Nov. 9, 2010 — I love reading. Every night I read no matter how tired I am. My daughter has often turned off my bedside lamp and taken my glasses from my face and laid my book or Kindle aside. I tend to enjoy light reading late at night because after a day at work, helping with homework and reading several newspapers, I want to escape into a world that suspends reality. My favorite reading material is mystery/suspense without a lot of blood and gore.
However, this fall and winter, I plan to explore the autobiography genre, again. In high school I read a lot of biographies and autobiographies. I became fascinated with the lives of celebrities. I am not fascinated with celebrities any longer. I rarely watch TV, and movie stars bore me. But, I do want to read the recently released “Autobiography of Mark Twain.” I loved his novels when I was growing up, and Hannibal, Mo. isn’t very far from my hometown of Moline, Ill., that sets on the Mississippi River.
I am currently reading “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight,” by Karl Rove. It is a fascinating story. That read comes on the heels of reading “Going Rogue,” by Sarah Palin and “A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity,” by Bill O’Reilly. Palin’s book gave me insight into the second women to be nominated to run for vice president. O’Reilly’s book was funny and strangely similar to my life in the fact I also grew up in a middle class Catholic home. I literally laughed out loud. It has less to do with politics and more to do with how many of our lives were shaped by the values of the church and families living in the 50s and 60s.
On my buy list are the two autobiographies by George W. and Laura Bush. I admire Laura Bush greatly. “Spoken from the Heart,” by Laura Bush has gotten well-received reviews from both political parties.
The 43rd president’s book is being released today, Nov. 9. No matter what anyone says about George W., he was a man of principle and conviction. This man was not wishy-washy and I admire that. I am not ashamed to say I am a fan. It still amazes me how people still bad mouth him and blame him for everything. He is a man of integrity because I know I wouldn’t have been able to spend the last two years quiet and humbly supporting President Obama. There are only three left in the elite club besides the current president, and I applaud the former presidents for getting along. Hopefully, the current one can learn a thing or two from them about grace and humility.
By the way, I have read “My Life,” by President Bill Clinton, and I did read Obama’s books “Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams from My Father — A Story of Race and Inheritance.” I enjoyed the read, but they only confirmed what I was slowly learning, I couldn’t support voting for him.
My point this week isn’t so much about politics but about reading. I would rather read books, magazines and newspapers on different points of view than listen to pundits on the radio or TV. Books and articles give readers a more in-depth look at the author’s thoughts and perceptions. I have no doubt Obama and Clinton love America. But after reading their books, I came to the conclusion they love it differently than I do. I happen to agree with Rove and Palin. I hope to learn knew things from Twain and gain insight into the Bushes.
So when I am not clicking knitting needles together, I plan to grab a pair of woolen socks, a quilt and snuggle on the couch with a biography and learn how others made their life work. Join me on the journey. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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