You may also like to read:

You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels and short stories at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Fantasyland




It's Monday, What are You Reading? Fantasyland: 
How America Went Haywire, A 500-year History
by Kurt Andersen







This post is the one-hundred and thirtieth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I became aware of this book while watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s ’The Last Word’ tv show and his interview with the author. Assumed it would be worth the read. I’m now sure it will be.


Book Description from Amazon:


“The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.

“This is an important book—the indispensable book—for understanding America in the age of Trump. It’s an eye-opening history filled with brilliant insights, a saga of how we were always susceptible to fantasy, from the Puritan fanatics to the talk-radio and Internet wackos who mix show business, hucksterism, and conspiracy theories.”—Walter Isaacson


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Little Lodges on the Prairie




It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Little Lodges on the Prairie:
Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder
by Teresa Lynn
 
 This post is the one-hundred and twenty-ninth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]
 


https://www.amazon.com/Little-Lodges-Prairie-Freemasonry-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00LSD3WU8/


This Ingalls/Wilder book is a little different than others in that is also focuses on Freemasonry and activities of the families in this fraternity and related organizations in the various locations they lived during their lifetimes. This is a 2014 book, but still a somewhat different slant on these interesting families, for sure.


Book Description from Amazon:

The Little House on the Prairie books and TV show have inspired generations, but few people know the history of the Ingalls family in Freemasonry.
Discover new stories about Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first book to comprehensively document the role Masonry and the Eastern Star played in the lives of this iconic American family.
A lively and informative look at this lesser-known aspect of Laura’s life, including documents which have rarely been seen and never before been published, Little Lodges on the Prairie gives readers an intriguing new and unique perspective on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Mary Ingalls: The College Years


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Mary Ingalls: The College Years
by Marie Tschopp
 


This post is the one-hundred and twenty-eighth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


One four recent books on the Ingalls/Wilder family based on research and writing by Ingalls/Wilder Foundation associated persons. This is the smallest of the four, and most limited in scope. However, it is also well researched, and adds detailed, historically-correct material on this fascinating family.


Book Description from Amazon:

At the young age of fourteen, Mary Ingalls suffered an illness, causing her to lose her eyesight. Despite this trauma, Mary—the famous older sister of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, who is best known for her children’s book series—led a remarkable life.

Mary Ingalls—the College Years explores the young adult life of the oldest Ingalls sister, following her years spent at the Iowa College for the Blind. Readers learn of the subjects Mary studied, Mary’s academic performance, her success after graduation, and the sacrifices the Ingalls family made for their eldest daughter’s education. Additionally, readers are introduced to the history, development, and controversy surrounding one of America’s earliest schools for the blind.

In this book—decorated with never-before-published archived photos—celebrated storyteller, historical performer, and author Marie Tschopp paints a historically accurate picture of Mary Ingalls’s life as a student. Fans of Ingalls Wilder’s beloved novels will enjoy this captivating biography that explores the real life of Mary Ingalls.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 10, 2017

It’s Monday, What are Your Reading? My latest ebook?



It’s Monday, What are Your Reading? 
My latest ebook?



Today, I’m sharing my latest ebook. Here is what I wrote on my Genealogy Ancestry blog:

In my book, '13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories,' I've always urged using a variety of methods to share your research of family stories. This is my latest effort to do that with mine. Here is the description for your interest:

"This is an ebook incorporating the compilation of four sets of episodes from the Weston Wagons West series of historical fiction stories first published online at HubPages.com. These historical fiction stories are based on the extended Weston Family members as they interact, from Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia, beginning in the 1600s, with members of the author’s actual ancestors. Based on extensive personal and collaborative research, each story shares the social history of the time along with the author’s ancestor’s own history in those times. Family surnames of ancestors include Preston and Butler, Kinnick and Duncan, in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and more. This ebook is one in a series relating the Weston Wagons West family saga stories that continue to be written based on current and future family history research."

This compilation is just one sample of many short stories I have written in this series at http://hubpages.com/@drbill-wml-smith

By compiling them into ebooks, many of them are available in one place. Useful for my reference as well as my readers. This ebook contains 25 separate episodes in three major story lines. There are also 4 'updates' that provide overviews for the whole Weston Wagons West project that are interesting from both a writer and historians perspective.

Available on Amazon.com currently are the two prior ebooks in this series...this one there shortly.
Right not, you can order from:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-bill-smith/weston-wagons-west-w1-9-t1-7-d1-4-u0-3-1630-1880/ebook/product-23251741.html

Families are Forever!! ;-)

Happy Reading!! ;-)

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Al Franken


It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
by Al Franken
 
 
 This post is the one-hundred and twenty-seventh entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]
 

https://www.amazon.com/Al-Franken-Giant-Senate/dp/1455540412/


Most recent book by my currently favorite Senator… ;-)
Fathers Day gift from Allison, in hardcopy! Thank you!;-)


Book Description from Amazon:


#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book - also unusual - because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy." - Louise Erdrich, The New York Times

From Senator Al Franken - #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum - comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.

This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 19, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Wise Men



It's Monday, What are You Reading?
The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made
by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas

This post is the one-hundred and twenty-sixth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


https://www.amazon.com/Wise-Men-Friends-World-They-ebook/dp/B00768DB2S/


This book, nearly 900 words, was on my Wish List to get on Kindle. Annette sent a Father's Day gift card, so I used part of that to get this. It may take me a few years to read, but should be worth it! I haven’t read a lot about this period in recent years, so thought it would be a good idea!
These were 'the adults in the room' to the national leaders I grew up with...

Book Description from Amazon:


A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces the original best and brightest, leaders whose outsized personalities and actions brought order to postwar chaos: Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt's special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation's most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Loyal Son


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
The Loyal Son 
by Daniel Mark Epstein
 

This post is the one-hundred and twenty-fifth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]
 

https://www.amazon.com/Loyal-Son-War-Franklins-House/dp/0345544218/


This is my April 2017 Early-Reader book from LibraryThing… in the Colonial/Founding Fathers category of historical nonfiction, still my favorite!! ;-)

Book Description from Amazon:


The dramatic story of a founding father, his illegitimate son, and the tragedy of their conflict during the American Revolution—from the acclaimed author of The Lincolns.

Ben Franklin is the most lovable of America’s founding fathers. His wit, his charm, his inventiveness—even his grandfatherly appearance—are legendary. But this image obscures the scandals that dogged him throughout his life. In The Loyal Son, award-winning historian Daniel Mark Epstein throws the spotlight on one of the more enigmatic aspects of Franklin’s biography: his complex and confounding relationship with his illegitimate son William.

When he was twenty-four, Franklin fathered a child with a woman who was not his wife. He adopted the boy, raised him, and educated him to be his aide. Ben and William became inseparable. After the famous kite-in-a-thunderstorm experiment, it was William who proved that the electrical charge in a lightning bolt travels from the ground up, not from the clouds down. On a diplomatic mission to London, it was William who charmed London society. He was invited to walk in the procession of the coronation of George III; Ben was not.

The outbreak of the American Revolution caused a devastating split between father and son. By then, William was royal governor of New Jersey, while Ben was one of the foremost champions of American independence. In 1776, the Continental Congress imprisoned William for treason. George Washington made efforts to win William’s release, while his father, to the world’s astonishment, appeared to have abandoned him to his fate.

A fresh take on the combustible politics of the age of independence, The Loyal Son is a gripping account of how the agony of the American Revolution devastated one of America’s most distinguished families. Like Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough, Epstein is a storyteller first and foremost, a historian who weaves together fascinating incidents discovered in long-neglected documents to draw us into the private world of the men and women who made America.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)