In Praise of Books

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My readers, you know that I sometimes depart from my usual mission to write about lighter (but no less interesting!) subjects.

You also know that I am a fan of, and have written about, Kurt Vonnegut (here)

Vonnegut

Well, forty-five years ago today (July 28), Vonnegut’s uncle Alex died, age 86.  Described as “a Harvard-educated insurance salesman and bon vivant,” Alex Vonnegut encouraged young Kurt to read.  When Kurt was in high school, he and Alex formed a book club for two, and Alex’s suggestions introduced the future writer to Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Thorstein Veblen, H.L. Mencken, H.G. Wells, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among other notable authors.

So it was only natural that, upon his uncle’s death, Vonnegut penned the following tribute:

“I am eternally grateful to him for my knack of finding in great books reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.”

With the coronavirus pandemic raging about, these seem like pretty good words to live by.  Good luck finding your next great book. (And let me know what it is when you find it.)

I wouldn’t mind hanging out here for a while

Upcoming Events

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Book Signings

  • August 25, 2020: Norwegian History Roundtable (Virtual)
  • August 25, 2020: Montgomery County Library, Potomac, Md (Virtual)
  • September 18, 2020: VASA/Lodge Linne, New Providence, NJ (Virtual)
  • September 24, 2020: Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, Chicago, IL (Virtual)
  • October 7, 2020: The Adult School, New Jersey (Virtual)
  • October 30, 2020: Osher Life Long Learning, Furman University, Greenville, SC
  • November 4, 2020: Sun City Huntley, Huntley, IL
  • November 4, 2020: Shorewood Glen, Shorewood, IL
  • November 5, 2020: Admiral on the Lake, Chicago, IL
  • November 9, 2020: Kristallnacht Observance, Chapman University, Orange, CA (Virtual)
  • November 15, 2020: Kristallnacht Commemoration, Congregation Or Shalom, Orange, CT
  • November 18, 2020: The Adult School, New Jersey (Virtual)
  • December 1, 2020: JCC of Central New Jersey, Scotch Plains, NJ (Virtual)
  • February 5, 2021: Osher Life Long Learning, Furman University, Greenville, SC
  • February 15, 2021: Osher Life Long Learning, NC State, Raleigh, NC
  • February 22, 2021: Osher Life Long Learning, NC State, Raleigh, NC
  • May 13, 2021: Sons of Norway, Grand Forks, ND
  • May 14, 2021: Norwegian Heritage Week, Thief River Falls, MN
  • SPRING 2021: Notre Dame H.S. Alumni Club of DC, Washington, DC,
  • SPRING 2021: Sons of Norway, Fargo, ND (Kringen Lodge)
  • SPRING 2021: Sons of Norway, St. Cloud, MN (Trollheim Lodge)
  • SPRING 2021: Tuesday Open House, Mindekirken, Minneapolis, MN
  • SPRING 2021:  Georgetown University Bookstore, Washington, DC
  • June 9, 2021: Bet Shalom Hadassah, Jackson, NJ
  • October 19, 2021: Shalom Club, Great Notch, NJ

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- Matt Burriesci Executive Director Providence Athenaeum Providence, RI

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