What I’m Reading Now


Gregg Mangan has performed an amazing feat with On This Day in Connecticut History. I’m not just saying so because the entries include the birth of Great-Aunt Anna Louise James on January 19. I learned of the book when I met Gregg at the Connecticut Library Association conference where Connecticut Humanities was giving a presentation across the hall from where Christy and I were talking about the veterans’ writing workshop.

Like Women in Clothes, On This Day is a book to dip into. Unlike the former, it is eminently readable cover to cover. I plan to do both.

The three-hundred-sixty-five entries (no leap year) capture the yin and yang of this tiny state: hostile and friendly relations with Native Americans; conflicted feelings about the Civil War; clean politics (non-resident Abraham Lincoln) and dirty (now twice con ex-gov John Rowland).

This is a book for young people to learn about the big stuff of the Charter Oak and the Amistad incident and for the rest of us to become acquainted or re-acquainted with L’Ambiance Plaza, the orphanage that became a world-class university, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, and Mrs. Connecticut Courant Hannah Watson, one of the first newspaper publishers in the country.

Read on!

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