U was hard because I couldn’t find a Colorado author or a book title from a Colorado author that begin with that letter. Luckily, I did have a favorite in both categories, so I didn’t have to cheat on this one.
Featuring authors and novels who are old favorites is a good thing, especially for those of us who’ve been around a long time and read a lot of books. On the off chance you’ve never read any of the following, I strongly recommend you give them a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed (unless, of course, your attention span has shrunk to communications of 140 characters or less).
Featured Author: Leon Uris
Leon Marcus Uris was an American novelist, born in Baltimore to Jewish-American parents. He was known for his carefully-researched historical fiction. Uris died in 2003 after producing over ten highly acclaimed novels. There’s a full biography at the New York Times website.
I read Exodus in 1958 when it was first published (I was still in high school). I believe it’s the most well known of this author’s works. I also liked Mila 18 which was published in 1961. The Haj (1984) was the third Uris novel I read. I would recommend any of these books because they’re still relevant to today’s headlines.
From the publisher of Exodus:
“Leon Uris magnificently portrays the birth of a new nation in the midst of enemies–the beginning of an earthshaking struggle for power. Here is the tale that swept the world with its fury: the story of an American nurse [and] an Israeli freedom fighter caught up in a glorious, heartbreaking, triumphant era.”
Featured Book: (The) Ugly American by Eugene Burdick and William J. Lederer
Oddly enough, this book was first published about the same time as Exodus by Leon Uris. I was into bestsellers and world affairs at the time, so it’s not surprising I read The Ugly American as soon as it came out.
Here’s the book blurb:
“Homer Atkins, a plain and plain-spoken man(and “The Ugly American”), was sent by the U.S. government to advise the Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan on engineering projects. When Atkins finds badly misplaced priorities and bluntly challenges the entrenched interests, he lays bare a foreign policy gone dangerously wrong.”
Again, this book is relevant today because the U.S. continues to blunder when messing in world politics. We don’t seem to learn from our mistakes.
Word of the Day: Unwind
I picked this word because writers are often wound pretty tight, especially those who have day jobs and families and hobbies. But they want to write. And if they’re published, they need to get into that whole book promotion thing with social media.
Biting off more than we can chew is a common habit. Setting our immediate goals too high is another. Forgetting to relax…that’s a big one.
One of the things I do to unwind is put a favorite CD in my boombox, sit down in a comfortable chair, and focus on relaxing every part of my body, starting with my toes and working up to my scalp. I like Enya music for this purpose. Or uplifting musicals such as South Pacific.
Another relaxing activity for me is to dig in my garden or plant pots full of flowers. No talking, not even much sweating, just keeping my hands busy while my mind wanders and grows calm.
Or head over to the university and stroll through the trial gardens. Take photographs. Focus on the colors. Nice.
How about you? How do you unwind?