I was among the many reporters who came to Oklahoma City in 1995 to cover the aftermath of the bomb that destroyed the federal building and killed 168 people and wounded many more. I wrote a lot about it, but I couldn’t make much sense of it, especially because Oklahoma City also happens to be my hometown.
Once in a great while I’m asked if I have a favorite story that I’ve written. I don’t. But if I did, it might be this little essay for the Post’s Style section (“Chuh-click. Sunset: With the Last of Kodak’s Slide Projectors, a Family Tradition Slips Out of Focus”), which ran 10 years ago on Nov. 25, 2004. It’s not much. It’s written entirely off a business-news item that Eastman Kodak had made its last slide projector (after having manufactured and sold 35 million of them). What I liked about it most is the timing — it ran on Thanksgiving, which made me think of slideshows in the living room, dads and grandfathers, old and wonderful technology. This piece also makes me remember what fun it was to have Henry Allen as an editor.
I know it’s been a long while, but I come to you with another exciting book giveaway — the just-released Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by my pal Ben Montgomery. ALL GONE!!
I have four copies ready to ship to the first four readers who EMAIL me (which means not by leaving a comment here and not via Facebook comment or reply-tweet).
This book tells the story of Emma Gatewood, the tenacious Ohio granny who became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, solo, in 1955, and briefly became a sort of media sensation in the process. Advance reviews have been good. I can’t wait to start hiking my way through it.
My friend Jack asked nicely — a year ago — to see this one again, an oldie from the archives, about the sacred synergy between Christmas and the electric shaver. I’m reprinting it here, not because I think it’s all that, but because of the top-notch headline that ran with it — “Frankincense & Whirr” — which brings to mind some glory days of the Style section copy desk. I wonder who came up with it? (David Hall? Pat Myers? Rose Jacobius?) Anyhow, enjoy!
FRANKINCENSE & WHIRR: What Makes Electric Shavers Such a Jolly Gift? Too Many Nicks.
My friend Michael Sokolove (aka Mr. Ann Gerhart) has a new book out, Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater.
It’s a great read, even if you think you know everything about the experience of high-school drama clubs, “Glee,” etc. I have three copies (ALL GONE) to give away and I’ll get them signed for you this weekend at the book party! How to win: Email me. Don’t reply to this blog post; don’t send me a Facebook message. Email me: hank [at] hank’sfirstandlastname [dot] com. First-come, first-served! Good luck! (Break a leg?) UPDATE: They’re all gone!
That’s right, I said it.
Nevertheless, here’s what I’ve been up to since late summer — trying to find something, anything to say about the new crop of fall shows from the broadcast and cable networks. I didn’t give any A’s this year and a whole lot of D’s and F’s — and, yes, I did a self-reflective moment to make sure I wasn’t just wearing an extra-cranky pair of crankypants. This year’s season gets a 1.88 GPA, which, in my book, equals academic probation, right?
My talented friends keep writing books and my pride knows no bounds. Be the first to EMAIL me at hank [at] hankstuever [dot] [com] and let me know which book you want — I’ve got FOUR copies of each title; one per customer. (Sorry, emails only. No tweet replies, no Facebook replies; and be aware that comments on this blog go to a spam filter first, so that’s the slowest way possible to win.)
First up is Curtis Sittenfeld’s fantastic new novel, Sisterland. (UPDATE, 7:18 p.m.: Sisterland copies are all gone. Sorry!) Here’s my review, via Goodreads …
Oooh, this is a good one. My writer friends have been quite busy. I have two books to give away now and will have two more titles to give away in another week or so. What must you do to get these books sent to you absolutely free?
You DON’T win by leaving a comment on this blog item.
You DON’T win by leaving a comment on the Facebook post about this blog item.
You DO win by dropping me a line (immediately!) via EMAIL to hank [at] hankstuever [dot] com.
Here are today’s books:
The One-Man Book Club has been meeting in secret for quite some time over at Goodreads, if you ever feel like following along. I’ve been slowly going back through my shelves and adding thoughts and reviews of books I read years ago. For some reason, all this time I’ve managed to never notice a neato widget where I can add my Goodreads reviews to this blog. Here are some recent reads, and there are plenty more where these came from …