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book beginnings on Friday: When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

Thanks to Rose City Reader for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.

books went

You can easily understand, of course, what attracts me about this book: history, even books in history, making a difference in the unlikeliest of places. I was very excited to receive this in the mail. It begins:

“Were you ever so upset emotionally that you had to tell someone about it, to sit down and write it out?” a Marine asked in a letter to the author Betty Smith. “That is how I feel now,” he confided.

And so it continues: confiding in nature, filled with primary sources, on the impact of books in war. Stick around!

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

2 Responses

  1. “It has sometimes struck me that some of you, when you have heard me tell these little adventures of mine, may have gone away with the impression that I was conceited. There could not be a greater mistake than this…”
    From “The Complete Brigadier Gérard,” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

    I had always known, sort of vaguely, that Doyle had written things besides Sherlock Holmes, but one day I happened to read about the Professor Challenger stories, which turned out to be wonderful (the Holmes stories never showed Doyle’s humor, for one thing) and then a friend recommended the stories of Brigadier Gérard, which are also funny. I’ve read the first one, and so far so good.

    • Great! Thanks for sharing, Anthony. I’ve only read one or two Holmes stories, but I thought they did have a reputation for involving some humor – isn’t that what Watson is for? I’m always glad to know about more, and the lesser-known works are often worthwhile.

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