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29 August 2006 @ 11:42 am
travel and books  
Yesterday was spent on an airplane flying from Houston to Anchorage (I will do anything to escape the heat of Texas it seems). The flight into Seattle was delayed for an hour. Then, we got to sit on the runway for an hour and wait for t-storms to pass. Finally, we were on the first leg of the journey. We arrived in Seattle and then took off for the short flight (3 hours) to Alaska. Bleary eyed, we hit the hotel about 2 local time. I had a tough time unwinding as back home I would just be rising to make sure the kids got on the bus.

Travel like this makes it possible to read thankfully. Gail Giles warned me that I should take more than one book, so I packed 3 for the flight and finished them all with time to spare. I have 4 for the trip home, too.

So, what did I read? I began with the new Gary Paulsen, THE LEGEND OF BASS REEVES. Let me say at the outset that I am no fan of westerns or novels set in the west. However, I am a huge fan of Gary's work, so I decided this was the perfect time to crack open this slim book, a combination of history and fiction, and forget about airport delays.

Bass Reeves grew up a slave but became so much more than his cruel childhood would have predicted. Reeves worked for a master herding cattle, tending to chores around the ranch, and learning by observation. His keen senses would stand him in good stead later in life when he became a marshall. Paulsen, weaving together the slim set of facts known about this brave lawman, creates a story so real that it might have been taken from eyewitness accounts of Reeves' life.

I would have loved to have books like this when I was first teaching here in Texas and did not have a clue about the old West (which Paulsen points out so aptly has been hyped beyond recognition in film, TV, and legend). Reluctant readers, avid readers, and even hesitant readers will recognize this book for what it is: damned fine writing and incredibly moving reading.

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
rhwojahn on August 30th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
I am reading this one right now and am loving it!
(Anonymous) on August 30th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
What brought you to Alaska? I live out near the Bering Sea and provide library services in schools throughout the Bering Strait School District. I hope you have a great visit in this wonderful state.
professornanaprofessornana on August 30th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
why Alaska
I have a good friend here in Anchorage who is also a librarian and she got me a gig to come up here and talk to teachers and librarians. So far, I have to say that all I keep doing is pinching myself to make sure this is real. It is a lovely place. We head out shortly for Seward.
(Anonymous) on August 30th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Re: why Alaska
Sorry to treat your journal like an instant messanger, but you can erase these comments if you want later. Who is your friend? I know a lot of the librarians in Anchorage. My name is Darla Grediagin.
professornanaprofessornana on August 30th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
Re: why Alaska
My friend is Suzane Metcalfe. She is a high school librarian here in Anchorage.
(Anonymous) on August 30th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: why Alaska

She and I sit on the same board, Tell her Darla says hello and I will see her in two weeks at our meeting. The power of blogs, that we are able to find our way through the six people apart that we all know.

Have a great vacation here.