Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Review - The Professor and the Madman

I didn't realize I hadn't written a blog post in over a week.  Again, been busy with other things.

So what have I been doing? Running.  Running like crazy.  I've run 76 miles so far in January.  And with lots of running comes lots of sleeping.  I find myself going to bed at 9pm a lot.  Which is before my kids go to bed.

Oh, and I've been reading a lot.  I'm already on my 3rd book this year.  I read Victory at Yorktown, The Campaign the Won the Revolution by Richard M. Ketchum.  If you're well read about the Revolutionary War, you probably won't learn too much. If you're peripherally interested in early American history, this is a good book to guide you through the southern campaign that effectively ended the war.  It's an easy read.

The second book that I read was this one, The Professor and the Madman, A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.  This is a fascinating book that was recommended by a fraternity brother that is now a professor of writing at a university.

Obviously, this book is about the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary.  Snore, right?  Well, until you add in that one of the major contributors to the book was a lunatic in an insane asylum convicted of murder.  Say what?  This book is a really easy read and a good look at history at something other than a war or a celebrity, though there is some reference to the American Civil War, or the War of Northern Aggression as the Southerners call it.  I read this book in about a week and loved it.  I recommend it.

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