“All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren

Stephen King on Reading 

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life?”

Let’s see, where have I seen people reading books: In church: one Sunday morning I walked into church and a lady was sitting in the pew reading a mystery novel. When she saw me, she laughed and said, “I couldn’t put this one down; so I brought it with me.” However, with her hand resting on it, she put it down when the worship service began.

In a ladies restroom at a restaurant: To me this one was even weirder. Pretty often I see folks bring a book with them and read in a restaurant while they ate. I notice this woman reading a couple of tables from mine. Slowly she lifted the fork up to her mouth with food. Her eyes never left the book. Now if that was me, the food would be on the front of my shirt instead of in my mouth. Mouth full after mouth full — I found it quite entertaining. When she finished her meal she got up and left, or at least I thought she left. Shortly after that I went to the restroom before leaving. To my surprise, the woman was leaning against the counter intently reading her book. “That must be a great book,” I said. Her eyes left the page and turned to me, “Uh huh!” she said. “That must be a great book your reading,” I repeated myself. “What this old book?!” she said. Before I got out the door, the woman was back to reading her book. Now this is truly a new view on “loving to read.” She literally took Stephen King’s words to heart!!!

“All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren

(Published by A Harvest Book – Harcourt, Inc., Copyright 1949 and renewed in 1974, 661 pages)

One of my new “favorite reads” is Robert Penn Warren’s book “All the King’s Men.” I enjoy reading books with a southern theme, and “All the King’s Men” is that and more. Robert Warren fashioned his main character, Willie Stark, after the well know and corrupt Governor of Louisiana (1928-1932) Huey Long. The book follows Willie Stark along the political, campaign trail of the Depression era. During a time of power and corruption that rule the Governor’s office.

I think Orville Prescott said it best in his book review on August 19, 1946 in the New York Times: “Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men” is magnificently vital reading, a book so charged with dramatic tension it almost crackles with blue sparks, a book so drenched with fierce emotion, narrative pace and poetic imagery that its stature as a ‘readin book,” as some of its characters would call it, dwarfs that of most current publications. Here, my lords and ladies, is no book to curl up with in a hammock, but a book to read until 3 o’clock in the morning …” I didn’t make it to 3 o’clock in the morning, but I did make it to 2 o’clock in the morning. 

“All the King’s Men” may be too big to carry around with us for “those inevitable dead spots in life,” but it is a book worth staying up late to read. This book gets 4 stars from me. Read and enjoy!!

Robert Penn Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for “All the King’s Men” in 1946. Warren is the only writer who won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and poetry. A movie was made from this book in 1949 and was reworked in 2006. Until next week …

Today do something that challenges you!



What Have You Been Reading?

2015 Reading Challenge

There is only 1 1/2 months left before the  2015 Reading Challenge comes to an end. What have you been reading? Reading 52 books in this challenge was way more than I could do. However, not all the books I read in 2015 were in one of the catagories. But I am proud that I read more than last year: 19 books 2014, 24 books 2015. I expect I will read at least two more books (maybe three) before the New Year. If I do, I’ll let you know what they are. 

Here’s My Reading List for 2015

A Book With More than 500 Pages: East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Also goes with my Classic Reading List. Great book, I will read again.)

A Book Published this Year: The Art of Work by Jeff Goins (This one is a good read, and I will read it again.)

A Book with Nonhuman Characters: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (This was recommanded by my son Chuck. He loves sci-fi. Even though this was a fun read — most of the time — I probably will not read this one again. Nothing wrong with the book; it’s just not my genre.)

A Book by a Female Author: Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline

A Mystery or Thriller: Private Justice by Teri Blackstock

A Nonfiction Book: On Writing by Stephen King (I have been working on my writing and blogging “life,” and Stephen King’s  On Writing is a must read. He talks about his life as a writer and his style of writing. Very interesting. Even if you are not a writer, this would be a good book into the psyche of Stephen King. I will reread this book.)

A Book from an Author You Love that You Haven’t Read Yet: Sycamore Row by John Grisham (John Grisham is one of my favoirte authors. I have read almost everything he has written. Will read again!)

A Book a Friend Recommended: Murder at Union Station by Margaret Truman

A Pultzer Prize-Winning Book: All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (Slow to begin but a good read. I may read again. Fits my Classic Reading List.)

A Book at the Bottom of Your To-Read List: Behold the Dawn by K. M. Weiland (K.M. Weiland is a relatively new writer. She is also someone who blogs about writing and structuring a story.)

A Memoir: Here I Stand by Bishop John Shelby Spong

A Trilogy: Second Chance; Temptation Ridge; Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr (Fun reads)

A Book with a Love Triangle: Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate (from Crawford, TX just outside of Waco)

A Book You Own but Have Not Read Before: Nightmare Academy  by Frank Peretti

A Banned Book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Who would have guessed this book was banned after it was published because of subject and language — using the “n” word. By the way, this is a great read. One I will read again! It also falls into my Classic Reading List.)

Read from Your Childhood: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

A Popular Author’s First Book: Soldier’s Pay by William Faulkner (William Faulkner is another favorite author of mine. This also fits my Classic Reading List. This is Faulkner’s first book. I think that his writing got much better as he wrote more books. I probably will not reread this book.) 

Others tossed in along the way:

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon (This is a repeat read! I love this book and will read again!! This is a Christian classic.)

I Love Yous Are For White People by Lac Su (A true story of a Vietnam family brought to the U.S. during the Vietnam War.)

Coyotes by Ted Conover (A true story of Central and South American immigrants crossing into the U.S.)

Cruel Intent by J. A. Jance

Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton (I should finish this one in a couple of days. Has anyone read her other books? I have not. Good, easy mystery read.)

What have you been reading in 2015? I would like to know your list. Do you have others that are on your To-Read List for 2016. If any of these books are of interest to you and you would like to read more about them, just let me know. I am putting together my own 2016 Reading Challenge (It will not be as long!) that I will share with you next month. On January 1, 2016 start your Reading Log of the books you read. You will be very surprised as to how many will accumulate. Happy Reading in 2016!!

As you see, I am making some minor changes to my blog site. I will still write some of my “quirky” blogs, but I will also be putting more details into book reviews of books I have read. I am only going to review what I have read. How can you review a book without reading it? Some books will be in the Classics, others will be newer. Some books will be for children, some for Young Adults, and some books for “the older generation!” Who knows — I might even hook you on a book that you have never read before. 

I have a “V E R Y” long list of books I want to read; however, if you have something you want me to read and review I would love to do that. Just remember I am a slow reader!! Until next week ——-

Today do something that will challenge you!!