Following Mark Twain

…I’ve just finished a book by Mark Twain that I’ve been reading for maybe 8 years or more.

The book is "Roughing It" and the reason it’s taken me so long to complete it is that I’ve not been diligent about continuing to read it. So recently (after I finished "Connecticut Yankee") I picked it up and began it again from the beginning. This time I didn’t stop until I was finished.

The reason I like this book so much is that it showcases Twain’s penchant for the tall tale. I’ve often excerpted pieces of the book when giving speeches, and I’ll do so again in the near future.

I loved the accounts of the journey out west that included some wild stories about firearms and characters met along the way. I’ve always been a fan of the story about a dog that fell into the lye-rich waters of Mono Lake and have recreated that story for audiences many times.

What I’d never read up to this point were the stories about his time as a reporter and an editor in San Francisco, and his trip to Hawaii.

By now I have three copies of the book (including a very old bound copy from around 1940). So I will release one of the copies on bookcrossing.com and keep the antique edition as well as one copy to lend to friends.

It was a good book!

—v