for my son several years back when he was doing homeschool–it is that engaging. Candice Millard is a treasure–she writes such readable history. Her story of the botched medical care of President James Garfield, Destiny of the Republic, is just as great a read. She is truly a potential successor to David McCullough, Robert Massie, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Blanche Weisen Cook and even, dare I say it? Barbara Tuchman.