Monday, April 18, 2011


  I just finished Ava's Man by Rick Bragg. I'm a member of Audible because I seem to spend a great deal of time in my truck. I'm not crazy about most of the stuff I hear on the radio, so I listen to books on tape. 

  Since I joined Audible many years ago, I've listened to 374 books. 
A few I fast-forwarded through parts, but those were few and far between. As a writer, I love well written books, but I also learn from bad books.

  I take a broad approach to my reading -- I read popular fiction, the classics, biographies, and history.

  I'm not sure if it's because I was born in a mining camp in the toes of Appalachia, or what but Bragg's work speaks to me. In the book I just finished, he literally spoke to me because he was the reader of Ava's Man. 

  It is a book about his grandfather who raised his family in Alabama and Georgia during the Great Depression. I knew his grandfather -- not his actual grandfather, but I knew men just like his grandfather. In fact, there are many parallels between his grandfather and mine. 
They both were bigger than life, they both made moonshine whiskey, they both loved to fish, they both built boats out of materials they had at hand, and they both died too young.

  Bragg never met his grandfather. Ava's Man was written from stories he collected from family, friends, and others who knew his grandfather. I, on the other hand, spent time with my grandfather, but when I was old enough to understand the gravity of what was mine for the asking, I had my own agenda, and much to busy to be bothered with such things. 

  There are few things in my life that I regret, but I regret letting my grandparents take a treasure chest of  knowledge and wisdom to their graves without at least having a look inside.


  1. I am yet to listen to a full audio book!! This is one of my "things to do before I am 50"! LOL!!!

    It's very sad that there are so many generations now gone who have as you say taken their "treasure chest of knowledge and wisdom to their graves".

    take care

  2. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for recommending it.

    The fact that so many generations have taken their wisdom to the grave is why I started working on a genealogy project. My husband and I would like to download as much information from our mothers as possible before the inevitable happens and we lose them.

  3. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Me too...I found out a little about my Grandma M because I spent one on one time with her as a teenager! My Grandma B died when I was 7, my Grandpa B when I was 3. My Grandpa M when I was 13. Their lives spanned the 19th century into the 20th! The things they saw and did all gone now! I was bitten by the Genealogy bug in the 1990s and have found out quite a bit of information about my ancestors!

    A long time ago I worked for a disabled man who listened to audio books...if a risque' passage came on he'd turn it off...LOL Right now I'm reading "Little Dorrit" by Dickens.

  4. You and me both Rick. I wish I knew then what I know now. I'd have recorded a lot of conversations.

  5. Anonymous3:18 PM

    I would love to be able to go and dig around the treasure chest my grandparents took to their graves with them. I was too young to even now they were filled of stories and wisdom.


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