David McCullough: By the Book – NYTimes.com

David McCullough: By the Book – NYTimes.com.

The-Wright-Brothers-by-David-McCullough-HardcoverFor those of you who love to read history and who have particularly benefited from the writing of David McCullough (John Adams, 1776, Truman, etc.), you will enjoy this interview with the author as posted on the NY Times website (May 28, 2015).

Here are a few excerpts for you to benefit from this master writer (note his love of reading as a child!):

The author, most recently, of “The Wright Brothers” originally planned to write fiction. “Again and again come vivid reminders that the truth often is not only stranger than fiction, but far more remarkable as a story.”

What books are currently on your night stand?

Two gifts from two valued friends: “The Swerve,” by Stephen Greenblatt, given to me by Morley Safer, and Winston Churchill’s delightful “Painting as a Pastime,” a gift from my former editor Michael Korda.

Who are your three favorite novelists of all time?

Anthony Trollope, Willa Cather and Wallace Stegner.

Naturally, I appreciated his answer to this question:

What kind of a reader were you as a child? Your favorite books and authors?

I had the good fortune to grow up in a home amply supplied with books, and those I loved best have stayed with me in a way I could hardly have imagined. One of the earliest and most important, I’ve come to see, was “The Little Engine That Could.” (“I think I can. I think I can.”) Then there was “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” And it wasn’t long before I was reading Jules Verne — “The Mysterious Island” and “Around the World in 80 Days,” which I adored. And how I loved poring over the N. C. Wyeth illustrations for “Treasure Island” and “The Last of the Mohicans”! I still do.

And I found this interesting and insightful too:

If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?

“The Elements of Style,” by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. I read it first nearly 50 years ago and still turn to it as an ever reliable aid-to-navigation, and particularly White’s last chapter, with its reminders to “Revise and Rewrite” and “Be Clear.”

Published in: on June 3, 2015 at 6:35 AM  Leave a Comment  

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