Issue of December 27, 2009

Our last issue of 2009 is filled with memories. Memories of the season in nineteenth-century bookmarks, memories of a twentieth-century sports rivalry that is still unmatched, memories of significant pain that provide a comfort and a hope. We wish you a happy and healthy new year.

When David Mitchell received a book about Auschwitz, he felt that reading it prior to Thanksgiving would give him a particular reason to be grateful that he was “born during the relative safety and security of the post-war years.” Little did he know that once read, the book would open far more to him than the horror, terrible as that was. And as he worked his way through the events that followed the reading he came to the conclusion that suffering and the memory of it provides, in its own way, a “comfort, and a hope, for our future” in Life Out of Death.

Laine Farley takes the holiday season back more than 100 years with bookmarks from the late nineteenth century. They have a “distinctive look in terms of their subject matter and . . .  fonts,” she says, and that helped her to date other anonymous bookmarks of the same period. What she also found was plants we today associate with Christmas was not always the same back then, in the era of fascination with the natural world in Christmas Bookmarks Circa 1880.

Legendary rivalries span all types of work but perhaps there are none more worthy of being a legend than the one that took place between 1969 and 1978. Pitted against each other, two colleges and two coaches—Ohio State University’s Woody Hayes and the University of Michigan’s Bo Schembechler—waged war on the football field. A new book on that infamous rivalry has Pete Croatto praising its character, storytelling, and the larger ideas that came of the competition in Coaching at the Edge of the World.

Lauren Roberts has the sense that the rapidly approaching 2010 is going to be different for her. But she’s not counting on being “lucky” as much as she is planning to be lucky with her choices in Moving Ahead.

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