The Flying Circus

Aw man, guys! I was doing so well with posting every day, and then I finally ran out of posts. I knew it would happen at some point. Sorry to leave you hanging yesterday.

But…we were out of town this weekend for my 10 year reunion, so while I was reading, I didn’t have time or access to type it all up. It was a whirlwind of 14 hours in the car, dinner with his family, drinks with some awesome Indy friends, more time in the car, having an amaaaaaaaaaaazing time with some people I haven’t seen in a decade, a day with my family, and then another 14 hours in the car. PHEW. I am exhausted!

The title of today’s book is especially apt, because my weekend WAS The Flying Circus!

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This was a fun book to read on the way up through the south, because we are obsessed with the cropduster planes in Arkansas. They are so fun to watch swooping and diving across the highways and fields. We even saw one dive parallel to the other side of the interstate, to spray directly under some powerlines that left one tiny strip of field close to the road. I would have been terrified to be driving next to him!

The Flying Circus is set in the 1920s years when flapper/prohibition was raging. Three people running from their lives find each other in small-town Indiana and put together a stunt circus with an airplane and a motorcycle. Oh, and don’t forget Mercury, the sausage stealing dog! They become a surrogate family for each other and travel around Indiana and Illinois, selling their show, mostly making just enough to live on and pay for gas. Their love of adventure and need for the road/air is what drove them, not money. They did know they couldn’t do it without each other.

I’m usually not in to the flapperesque period pieces, but I really enjoyed this one. I had a hard time putting it down, and it was a great one to read while travelling. There was a triangle romance, and plenty of other drama, but it ended quite sweetly. This comes out next week on July 7th, and it comes highly recommended by me!

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for unbiased review.

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Life on the Mississippi

Sometimes you find a book so old and beautiful that it demands to be read. That is how I feel about the beautiful set of 1920s Mark Twains I found recently. They were a steal at $8 a piece and while the leather spines are a bit roughened, it is obvious these have been tucked away on a shelf for a very long time.

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They have that perfect old book smell–wood, dust, and yellowed pages. And though I have to be very gentle not to crease or tear the stiff paper, I could not get as much joy out of reading these books on a Kindle. I considered it–to save the brittle book, but I’m glad I proceeded. It has been much more of a pleasure this way.

Life on the Mississippi is the memoir of Mark Twain’s time as a cub pilot on a Mississippi River Steamboat. He looks back (for the most part) fondly on all he had to learn and the adventures he found traipsing up and down the big brown river. Then, later, while making his career as a journalist, he returns under the name “Smith” to see how much has changed since the Civil War.

The only other book I’ve read by Mark Twain is Huckleberry Finn, and the dialect in that one is so hard to follow–which is why I haven’t yet read Tom Sawyer. This book is so much different than that. It’s heartfelt, and funny. You get a ton of different voices from all the different people young Samuel Clemens met in his travels. You’ll even find out exactly where his pen name was borne and what it means. This is a lovely, old-fashioned (though it was quite modern at the time–the first manuscript submitted to a publisher that was typewritten) memoir from one of our best American story-tellers. I’m glad I read it, as it will set the stage for his other books.