Archive for January 10th, 2012


Looking for a Good Book?

January 10, 2012

Time flew by

I no sooner went to bed on Sunday night and I realized that I hadn’t posted a blog on Saturday or Sunday. YIKES! That has never happened before. In fact, I think I’ve only missed one day in about 2 years (or something like that).

In case you’re wondering what happened, it is simple… I got engrossed in the book I’ve been reading. It is called The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris written by David McCullough. It was recommended to me this summer by a dear friend who said I would just love it! And, she was right. It wasn’t available at the library until November and it is such a huge book that I have to keep renewing it (or pay back enough overdue book money that would have built a new library wing).

I highly recommend it and hope that you won’t have to wait to check it out of your local library. Much of the story is taken from many journals so it is first-hand information and intertwined cleverly by Mr. McCullough. He tells the stories of the Americans who traveled to Paris between 1830 and 1900. The travels he writes about are artists, musicians, writers, architects, doctors, politicians, and others. It puts so much of history in perspective that is so much more understandable than the way many of us (I am guessing) learned history in school.

Just to name a few… James Fenimore Cooper, the writer and Samuel F.B. Morse, the painter who were good friends. Morse saw something while in France that led to his idea of the telegraph. At age 15 pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk from New Orleans started his career in Paris and George P.A. Healy started painting portraits including Abraham Lincoln. Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James “marveled at the treasures in the Louvre”. I absolutely loved the section about sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudents and can’t wait to visit NYC again to see his piece of Admiral Farragut. I want to see the third button down that was left unbuttoned. And my other favorite parts of the book are about Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent and how Paris influenced their work.

Needless to say I couldn’t put the book down this weekend and I can’t remember the last time that has happened to me. Anyone else read it? Please add your thoughts, feedback, comments.

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