Wednesday, October 05, 2011


The local  library partnered with the Kansas Humanities Council to bring its programTalk: Talk About Literature In Kansas Book Discussions, to our library last month.  Each month the Council sends our library copies of that month's book and then, after a certain number of weeks, sends a person to lead a discussion about the book we have just finished reading.  Last month the book was English woman Isabella L. Bird's,  A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains.*  The book  is a collection of  letters Isabella wrote to her sister during her 1873 journey to the Eastern slope of the Colorado Rockies.  The book was especially enjoyable for me since she was writing about places I've been to and  about people who's names I mainly know as streets, schools and  buildings in Denver.  

Although, as an uperclass English women, Isabella got to meet some of the more important citizens and figures from Colorado's past,  I was more interested in her stories of the "common" people since their stories make up the real history of Colorado.  Actually, the stories of common people everywhere make up the history of the world. Which brings me to the second book in the series, A Scattered People: An American Family Moves West.**   It begins on the East coast with the family's arrival from England in 1630 and ends in California with the birth of one of their descendants at the beginning of the 20th century.  Imagine my surprise when I read in the introduction that the author believes by telling the story of his family he was telling the story and history of the United States of America.   I think I'm going to like reading this book, too. 

* A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains is online and can be found here.  
** If you want to read A Scattered People you will have to buy it or get it through your own library.

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