You may also like to read:

You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels and short stories at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review - The West Plains Dance Hall Explosion, by Lin Waterhouse

Book Review
The West Plains Dance Hall Explosion
by Lin Waterhouse

This is my first review of a book from The History Press. I received the book at no charge in exchange for a fair and honest review, from my point of view. Each book I review for The History Press will be a local history book. This book is set in the Missouri Ozarks, at West Plains, Missouri, a few hours drive east of where I live in a southern Missouri cabin. West Plains, today, is very active in promotion of the Ozarks and its cultural heritage.

The promotional information on the book is worth sharing, to set the stage for my review comments:

"The 1928 explosion that transformed a West Plains dance hall into a raging inferno sparked feverish national media attention and decades of bitterness in the Missouri town it tore apart. And while the story inspired a popular country song, the firestorm that claimed thirty-nine lives remains an unsolved mystery. In this first book on the notorious catastrophe, Lin Waterhouse presents a clear account of the event and its aftermath that judiciously weighs conflicting testimony and deeply respects the personal anguish experienced by parents forced to identify their children by their clothing and personal trinkets." [Bold added by the reviewer - see comments below]

First, I am impressed by the diligent research that Lin Waterhouse performed in order to accomplish what I have highlighted in bold type, above. Sometimes these descriptions from the publisher are largely fluff. This is an accurate portrayal of what you get as you read this book. As a family historian and genealogist I have spent countless hours reviewing microfilm of newspapers in libraries searching for information on a single family. How many hours must she have spend searching these four or more newspapers' microfilm from the 1920s to come up with the engrossing details of the lives of these people and this community that are included in the book. When I finished, I felt I knew each person fairly well, whether victim or survivor.

Second, her pacing is impressive, to me. My first novel had about half the number of characters she covers in this narrative. I know how hard it is (and I wish I had been as successful) to write in such a way that the reader can keep even reasonable track of them. I believe she did that very well. And, she comes back to key characters multiple times in ways that moves the powerful story along at a proper pace. I appreciated the background information, set in the time period, that she provides the reader without distracting from the ongoing story and the mystery of the explosion source which is at the heart of that story.

Third, I was raised in a small, rural, heartland community much like West Plains and still read the paper there regularly. As I read the book, her descriptions and narrative allowed me to identify very clearly with the impact this tragedy had across the fiber of the entire community. Many, if not most, of the victims were young people who, except for this tragedy, were expected to be the leaders of this community for years into the future. Their loss changed this community forever. Her interviews with a few key people provide some insight into that impact on the community.

Finally, I highly recommend this book to anyone with empathy for this type of mystery and/or setting in this time period. It reads easily, though you will find yourself wanting to re-read portions to be sure you really did read what you thought you did. I had trouble laying it down - I wanted to know what Lin Waterhouse was going to tell me next about this story. I believe you will want to know as well.


Lin Waterhouse will be holding a Meet the Author at the West Plains Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 22nd, at 2 p.m.


Happy Reading!  ;-)

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Almost President by Scott Farris

 It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Almost President: The men who lost the race but changed the nation
Scott Farris

This is the twenty-seventh entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

From - Almost President:

"In each election, voters make a choice between competing personalities, programs, and ideologies. In understanding our history, and in using history as a guide to understanding the present and forecasting the future, it is a illuminating to know who and what voters did not choose as to know who and what they did choose."

This is the first of several books I received for Christmas: this one on the Kindle. It seems especially timely as the opening of the 2012 Presidential Primaries is only about a week away. I actually gave a passing thought to this topic for a book, myself. I'm very happy to be reading it, rather than doing the research and writing it! 

Here is the Product Description of the book as presented on

As the 2012 presidential campaign begins, Almost President profiles a dozen men who have run for the American presidency and lost—but who, even in defeat, have had a greater impact on American history than many of those who have served as president. Scott Farris tells us the stories of legendary figures from Henry Clay to Stephen Douglas, William Jennings Bryan to Thomas Dewey. He also includes mini-profiles on every major candidate nominated for president who never reached the White House but who helped ensure the success of American democracy.

