Mindy Memories

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great passages from book I'm reading

I'm currently reading The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. I picked it up on a whim -- it was the free book in a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale at Barnes and Noble. The author is Candice Millard and I'm very glad I have discovered this writer. Her writing is so interesting to read, and the subject matter is very interesting. The topic is Roosevelt's South American journey on a then mostly unknown river. It was after he lost the 1912 election and the way he dealt with losses was to do such things, like when he joined the Rough Riders.

Anyway, I really admire the way she writes about both the expedition and the native people and animals of the area, and some of what she writes is funny and scary at the same time:

"These particular dugouts [boats], moreover, were in questionable condition. In fact, Roosevelt's counting of them sounded ominously like a description of the Seven Dwarfs. "One was small, one was cranky, and two were old, waterloogged, and leaky," he wrote. "The other three were good."

Another passage I noted just is beautifully written. I'm good at writing about facts, but I'm always working on writing more creatively. I just love this:

"As the ex-president stood at the river's edge, surveying the jungle he hoped to master and explore, the forest surrounding him met the dawn by exhaling thin white clouds of condensing moisture that rose over the canopy about him like the breath of a wolf on a winter morning."

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