Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On the path of Lincoln

I love to read, and like many people I've developed a list of my favorite authors who I like and the subjects that interest me. But I also like to pepper my reading list with some randomly found material. I figure, like art and music, there are tons of stuff out there I would like if I knew it existed. I've two ways to do this:

  1. I randomly pull books from the shelves in the library, no rhyme or reason. I break the adage of judging books by their cover, because thats the only criteria I have for this method. Occasionally I find something I really like and then I add to my list of authors/subjects that make my more planned reading list. Other times I can't wait to return the book.

  2. I look for books used in movies and TV shows, whether in references or quotes or actually shown on the screen. I particularly like the books lying on the coffee table or on the night stand that have nothing to do with the show/flick. I figure there must be a good reason the director put that particular book there where I can just read the title on the binding. I'll look them up and see if I think it would be a good read.
Method 2 just recently lead me to Team of Rivals, The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. In an episode of Big Love Bill Henrickson has a copy of this on his seat in his truck. It's only shown for a few seconds, but it was long enough for me to take an interest. I've become quickly engrossed in the book. This is my first venture into Goodwin's work, and I can bet I'll be seeking out some of her other work.

This weekend I plan to travel to Pennsylvania to, among other things, take some pictures of the Strasburg Rail Road, where in 1861 Lincoln made a stop. It will be a fitting coincidence to the book I plan to carry along with me on the trip.

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