Farris explains how Barry Goldwater achieved the party realignment that had eluded FDR, how George McGovern paved the way for Barack Obama, and how Ross Perot changed the way all presidential candidates campaign. There is Al Smith, the first Catholic nominee for president; and Adlai Stevenson, the candidate of the “eggheads” who remains the beau ideal of a liberal statesman. Others covered by this book include Al Gore, John Kerry, and John McCain. The mini profiles also include evocative portraits of such men as John C. Fremont, the first Republican Party presidential candidate; and General Winfield Scott, whose loss helped guarantee the Union victory in the Civil War.

Happy Reading!  ;-)

Friday, December 23, 2011

The History Press and Tribute Books

The History Press and Tribute Books

This is a brief survey of my readers - please provide a very brief response, so I know you are there, whenever you read this.

For the year 2012, it is my hope and intention to get more activity going on this blog by affiliating with two (very different) organizations. One is Tribute Books, " independent publisher for independent writers..." - they seem to specialize in Young Adult books, including ebooks, and use Blog Tours as a major promotion activities. We will have host guest posts, do some author interviews, and post an occasional review.

The second is The History Press. I have agreed to write reviews of local history non-fiction works, most likely focused on the Ozarks region in the Heartland. I have the first two on hand, and am anxious to read these books and write the reviews. I've started by writing an article about the Civil War: Springfield book by Larry Wood:

So, please leave a comment on 'working with' either/or The History Press and Tribute Books - or, that you've worked with neither before. I look forward to your comments. THANKS!  ;-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On the Future of Books: Part of Presidential Campaign

On The Future of Books:
Part of Presidential Campaign

In our continuing discussion of the The Future of Books, the current political campaign has raised a closely related issue in a New York Times article: "Despite Front-Runner Status, Gingrich is Still Peddling Books."

Regardless of your position on the presidential political campaign, this article raises some additional issues as to how books are perceived, how they are being used, and their place in our everyday lives.

Do you agree or do you see this as something entirely different? I'd like to hear your thoughts. Please comment here, on Facebook, or on Google+.

Happy Reading!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On the Future of Books: Biff Barnes Responds

On the Future of Books: 
Biff Barnes Responds

Biff Barnes, at Stories to Tell, after reading our Nov 29 post, has responded to Seth Godin on the Future of Books in his post: "Seth Godin on Books: Is it All Marketing?" I commend this post to your serious consideration. While Seth makes good points, from his perspective, Biff points out significant book publishing opportunities that Seth seems to ignore.

Have you seriously considered the Future of Books? I think it is a very important conversation to have. We are each a part of that conversation, whether read read, review, write or are involved in the production or marketing end of "Books."

I look forward to your comments, here, on Facebook, or on Google+ - let's keep the conversation going.

Happy Reading! ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On the Future of Books: A Discussion with Seth Godin

On the Future of Books: 
A Discussion with Seth Godin

This is the title of a post by Leo Babauta at zenhabits, recommended by Dan Curtis - Professional Personal Historian in his always meaningful "Monday's Link Roundup."

I have yet to listen to the full 26 minute interview between Leo and Seth, but I will, for future reference. To start our discussion "On the Future of Books" I want to start with something that came to my mind as I read Leo's post and the summary of items they discussed.

As I read the list, the thought that popped into my head was: The changes happening today (and this decade or so) are as much about "authors" as about "books." Here are a couple of the highlight sentences that I assume I picked up on:

  • Why you don't need that many followers/friends as an author
  • Why the willingness to fail is so important, with so many options available to authors
  • The horror stories of Pulitzer Prize winning authors
  • Deciding to publish your best ideas on your blog vs. your book

In years past, particularly in 'literary circles', there was a big distinction between a 'writer' and an 'author.' To be an 'author' you had to be published by a 'publishing company.' Is that true anymore? Does it matter? Is a book published by an 'author' any better or worse than any other 'book?' What is a 'book' these days? Is it even relevant? Is being an 'author' relevant except to a very few persons in the 'literary' field? Is it not the 'content' that prevails? Or, is it the 'marketing' that counts?

