Flashback: Two Great Reads from a Decade Ago

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.

Fiction

Castle.jpg

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.

4wed
Scarlett

Non-Fiction

RiverD

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.

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