I have a confession to make: I haven’t read a book in months. I got bogged down in Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind–a book that started off well enough, but got so tedious three-quarters of the way through that I couldn’t force myself to go on. It took me a long time to admit I wasn’t going to listen to the last six or so hours of the audiobook; I just kept choosing podcasts or music on my commutes. But as long as there was a chance of picking it up again, I didn’t want to get involved with anything else. Yesterday, I finally dumped it from my sync list, in hopes of making way for something new.
But I was really overawed to meet Winston Churchill:
Churchill is a problematic character, of course–it goes with the genius territory. But if we only admire people who never once put a foot wrong or hold no opinions contrary to ours, or have no faults or foibles, well, who would we admire? My thing with Churchill boils down to this: he carried Britain through the darkest hours of World War II on the strength of language. When all of Western Europe had fallen, and Britain stood alone against the forces of Hitler, Churchill’s masterful oratory inspired Britain to persevere.
A tour of my dusty, neglected bookshelves turned up the first two volumes of William Manchester’s massive Churchill biography, The Last Lion, and I am resolved to get stuck in. It’s time to get behind the speeches, the quips, the quotable Winston, and meet the man behind the legend.