Have you given this any thought? What are your thoughts? What is your perspective? Share your comments with other readers… I do have a comments section. And, I will post this on both Facebook and Google+ for further discussion; so, be sure to check in there, if you don't already.

Happy reading and writing!  ;-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Situations Matter by Sam Sommers

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Situations Matter by Sam Sommers

This is the twenty-sixth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book through the Advanced Readers Program.

Here is the Description from the back cover of the copy I received:

A fascinating exploration of the invisible forces that influence your life - and how understanding them can improve everything you do.

The world around you is shaping your innermost instincts and your most private of preferences, and you don't even realize it. Every day we overlook the enormous power of context in our lives. That's a mistake, says Sam Sommers in Situations Mtter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World. In this provocative and surprising book, Sommers reveals the powerful influence that context has in our lives and uses these insights to rethink how we see the world, making us more effective at work, at home, and with others.

Sam Sommers is an award-winning psychology professor at Tufts University. His research has been covered by Good Morning America, NPR, Harper's, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives near Boston with this wife and two daughters.

Happy Reading,

Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Memories of Life Events

Memories of Life Events

At 72 now, I spend a surprising amount of time on memories. As a writer, I wonder how many of these memories I should write down, and in what form. They usually don't fit into the categories in which I am writing, at the time, so they get passed over.

Just now, I was reading Dan Curtis' weekly Monday's Link Roundup, that I get via email, and read carefully each week. The one that caught my eye was Frank Bruni's Memoirs and Memory from the Huntington Post. He is writing about (and promoting) his book tour for his memoir, Born Round.

The point of his article, with many good anecdotes, is to point out how others remember shared events very differently, because of their relation to their own life stories - and each person is so different. I want to share some quotes, from near the end of the article:

"Do I -- do we -- remember only those scenes that fit neatly into the central narrative in which we're most invested, the one that dovetails most cleanly and neatly with the sense of self that we've chosen or that's been imposed on us by the people around us?"

"Do we in fact have other, equally interesting life stories that we're unaware of and unable to tell, simply because their building blocks are the memories that fell by the wayside?"

 And he concludes, "Possibly. And while those memoirs might undermine the ones we've written, they also might just improve on them."

Food for thought? Do your life experiences confirm his impressions of how we each remember common events differently? Mine do. I wonder what I am missing?
I look forward to your comments.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

'Not so fast' - Let's revive this blog - What do think?

'Not so fast'
Let's revive this blog
What do think?

I've spent most of the day reading about Smashwords epublishing service. Have you used it? Do you use it? 

Please leave a comment about 'Smashwords' - to get the blog going, again. I'll post again, shortly, but I'm really looking for short, candid comments about what you know, and are willing to share, on Smashwords.


Dr. Bill  ;-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Final post on this blog; invitation to follow to others...

Final post on this blog; invitation to follow to others...

I have decided to consolidate this blog into my other blogs. Read about them at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories.... but, I do really encourage you, as well, to become of follower of The Homeplace Series blog which will be the base of my ongoing fiction writing... in multi-media. Check it out!

Note: My regular post: It's Monday, What are you reading? will move to Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Friday, April 29, 2011

What to Include in a Memoir or Family History Book

What to Include in a Memoir or Family History Book

Biff Barnes at Stories to Tell has again caught my attention with his post: "What to Include in a Memoir or Family History Book."

His quote from essayist, writer, poet and author Phillip Lopate: "The selection has to do with what events or parts you choose to highlight. However, you don’t have to put everything in there. People are under the mistaken impression when they first start that if they can’t tell one secret, then they have to be reserved. You can be very unbuttoned about some things and still keep secret about many others."

Be sure to read what Biff and Lopate have to say about 'reflective nonfiction' referred to here: 'That reflective element is particularly important for memoirists and family historians who are trying to convey a real life on a printed page.'

These thoughts are very important to me, as two of my next projects are a nonfiction account of my 5th great grandfather and a personal memoir about my years as a university professor. I know I can use a lot of good advise from those who have gone before. How about you?

