Monday, July 26, 2010

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Last summer, on a visit to the Sunny State of California, while shuffling through our good friend's book shelves, I came across a copy of "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt". I am a little embarrassed to say that I was mezmorized by the book, because it has taken me over a year to read it. In truth though, it has been one of the best books that I have read in a long time. Nothing has yet come close to "Sam and the Firefly" or "The Fat Cat" and "Wild at Heart" was a good read, but this was a really good book.I am by any calculation a slow reader, and this is book, which contains just over 800 pages was no exception. over the last year, between soccer games, lawn mowings and various trips to the "here and there", usually out on the front deck, I would read two or three pages at a time... more when the future President was hunting bears or tracking outlaws and less when he was reforming legislation as a commissioner or elected offical.

Tonight though, as the kids were engrossed in a Disney movie and Kerri zipped through another novel (she is the speed demon of readers), I finally finished the book. In a little motel just off of the interstate, in the middle of Louisiana, as the rain fell outside my window, I completed the final four page Epilogue. Amazed at my small accomplishment and at the power of the final paragraph, I read it three times to myself, before reading it aloud once to my wife. I don't know how impressed she was, but I sure was.

Afterwards, fairly anti-climatically, I set the book on the table, momentarily satisfied with myself, knowing that I will probably never pick it up again.

I am not an avid reader, I read slowly, comprehend even more so and am often distracted by small ambient sounds and sights to the point that I have to re-read entire sections three times or more. With a beautiful wife and three wonderful kids vying for my attention, there is little motivation to set aside the time it takes to digest a book worth digesting. However, I am glad that I set aside the time to complete this book, I recommend it to you, it is a very good book. But even if this is not the book for you, I think it would do you good to search for a good read, something to stretch the mind a bit. Doing something a little bigger than you think yourself capable is a good thing, even if it is just a book.

I already have the next book purchased. I have no illusions, I may never make it past chapter one. But maybe in another year or so, you will find me here, rather proud of myself again, singing the praises of " A Patriots History of the United States".

Just maybe

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