Lance Scranton: Fill your summer downtime with good literature
June 25, 2013
I just completed "The Great Santini" by Pat Conroy. I had a rush of second-guessing myself for recommending this very graphic selection, but I was encouraged by the story.
While adult in nature and graphic in detail, Pat Conroy details the adventure of one military family during the 1950's. Colonel Bull Meecham, the main character, is a fiercely dedicated Marine who is an even better antagonist for his beautiful and equally dedicated wife.
The story unfolds around a potential invasion of Cuba, and Bull hopes that his chance to be a hero isn't too far off. But the real story involves his wife and three children who endure the onslaught of Bull's well-intentioned but brutal skills as a husband and father.
The story encapsulates a young man's journey from being scared of his father to hating him and then finally realizing how much he loves his dad. It's a cool story and Conroy sets a rapid pace with visual imagery that had me staying up late to finish "just one more chapter."
After the intensity of a Marine Colonel, I picked up an illustrated edition of "Kennedy's Last Days" and read it with as much interest as "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly. Say what you want about Bill O'Reilly but his "shadow-writer" Martin Dugard is top-notch!
The illustrated books about President John F. Kennedy and President Abraham Lincoln are must-reads for kids. Easily accessible with plenty of pictures to hold the interest of young readers, I will be bugging my sons to get these two books read before summer winds down.
I hope your summer is allowing you to slow down a bit and fill up your time with some good literature. On a tablet or a good old-fashioned book, it's worth your time to take some time to read this summer.