Sunday, April 22, 2018

Good books

It has been my practice to list my favorite books at the end of the year, but I have read a couple lately I wanted to go ahead and write about. I guess it's too early to say they will be on the 2018 favorites list but I can say it's a pretty strong "more than likely."

The two books are by the same author, Doris Kearns Goodwin. I learned about her from a blog post by Sage ( in February 2017, when he reviewed her book, "Wait Till Next Year." It immediately went on my TBR.

It was another of Kearns Goodwin's books, however, that I read first -- "Team of Rivals." It's a very long book, about 900 pages, and I read it on my Kindle. I've learned the electronic reader gives me a false sense of security, in that I fly through the short pages but percentage-wise, I still have a long way to go! In fact, I checked this out through the library website but had to go ahead and buy it since I was only 50 percent done when it came due.

But it was definitely worth the effort -- both in laboring through until the end and in shelling out a few bucks to make the purchase.

"Team of Rivals" is the book on which "Lincoln," the movie from a few years ago that starred Daniel Day Lewis, is based. The movie covers only a portion of the book, mainly the passage of the 13th Amendment. The book covers Lincoln's early years in politics through his rise to the presidency, with emphasis on his cabinet (the team of rivals) and much detail about the Civil War.

I will say this was a book outside the norm for me and I have a modest amount of pride for having finished it. I get distracted at times when reading history, and this was no exception. But I stuck with it, and I'm the better for it. My admiration for Abraham Lincoln only grew stronger. The man was a political genius (as the subtitle to the book suggests) and, while I always knew what a great orator he was, I never realized what an exemplary diplomat he also was. This book left me wanting more.

I realize I am leaving out tons of details but my intention here is not to give a summary, or even a review, but to share how much I enjoyed this book and to suggest that, if you're in the mood for history and/or have the desire to stretch yourself a bit, this is one you might want to try. (Or maybe, for you, it wouldn't even be a stretch).

As for "Wait Till Next Year," I'm glad I finally got to it on the list. This is a memoir by Kearns Goodwin about her growing-up years and her love for baseball, particularly the Brooklyn Dodgers and the special bond she and her dad shared through the team.

I loved this book and as a baseball fan, it was a natural for me. But even if you're not, you might well enjoy this endearing narrative. Her writing is pure and fluid and she tells a great story.

I have a feeling the other books by Doris Kearns Goodwin will be going on my TBR. Thanks Sage!


Ed said...

I've read a few other books on Lincoln that also covered that period of time though probably not in as much detail so although this book is on my radar, I haven't made the move to add it to the pile just yet. But it sounds right up my alley.

Kelly said...

I'm not sure either of these is for me, but I will definitely pass along the recommendation of the Lincoln book. I feel sure my son-in-law would enjoy it, as well as my husband.

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

Isn’t it great to find an author that you really connect with. I’ve not heard of this one. I’ll have to check her out.

sage said...

I am glad you enjoyed Goodwin. I just finished reading another baseball book, while living without internet for 4 days in the Dry Tortugas. Check out Marc A. Jolley’s “Safe at Home: A Memoir of God, Baseball, and Family.”

I don’t remember if I told you but I will be posting less at “Sage” and more at my “professional page”. It’s

Bob said...

That sounds great, Sage. Thanks. I had seen a couple of your posts on other blog pages about your other blog and have already visited.