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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Reader's Book of Days- February

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 father-in-law gave me a copy of Tom Nissley's A Reader's Book of Days, and since the book is broken into sections by month in calendar form, I decided to recap the entries each month. Here is January's post.

In the suggested readings for February, the ones that intrigued me most are:

  • Persuasion by Jane Austen, chosen because February is Valentine's Day and a love letter plays a key part in the story.
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, his third autobiography, here because Douglass celebrated his birthday on Valentine's Day
  • The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam- the story of the Portland Trailblazers' 1979-1980 losing season
Some of the most interesting February facts are:
  • On February 3rd, NYPD undercover officer Frank Serpico was shot in what may have been a set up for his testifying against fellow cops regarding corruption in the NYPD. Peter Maas told his story in Serpico.
  • Author Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique) was born on February 4th, 1921 and died on February 4th in 2006.
  • On February 12th, 1976, author Mario Vargas Llosa punched his friend Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the face at the movie premiere of Survivors of the Andes over something Marquez allegedly said to Llosa's wife. Possibly the first (and last?) time Nobel laureates had fisticuffs. (Or maybe not, who knows with those crazy Nobel laurates?)
  • Malcolm X calls author Alex Haley to check on his manuscript for The Autobiography of Malcolm X on February 20th, 1965. Malcolm X was assassinated the next day and Doubleday canceled the contract.
  • Sylvia Plath meets her future husband Ted Hughes at a raucous poetry review party in Cambridge, England. He kisses her, she bites his cheek bad enough to draw blood, they stumble drunkenly back to her home and they marry that June.
  • Is dord a word?
I'll check back in March; it looks like a fabulous month so far.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a fascinating book! Thanks for the monthly upate.