Happy Reading,

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Three stages of memoir

Three stages of memoir

Last week I asked, 'Have you considered writing a memoir?' and included a quote from Biff Barnes on his blog, 'Stories to Tell: Family History and Memoirs' [I also called him Bill, instead of Biff - Biff, please accept my sincere apology - he even left a comment and was gracious enough not to mention my error!]

Well, he followed up with another good post, that I wanted to mention, today [please go read the whole post] - and quote from, again:

'Memoir is a search for insight and understanding. That search involves three distinct stages:

    •    Recall – The process of remembering what happened. As Willett Stanek put it in her book Writing Your Life: Putting Your Past on Paper. “Writing from memory allows you to time travel, to zoom back to people and places you have not seen in years.”

    •    Reflection – The process of considering or realizing what was significant about the events you recall.

    •    Reminisce – The process of thinking about what happened and how you might tell the story.'

Timely and useful advise and guidance. Thanks, again, Biff!

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Have you considered writing a memoir?

Have you considered writing a memoir?

Blog posts or articles that discuss 'writing a memoir' tend to catch my attention. Having led a long life, already, I suppose I'd like to believe there are some of my stories that would make a decent memoir... certainly not a life story, but a memoir.

What makes a good memoir?

From his post of that title on his blog: 'Family History & Memoirs' Biff Barnes says:

"Values, honesty, intimacy and discovery – not a bad list of goals to strive for in writing your memoir."
Biff Barnes

What do you think?

Happy Reading! 

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Washington by Ron Chernow

It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Washington: A Life 
by Ron Chernow

This is the twenty-first entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

I finally finished Team of Rivals on my kindle and am now taking on Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow... I also have this in hard cover, but it is heavy... so I'll be reading it on the Kindle, in waiting rooms and while my wife is shopping... another good read, it appears from the early pages.

George Washington, of course, was a contemporary of my 5th great grandfather, Sergeant Major William Kinnick, who served under Washington (and a few intermediate commanders, of course) in the Revolutionary War. I am currently researching and working on a first draft of a non-fictiion account of the world this ancestor inhabited. Chernow's book is certainly one additional excellent reference.

Note, announced April 18, 2011: Pulitzer Prize for Biography to Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow, "a sweeping, authoritative portrait of an iconic leader learning to master his private feelings in order to fulfill his public duties."

A Description from Publishers Weekly on the Amazon site:

In his introduction, veteran biographer Chernow is clear about his goals. Using the recent "explosion of research," he wants to render George Washington "real" and "credible," to replace "frosty respect" with "visceral appreciation." In many respects, Chernow succeeds. He gives us a Washington who starts with limited education and means and, through a remarkable combination of timely deaths, an incredible capacity for hard work, a shrewd marriage, astonishing physical hardiness and courage, a propensity for land speculation, and a gift for finding influential patrons, transforms himself into a soldier, well-to-do planter, local official, and eventually the only real choice to command the Continental army, preside over the Constitutional Convention, and serve as the first president. Chernow makes familiar scenes fresh (like the crossing of the Delaware) and expertly brings the provisional revolutionary and early Republican eras to life. Along the way, however, he mistakes "visceral" for ardent; while he never hides Washington's less than saintly moments or shirks the vexed question of slavery, he often seems to ignore the data he's collected. Examples of shady dealing are quickly followed by tales of Washington's unimpeachable ethics or impeccable political savvy. At times it feels as if Chernow, for all his careful research and talent for synthesis, is in the grip of a full-scale crush. The result is a good book that would have been great if better edited, and if Chernow had trusted that Washington's many merits, even when accompanied by his faults, would speak for themselves.


I've previously read 10-12 biographies of Washington, so I look forward to how this one more may, or may not, be different, or add to our better understanding of this "Father of our Country."

Happy Reading,

Bill  ;-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Driven West by A.J. Langguth

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 

Driven West by A.J. Langguth

This is the twentieth entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

I have generally avoided the Jacksonian era, but am now tippy-toeing into it. I've been working on Team of Rivals on the Civil War and the last book noted here on President Polk. "Driven West" is a bit of a 'gap filler' and also has implications here in Souther Missouri because the "Trail of Tears" passed by here.

