Are you finding yourself with some extra time at home these days? Many of us are, and we’re wondering how to use it well. Of course, there are many jobs that can be done even from home, but historically, when people were homebound for a season (like for long winter evenings when it was too dark and cold to be out working, for example), they turned to reading.
Perhaps this is because reading broadens one's horizons far beyond the confines of home. Jaqueline Kennedy put it this way: "There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all." Frederick Douglass states, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
Reading also provides company in seasons of isolation. According to Descartes, "The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest [minds] of the past centuries." Author C.S. Lewis writes, "We read to know we are not alone."
So the next time you feel a need to enlarge your world or remind yourself that you are not alone, consider picking up a good book. And along those lines, if you haven't read Homer Hickam's memoir
Rocket Boys, that might be a good place to start.
Homer Hickam is pictured on the left, at a conference at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Hickam is a West Virginia native; he was born and raised in the small mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia in McDowell County.
As a boy, he was inspired by the launch of Sputnik, and he and his friends spent almost all their spare time building their own amateur rockets. Hickam went on to graduate from Virginia Tech with a degree in engineering and became an aerospace engineer for NASA.
He wrote about his experiences in his New York Times #1 bestselling memoir
Rocket Boys, which was later made into a movie called October Sky.
You can catch Homer Hickam singing his version of “Country Roads” and reading excerpts from his stories on his
youtube channel. You can order his books (including Rocket Boys) from Amazon here.
Have you read any of Hickam’s books? Which is your favorite? What other books are you reading right now (or do you recommend we try)?
If you’ve already read Hickam and are looking for another West Virginia author to try, consider Pearl S. Buck, who was born in
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