Friday, April 8, 2011

JOHN ADAMS READ-A-LONG--WEEK ONE

Week One: Chapter One


My thoughts:


My thoughts are going to be somewhat brief, as I do want to try to avoid spoilers.  As I stated when I first announced that I was joining this read-a-long, I have wanted to read this book for a long time.  After watching the stellar HBO mini-series starring Paul Giamati and Laura Linney, which was based on this book, I wanted to read it all the more.

Let me just say...I love John Adams! He strikes me as a man who is always inwardly thinking about self-improvement; about how to improve himself as a person.  I actually found myself feeling very similar to him and this was largely due to this quote:

"Why have I not genius to start some new thought?" he asked at another point in his diary.  "Some thing that will surprise the world?"  Why could he not bring order to his life?  Why could he not clear his table of its clutter of books and papers and concentrate on just one book, one subject?  Why did imagination so often intervene?

One of the best experiences in reading is to be able to identify with a character you are reading about, whether it be a fictional character or a person who really lived/lives.  In this very first chapter of this tome of a book, I 'get' Adams.  What he was about.  He sought self-improvement not for the sake of fame and fortune, but for an inherent need to constantly better himself.  What he needed was a nudge...a guiding force.  As he was to have said,

"Ballast is what I want.  I totter with every breeze."

That ballast would come in the form of his new wife, Abigail.  Abigail was a woman who knew what she wanted and was steadfast in everything she did.  She was the guiding force that Adams needed.  Almost immediately upon their marriage and setting up household, things began to change for Adams.  It was almost like Abigail imbued him with some of her indomitable spirit right then and there.  

Both Adams and Abigail were avid readers.  Yet another reason why I find myself drawn to Adams's character.  At one point he says,

"I read forever."

This one I will have to remember.  What a simple statement for the love of books.  I think my search is over for my literary tattoo. *L*

I can't wait to continue on with this book.  It is proving to be an interesting and lively read.  Those who think non-fiction to be dry and boring would be wrong in judging this book so.

If you would like to join in, it's not too late.  Just head over to Wallace's blog for the schedule and to sign up --> HERE.

2 comments:

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  1. He really is quite an incredible guy, isn't he? I agree with you that Abigail had a lot to do with that. Even though he was told not to marry early as an attorney, I was glad he did! And I was glad he was interrupted from asking Hannah to marry him so that he could meet Abigail. He would have been such a different person!

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  2. Isn't it incredible how several of us are able to relate to Adams? I think that is a testament to McCullough's writing -- showing us who the real man was instead of just the cultural giant.

    Am really looking forward to hearing more about him (and more about Abigail -- she's wonderful!).

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