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)
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.)