Books + Richardson Wright


I am absolutely falling in love with Sherman Alexie. I bought The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for my daughter for Christmas after hearing a lovely interview with Sherman Alexie on NPR and reading 2 rave reviews of the book by Neil Gaiman and Amy Sedaris. I picked it up last night before going to bed to browse through it, but made the mistake of reading the first page..then I could barely put it down till my eyes would stay open no more.

Books, I bought myself for Christmas:

Thanks to Dominique Browning I have discovered Richardson Wright(1887-1961), the editor in chief of House & Garden for 35 years starting in the 1920s.

The first book I bought was The Gardener's Bed-Book: Short and Long Pieces to Be Read in Bed by Those Who Love Green Growing Things. It is a book first published in 1929. It contains 365 essays, one for each day of the year. The essays are small and long and cover a million topics, always to end with a one or two sentence tip/reminder for your garden. Just fantastic.

After falling quickly in love with Mr. Wright, I stocked up on a few more of his books via the wonderful Abe Books. Wonderful not only for the selection they have, but also because I was able to find First Edition books of Wright's in great condition for $4.00 to $10.00 a piece on average.

So far, I have received:

1.) HAWKERS AND WALKERS IN EARLY AMERICA St Rolling Peddlers, Preachers, Lawyers, Doctors, Players, and Others, from the Beginning to the Civil War. with 68 Illustrations from Old Sources

2.) Grandfather Was Queer: Early American Wags and Eccentrics from Colonial Times to the Civil War

3.) The Story of Gardening. From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the Hanging Gardens of New York

4.)The Bed Book of Eating and Drinking

5.) The Winter Diversions of a Gardener

I have started The Winter Diversions of a Gardener this past week, and within the first few pages Wright explains:

The diversions that follow here proved pleasant because they involved research, and research brings its own satisfactory rewards. A particular brand of fun is enjoyed by those who select a subject and track down its various ramifications. A hound following a scent and a research worker chasing a clue enjoy an unbelievable variety of thrills and amusing frustrations. The desire to acquire a mass of unassorted, ponderous erudition is not what lures him on; rather it is an insatiable curiosity.

...and when I read that, I knew all too well of this curiosity he mentions. I knew these were not at all to be essays on gardening but rather essays regarding subjects Wright had become interested in and then felt compelled to research until these essays were created as a result. I love that. I felt like I was reading about what my own winter diversions really are..where they come from.

And I also got..

6.)Tomorrow's House; how to plan your post-war home now (1945)
George Nelson and Henry Wright

This book is fantastic! Buy it now.

7.) Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
Barack Obama

This book hasn't come in yet, but I am very excited to read it. Memoirs are my favorite things to read and this one sounds infinitely interesting to me.

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