Archives: history

The ever-controversial game of soccer, writing like a shotgun, and the “branding” of an author’s name: newsletter, December 2, 2022

December 2, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, December 2, 2022. In a conversation I had recently with a friend, she and I were discussing certain authors, whose books we enjoyed reading. The name of one author, one who is quite well-known, came up, and we both agreed that • Read More »

Thanksgiving, the father of newspaper advertising, new dinnertable rules, and campus fiction: newsletter, November 25, 2022

November 25, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, newspapers, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 25, 2022. We are in the midst of my favorite holiday, and I’ve found I am far from unique in feeling that way. Thanksgiving means cooler weather, lots of leaves, lots of sports on television (if you are into that), • Read More »

The return of John Rebus, divisions and unity, bloated college administrations, and a slice of the Navy: newsletter, November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 18, 2022. Our nation once again demonstrated its normal tendency to social and political schizophrenia, something the Republic has been experiencing for more than 200 years. On Tuesday, we showed that we are still sharply divided politically between Republicans and • Read More »

Ignatius Sancho, jettisoning bad behaviors, local authors follow-up: newsletter, October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalists, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 28, 2022. My various readings and searches during the last few weeks have included a number of items about the concept of the “Sabbath.” The idea of the Sabbath, whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual, or “none of the above” • Read More »

Celebrating Local Voices, Mary Seacole, and readers respond to the the watercolor collection: newsletter, October 21, 2022

October 21, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 21, 2022. My local library, the Blount County Public Library, is having a special event honoring local authors on Saturday, October 22 (the day after this newsletter originally appears), and I have been privileged to be part of the planning • Read More »

Martin Cruz Smith, suffering fools lightly, and an art contest of sorts: newsletter, October 14, 2022

October 14, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 14, 2022. My frustration at not being able to enter the recent Quick Draw Festival held by the Friends of the Smokies became an item for last week’s newsletter, and I included four of the watercolor-and-pen sketches that I had • Read More »

Wading in the water with Ramsey Lewis, revisiting Saul Bellow, and the non-scariness of artificial intelligence: newsletter, September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, September 23, 2022. For many decades now, we have heard the term “artificial intelligence.” As I understand it, artificial intelligence means that somewhere someone (or is it a group of people?) is hard at work creating a device that will think • Read More »

Mergenthaler and the history of printing, William Kent Krueger, and end-of-season baseball thrills: newsletter, September 16, 2022

September 16, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, September 16, 2022. It’s the month of September, and while much of sports fandom turns its attention to football, both collegiate and professional, this baseball fan and many others have plenty to pay attention to ourselves. The end of the full • Read More »

MLB’s second Black player, Peter Gunn, and rare books studied and explored: newsletter, September 9, 2022

September 9, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, September 9, 2022. What is it that makes a book a bestseller? Take a book that has an excellent and engaging plot and that is well and perceptibly written. Combine that with an author who is well-known. Give the book a • Read More »

Marie Tharp, talkin’ Appalachian, Salman Rushdie, and a special watercolor portrait: newsletter, August 26, 2022

August 26, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, August 26, 2022. One of the great pleasures that I have had recently is revisiting a couple of the novels that I had the pleasure of reading as a boy. Those two novels are Treasure Island and Kidnapped, both by Robert • Read More »

Vince Scully and David McCullough, the murder of Julia Wallace: newsletter, August 19, 2022

August 19, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, August 19, 2022. Not long ago, as I was driving around my semi-rural, very partisanly-red county in Tennessee, a car (maybe it was a truck) passed me with a bumper sticker I had never noticed before. It read, simply, “SOCIALISM SUCKS.” • Read More »

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island map, the journalist and the novel, and another role for Martin Luther: newsletter, July 22, 2022

July 24, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,234) on Friday, July 22, 2022. When I joined the U.S. Navy in the fall of 1970, I had already completed a bachelor’s degree in journalism and had worked professionally as a reporter and editor. I signed up for four years in the Navy because • Read More »

Cicero, the quintessential public speaker

July 16, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism.

Citizens of ancient Rome loved public speaking. They put the highest value on a well-articulated argument or an emotion-filled oration. It wasn’t just good entertainment. A orator could make them think and feel. No one was better at public speaking than Marcus Tullius Cicero. Like many other Romans, Cicero studied what made a good, effective • Read More »

Cicero, The Feminine Mystique, a memoir, and the death penalty: newsletter, July 15, 2022

July 15, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, watercolor, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 480) on Friday, July 15, 2022. The United States is one of the few nations left on earth that allows capital punishment—the death penalty. And that punishment, according to Maurice Chammah, a staff writer at The Marshall Project and the author of Let the • Read More »

Battle of Midway, the making of the dictionary, new giveaways for July: newsletter, July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,466) on Friday, July 1, 2022. A recent article in Psychology Today listed seven characteristics that researchers say are most likely to prevent either short-term or long-term romantic relationships. The usual suspects were there, such as “unattractiveness” and “abusive behavior.” What interested me about the • Read More »

Johann Amos Comenius, founding father of modern education

June 25, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, journalism education.

The name of Johann Amos Comenius rarely echoes through the halls of modern academe, but his ideas about how we should educate ourselves remain alive, and his influence continues. For instance, the American educational system of kindergarten, elementary, junior high, and high school levels is an idea that originated with Comenius. His influence runs far • Read More »

The father of modern education, the thrill of the night sky, more on Shakespeare, and giveaways galore: newsletter, June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,464) on Friday, June 24, 2022. Summer arrived officially this week, although in my neck of the woods, we have already had several spells of pretty hot weather. The same thing happens at the end of the year when winter officially begins after there has • Read More »

Caroline Norton and the first challenge to the male dominance of English law

June 18, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

“I exist and I suffer; but the law denies my existence.” Caroline Norton, who wrote this dynamite sentence, knew the power of the pen. Indeed, she lived in a time when it was her only weapon, and she used it well. Doing so brought her a measure of personal satisfaction, but it also changed the • Read More »