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March 27, 2009

Open book thread: In memoriam

Open book 2 Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of my Grandpa Albert's death. I'm dedicating this week's open book thread to him. 

Not because he was a great reader -- in general he was content with the newspaper and the TV news -- but because the title character of my favorite short story, "Neighbor Rosicky" by Willa Cather, reminds me so very much of him. There are some significant differences in ethnicity, appearance, family situation, and so forth. But in the essentials -- such as his care for his family; his love of his farm and of nature; his work ethic; his kindness; his desire to be a peacemaker; and even his health problem -- Rosicky brings my grandfather back to me strongly. So strongly that the first time I read the story, the climactic moment made me burst into tears.

That doesn't mean it's one of those stories that set my teeth on edge. Far from it. Even with the sadness that's woven into it, the denouement is a beautiful, satisfying tribute to a life well lived.

You can read the story here. And if you'd like to tell us about a story or book that's touched you deeply in some way, use the comment section below.
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