Thoughts by Maymie R Krythe, Harper and Row 1966, 222 pagesChallenge: What’s in a Name Challenge : Month Category Genre: Reference/Nonfiction Type/Source: Hardback / from a discarded book bin Why I read this now: Had to finish up the Challenge!
MOTIVATION for READING: Again, for the Challenge.
Here’s what goodreads.com has to say (and it is noted that it is from the book jacket which has been lost with my edition.)
After exploring every possible source of information–fact and fable–on the months, Mrs. Krythe writes as authoritatively about this subject as she did about Christmas and American holidays in two earlier books. In her own pithy prose, and with borrowed lines from early and contemporary poets, the author gives the special characteristics of each month, such as how it was named, the number of days it originally contained, and when and how changes came about.
Much of the book is devoted to the months’ symbolic jewels, from precious stones to the fabulous 44.5 carat “Hope” diamond; and flowers, from the common little field daisy to the most resplendent rose. Their origins and their often bewitching roles in history are all here.
Important events that have taken place in each century and in every country are related here. Famous statesmen, royalty, dignitaries, actors, sports figures, and other personalities whose birthdays fall in a given month are mentioned. All about the Months is a storehouse of information that makes fascinating reading for everyone, and will surely prove a boon to those who plan programs built around the months of the year.
WHAT’s GOOD: I think it fun to read books from earlier times (pub’d in 1966, mind you) to reflect on what has changed. And what hasn’t. She actually mentions what we would now call climate change!
Even though for centuries December has been regarded as a time of hard frosts and heavy snowstorms, in recent years conditions have changed in some localities, and milder weather has prevailed.
What’s NOT so good: It was a slog to sit and attempt to read as a straight-through text, but enjoyable enough to dip in a little at a time and check out month by month as the mood hit. It was interesting to see who she considered ‘famous people’ in the listings for each month’s birthdays and notable happenings:
… and in February 1962, the orbital flight of Lt. Col. John H. Glenn made news. (RIP John Glenn, American Hero of the Space Age)
The only U.S. President born in June was George HW Bush… Whatever that might mean, but I had to look. When Mrs. Krythe wrote this book, she states, “June is the only month of the twelve in which no President was born.” And we will soon get to add Donald Trump (born June 14). Of which I am still in utter disbelief.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I admit to being fascinated by this “Mrs. Krythe” and was inspired to search for more author information; only to find… nothing. Absolutely nothing. I suppose I need the skills of a librarian and more than just Google. Maymie R. written other books that explore holidays, specific holidays and songs (probably holiday songs!) and I even found a reference to an article she wrote for the Historical Society of Southern California. She had to have been a hit at parties. But where is she now? Who was she married to? Did she have any children? Why do I care?
Recommended as a reference text, for quips and historical notes, especially any information about flowers and jewels relative to their calendar importance and then some. (Though, I got confused reading about the Hope Diamond.)
RATING: Three slices of pie (I didn’t find any mention of pie but that’s because I am grossly over-exaggerating my claim to have COMPLETED this… oh well. Sue me.)