Archives: newsletter

The woman at the start of American realism, the women of Edward Hoch, and the death of Erskine Childers: newsletter, December 11, 2020

December 7, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,4xx) on Friday, December 11, 2020. No room in the inn. Anyone familiar with the Christmas nativity story has heard the phrase “no room in the inn.“ The phrase is a short explanation for why Jesus was born in a stable, but over the centuries • Read More »

Erskine Childers and the espionage novel, sketchbooks, and reader reaction: newsletter, December 4, 2020

December 6, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,4xx) on Friday, December 4, 2020. When I was a child I was given piano lessons, but I didn’t take to that instrument very well. After a few years, I stopped, but my mother believed that I should continue to have music lessons of some • Read More »

Ed Hoch’s short stories, another presidential memoir, and something new from Vietnam Voices: newsletter, November 27, 2020

November 29, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,489) on Friday, November 27, 2020. The small farm where I live is blessed with hundreds of feet of fencerows. They stretch past the barn and around the pasture and by the garden. And they have been neglected for many years. That means that the • Read More »

The call for unity, a defense of Thomas More, and more about Abe: newsletter, November 20, 2020

November 22, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,495) on Friday, November 20, 2020.     Thanksgiving is approaching, and I have always particularly enjoyed our national season of gratitude. It is important that we acknowledge what we have been given, even during a year when all of us have seen our lives • Read More »

More on William Seward, another walk through the Golden Age, and writing like a rifle: newsletter, November 13, 2020

November 15, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, Civil War, history, newsletter, reporters, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, November 13, 2020. Some people cook and bake. Some people collect. Some make things. Some draw and paint, some listen (to music, etc.), some watch (birds, airplanes, insects, old movies, etc.), some read. The list could go on and on, of course. • Read More »

William Seward, voting, Vietnam Voices, and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, November 6, 2020

November 8, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, podcasting, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, November 6, 2020.   There are those of us who are wondering if the fevered political season will ever end. An interesting novel is sometimes a good antidote. I’m reading a couple now: Ian Rankin’s In a House of Lies and Ian McGuire’s The Abstainer. • Read More »

The unknown Jacques Futrelle, Drew Pearson (part 2), and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, October 30, 2020

November 1, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, reporting, writers.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, October 30, 2020. Back to the (Zoom) Future. In the last few days, I attended a poetry reading of a friend’s new book on Facebook; I helped another friend launch a book on Zoom; and I attended a memorial service on YouTube​ for a friend • Read More »

Political debates and a few thoughts about the election, Harold Bloom on reading, and a century of Christie: newsletter, October 23, 2020

October 25, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, October 23, 2020.   Political debates in this country have never been especially uplifting affairs. Even the iconic Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 (see below) are remembered because they introduced Abraham Lincoln to the nation rather than for their soaring rhetoric and sweeping • Read More »

Washington’s biggest Big Foot, the origins of Jack Reacher, more Bach and more baseball Hall of Fame deaths: newsletter, October 16, 2020

October 18, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,510) on Friday, October 16, 2020. “Zoom,” unlike “google,” has been in use for a long while as a legitimate verb with a specific, well-established meaning. At the beginning of this year, we all knew what it meant, especially if there were children around who had • Read More »

Why Pearl Harbor was bombed (part 2), Ian Rankin, reporting on the infirm who hold power: newsletter, October 9, 2020

October 12, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,515) on Friday, October 9, 2020. This week’s point of gratitude came early in the week when we opened our beehives for the first time in three months and found lots of bees abiding there. The major challenge for a beekeeper these days is keeping • Read More »

The birth of the selfie, why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor (part 1), and reader reactions: newsletter, October 2, 2020

October 4, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,519) on Friday, October 2, 2020. Johann Sebastian Bach is on my list of “things to be thankful for” this week. In fact, he’s not far from the top. Bach lived from 1685 to 1750 and was a composer of baroque-era music. He was also deeply spiritual, • Read More »

The writing of Hans Brinker, Gayle Lynd’s long journey, and a Walter Mosley short story: newsletter, September 25, 2020

September 27, 2020 | 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 (2,521) on Friday, September 25, 2020.   The year continues to bring its oddities. Major League Baseball is finishing its shortened season this week and will begin playoffs next week. The configuration is like no other, and I won’t try to explain it. I’m not • Read More »

More on Mary Mapes Dodge, Josephine Tey and paranoia, and a couple of podcast recommendations: newsletter, September 18, 2020

September 21, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,529) on Friday, September 18, 2020.   Getting a book that you have anticipated for a while and then having it live up to your expectations is a particular delight. That happened to me with the arrival of Ian Toll‘s Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western • Read More »

Mary Mapes Dodge, Robert Louis Stevenson, and thoughts on forgiveness: newsletter, September 11, 2020

September 13, 2020 | 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 (2,5xx) on Friday, September 11, 2020.   Nearly two decades after the infamous 9/11, I am struck by how far it feels from that awful event. For those of us who lived through it, the day was one of those we will always remember. Yet, • Read More »

Gordon Parks’ “Atmosphere of Crime” photos, the war in Iraq, a look back at William Manchester, and reader reactions: newsletter, Sept. 4, 2020

September 6, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, newspapers, photojournalism, reporters, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,531) on Friday, September 4, 2020.   The idea rattling through in my head for the last few days has been “gentleness.” Our modern human world doesn’t put much stock in the idea of gentleness, but nature does. I’m lucky in that I get to • Read More »

A top 19th century female scientist and writer remembered, the history of Aunt Jemima, and Richard Ben Cramer on Joe Biden: newsletter, August 28, 2020

August 30, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 28, 2020. Sometimes you win the lottery, and then sometimes you get really lucky. Our household is still in a joyous state over the birth of our grandson a couple of weeks ago. It’s a big win, as they say these days. Thanks, • Read More »

The 19th amendment, James Lee Burke, John Quincy Adams, and NYT’s typos: newsletter, August 21, 2020

August 23, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 21, 2020.   Through muted celebrations, we noted the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution this week. This amendment guaranteed the right of women to vote, and it represented the largest and most significant change • Read More »

Being tall at Guadalcanal, a notorious pirate, rural noir, and the serial killer: newsletter, August 14, 2020

August 17, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, reporting, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 14, 2020.   One of the things on my mind this week is the concept of respect. The thinking on that was kicked off by an NYT column by Bret Stephens on the 18th-century politician and philosopher Edmund Burke (Why Edmund Burke • Read More »

The movie and book that define noir, online teaching and learning, the hard-boiled detective, and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, August 7, 2020

August 9, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 7, 2020.   Churches can’t meet, businesses can’t operate properly, schools and libraries can’t open — none of this can happen without major concerns about the safety of the people involved. This is a deeply frustrating time for all of us. • Read More »

The practicality of the first Black bookstore owner, the role of ex-presidents, and more about libraries and erasing history: newsletter, July 31, 2020

August 2, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,550) on Friday, July 31, 2020.   As with much of the rest of the world, Americans continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. Should we send children to school? Can professional sports maintain a schedule? Is it safe to go to a restaurant or • Read More »