Otis Library Asks:
What are you reading?

Book reviews and best sellers lists are all well and good, but sometimes the best books are those you hear about from word of mouth. With that in mind, the Otis Library asks “What are you reading?” Add their recommendations to your own reading list! Remember to ask at the Information Desk if you need help locating one of these books.

Our reader this month is:
Bob Farwell
Executive Director, Otis Library

Reading is part of my professional life and my leisure time. My preference is for nonfiction, history in particular. I majored in history as an undergraduate and earned my first graduate degree in the same subject. Within that general area my tastes are eclectic. Currently I am reading Bernard Bailyn’s collection of essays Sometimes an Art: Nine Essays on History Scott Miller’s The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century and have just commenced reading Brian Matthew Jordan’s Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War. Posttraumatic stress is not a new phenomenon and Jordan’s treatment is an estimable inquiry into its impact on Union Civil War veterans.

In all of these inquiries, I am interested in better understanding each topic beyond neat answers and assumptions. The ambiguities, the questions raised about intent and context are fascinating. History rarely provides us with simple answers and facts are rarely immutable.


Previous Readers