From Booklist on Amazon:

Excluding the most die-hard southern apologists, there is a consensus among historians that the original sin of slavery lay at the root of the sectional strife that developed into the Civil War. Within that consensus, however, there remains considerable debate. Why, for example, did the strife break out into a full-blown civil war, and why did it break out when it did? Langguth asserts that the uprooting of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes under the Jackson administration set in motion a train of events that led to the Mexican War. To illustrate his argument, Langguth traces four decades of American history between the end of the War of 1812 and the end of the Mexican War. He does so primarily by providing examinations of the personalities and actions of key players in those decades, including Henry Clay, John Calhoun, John Quincy Adams, and Cherokee leaders Major Ridge and John Ross. Langguth may not prove a direct line of causation to the Civil War, but he writes well and provides interesting insights into the actions of these men. --Jay Freeman

Happy Reading!

Bill  ;-) 

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? James K. Polk book

It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
James K. Polk book

This is the nineteenth entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

This week, I have started reading a book that has been on my shelf for awhile, but now is the time I am ready to read it. Having read Team of Rivals up to where the Civil War actually started, I'm going to continue it on the Kindle, as we approach the 150th anniversary of the various events.

This current book now "feels right" to me because it is just a little earlier in history and will provide some additional background on the story of the times that I just read, from a different perspective.

A Country of Vast Designs: 
James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent 
by Robert W. Merry

Product Description from Amazon:

When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory, which included what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Texas, not yet part of the Union, was threatened by a more powerful Mexico. And the territories north and west of Texas -- what would become California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Colorado -- belonged to Mexico. When Polk relinquished office four years later, the country had grown by more than a third as all these lands were added. The continental United States, as we know it today, was established -- facing two oceans and positioned to dominate both.

In a one-term presidency, Polk completed the story of America's Manifest Destiny -- extending its territory across the continent, from sea to sea, by threatening England and manufacturing a controversial and unpopular two-year war with Mexico that Abraham Lincoln, in Congress at the time, opposed as preemptive.

Robert Merry tells this story through powerful debates and towering figures -- the outgoing President John Tyler and Polk's great mentor, Andrew Jackson; his defeated Whig opponent, Henry Clay; two famous generals, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott; Secretary of State James Buchanan (who would precede Lincoln as president); Senate giants Thomas Hart Benton and Lewis Cass; Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun; and ex-president Martin Van Buren, like Polk a Jackson protégé but now a Polk rival.

This was a time of tremendous clashing forces. A surging antislavery sentiment was at the center of the territorial fight. The struggle between a slave-owning South and an opposing North was leading inexorably to Civil War. In a gripping narrative, Robert Merry illuminates a crucial epoch in U.S. history.

Happy Reading!

Bill  ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Team of Rivals

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Team of Rivals

This is the eighteenth entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

As I noted last week, I finished reading "Private Life" by Jane Smily on the Kindle. I read it waiting for my wife in the Doctor's Office, the Lab work, and Urgent care, etc. Good waiting room reading. I like this kind of reading for these situations. I am just past a quarter through, starting the second year of his administration, with: "White House Diary" by Jimmy Carter, also on the Kindle.

In my other reading and writing I was recently reminded, with the 150th anniversary of the 'official' start of the Civil War just a few months away, that I have not yet read: "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goddwin. The very large book has been sitting on my "to read" shelf for four years - it is simply to heavy to handle, it seems. Now, however, with my early Kindle experience, that has changed. My wife was good enough to get the Kindle edition for my Kindle, and at her 45 minute shoulder therapy session today, I began to read Team of Rivals - I am so happy.  ;-)

Here is the Publishers Weekly comment from the Amazon website:

