From the Bookshelf – New Blog Series

I recently moved from Nebraska to Utah and moving my office was something of a task.  The books filled up about 30 bankers/xerox paper boxes.  When I moved into my new office in Salt Lake City, I was anxious to move my library in and fill up the bookcases.  There is something comforting about having all of the familiar titles looking down over me as I work.  As silly as it sounds, I felt a little vulnerable in an empty office – like I was exposed without being able to hide behind the collective scholarly authority of office full of books.  In any case, I quickly arranged moving in and unpacking and feel much better now.

Office Panorama2

A panorama of the new digs, big wrap-around desk and wonderfully full shelves.  And yes, if you were wondering, that IS a full run of the Western Historical Quarterly on the top right – inherited from John Wunder.

A few new colleagues have commented, “That’s a lot of books…have you read them all?”  Truth be told, no.  No, I have not read them all.  Many I have read fully, many I have utilized in research – meaning I have dug extensively through portions of them, but haven’t sat down for a full cover-to-cover read, and a few I acquired through various means and have only leafed through casually to see if it was worth putting on the shelf.nearly all of them.  Why do I bring this up?  Well, as I look through titles I am repeatedly struck by how many of them I absolutely love.  “Oh, I forgot about this one – this one was so good!” I think again and again and I look through the shelves.  So here is what I’m going to start doing on occasion.  As a titles jumps off the shelf I am going to pull them down, and pen a quick recommendation here – explaining why I think it is worth your consideration.  I wouldn’t call these “book reviews” and they will probably be brief.  As I sit and look around though, I realize how fortunate I have been over the past few years to be paid to sit and read awesome books.  I figure that I’d best pass some of them along.

If you see a title in my library and want to solicit my thoughts on it – just drop me a note.

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