Archives: newsletter

The Peterkin family, Bradbury finds his title, Vietnam Voices, and bandsaw boxes; newsletter, September 10, 2021

September 12, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, September 10, 2021. The bandsaw box is something known to most woodworkers. You take a block of wood usually about the size of your hand with the fingers spread out (give or take) and a few inches deep. Then, through a series • Read More »

Ray Bradbury and his typewriter, Ian Rankin and William McIlvanney, nicknames for sports teams, and more: newsletter, September 3, 2021

September 5, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, newsletter, reporters, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, September 3, 2021. During the past few weeks, I have devoted my considerable intellectual resources to solving one of the nation’s most intractable problems. I am, of course, talking about the nicknames given to sports teams. A solution to this vexing dilemma • Read More »

Music, courage, treachery, and the spark for modern genealogy research: newsletter, August 27, 2021

August 29, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,290) on Friday, August 27, 2021. One of the great mysteries of our lives—one that in some sense I hope we do not “solve” is the effect that music has on our intellect, our emotions, and our general well-being. No one that I know of • Read More »

Alex Haley’s pre-Roots success, the everlasting Jeeves, and Abe as mystery writer: newsletter, August 20, 2021

August 22, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,293) on Friday, August 20, 2021. A friend of mine who is, unfortunately, no longer with us used to express a personal theory concerning public personages. They were, he contended, cosmic clowns. Cosmic clowns, he would explain, are people that the Almighty placed on earth • Read More »

A new approach to biography and writing and dying in public view: newsletter, August 13, 2021

August 15, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,294) on Friday, August 13, 2021. In the three or so days during and before this section has been written, the New York Times has published the following sentences:  – Mr. Trumka’s approach did not appear to be resolving an existential crisis for the U.S. • Read More »

The soldier poet, the woman who helped make the Revolutionary War, and ideas for writers: newsletter, August 6, 2021

August 8, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,313) on Friday, August 6, 2021. Writers are often asked where they get their ideas on what to write about. Fiction writers probably field this question more than non-fiction writers, but the question seems to be universally on the minds of readers. Many writers like • Read More »

The generation after independence, the Irish, and the memories of Midnight Cowboy: newsletter, July 30, 2021

August 2, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,301) on Friday, July 30, 2021. July could rightly be called Independence Month. Not only do Americans and the French celebrate their nations’ birthdays during this time, but the Irish, too, have reason to celebrate ―although few of them do. It was on July 21, • Read More »

Celebrating the French – for their revolution and ours: newsletter, July 23, 2021

July 24, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,302) on Friday, July 23, 2021. Americans, possibly because they are exhausted from their own July the Fourth celebrations, pay relatively little attention to Bastille Day, July 14. They should give it more recognition than they do if for no other reason than to honor • Read More »

The ‘Specials’ at Gettysburg, more from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, and a little learning wherever we can: newsletter, July 16, 2021

July 18, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, Civil War, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,303) on Friday, July 16, 2021.   This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,313) on Friday, July 16, 2021. More and more, the sentiment showing in mainstream news outlets is that online learning during our year of Covid was a bust • Read More »

The voice of Enlightenment history, the Manhattan swap, and more from the Devil’s Dictionary: newsletter, July 9, 2021

July 11, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,313) on Friday, July 9, 2021. Within the small number of television shows that I watch (many of them from Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand), I have become increasingly annoyed and disturbed by a prejudice that seems to have gone undetected by the rest • Read More »

Malcolm, Vermeer, Key, and the Fourth of July: newsletter, July 2, 2021

July 5, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, July 2, 2021. Americans celebrate themselves this weekend, as they should. America has no shortage of problems, faults, and flaws. It also has no shortage of critics, many of whom are Americans themselves. So it should be. But one thing that Americans prove • Read More »

Cicadas, postcards, and geography – plus more from the Devil’s Dictionary: newsletter, June 25, 2021

June 27, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,313) on Friday, June 25, 2021. The fact the college scholarship athletes are woefully compensated based on the revenue they generate is obvious and indisputable. I spent the vast majority of my teaching career at big-time state universities whose athletic programs overshadowed almost everything else • Read More »

The best-selling textbook of all time, the motivations of an art forger, and the remarkable Mary Somerville:newsletter, June 18, 2021

June 20, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, June 18, 2021. The latest controversy to hit Major League Baseball revolves around the “sticky stuff” many pitchers apply to a baseball before they throw it. Applying any foreign substance to a baseball is against the rules. The controversy has been sparked • Read More »

The first ‘scientist,’ Forsyth’s enjoyment of silence, and the Irish gun plot: newsletter, June 11, 2021

June 13, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, June 11, 2021. Periodically, a few people, and a few members of the news media — and then a few government officials and agencies — will stir themselves up over an identified flying objects, UFOs. As I write this, we are awaiting • Read More »

Inoculation’s advocate, Fleming’s Casino Royale, and the first American to die in Vietnam: newsletter, June 4, 2021

June 6, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, June 4, 2021. In addition to all of the delights of a late but beautiful spring here in East Tennessee, we are being treated to one of Mother Nature’s rare rock concerts. It happens less often than a Bruce Springsteen show but • 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 »

Axis Sally, North Korea, the world’s first real-life detective, and reader reactions: newsletter, May 14, 2021

May 24, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,350) on Friday, May 14, 2021. The Big Apple is the common nickname for New York City, but its origins are murky. What do apples have to do with New York City? The answer, according to an essay I found recently by Maria Popov (BrainPickings.com), • Read More »

Ambrose Bierce, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, all in the same space: newsletter, May 21, 2021

May 23, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,374) on Friday, May 21, 2021. One of the great commonalities of the lives of noted authors is that a great many of them over the last two centuries began professionally in the same way: they worked as journalists and very often for newspapers. There • Read More »

Billy Wilder the journalist, what happens when you rule the world, and many readers react: newsletter, May 7, 2021

May 9, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,374) on Friday, May 7, 2021. No one, I hope, would accuse me of being an arch-conservative when it comes to the language, although I might have those tendencies when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. With diction (the choice of words and phrases • 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 »