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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Reader's Book of Days by Tom Nissley- January

A Reader's Book of Days by Tom Nissley
Published by W.W. Norton ISBN 978-0-393-23962-1
Hardcover, $24.95, 448 pages

My wonderful father-in-law found the perfect gift for me for Christmas- a book titled A Reader's Book of Days. It reminded me in some ways of The People's Almanac, written in the mid 1970s, a book I read so much that the binding fell apart.

A Reader's Book of Days shares literary facts for each day of the year- authors who were born on that day, who died on that day and then takes it a step further. For each day, there are interesting facts regarding that date mentioned in books or something literary that occurred on that day. There is also a Recommended Reading page for each month, containing books that have some relationship to that particular month.

Each month, I will give a wrap-up of the previous month's entries, along with the entries that interested me most. So starting with January, the recommended reading list includes:

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the basis for the movie Blade Runner, and included because it is set on a single day in January.
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith, her debut novel which begins with a character's failed suicide attempt on a January. 
  • Airport by Arthur Hailey, set during a snowstorm at Lincoln International Airport in Illinois.
I would like to read one book from the recommended reading list each month. I chose Airport for January, but am having a problem locating a copy of the book from 1968.

Some of the interesting facts from January include:
  • Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) began writing children's books because it was the only writing that wasn't excluded in his contract with Standard Oil, where he wrote ad copy. (January 14th)
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House On The Prairie series of books, was pushed to write by her daughter Rose, who was one of the country's best-paid freelance writers. Many people believed both women wrote the books. (January 17th)
  • The character of Popeye began as a minor character in E.C. Segar's The Thimble Theatre in New York Journal, which starred Olive Oyl and her boyfriend Ham Gravy. (January 17th)
  • The true story that inspired Toni Morrison's classic novel Beloved was also the basis for the book Deed by Harriet Beecher Stowe. (January 30th)
I'm going to enjoy reading this beautiful book as much as I enjoyed The People's Almanac. This is a wonderful gift for the reader in your life, and you know, Valentine's Day is next week. I'm just sayin'.

rating 4 of 5

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED The People's Almanac. I still have the original and Vol. 2. I think I *must* own this book.