By Terri Schlichenmeyer —
While it’s nice to have big luxuries, you also recognize your quieter needs—and, as in the new book “Simple Things” by Jerry Apps, you’re grateful for them, too.
When Jerry Apps was born on a little farm in rural north-central Wisconsin in the midst of the Great Depression, his parents didn’t enjoy the benefits of electricity or running water. Those things didn’t arrive at the Apps household for many years, so the family led a simple life with a bounty of goodness. Filled with these stories, “Simple Things” is a gem.
A Sidecar Named Desire
Imagine the surprise felt by an ancient ancestor who put a few grapes aside for a snack later. She must’ve been angry at first … and then pleasantly surprised.
Her discovery has been decried by “temperance zealots” throughout the years; Prohibition was a big thing and abstinence is promoted even now. And yet, Greg Clarke and Monte Beauchamp say “considerable” evidence points to a tie between drinking and “great writing.” In “A Sidecar Named Desire,” you’ll read how a nip helped make novels, and how suds could help a story.
Ancient Roman poets loved their wine. Shakespeare was a big fan. Thomas Jefferson ordered cases of it, and Roald Dahl drank it and wrote about it, too.
Greeks and Romans claimed beer was “inferior” to wine. Even so, Jack London loved his suds and Jane Austen made beer using a common ingredient in her backyard.
If You Ask Me
Arguments on immigration, world issues, patriotism and messy politics. Minority issues, equal pay, family problems and Constitutional matters. These things may seem to be problems strictly of the modern age, but Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of our 32nd president, also tackled these same topics in her books and magazine articles.
She ultimately penned more than 600 pieces over the course of 41 years, and in “If You Ask Me” by Eleanor Roosevelt, edited by Mary Jo Binker, you’ll read some of her timeless advice.