A President and a First Lady
September 10, 2010
In July, I introduced myself to the readers of our blogs as "The slowest reader in America". I thought, maybe, I should give you an update on what I'm reading now. While, yes, technically I'm still working on the books I mentioned in my earlier post, I also have a couple more that I am excited to start reading.
I have many passions. If you know me very well at all, you know that one of them is American history, specifically the Presidents. One topic I'm sure you will hear me mention more than once in the coming weeks and months is the 150th anniversary - or the Sesquicentennial - of the election of Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing American Civil War. Before Abraham Lincoln could be elected President, people had to discover this man from Illinois. While he introduced himself to Illinois in his series of debates with Stephen A. Douglas in 1858, Lincoln introduced himself to the rest of America, or at least to New Yorkers, with his address in February of 1860 at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. In his book, Lincoln at Cooper Union, Civil War historian, Harold Holzer believes this is the speech that made Lincoln President. I hope to read as many books on Lincoln and the Civil War as I can over the next five years, and I am excited to start with this one.
The other book that I'm getting ready to read is written, not by a President, but by a First Lady. I have admired Laura Bush for a long time and her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, has been on my "to read" list since I heard it was being published in January. One of the wisest pieces of advice I ever received was from Mrs. Bush in May of 2004. I watched her on C-Span give a commencement address at Miami Dade College and she ended her address by telling me to "never cease to learn. Don't simply read books, devour them, and share them. In your wallet, put your library card before your credit card." It was Mrs. Bush who caused me to seriously consider the library as a career. She is on a short list of people of whom I owe a great deal of thanks because working at the library has truly changed my life. I will savor this book and the chance to know this classy lady better.