Wordy Shipmates

Thoughts   Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell, Riverhead Books 2008, 248 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:    I was under the impression that Sarah Vowell was about 70+ years old – not sure where I got that impression nor why it is relevant, but when I saw the clip that Kim posted on her review of this book, I knew I had to find and read.   She’s FUNNY!   I bought it when I saw it on the BOGOHO table at Borders.

I enjoyed this very much.    I found Sarah Vowell’s thoughts on the characters who first settled the Boston area quite entertaining.   I learned a lot, too.    I like history when it is interesting, relatable and informative.   I will definitely read more of her books.

I guess I should explain that this is a book about America’s first organized settlers of New England.   But it’s more than that.   Kim calls it pop history.    It’s got religion, government, philosophy and character studies…    It is not dull.

I am so out of words these days, it seems;  so I will end this embarrassingly short ‘review‘ with the quote on the cover by the Washington Post:

“Vowell’s funny, imaginative take on musty, buckled-up Pilgrim notables brings the era wickedly to life.”

FINAL THOUGHTS:    I think I appreciate it when I realize that no time in history was there every a glory period anywhere that life was super-dooper.    I suppose, (ah great, I’m starting to wax poetic in some ill-thought philosophy crap way) that as I get all melancholy that life sucks and the world is a freakin’ mess, that really?  it always has been and there is no reason not to approach it (life) with a sense of humor and an attempt to do and be your best and look to the sunshine.     I’ve not been feeling very optimistic about anything lately…        So thank you Sarah Vowell for taking me on a journey back into time and on travel a trip through my parts of New England;   for giving me a bit of perspective and for teaching me about some people I knew little about.    (In no way do I mean to say that I found any affirming inspiration per any specific person in this book.   just sayin’.    But maybe perseverance?)

I didn’t read this for any challenge but the last chapter introduces the reader to Anne Hutchinson and now I want to know even more about her.   Perhaps a good bio would be an excellent choice for the Women Unbound Challenge.   (like I need any more recommendations for that?!)

Oh – (refer to Kim’s review to get this…)   I forgot to even notice that there were or were not chapters to the book.   SO I guess it didn’t bother me, huh Kim?   🙂

RATING:   4/5  

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15 thoughts on “Wordy Shipmates

  1. I loved this partly because I listened to S.V. read it out loud–she was the voice actor for the daughter on The Incredibles, and she has one of the funniest voices I’ve ever heard.

  2. ah, what’s wrong with a bit of waxing poetic and philosophical 🙂 Wax away, it’s your spot, right? And books that inspire a reader to explore more are always great 😉

    Personally, I like chapters, but that’s because it’s nice to have a break or a mini-end to shoot for. I get through chapter books (or some type of separation) faster than those that don’t have them.

  3. I saw her on Letterman years ago and thought her funny when she read excerpts from her book back then. I read and had fun with Take the Cannoli years and years ago 🙂 I’ll put this (and her other books) on my mental radar too 🙂

  4. This is probably my least favorite of the three of Vowell’s books that I’ve read (the lack of chapter breaks just about did me in), but I agree that it was definitely an interesting way to learn some history I’d known nothing about. (My favorite, for what it’s worth, is Assassination Vacation.)

  5. I liked that the book didn’t just focus on the Puritans, but that it does lots more stuff like you said. I’m glad the chapter breaks didn’t bug you because it sure annoyed me when I was listening.

    I’m glad the book made you feel more optimistic, that’s always important!

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  7. Aw, Care, I’m sorry you’ve been feeling less than optimistic lately. I get it…I’ve been in that place myself lately. Not so much in my itty bitty personal life, but in my looking at the big wide world life. Anyway, it’s just such a hard place to be. I’m glad this book helped in some small way. I honestly hadn’t thought of reading this one, but now I might just have to. I’ve really been wanting to read Assassination Vacation for a while now though.

  8. I saw David Sedaris (I love his witty style) live last year recommended Sarah Vowell. I have Wordy Shipmates on my shelf – I will need to move it up in the rotation!

  9. Ah! I saw her on John Stewart a few months ago and because it was late (for me) and I was already couch-isized, I didn’t write down her book but remember that she was smart and funny and got along well with Stewart but totally forgot about the name of the book! And here it is! thanks, Care!

  10. Pingback: Book Review: The Wordy Shipmates « ReviewsbyLola's Blog

  11. Pingback: Take the Cannoli « Care's Online Book Club

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