Unique bookmarks and Pulitzer Prize books that I love

sproutI LOVE these “Sprout Leaf Book Marks”, which were a gift from my daughter. Put them inside the pages of a book and when you open to your page, voila, they pop up. You can also use them in a more traditional way, of course. If you do, remember to wedge them between the pages because they’re quite small. It’s pretty wonderful to hold a book upright and see this sweet little plant sticking up. A reminder that books really can grow a mind.

My daughter found them in a store somewhere in Baltimore, but you can order them online. S&H is $3.95. No surprise it’s so expensive, right? (I hate having to pay so much!). But they really are sweet.

BTW—The book I love the book pictured, even though it’s going to take forever to read it. It won the Pultizer: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Joyce Kearns Goodwin. As a former reporter, the subject has particular appeal. The subject matter is particularly interesting in contrast to today’s political and economic climate.

“In an era when cooperation between the national media and the US government seems laughable, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s timely 100-year look backward explores the origins of the type of muckraking journalism that helped make America a better country.

Focusing on the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and his successor, William Howard Taft–one-time colleagues and friends who later became sworn foes–Goodwin chronicles the birth of an activist press, which occurred when five of the nation’s best-ever journalists converged at McClure’s magazine and helped usher in the Progressive era.

At times slow and overly meticulous, with a lot of backstory and historical minutiae, this is nonetheless a lush, lively, and surprisingly urgent story–a series of entwined stories, actually, with headstrong and irascible characters who had me pining for journalism’s earlier days. It’s a big book that cries out for a weekend in a cabin, a book to get fully lost in, to hole up with and ignore the modern world, to experience the days when newsmen and women were our heroes.”

Goodwin wrote two other Pulitzer Prize winners. “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” and “No Ordinary Time — Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War 2.” Both were pretty hefty, but I got through them relatively quickly (not the word relatively). Certain sections in each were page turners.

As you can tell, I am a history buff. American history, that is. Learning new details about these influential people and the shaping of our country gives me greater insight into our country today and makes me feel that I am making my brain sharper, something I don’t particularly feel when I am sitting in front of a computer all day.

If you have other favorite history books, please let me know.

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