Erik Larson has signed the papers and will publish his 6th book in 2019. This time he’s diving deep into Sir Winston Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister. The working title is The Splendid and the Vile.
Larson’s unique narrative nonfiction style consistently lands him on bestseller lists as well as at the top of recommended reading lists.
My book group just finished reading In the Garden of Beasts and it was fantastic. Erik Larson has a way of lining up all of the diaries, letters reports, and news of the day in a very conversational way. One that truly paints a picture of how things happened and of the personalities involved.
I hear Dead Wake, about the sinking of the Lusitania, is really good as well. It’s on my list. But now, so is The Splendid and the Vile.
These days the celebrity memoir is usually soething to be avoided. However, Carol Burnett’s In Such Good Company is a breath of fresh air to the category and one not one for fans to miss.
I grew up watching the Carol Burnett Show with my family and there are a still a handful of lines that get mentioned and quoted at various family events. Some of the sketches from the show have achieved iconic status and it was fun to read the stories behind these moments.
The book reads almost as if Carol herself stopped by the house for a visit and is just swapping stories. Because, if you watched the show, you will remember every episode, every character and every actor she brings up.
I’m not sure what the difference is between this show and the funny shows I watch on tv these days. I mean I still laugh at what’s on, but while I was reading In Such Good Company I was smiling so big and laughing at just the memories of laughing. I have to admit, it was a little weird, but so good.
The book was really about the show and stories behind the episodes they did. So there’s no ‘tell all’ or drama or gossip, which is quite refreshing. It’s charming, classy and full of memories.
I don’t think they make television stars and personalities like Carol Burnett anymore, which is a shame. I’m glad there are re-runs and I’m glad to have read this book. I know a few folks in my family that will enjoy it too.
(Please note: this book was sent to me to review.)
I learned a new word last week: calligram.
A calligram is a poem, phrase, or word in which the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting is arranged in a way that creates a visual image.
I learned this word from the design-lead for this year’s WordCamp Birmingham Josh Gilmer when he was explaining this year’s event shirt.
Isn’t that cool? If you’re from Birmingham, AL you’ll get the reference to Vulcan, if not, you can still appreciate the wordy design aspect of the shirt. The shirt is one of the perks you get from attending this year’s WordCamp Birmingham on October 29th.
This site, Headsubhead.com, runs on WordPress and it’s great. WordCamp this year is only $20 and includes access to all of the WordPress-centered sessions, meals, snacks, after party drink tickets, t-shirt, etc. and it’s always a lot of fun. So many cool helpful people there willing to help you and/or learn from you.
So if you’re in driving distance of Birmingham and want to know more about WordPress, you should check it out. It’s only $20 and only one day. And it’s always worth it.
If you’re not near Birmingham, AL, you should check the official WordCamp site for events near you. Even the local meet-ups can be fun and informative. I have attended many WordCamps around the Southeast and have yet to regret it.
A few month’s ago the internet birthed a funky cool little group reading big important thought provoking books. You can click over to Entomology of a Bookworm and get the whole back story of the Social Justice Book Club (who doesn’t love an origin story?).
This month the Social Justice Book Club is reading Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped and I’m all in. I have my copy and ready to get started. I have no idea what to expect, but based on the SJBC’s past picks, this will be a worthwhile read.
Most of the folks reading Men We Reaped are doing an introductory post. So I hope this post qualifies.
1. Where do you plan on discussing this book the most?
I’ll probably be the most chatty here on my blog, though I am on Twitter and follow the #sjbookclub hashtag there. Also, I will definitely find a conversation and talk about it on LibraryThing.
2. Where in the world are you reading?
I am in Birmingham, Alabama.
3. Why did you decide to join in on the reading and/or discussion of this book?
This is the first SJBC choice that I have not already read and I’m ready to give it a go. Most of the ‘social justice’ books I pick up tend to be analytical and history driven. Not dry, just rooted squarely in cause/effect and pattern issues. Men We Reap sounds to be a very personal story, which is a welcome change from what I’ve been reading.
4. What, if anything, are you most looking forward to about this book?
I can say with 100% certainty that I would not have picked up this book browsing on my own. Ward’s experience sounds horrific and I want to hear her first-hand account of what’s happening around the country.