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A legacy that began with veterans, a giant in the land of Sherlock, and GKC on what makes a good detective story: newsletter, Nov. 9, 2018

 This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,020) on November 9, 2018 My reading and browsing bring me into contact with so many good stories, unknown (to me) items, and interesting people that I don’t have time to write about them all (and to test your patience and indulgence) in this newsletter. […]

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The predecessor to Austen, Eliot, and the Brontes; Bill Mauldin; and why bees exist: newsletter, Nov. 2, 2018

 This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3) on October 19, 2018 About veterans: Someone put it to me this way: No matter what you ended up doing, if you were in the military service, at some point you pledged to give everything you had to your country, even if that meant […]

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Webster, Chesterton, a World War II hero, and a clock that hasn’t quit for 600 years: newsletter, Oct. 26, 2018

 This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,045) on October 19, 2018 This week you will meet a couple of “colossal geniuses,” one from the 19th century and the other from the 20th. You probably know of these guys: Noah Webster and G.K. Chesterton. I’ll admit I had heard of both, but I never knew much about either. […]

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RayBradbury

The bees in October, Ray Bradbury, Walter Isaacson, and the Eugenics Crusade: newsletter, October 19, 2018

 This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,060) on October 19, 2018 The bees, I am happy to report, are in good shape, So far. We opened our four hives last weekend and found that the bees in each were multitudinous and had stored up honey for the winter. That’s exactly what […]

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The teenage revolutionary, Cold War spies, Potterheads, and the writing of a sentence: newsletter, October 12, 2018

 This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,079) on October 12, 2018 The workshop on self-publishing that I conducted for the Blount County Public Library was well attended and lots of fun for me. The participants had much information and many ideas, and they were not shy about sharing it. Self-publishing (I […]

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JosephPlumbMartin

Benedict Arnold explained; Joseph Plumb Martin, pictured; and more about William Tecumseh Sherman: newsletter, October 5, 2018

 This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,091) on October 5, 2018 As I look through this week’s newsletter — as well as those of the last few weeks — I find that the items I have included seem to be getting a bit longer. That is the case this week, I’m […]

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AndersonHall

Channeling Phillip Marlowe, libraries on donkeys, and All About Agatha; newsletter, September 28, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (x) on September 28, 2018 Prepping for a self-publishing workshop this week has pushed me over the edge on a project that has been hanging fire for several weeks now. I am finally getting around to publishing the second volume of The Writing Wright. Volume […]

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Banned books, strongly held opinions, the oldest drawing, and what libraries are about: newsletter, September 21, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,097) on September 14, 2018 My education continues: I am learning the ins and outs of producing an audiobook. I had thought that audiobooks were beyond me, but I find that with the right process, they’re not. My first audiobook will be (I hope) Point […]

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ElizebethFriedman

America’s chief WWII codebreaker, language and dialect in Appalachia, new season for Serial; newsletter, September 14, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (x) on August 30, 2018 At this writing, a major hurricane is about to slam into the east coast of the U.S., and predictions are that it will cost lives and do great damage. In the middle of this past week, as we were traveling […]

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FrancesHBurnett

A 19th century writer-rock star, King James’ obsession, costly commas, and the Clinton impeachment revisited: newsletter, Sept. 7, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (x) on August 30, 2018 Too much good stuff to read, too little time. I am in the middle of an excellent novel by a well-known author at the moment, and I will tell you about it in a week or two. I’ve also started […]

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Lincoln-Douglas

Lincoln-Douglas debate, every word; the art of Beatrix Potter; future of English; newsletter, Aug. 30, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,136) on August 30, 2018 In the past few days, we’ve noted the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein‘s birth and the 20th anniversary of the first appearance of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter’s books (September 1, 1998). Rowling is the literary phenomenon of this generation, producing […]

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Three dulcimers

Dulcimer, Dorothy Parker, book buyers, and hot cities; newsletter, August 24, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,152) on August 24, 2018 August is speeding to a close, and in East Tennessee, we’re looking toward September for some relief from the heat. Speaking of hot, it’s getting hotter, and The Guardian is taking a deep look worldwide at the heat and what […]

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PaulRevere

Road warrior Paul Revere, the concept of zero, and the odd beginning of the book of world records: newsletter, August 17, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,166) on August 3, 2018 Still thinking about the American Road this week, I took a deep dive into history and found a perfect and obvious connection: Paul Revere. Of course. See below. People of a certain age will have memorized all or most of […]

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JohnPendletonKennedy

The timely deaths of Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot; Sargent, the combat artist; a forgotten American we should remember: newsletter, Aug. 10, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,200) on August 3, 2018 A wide variety of responses to items in last week’s newsletter poured over the email transit this past week, and they have kept me busy with information, ideas, and points of view. I’ve included many in this week’s newsletter, and […]

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BootsCourtMotel

The classic locked-door mystery in real life; more on Route 66; English as bully: newsletter, August 3, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,224) on August 3, 2018 The name William Tecumseh Sherman still evokes strong emotions for many Americans more than 150 years after he was instrumental in ending the Civil War and saving the Union and nearly 130 years after his death in 1891. I found […]

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Route 66, Buried Truths, Copyboy; the saga of two failures continues, newsletter, July 27, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,251) on July 27, 2018   The summer is fully upon us here in East Tennessee — heat, humidity, and tomatoes. We always plant far more tomato plants than we need, and we are always surprised, with a bit of mock-horror thrown in, at how […]

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WilliamTSherman

History, truth, and cedar trees; and the two failures who saved the nation; newsletter, July 20, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,273) on July 20, 2018   We’re still recovering from the near-4,000 mile journey we took out West a couple of weeks ago. That recovering has included a lot of mowing and a good bit of weeding and cleaning out in the garden. We’re now […]

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JohnTrumbull

Top 10 books about gangsters, Trumbull’s portrait of Washington, and hurricane news: newsletter, July 13, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,197) on July 13, 2018 Hiding in plain sight in the American psyche is the concept of The Road. The Great American Highway is not just a tool to get from place to another. It’s an indelible symbol of the freedom to move, the sense […]

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WoodrowWilson

Great art and an even better story behind it: John Trumbull, the Revolutionary War painter; newsletter, July 6, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (x) on July 6, 2018 Note: We’re on a road trip from East Tennessee to the Western states, and that will take a couple of weeks. Consequently, this newsletter is shorter than usual. I hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to a […]

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HarrietBeecherStowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Thomas Dixon, and a couple of examples of excellent journalism: newsletter, June 29, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,238) on June 8, 2018 First an apology: Many of you with Gmail addresses received last week’s newsletter with a big red warning label at the top and no way to click on the links. When I began to hear from you about it on […]

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