Archives: journalism

American Library Association’s list of “most challenged books” for 2020

June 1, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, journalism.

Chances are, there’s a group in your community that wants to dictate what books you and your children can read. They often do this by telling public libraries what they should not put on the shelves. Most libraries resist this kind of pressure, and the American Library Association keeps track of these challenges. Here is • Read More »

The first American to die in Vietnam

May 30, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

There are, unfortunately, lots of candidates for “the first American to die in Vietnam.” Each historian of the conflict has a different name, usually from the early 1960s and some that go back to the 1950s. Historian Frederik Logevall, in his Pulitzer Prizing winning Embers of War, takes readers all the way back to 1945 • Read More »

Fleming conceives of Bond, Wesley’s strategy, and a librarian reveals all: newsletter, May 28, 2021

May 30, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, May 28, 2021. Do you know a secret? This week’s newsletter has an item about a secret that “only librarians know.” It’s a fun piece, and I recommend the link. But it got me to thinking that as a long-standing member of • Read More »

The power of forgiveness

May 29, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

Anyone who is human and social has experienced the pain of being offended or hurt deeply and the inevitable sequence of anger or even hatred toward the person responsible. It seems that the best we can do in those situations is to turn it aside and cut off contact by “unfriending” that person or cutting • Read More »

A secret only librarians know

May 29, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

Will Thomas, a librarian at the Tulsa Public Library in Oklahoma, has written a delightful piece for CrimeReads.com that tells a secret only librarians know. No, I am not going to disclose it here. It’s his secret, so if you want to know, you’ll have to read the article. If you do, Thomas, author of • Read More »

John Wesley and money

May 29, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

John Wesley was a thoroughly modern, Westernized individual. He advised his followers to do three things with money. The first two were — Make all you can. — Save all you can. So far, so good. The advice is financially sound and rings responsibly in our ears. The third piece of advice might not: — • Read More »

The Army gets it right, Eleanor gets an audience, and the love triangle scandal of the 1870s: newsletter, April 30, 2021

May 2, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,374) on Friday, April 30, 2021. Nature is doing its random best, as usual, to confound us. Where I live, we had two nights of frost last week — unheard of after mid-April. Fortunately, the cooler temperatures this spring have prevented us from putting anything • Read More »

Norman Mailer: Larger-than-life colossus of 20th century American letters

May 1, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, writers, writing.

When Norman Mailer was 20 years old in 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. A precocious student, he had just graduated from Harvard University. He had initially majored in engineering, but he took writing and literature courses as his electives. During his undergraduate days, he had published his first story, “The Greatest Thing • Read More »

Anna Ella Carroll, strategic mastermind or relentless self-promoter?

April 24, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Was Anna Ella Carroll the “military genius,” the “strategic mastermind,” and the “forgotten heroine” of the American Civil War that many of her adherents claim? What she the shadow member of Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, unacknowledged because of her gender? Or was she simply a relentless self-promoter? Much time and effort among historians, both professional and • Read More »

Rolling Stone identifies the top 100 Motown hits

April 21, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

The editors of Rolling Stone have done us Motown aficionados a solid favor by identifying the top 100 — that’s right, a cool hundred — Motown hits and tell us some of the stories behind the music. You know the list is a good one when the 100th song on the list is “Shop Around” by Smokey Robinson • Read More »

Rose Dugdale and the stolen Vermeer

April 20, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism.

Rose Dugdale’s life, in the 1950s and 1960s, seemed to be on a straight path of privilege, success, and accomplishment. Dugdale had been born in 1941 to an upper-class family in Great Britain. She spent her early years on vast ancestral estates and grew up to be a beautiful and pleasant young lady. When she • Read More »

Deliberate Practice: the road to getting better

April 19, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

Too often, when we are complimenting a work of artistry, we say the person who produced it has “talent.” But such a comment — without our meaning it to be — is dismissive rather than complimentary. What it dismisses is the amount of time and hard work that has gone into producing the artistry. It • Read More »