Pulitzer Prize–winner Goodwin (No Ordinary Time) seeks to illuminate what she interprets as a miraculous event: Lincoln's smooth (and, in her view, rather sudden) transition from underwhelming one-term congressman and prairie lawyer to robust chief executive during a time of crisis. Goodwin marvels at Lincoln's ability to co-opt three better-born, better-educated rivals—each of whom had challenged Lincoln for the 1860 Republican nomination. The three were New York senator William H. Seward, who became secretary of state; Ohio senator Salmon P. Chase, who signed on as secretary of the treasury and later was nominated by Lincoln to be chief justice of the Supreme Court; and Missouri's "distinguished elder statesman" Edward Bates, who served as attorney general. This is the "team of rivals" Goodwin's title refers to.The problem with this interpretation is that the metamorphosis of Lincoln to Machiavellian master of men that Goodwin presupposes did not in fact occur overnight only as he approached the grim reality of his presidency. The press had labeled candidate Lincoln "a fourth-rate lecturer, who cannot speak good grammar." But East Coast railroad executives, who had long employed Lincoln at huge prices to defend their interests as attorney and lobbyist, knew better. Lincoln was a shrewd political operator and insider long before he entered the White House—a fact Goodwin underplays. On another front, Goodwin's spotlighting of the president's three former rivals tends to undercut that Lincoln's most essential Cabinet-level contacts were not with Seward, Chase and Bates, but rather with secretaries of war Simon Cameron and Edwin Stanton, and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. These criticisms aside, Goodwin supplies capable biographies of the gentlemen on whom she has chosen to focus, and ably highlights the sometimes tangled dynamics of their "team" within the larger assemblage of Lincoln's full war cabinet.

Happy Reading!

Bill  ;-)

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading? White House Diary

It's Monday, What are You Reading? White House Diary

This is the seventeenth entry for this meme, suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

I just finished reading "Private Life" by Jane Smily on the Kindle. I read it waiting for my wife in the Doctor's Office, the Lab work, and Urgent care, etc. Good waiting room reading. I like this kind of reading for these situations.

My new reading on the Kindle is "White House Diary" by Jimmy Carter. I have always be fascinated by Presidential activities, beginning with George Washington, of course. I rarely read recent presidential books, but decided this distinctive perspective might be interesting. Here is the product description from Amazon:

"Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than five thousand pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public—until now.

By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency. Day by day, we see his forceful advocacy for nuclear containment, sustainable energy, human rights, and peace in the Middle East. We witness his interactions with such complex personalities as Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Joe Biden, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. We get the inside story of his so-called “malaise speech,” his bruising battle for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and the Iranian hostage crisis. Remarkably, we also get Carter’s retrospective comments on these topics and more: thirty years after the fact, he has annotated the diary with his candid reflections on the people and events that shaped his presidency, and on the many lessons learned.

Carter is now widely seen as one of the truly wise men of our time. Offering an unprecedented look at both the man and his tenure, this fascinating book will stand as a unique contribution to the history of the American presidency."

Happy Reading!

Bill  ;-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Writing plans for 2011

As a retired 71+ year old person (professor), making "New Years Resolutions" is really not especially useful.

First, I am retired; I can do pretty much as I wish (if my wife doesn't object) most any time I wish.

Second, family comes first - grandpa, husband, father, brother, uncle, etc.

Third, I have a contract to teach an/my on-line university course in the Spring.

FInally, with the time left, I write.

1. I expect to complete and publish my second novel in the Spring of 2011. I will continue to promote both novels through appropriate activities throughout the year.

2. I will continue to write weekly articles for on both my topic areas: Springfield Genealogy Examiner and Ozark Cultural Heritage Examiner.

3. I will continue to research and begin to write the non-fiction Revolutionary War family history book on Sergeant Major William Kinnick.

4. I will continue to research and write the non-fiction family history book on my great-grandfather Michael Smith.

5. I will continue my primary blogs, with most entries related to the research, writing and promoting I am doing at the time.

Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
Dr. Bill on Retirement
Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar
The Homeplace Series Blog
The KINNICK Project

6. As mid-year approaches, I will step up the Civil War research and writing for my young adult Civil War novel and "The Beginnings" novel in "The Homeplace" series.

Happy Reading!  ;-)