Books have been my lifeline these last few months. I set a goal for myself to read a hundred books this year and I’m already on my fortieth. Granted some have been short and some have been books about photographers which usually are very picture heavy.
The photo above shows the pile of March books – it’s a mix of photography, history and novels of all kinds. My favorite among these was The Jerrie Mock Story which I wrote about last month. Please go read her story if you haven’t already. She deserves to be remembered.
Here are a few other notables:
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson A fictional account inspired by fact, this book is a real gem in my estimation. It’s a good story but there are two things at play that really captured my imagination. The main character is a woman named Bluet who worked as a traveling librarian in Kentucky during the Depression. This government program brought reading materials to the hills and hollers of an area where life was grueling and entertainment scarce. Many patrons were illiterate and relied on a family member or neighbor to read to them. The librarians traveled this rugged countryside by horse with materials packed in saddle bags.
The other piece of the story is that Bluet is believed to be the last Blue Fugate of Kentucky. This family had a rare genetic disorder that caused their skin to be blue. If you do nothing else, Google the Blue Fugates of Kentucky but I recommend reading the novel as well.
Helmets and Lipstick by Ruth G. Haskell This is the first hand account of an Army nurse serving in North Africa during Operation Torch. It starts with her deployment and journey to North Africa via Scotland. Parts are witty and light while others are dark and frightening.
Published in 1944, it was part memoir and part call to action as the Army badly needed combat nurses during the war. It offers insight into the war from a female perspective and a more human narrative than you’ll find in any history book.
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani I’m still working my way through the Adriana Trigiani catalog and have found that you can’t go wrong with her writing. This particular book cost $2 at Dollar General, proof that you should never judge a book by its placement in the bargain bin.
This one tells the story of a young woman in nineteen fifties New York and offers insight into a slice of life I didn’t quite realize existed.
Vivian Meier Street Photographer Edited by Joan Maloof Vivian Meier was a prolific street photographer of the mid 20th century. She worked as a nanny, spending her free time quietly slipping through the world and documenting anything that caught her eye. She mostly did this unnoticed and she died without ever publishing a single photo.
No one knew her name until a box of her negatives was found at an auction. Her photographs are insightful and moving, sometimes humorous, and always a delight to study.
** What are you reading right now? **