Archives: writing

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 »

Annie Oakley, Veterans Day, the real ‘fugitive,’ sort of, and reader reactions: newsletter, November 11, 2022

November 11, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 11, 2022. This newsletter is being sent out initially on Veterans Day, November 11th. This day tends to get lost among the plethora of holidays between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Most veterans I know (and I am one of • Read More »

The Hippocratic Oath, Cooper’s ‘The Spy,’ and a new All Quiet on the Western Front adaptation: newsletter, November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 4, 2022. Growing up in the pre-Ice Age (that is, the 1950s and the 1960s), we looked upon Halloween as a small blip on the fall calendar that presaged the coming of Thanksgiving (a few days off from school) 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 »

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, speeding up the watercolors, and the pursuit of happiness: newsletter, October 7, 2022

October 7, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 7, 2022. My hopes to participate in the Friends of the Smokies Quick Draw Festival in Maryville last Saturday crashed and burned when I woke up Friday morning feeling generally terrible. I did the COVID test, and it came up • 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 »

Ralph Nader, preserving memory, KMOX and the Cards: newsletter, September 2, 2022

September 2, 2022 | 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, 491) on Friday, September 2, 2022. All of us, no matter how many birthdays we have acquired, forget things. We forget names. We forget the items that are on our calendars. We forget where we put our keys and even, occasionally, where we park • 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 »

P.D. James: setting is central to her novels

August 13, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

When author P.D. James began writing her first novel in the mid-1950s, she wrote later, “it never occurred to me to make a start with anything other than a detective story.” James had been reading mystery novels for many years, and she believed that she could write one that would be good enough to find • Read More »

PD James, Poe’s literary guardian angel, and Bill Russell’s dominate spirit: newsletter, August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022 | 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, 491) on Friday, August 12, 2022. The idea of young adults doing some kind of national service has been around for decades. When I was growing up, it was the Selective Service, what we commonly termed “the draft.” It was military service, and it • Read More »

Helen Kirkpatrick covers the before, during, and after of World War II

August 6, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

When Helen Kirkpatrick finally got a job as the London correspondent for the Chicago Daily News in 1939, she gave herself a seemingly impossible first assignment. She suggested to her editors that she try to get an interview with the duke of Windsor, the former king Edward. The assignment seemed impossible because it was well • Read More »

Helen Kirkpatrick, Bookshop.org, Paul Revere’s long ride, and the short digit of the engineer: newsletter, August 5, 2022

August 5, 2022 | 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, 491) on Friday, August 5, 2022. The item concerning independently-owned bookstores that appeared in last week’s newsletter needs a follow-up. If you enjoy ordering books online and receiving them without having to travel, and if you also want to support your local independent bookstore, • Read More »

Robert Louis Stevenson: igniting the imagination of young readers

August 1, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, writers, writing.

One book that should be on the shelf of every pre-teen is a well-illustrated copy of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. For more than 140 years, Treasure Island has fired the imagination of young readers all over the world.  Its central character, Jim Hawkins, is a young boy who finds himself in the middle • Read More »

Independent bookstores, Monty’s double, and Margaret Fuller: newsletter, July 29, 2022

July 29, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,234) on Friday, July 29, 2022. How do you feel about your public library? Writer and poet Michele Herman, who lives in New York City, thinks of the two branches of the New York Public Library close to where she lives like she thinks of • 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 »