I greatly enjoyed this book especially as I had made a recent trip to this part of Missouri last summer. Jetta Carleton captures the essence of a Missouri family in early twentieth century as they go through the trials and hardships of a life many mid-westerners will be familiar with. The book is fast paced and can be easily read in just a couple of days. Once I got started I didn’t want to put the down.
I’ve been a fan of Daniel Woodrell for a while, but I honestly wasn’t sure if this book would live up to all of the critical hype. The subject matter in particular didn’t suck me in at first. However, I eventually got quite caught up in Woodrell’s savory-rich storytelling style. I also loved how he threw generous daggers of raw insight into the human condition all throughout the book, making the characters and their plights undeniably fascinating.
This is mainly a photo collection of the history of theme park, Silver Dollar City and Marvel Cave starting with the cave’s discovery. The photos also feature the theme park’s festivals, craftsman and visitors having fun in the park. It was a fun read for me, since I first went to Silver Dollar City as a sophomore in high school with my aunt and uncle, then when in college Branson was only an hour away so it was a great get-away spot for a day of fun with friends. So, the area holds lots of good memories for me.
After fire destroyed Missouri’s capitol in 1911, voters approved a bond issue to construct a new statehouse. The tax to pay the bonds produced a one-million-dollar surplus, leaving a vast amount of money to decorate the new building. A special commission of art-minded Missourians employed some of the nation’s leading painters and sculptors to create powerful and often huge pieces of art to adorn Missouri’s most important new structure.
The Art of the Missouri Capitol presents the art in 270 images, many by Lloyd Grotjan, mostly of the building’s many compelling paintings, murals, and sculptures. Priddy, a journalist who has covered the Missouri legislature for more than three decades, and Ball, an art historian, use a wealth of historical materials to connect the grand design of the capitol decorations with accounts of sometimes temperamental artists and meddling politicians. The authors provide historical and artistic context to explain the many surprising, controversial choices the artists made, and they use Missouri history to explain the tales depicted in the artwork, revealing the events—and inaccuracies—that the paintings bring to life.
There were lots of stories and information that I have either forgotten from my school tour days or just never heard since the tour guides have to keep groups of kids interested and moving through the building. Did you know there is accidentally one too many stars on the representation of the Great Seal of Missouri on the capitol floor? There are supposed to be 24 to represent Missouri joining the union as the 24th state but the artist carved one too many. So, if you’ve ever stared at the seal and thought the stars were unbalanced or something was off about it… you are correct.
Good, basic homemade recipes that remind me of when I was a child and the dinners at my grandma’s and my great aunts’ homes. Also meals with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jack who hunted all the time and I was never sure what critter the meat really came from. I decided early on it was better not to ask.
Also fun Ozark mountain trivia and folklore scattered throughout the book too. And don’t skip the recipe for skunk. Seriously.