Tag Archives: family life

Reviving a Family Tradition

I discovered Stuart Srevens’s memoir, The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football last September at the library.  I enjoyed it so much that I recommended it to others. I gave it to a friend for Christmas because he, too, loves college football–the Carolina Gamecocks as opposed to the Ole Miss Rebels. But he still liked it a lot.

On this Father’s Day, I reflected how many dads (or uncles) connect with their kids through sports. But that’s not the only way, obviously.  The Last Season moved me because Ole Miss games–and his parents’ parties to celebrate them–were part of Stevens’s growing-up years. His mom and sister were fans as well, but Stuart and his dad always made the journey to the stadiums themselves.

Alas, this father-son bonding time ended when Stevens went to boarding school, then college, then embarked on a fast-paced career as a journalist, political writer, and presidential campaign manager. Stevens describes himself as “a man who doesn’t like losing.”

However, when his candidate lost, Stevens had reached a crossroads in his life. Celebrating a birthday also didn’t help. As he took time off to plan his next steps, he thought more and more about going to those games with his dad, who was now in his nineties. He longed for one last road trip before one wasn’t possible anymore.

When he pitched the idea to his parents, they were skeptical, but agreed. The stories, memories, epiphanies, and a season’s Ole Miss games are poignant, insightful, and often very funny. Best of all, traders don’t need to be avid sports fans to respond to the book. The author’s family photos are also a joy.

Most of all. The Last Season reminds us to treasure the important people in our lives while we can. Browse the author’s website for his novels and other works.


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Filed under journeys, memoir, Nonfiction, Sports, Women's Fiction

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

After eight tries, I finally finished The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen without interruption from other projects. I loved it! Even though I’ve heard Jane Austen’s life story many times, I found this work of fiction by Austen scholar Syrie James to be authentic and fun. She assumes Jane’s novel-writing voice extremely well. I hope that most readers also feel for the characters and their challenges–hoping for the best, even though we may already know how it will all turn out.  James’ imagination is charming and respectful as she re-creates how Austen told her stories and wrote them down–either hiding them or sharing their progress with family and friends. The story also makes you realize how restricted women’s lives were at the time. At least in modern the situation has improved in many places in the world. From the look of her website, Syrie James’ other works seem like worthwhile reads.

Not since P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley–now a PBS movie–have I enjoyed a book based on Austen’s work more. So much is out there in books, television, and film. Most are very good; others, not so much.

Even though many authors are inspired by Austen, please take time to read or reread her six novels. Also, this full website, Austen.com, offers excellent historical resources. Also have a look at the Jane Austen Society of North America.


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Filed under Classics, Fiction, Jane Austen, Uncategorized